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Expecto Patronum: Protecting Your Energy

Expecto Patronum: Protecting Your Energy


Expecto Patronum: Protecting Your Energy

Expecto Patronum: Protecting Your Energy


I’m a huge fan of the Harry Potter Series in it’s entirety. It is an epic depiction of good versus evil with the beauty of a fantastical landscape and setting that completely mystifies and enchants. I particularly love the spell, “Expecto Patronum,” as it is an analogy for protecting your energy.

For those of us who aren’t familiar with the Expecto Patronum spell, here’s a bit of context. Dementors are creatures that act as wardens in the wizarding world prison, Azkaban. The jail essentially has no locks or cells as the festering wounds inflicted by dementors are prison enough. You would think they would beat you senselessly, torture you endlessly but no. No, they simply drain you of every positive and happy thought in your mind, until all that remains are the darkest, twisted and most gnarled parts of you, playing over and over in your mind. Rather dark isn’t it? Fun fact, JK Rowling created dementors as symbols of depression, after her mother died. If you think about it, it’s a rather uncanny description.

The Expecto Patronum spell is in essence a shield. It’s a bright white light that takes the form of the Patronus that best describes you. Its job is to be a shield the dementors feed off of, instead of you. I love this analogy because, in a world gone wild, many figurative dementors are out to get you. In protecting your energy, you protect yourself and essentially your dreams, because if you are so busy struggling to survive you cannot reach for your destiny and thrive.

In my humble opinion, the first steps to protect your energy are relatively simple yet we so often neglect them. I saw a post recently and it read, “If you are convinced you hate everyone, you’re probably hungry. If you’re convinced everyone hates you, you’re probably tired.” Hanger is a real phenomenon! When you’re hungry, you’re bound to be irritable and angry, because your reserves are low. That hurts you physically and leaves you vulnerable to unnecessary outbursts. When you’re sleep-deprived, you are likely to have a defeatist attitude and every pimple will be magnified into a boil that will explode into existential dread.

I’ll give an example. Let’s say you have an assignment due & you are fast running out of time, a rested full version of you will likely think, “This sucks, and I’m not making any headway, but I can take a quick five-minute break to get the creative juices flowing then take another crack at it.” A reasonable response. Now, onto you in hunger-addled sleep-deprived brain mode, “I can’t get this assignment done and time is running out. What’s the point? I probably won’t pass anyway, plus there are no jobs out there. Besides, it’s the end of the world as we know it, Arrgghhh!” Sound familiar? It sure does to me, so do yourself a favor and protect your sleep and meal times.

Dementors deplete your reserve of happy memories and leave you with the darkest memories you own. In the same way, you will find a multitude of toxic people who are like dementors in the way they drain you. There are energy vampires and drama magnets. These individuals attract drama and chaos wherever they go, leading to constant conflict and fights that don’t add an iota to your lifespan. They are also pessimists who delight in negativity and are likely to be emotional bullies.

We also have a great selection of narcissists, gaslighters, controlling and manipulative people. In essence, these “dementors,” undermine your emotional and mental well-being and deplete your energy reserves. What do you do when they are close to you, say family or friends? If they aren’t blood relatives, cut them loose. Had I been Jack on the Titanic I would have pushed the broad off the ice-berg and saved myself. Harsh but true, so where you can, discard the stones around your feet before they drag you to the ocean floor. It’s a bit trickier when it comes to family, but again, you are the priority.

With family, if you know someone is toxic, you can minimize the time you spend with them. Additionally, it helps to maintain emotional distance by being non-committal in your responses. For example, “That happened? Wow. Eish. Ah.” See? They are responses but rather neutral. If you give dementors an audience they will bury you alive. These are rather passive ways to deal with issues, but if you’re a bit of a fire-starter then you can call your family members out on their toxic traits and set fire to the deck! I particularly like this option and should you use it, please invite me to watch the horrors that follow.

When protecting our energy, we have to build reserves that can help us survive bad days. Here, we create the attitude of gratitude. Keep a gratitude jar where you write down what makes you happy, what makes you smile, what you are grateful for. On dark days you can open this jar and ponder what you have to live for and the moments of joy you’ve experienced. Additionally, write down a list of all of your accomplishments and major milestones because you’ve survived a lot and achieved so much. On days when the sky is dark, you can acknowledge all the mountains you’ve climbed and remind yourself you’re a legend!

When the dementors would enter a particular space, you could feel the temperature change, and detect their presence before they struck. In the same way, we need to become more adept at noticing when our triggers arise. Your space isn’t contaminated in a second, it’s a slow gradual process that hails many a red flag as a warning. Notice when you feel drained and tired; is it because you are talking to an energy vampire, or because you are failing to manage your time & eating into your sleep? There are always signs. Look out for them so you can better prepare for the storms and create the necessary barriers to keep you safe. Lastly, call a friend. Harry near always had an armada of allies behind him and so should you. In times of desperation, call a trusted friend, seek professional help should it be required, get an accountability partner. In essence, reach out and call someone. We cannot fight the dark times alone but with a friend or two by our side, we can shoulder the burden and reach the light.

This has been the musing of a whimsical mind. Adios muchachos!

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