*Trigger warning – this post is about sexual assault and its aftermath in my life.*

“Occlumency, Potter.  The magical defense of the mind against external penetration.  An obscure branch of magic, but a highly useful one.”

Severus Snape, a professor at the school for wizardry that Harry Potter attended, gave Harry this definition.  Harry wasn’t a great student in these one-on-one lessons but eventually he figured out how to block another from his mind.  It seems to me that he figured it out once push came to shove and he really needed it.

In Harry’s case, they were trying to keep him from connecting with one person who was getting into his head. Through the books, though, I started to think of Occlumency as keeping evil out.  And I think I’m still learning.

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What Do You Tell Them?

Politics.  It’s a thing.  It’s not my thing.  At least that’s what I say.  I say that because I don’t get off on the nasty.  I don’t debate well either.  And I’m not at either extreme of any political spectrum.  When I think of politics, those are the things I think of.

I’m considerate of other people, even those I don’t agree with.  I’m thoughtful, rather than quick in my answers.  And I’ve always said, “If there’s a fence, I’ll straddle it.”  My values are much more moderate, even when on the right or left side of the middle.  And I know that’s all part of politics too.  It’s just not what comes to mind.

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Finding the Quiet

The world is loud right now.  There’s fear and concern and change and worry.  There are people whining, people complaining, people protesting, people fighting.  There’s noise in our ears, in our eyes, at our finger tips.  Music, shouting, colors, signs, words, pictures, videos…loud.  Everywhere.

There is also quiet.

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Making Moves

We make decisions every day.  Choices about what to eat, what to wear, how fast to drive.  We probably don’t actually put much thought into some of them, many of them.  But each of those itty bitty selections impacts our lives, doesn’t it?  And those are just the minor, seemingly inconsequential decisions in life.

What about the big-uns?  What about more monumental moves?  Life changers?  Don’t we make those every day too?

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The Secrets to Strength

We all have people that we look up to.  There might be an obvious relationship of guidance as there is with teachers, coaches, and parents.  Or it might be less evident.  We all have situations with peers and co-workers where we find ourselves admiring another person’s ability to process or deal with something.  And sometimes our mentors aren’t directly or personally connected with us at all, but we look up to them just the same.  Perhaps you’ve experienced that with book characters, famous personas, or even the incredibly patient mother you witnessed at the grocery store.  Everywhere we turn, if we look, we can find people who’s strength inspires us.

I thought I’d shed a little light on how these incredible people get to be so strong in our eyes.  I’m spilling the beans!

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Not Mama Bear

I am not a Mama Bear.  I’m not really sure what kind of Mama I am, but it is crystal clear that I’m not the ‘take a swipe at you with my paw because you’ve wronged my cub’ kind.  I used to think I was, but after a few situations went down, it became quite apparent to me that I don’t even have a good grizzly growl.

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First of all, if you’ve ever seen Fiddler on the Roof you will forever more sing “Transition” in the same voice as the song “Tradition.”  If you haven’t seen it…watch this link: Tradition.  You’re welcome.  Transition!

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, on to my thoughts on transitions in life.  Have you ever giggled your way through a fun house?  You run up the stairs and stand in front of the mirrors.  You love the silliness of seeing yourself elongated and goofy or short and stout with no neck and cheeks as wide as your shoulders!  The music is loud and disorienting.  There’s a rickety bridge to run across.  There might be a maze of bungee cords to navigate or blasts of air that hit you in the face for a second.  Fun times.  Then you get to the cylinder that’s rotating at the end.

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