The Fool card

Embrace your inner fool

“God loves a fool.”

I don’t know how I absorbed that message, but it has comforted me many times. When I’ve confidently and determinately called someone by the wrong name; when I’ve tripped on the root or the step or nothing at all; when I recently extolled the appearance of the first tulip with my friends (it was a daffodil); when I tried so hard…and failed…

It’s ok. God loves a fool.

When I was younger, I yearned to be the graceful dancer, the articulate orator, the intellectual who knew the correct classical references or was up-to-date on the current political complexities. When I finally realized how unhappy I was from my rejection of how I actually showed up (and how the increased pressure I was placing on myself added to my tripping or mumbling or cluelessness) I decided to lean in and celebrate who I am. It was then that I added this line to my manifesto: I am the Divine Fool. I treasure happiness, and let go of knowing.

Many years ago, I had a therapist* who introduced me to the archetype of the Divine Fool. I was going through a huge life transition, and had no context for it. She showed me this tarot card:

(Attribution: Pamela Colman Smilth, artist, Ride-Waite Tarot Deck)

 

Notice how carefree he appears to be, his little dog next to him, rose in his hand. All as he prepares to step off a cliff into nothingness.

In tarot, the Fool is the first in a cycle, numbered as “0” in a series of 22 cards. It signifies Beginner’s Mind, the point where we don’t know anything, so are open to everything. Then, as we let go of all that we believe to be true, suddenly we are available for what we’ve never discovered before. Life can show up for us.

What do you think? Want to celebrate our national day of April Fools to join me in stepping into your very own foolishness? Here are some tips I’ve learned along the way–but truly, I don’t know anything (and am open to learning whatever you’ve uncovered about your own Divine Fool).

TIPS FOR STEPPING INTO YOUR FOOLISH SELF

One: When you trip/stammer/misname/make mistakes, LAUGH. 

It’s pretty funny, right? Daffodils! Tulips!! We created names and then think they mean something!!

Two: Be ready to play whenever, wherever. 

Life can seem so SERIOUS. But (as Katie Hendricks is fond of saying) people everywhere are ready to play. That person checking in your luggage? Wants to play. Theh one standing in line in front of you at the grocery store? Yep, would rather be playing. Your partner, in the middle of a conflict? Well, I know, this really is SO IMPORTANT (say all of our personas). But if you’re the first one to smile, let’s award you an extra point. If you can catch your partner’s eye and wink? Now you’re on the path back to connection, the biggest prize of all.

Three: Enjoy not knowing.

I used to think I should have an opinion, whether about politics, or the fastest way to drive somewhere, or what someone should do. Then I found the freedom of saying, “gee, I don’t know!.” I then had time to wonder, imagine, and open to life as it showed up.

Four: When you find a cliff, jump!

I once was part of a group that was jumping off a 22’ cliff into the ocean. When I climbed up to the perch, I noticed others standing and waiting, and thought, no way, I’m GOING! (too scary for me to stand there, contemplating the idea). I still remember being surprised at the whole experience (so fast! hard landing!!). Especially I remember the exhilaration of just…JUMPING.

I notice cliffs all over the place. Hanging out with new people. Writing the next blog, recording another video. The moment of giving up my point of view and just listening. I can feel the difference between the comfort of the known, and my fear—every time–of what will happen if I leap into the unknown.

Then I remember. I’ll be fully supported, even if I haven’t a clue as to how life will unfold. Because–

God loves a fool.

And we love you.

*Forever thanks, Barbara Griek.

Come play with me at the EPI!

Blessings and love, Julie

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