This quote was introduced in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, a book in a series about young witches and wizards with a natural gift for magic and who are learning to use it. “Muggles” refers to non-magic folk, who either don’t believe in magic or who dampen your spirit with their criticisms.
We tend to only understand things from the extent of our experiences with them, and those perceptions can be projected onto others. I think this is a survival mechanism, and while people may mean well when they caution us about following our dreams, it’s a reflection of their limitations, not ours. We have all faced a muggle at some point in our lives, but you can make the choice to not allow their non-belief in your passion or dream to shape your future. And you should make that choice!
My fascination with massage therapy started nearly 22 years ago. I was 13 and sitting in band class when a friend was talking about wanting to be a massage therapist when she grew up.
When I was 15, I started teaching myself reflexology.
At 18, I enrolled in college, majoring in Medical Technology to become an x-ray tech because a muggle insisted it was more practical. I finished my degree and became even more fascinated with the body, but by this time I knew I didn't want to see bones sticking out of people.
I received my first massage a few months after turning 21. I talked to the therapist about the tender points and muscle fibers I felt, and my desire to work with people who had been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. She told me I had “the gifts” and encouraged me to enroll in school for massage.
I started school on December 6, 2007. It's been 14 years since I walked into that classroom and began learning about sports massage. I felt like Harry walking into Hogwarts for the first time. I shook with excitement as I left that day. I’d found other people who had “gifts.” Some were like me, seeing auras and being able to feel things they couldn’t see under the skin and in the room itself. I wasn’t weird after all; I belonged.
During school, I decided that I wanted to teach massage. It would become my holy grail. I would know I’d mastered my craft when I could teach it.
I also decided that I would own my own business as soon as I finished school.
Both goals, I was told, were out of my reach. My massage instructor, who was encouraging in many ways, said she would be surprised if I would last 5 years in the field. The bank wouldn’t give me a small loan to start my business because “a massage parlor wouldn’t do well” in our small town.
I had some wonderful friends at the time who believed I could do it, and offered me the opportunity to start a business. Wagganer Massage Clinic operated in Fredericktown for 10 years before I moved my life to O’Fallon.
13 years ago today, I graduated from Allied College and started my professional journey in Massage Therapy. I have completed thousands of massage sessions in my career, but I may never know how many lives I’ve touched.
I’ve had my own business, taught massage therapy, specialized in chronic pain and Fibromyalgia, and have worked with blue collars, white collars, professional athletes, and musicians. I teach energy work and am working on my bachelor’s degree in Professional and Technical Writing, another thing I was muggled about because it costs so much and, in the days before the internet exploded, wasn't considered to be practical.
My interest in writing has a similar story that goes further back than massage, but somewhere along the line, they intertwined. I just released my first eBook that helps therapists build their business and am working on an online directory project that does the same.
Teaching was my holy grail, but I feel like I learned just as much from my students. I learned about them, about myself, and the state of my industry. It sparked new ideas and propelled me in a direction of “what’s next” that I previously had no map to.
I think “muggle” is a state of consciousness, and it’s rare for someone to be a naysayer 100% of the time. I can be my own worst critic, but some of the same people who have muggled me have loved me, and didn’t want to see me hurt if I failed. Others, hardly knowing me, have revealed their character and confidence in themselves and their dreams, if they dare to dream at all.
There will always be people who give you all of the reasons you can’t do something, tell you that you’ll fall on your rear end, then sit back and wait for it to happen.
Don’t let your goals be battered like a flying car in a whomping willow. Goals should challenge us as much as they ignite our passions. They should be so big that we don’t know how we’re going to do it. Making the decision to do something is the hardest part, but when you do, you will become an unstoppable force. Many dreamers are stalled by indecision. Don’t let that be you, and “don’t let the muggles get you down.”