Take the First Step: The Fool's Journey
Permission to act a fool
Although to act foolishly is often frowned on, The Fool of the Tarot is another matter. In fact, the Fool Tarot symbolism represents innocence, new beginnings, free spirit, and spontaneity. The Fool Tarot guide (you) is the journeyman who experiences the trials and tribulations represented by the other major arcana as you move through life. The Fool is a representation of someone equipped and willing to be open to new experiences; who says ‘Yes’ to life, and places faith in the Universe. I personally like this card a lot because of this symbolic view of openness.
Unlike the Fool, though, more often than not, we beat ourselves up over the choices we make. Likely because someone, somewhere, at somewhen downed those choices, and made you feel like crap for it. Ever since then, you’ve carried their condescending voice in your head. It’s time to change that toxic narrative. Especially, because you’re the author of your story. Do not—I repeat—do not let someone else dictate how your story should be told, because if you do, the chance of living a life of misery is much greater.
At the risk of sounding cliché, you’re way stronger than you think. A lot of times, others are keenly aware of your power, your potential, and in turn feel threatened by it. As a result, they become hell bent on making sure that power is never fully actualized. And so begins the long journey of you being trained to be less than you are, and less than what you could be. Hopefully, there will come a time in which you see the light; to take a stand to fiercely grasp onto the power you know you possess.
Taking on the mantle of The Fool allows for the beginning of this transition. The perspective of the Fool allows you to begin living life in the moment with an open, wide-eyed, childlike glee that leads to a better you. This doesn’t mean you won't ever experience hardship, but come what may, you’ll submerge yourself in the good and the bad and learn from both, but this time, on your own terms.
However, realize that you don’t have to make a grandiose gesture to show that you’ve successfully beat your fears. If you’re afraid of heights, I wouldn’t recommend bungee jumping off a bridge anytime soon. You can simply work to alleviate fear by living in the moment and also reminding yourself of how far you’ve actually come. Do yourself a great service by pausing and doing a self-check whenever you feel anxious or hear that poisonous voice start whispering in your ear.
Mental Health Assessment Inventory
When something makes you feel anxious or unsure, try taking a mental inventory
- What triggered the anxiety?
- Why does it make you feel anxious/fearful?
- Is it accusatory? If so, is it true?
- If not, should you continue to fret?
Remind yourself of the accomplishments you’ve achieved. Don't knock this, but even getting out of bed in the morning can take superhero strength. Congrats on a job well done! And if you’re listening to this, this proves that you are made of tougher stuff, because you had bad times before this and yet...Here you are.
Better yet, make a list—of like, 5-10 things—of good stuff you've accomplished so far. Carry that ish in your pocket, purse, wallet, phone case...Whatever you use. When you’re feeling low, or someone is trying to make you feel less-than, take out your list and prove to yourself that you’re better than you think. Stronger than you think.
If it's a task that makes you feel anxious
- Again, what triggered the anxiety?
- Why does it make you feel anxious/fearful?
- Is it an emergency?
- If not, can it wait and be tackled later?
If it can wait, take some calming breaths to get refocused. If possible, jot down one or two to-dos (Only one or two! You don’t want to spend too much time on it) in regard to that particular issue, and then move on. The feelings of a sudden loss of control can be lessoned by having some semblance of an action plan in place.
But if in either of these cases adrenaline begins pumping through your veins and you “just can’t,” immediately step away from what you’re doing and allow yourself some time to find peace to better wrap your head around the situation. Self-care is just as important as Other-People-care. Actually, tending to your own needs is more important than anyone else’s in that moment.
As airline staff often instruct during emergency procedures: Put on your own oxygen mask before you put on someone else’s. If you’re out of commission, at least two people lose out: you and the person you had hoped to help. So, feel free to put on your own mask first, allow yourself to feel what you’re feeling and make no apologies. A well-cared for you makes them happy, too.
The Fool Tarot advice is to simply start; the symbol of gathering strength for the journey ahead, and acceptance of what the Universe has in store for you. Though you know the going may be rough, there’ll be significant moments of triumph, too. But out of all of the acts you will commit on this journey, the bravest of them all will be quieting your fears and taking the first step.
Until next time.