Today is a Great Day to Be a Fool

sunnyyogaTomorrow is April Fool’s Day, a day when we traditionally prank others to make them feel embarrassed, and sometimes just a little bit bad about getting things wrong, making mistakes and just generally not being 100% on top of everything. But I thought I might take a moment today to speak out in favor of foolishness and fools everywhere.

Although our culture today tends to look down on fools for their naivety and innocence, there was a time when the symbol of the fool had a much more positive interpretation. The fool stood then for spontaneity, a free spirit, someone willing to journey into the unknown. One commentary on the Fool card in Tarot says “The Fool has the support of the universe to jump into the unknown. Adventures await him in the river of life. The card indicates that if you trust your intuition right now, your feeling of the “rightness” of things, you cannot go wrong. Your actions may appear ‘foolish’ to others, or even to yourself, if you try to analyze them with the rational mind. But the ’zero’ place occupied by the Fool is the numberless number where trust and innocence are the guides, not skepticism and past experience.”

Looked at from this perspective, I can see mindfulness as an invitation to embrace our capacity for foolishness. After all, one of the objectives of our practice is to cultivate an open mind and heart, a willingness to remain open to whatever the present moment brings without judgment or predisposition, to drop the rational, critical, thinking mind that might discourage the fool from undertaking his journey. Attuning with the wisdom of our higher presence develops the kind of intuition and resourcefulness that the fool relies on to support him on his journey. And in my experience, the most “awake” people are also the ones who tend to laugh and smile most readily, the ones who are least likely to take themselves too seriously no matter what the circumstances.

And no one loves to see our foolish side more than our kids. Want to make your little one giggle?  Put a pair of, preferably clean, underwear on your head and strut around the room. Want to make your middle schooler’s day? How about eating dessert before dinner tonight, or better yet, instead of dinner?  Your teen might even like that one. Our kids love to see us silly, goofy, foolish, getting things “wrong”. And, more importantly, they need to be allowed to see us able to laugh at ourselves amidst the creativity and unpredictability of every day life.

So today, on April Fool’s Day, I am going to use the day as a reminder to cultivate my mindfulness practices – to keep my heart and mind open to whatever arises in the present moment. To listen to the  counsel of my inner wisdom. To do something silly with my kids. And if I do find myself the butt of someone else’s April Fools prank, I look forward to laughing at myself. Because really, aren’t we all fools some of the time anyway?

How will you be foolish today?

You might also like:

 Let’s Celebrate our Imperfection

5 Reasons to Practice Mindfulness Meditation

 Maybe, We’ll See


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