Better & Bolder, the Blog

Foolish

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Most often, we avoid being or feeling foolish. We don’t enjoy failing and not being good at something.


The archetype of the fool, though, reminds us of the power of being in a place of inexperience without expectations.


The fool represents new beginnings and the start of a journey. The fool heads out without worries because the fool has no experience from which to draw those worries.


We need this sense that an experience is new and precious in order to experience joy and awe. You know when you wake and it’s gorgeous outside and you breathe that in? That’s you seeing the world as if you’ve never seen it before, not quite like this. The appreciation for the Now is rooted in being a fool – a beginner.


In “Filled with Real,” Speech sings, “Have you ever climbed this tree? Uh uh, not that tree, but this tree.” This tree. Not any tree, not our ideas of trees, not every experience we’ve already had of climbing trees. He’s inviting us to be present to this particular tree, to really see it, instead of assuming we know all we need to know about trees. “Let’s make everything we feel filled with joy and filled with real.”


Years ago, soon after I began dancing Nia, I was struggling with a difficult relationship with my father. He was coming to visit me in New Mexico, and I didn’t know how to handle it. I decided as I drove to a Nia class that I’d look for the answer in class. Part of my brain chided me: it couldn’t possibly work to seek the answer because we can’t plan for epiphanies. Still, I was foolishly hopeful.


The routine was Universal Mind and about halfway in that routine is a song for which the cue is to dance the fool. My first thought was, oh, hell no, that’s not the answer to how to relate to my parents on this visit. And then it hit me, as if physically, and I gasped: that absolutely positively was the answer.

Instead of thinking about how this trip was going to go, I needed to clear my head and heart of expectations. I needed to go in as if I didn’t have a ton of experiences with my father and just let the trip unfold. And you know what? It was fine. There was no drama. There were little cracks, little openings, in which goodness could flow because I wasn’t holding hard to my beliefs. I was present, best as I could be, and that was enough.


I’m not foolish often enough. It is so much sweeter to be foolish than to be rigid or right.


Find the places where you can let go of what you know and release being wise and experienced. Each day, invite joy and awe in by experiencing the world as if for the first time.  When the real world is making you a bit weary, let there be some foolish journeys to begin.