Feeling Uneasy or Frightened? – BANISH THE BOGGARTS!

Perhaps like so many these days, you find yourself suffering from a case of the “Nightly News Blues.”  The daily news hasn’t exactly been cheery of late, has it?

Have you read the ‘Harry Potter’ books or seen the movies? Do you recall the ‘Boggart’ scene in Professor Lupin’s class?

For those who may not be familiar with the books or movies, or who simply may have forgotten, please allow me to recap.

The scene takes place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. In the class, Professor Lupin is instructing the witch and wizard students on the subject of Boggarts.

Traditionally, boggarts appear in English folklore as either household spirits who have been wronged and then turn to mischief, causing such things as milk to sour, things to disappear, dishes to break, the family dog or horse to go lame, and so forth. Or, they could be malevolent spirits inhabiting marshes or holes in the ground and responsible for much more evil doings, like missing children, misguided and lost travelers, etc.

In the Harry Potter stories, the boggarts are shapeshifters who hide in wardrobes, closets, and other places, and who feed on negative human emotions, then emerge to take the shape and form to become whatever it is that someone fears most, which is why they are so terrifying – your greatest fear realized and standing right in front of you! Think spiders, snakes, your fifth-grade math teacher, and your crazy Aunt Martha. Boggarts would know and feed on someone’s negativity and deepest fears.

But, as it turns out, boggarts are rather easy to get rid of. At Hogwarts, the magic spell to make a boggart go away was to loudly and in a bold voice direct the magical charm word “Ridiculous!” at the boggart, combined with a proper flip of the wand while at the same time imagining the boggart in some way one found amusing. Then burst into unrestrained laughter. Imagine crazy Aunt Martha in a bright purple, polka-dot clown costume with a pink cotton candy hairdo, and then burst into side-splitting laughter!

Laughing at the imagined image was most important, leaving no negative or fearful emotions in your mind for the boggart to feed upon. Stripped of all power then, the harmless boggart would simply disappear, embarrassed and humiliated in retreat.

Even with non-magical folk like us (i.e. ‘Muggles’ in the stories), it can seem as though we are bothered by Boggarts from time to time in our lives, as well.

Negative feelings and fears come into our minds, increasingly occupying our daily thoughts and nightmares until they become living obsessions; for all intents and purposes our own personal boggart feeding on our greatest negative emotions, anxieties, and fears, making our lives miserable as they grow ever more powerful and in control.

Please don’t let the Coronavirus and news transform into your personal boggart. The Daily News, Sheltering-In-Place, and Social-Distancing can be stressful, but do not let it all generate negative emotions and fears to feed a boggart, enabling it to put dark clouds over your days or cause anxiety and sleepless nights. Don’t feed the boggarts with negative thoughts.

Follow the example of the Hogwarts students and send your fears and boggarts packing. Recognize negative emotions and fears as the ridiculously agonizing tormentors they are, and banish them with positive thoughts and laughter.

We all need to stay informed with the news but do we need to hear the same thing repeated six, twelve, or more times a day, the same dire reports and doomsday predictions over and over and over again drummed into our minds? No, we don’t.

Because that is when it becomes a negative obsession driving our thoughts and emotions, pulling us down, and transforming into a boggart before our very eyes and stripping us of all our happiness.

We may not have a magic wand, but we do each have a remote control with a quite magical “OFF” button. Please, don’t be afraid to use it to preserve your peace of mind and happiness. Twenty-four-hour news access is not necessarily a good thing. Certainly not for happiness and peace of mind. So, switch off. We are much better served enjoying Mickey Mouse and Road Runner cartoons!

The times are trying and challenging enough on their own, without dwelling on negativity and imagined fears every moment of the day, adding bothersome boggarts to the mix, pulling us into an ever-darkening misty fog while also diminishing our resistance, hopes, well-being, and immunities. Our thoughts can indeed make us sick.

Whenever uncomfortable thoughts enter your mind, bust out with a resounding – “Ridiculous!”  Then laugh out loud at it all. Laugh at yourself and at the pure silliness of you blurting out “Ridiculous!” for all to hear. Laugh about the thought of others hearing you. Then laugh about them laughing. And then laugh some more. Laugh, smile, enjoy it, and feel better.

Laughter, together with a positive attitude, truly is the best medicine!

If we didn’t like a song playing on the radio back in the day, we simply changed the channel. Same thing! Simply change your thoughts and switch the channel.

Happiness is always only ever one thought away.

Laugh, Smile, Laugh Again –  and you will feel instantly better – 99¾% guaranteed!

For information on How to Protect Yourself & Others from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), simply tap the link.

Our very best wishes and health to you and yours!

Take Care, Stay Well, Laugh, and by all means — Live In The Moment and Be Happy!  –-  Jim (and Red!)

Stay Positive and Be Happy!  Banish the Boggarts!

If you enjoyed this piece, you may also like — “I Will Greet This Day With Love In My Heart”  

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                        “Remember, what you “feel” and what is “real” are often very different.”                      –  Eddie Capparucci


Happy New Year! — And Oh! Oh! Oh! — All The Places You’ll Go!

We’re venturing out into a shiny New Year,

Hopeful – Eager – Excited! There’s nothing to fear!

Perhaps many goals you’ve dreamed and then written.

But a word of caution, lest you be chased down and bitten.


It’s wise to pause a moment to think – plan – think twice – and prepare,

Before dashing out clambering and scrambling up the great winding stair.

Heed these words of advice, from famed Dr. Seuss,

Not to be jarred, shaken, or even knocked loose.


Resolutions and goals are truly worth every dime,

But not getting slumped saves a great deal of time.

So before running wildly out and about, to and fro,

Watch carefully now and observe – “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!”


 If  bogged down in ‘The Land of Doubt’ or not sure where to start,

Simply take a moment to listen, and then follow your heart.

For if you do that, then there’s no more to say,

Because following your Spirit, you’ll be well on your way!

Happy New Year! To view the text of the video from Dr. Seuss and find out more about the ‘Burning Man’ annual gathering, visit my “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!” page.

Wishing everyone a safe, healthy, and joyful new year! And whatever your goals and resolutions may be, please ensure that “Be Kind” is at the top of the list. Because that is where everything truly must begin. — Jim  (and Red!)

                                         “Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living,                                       and your belief will help create the fact.” – William James

    “Three things in human life are important: the first is to be Kind; the second is to be Kind; and the third is to be Kind.” – Henry James

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This is a purposefully non-monetized, ad-free site to be able to offer the most enjoyable reading and viewing experience for everyone, with all content freely shared, and generates no income to offset the costs of maintaining and operating. If you enjoy your visits and time with us, Join our new Patron Community today. Patrons help to continue this as an ad-free site for everyone,  dedicated solely to entertainment and educational purposes.

                  “Don’t confuse fame with success.  Madonna is one; Helen Keller is the other.”           — Erma Bombeck


Embrace Your Talents and Passion — Share Them With The World!

We hear it so many times going thru life. Nearly every day. And one reason why it is so important never to compare one child with another. We each are born with our own natural talents and flair for some things, while maybe feeling totally inept at others.

  • “That guy has a natural talent for playing baseball.”
  • “Her musical ability is a gift.”
  • “He/She has a natural aptitude for math and science.”
  • “That person has a gifted eye for photography.”
  • “That guy has a natural flair for public speaking.”
  • “She is naturally talented at fashion design.”

What is talent anyway?  Generally, it is regarded as a special ability which someone is born with.  A skill that someone seems to possess which allows them to do frequently difficult things more naturally and easier in one area than another person might be able to.

“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say — ‘I used everything you gave me’.”

— Erma Bombeck

Nevertheless, as my parents always reminded me, talent alone is no substitute for hard work.  Each of us is capable of doing pretty much anything we set our mind to.  We may have to work harder at it and settle for “95% great” compared to someone with “gifted talent”, but great and to our own satisfaction just the same.  Hard work beats natural talent every time, when talent doesn’t work hard. And if following our passion and doing something we love, it’s not “work” anyway.

Seek out and discover your natural talents and encourage children to do the same by exploring and trying their hand at a wide variety of activities. Everyone has a gift for something which allows them to be better and to excel in an area — be it sports, music, the arts, entertainment, science, cooking, parenting, teaching, and so many others.  Or, simply just kindness and being there with a listening ear for others.  Don’t minimize or discredit whatever may come naturally to you — it’s a gift.

Could Mother Teresa cook well or excel at soccer or painting?  I have no idea, because no one ever mentions it — only her kindness, compassion and love.  True gifts.

“Hide not your talents, they for use were made. What’s a sundial in the shade?” — Benjamin Franklin

That being said, never let a perceived or described lack of talent ever stop you or your children from doing whatever it is you or they may want to do.  Your heart will always show you the way. If you have a dominant, recurring thought in mind of something you want to do, listen and do it. Not doing something because “I don’t have any talent” is an excuse, not a reason.

“If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful at all.”  — Michelangelo

Talent is nice to have, but it never makes up for heartfelt passion, dedicated effort and hard work to develop and grow the needed skills.  Just ask the guitar player or artist born without arms and creating great works with their feet alone.  If there is something you would really like to do or try — just do it.  And if doing it makes only you happy, that’s all that counts. If it happens to benefit others along the way, even better.

So, if you are gifted with a natural talent, embrace it and share it with the world.  But don’t let a perceived lack of talent in an area  stop you. Follow your passion, put in the extra effort doing something you love and do it anyway.  The world will be a better place because of it all.

Thanks as always for reading and visiting with us!  Share your talents and abilities with the world, and be the reason someone smiles today!  — Jim (and Red!)

“Believe in yourself. You are braver than you think, more talented than you know, and capable of more than you imagine.” ― Roy T. Bennett, “The Light in the Heart”

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