Courageous, Outrageous, Contagious — get your spark of madness on and be a Holy Fool
You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.
~ Robin Williams
April often arrives in light-hearted fare bringing practical jokes, hoaxes, and crazy pranks designed to bring forth big belly laughs — a certain lightness of being. April Fools’ Day inspires a form of madness; however, there’s another way to assure that you hold onto that spark — by becoming a Holy Fool!
Joseph Campbell said the Holy Fool is the most dangerous person on earth because s/he is willing to break from convention to take an action that is inspired from within. The Fool has no concern for naysayers and is not limited, stoppable, nor controllable. No one has power over the Fool. She is destined to answer the call, following it no matter what.
You may not have realized, but this issue of Best Self Magazine is full of Holy Fools, from Dr. Kelly Brogan on our cover, to Travel Tall’s Eric Guiliani and more. Holy Fools can be disruptive to mainstream conventions – agreed. But aren’t we all, on some level, waiting for some positive disruption – to step into the world and embrace our full power, to actualize what we came here to do in this lifetime?
I think of the Holy Fool as similar to the Court Jester, the only person in the Royal Court who dares to speak truth to the King without consequence.
Or the Koshari of the Hopi and Pueblo peoples of the Southwest, who in the midst of sacred ceremonies makes us laugh at ourselves by mimicking our behavior so we can see ourselves in a new way.
I’ve been the recipient of the untoward attentions of such “sacred clowns” while attending a Pueblo ceremony. Their role is to create lessons at the expense of another’s seriousness, recognizing that laughter is a great shape-shifter of old habits and patterns. I often wonder if the striped ceremonial dress of the Koshari isn’t designed to remind us of the need to break free from our self-imposed prisons. What would that look like to you?
What if you didn’t care what others think? What if you didn’t care what YOU think? What then would your heart call you to do? And how might you express your own spark of madness?
- Would you be the first to speak rather than waiting for affirmation that your listeners would agree?
- Would you sing with gusto, for example, all of the songs you know that have the word “blue” in them while waiting in line for a bus? (A friend and I once did that — it took folks about 15 minutes of self-conscious restraint before they joyfully joined in.)
- Would you voice a wildly unpopular opinion and kindle a new discussion?
- Would you show up at a public place with Laughter Yoga, free hugs or even a performance?
- Would you launch a new movement using social media and organize your own demonstration against injustice, corporate domination or nuclear power?
Any one of us can play a role in change. Do you think Rosa Parks knew what would happen when she refused to give up her seat on the bus? Did Rachel Carson know she would start a movement against pesticides when she wrote Silent Spring? Did the genius behind the documentary Blackfish know it would put SeaWorld under the scrutiny that would result in their decision to phase out the orca ‘entertainment’ and no longer breed killer whales? When Kris Carr decided to find her own way to live a crazy, sexy life with cancer, did she know that her experience navigating her own health would impact millions? Of course not. The beauty of the Holy Fool is that she will take that first step without being attached to outcome.
Perhaps the first step you take will be toward your own liberation. A friend who was a fool for love had experienced a devastating betrayal, yet instead of addressing it, she decided to take the high road and move on. On the exterior all appeared well; it seemed to work — on the interior it didn’t; things were awry and unresolved. Ultimately, she gave voice to her outrage through a well-penned letter, releasing herself from the wrenching hold of self-defeating messages like “you’re bigger than this; it doesn’t really matter; be a lady; take the high road.” The Holy Fool is not dismissive of emotional realities.
Taking the ‘high road’ for others can result in a detour from necessary and healing truth-telling.
There is a distinct nuance between outrage and anger. Psychologist Dr. Margaret Paul reminds us that outrage is far more therapeutic than anger. Outrage is the response to injustice with a desire for change, while anger is often utilized to remain immobilized in victimhood. Outrage comes from our essence to take loving action, while anger is an ego response that keeps us entrenched in blame and powerlessness.
So here’s my suggestion. This April, let’s consider engaging in a new dialogue, one that communes with our inner Holy Fool. Ask yourself what part of you most needs and desires to be expressed – convention be damned:
What is that inner truth of yours hidden from the light of day, duped by your self-abandonment as you try to fit in to what others expect?
Could you unleash your Holy Fool and reveal your greatest passions?
Your life is not a rehearsal for someday taking center stage for what matters most. Let’s be willing to say what we love and what we know, without editing and rehearsing ourselves into oblivion. Our world is changing, one voice at a time, and yours is needed. Speaking your truth, especially when convention is expected, opens the door to your liberation and the liberation of those around you. When we cease from masquerading and instigate our own Holy Fool action – we embody the change we wish to see in the world — one courageous, outrageous, and hopefully contagious action step at a time.
Go ahead. I dare you. Take that first bold step!
Live where you fear to live.
Destroy your reputation.
Please join our Holy Fools Challenge and initiate one inspired action that your soul is calling you to carry out in support of something you are passionate about, for example: social justice, animals, the environment, peace, health, happiness, indigenous cultures, living a purposeful life, creating conscious business, the life you truly yearn for…the possibilities are endless. It doesn’t need to be extravagant or showy. It simply needs to come from your heart in response to something you are ready to take a bold step toward instigating or changing. It can be very personal or it can be global in scope.
You can enter here. And when you do, you’re an automatic winner of a $300 discount toward Transformational Speaking—Online! We’ll read what you’re doing, and one of you will win a full enrollment to the Online Academy to support you in aligning your full voice with the change you’re bringing to the world.
Sage counsel from Holy Fools
When someone says, “Be more practical,” they are scared for you. You don’t really overcome fear, but you can develop a relationship with it and learn to contain it.
The bigger fear for me was not living my own life.
~ Chris Jordan
I knew I was the person to take on the Koch brothers to stop a pipeline on our organic farm. To keep going, I kept giving myself little dares. Taking the leap is a lot like planting a field. You keep working and never know if you’ll get a crop. I call that “engaged optimism.”
~ Atina Diffley
I get a physical response in my body when my intuition speaks. In the fast pace of the ER, I have to make space for peace and solitude. My mind and heart need to be quiet to really tune in and listen.
~ Sam Ko, MD.
When you choose to follow the urge of your Holy Fool, you initiate on an adventure.
Magic and synchronicity point the way. You create your own rulebook.
I could never go back because I’m having so much fun!
~ Charles McAlpine
The ultimate revolutionary and dangerous act for our times is to be satisfied and happy. The moment you decide you’re happy and satisfied and you connect to the healthy foundations of your own self and your own wisdom and your own power, the game really opens to infinite possibilities. That’s super dangerous for this culture which is based on dissatisfaction in everything we do.
~ Manuel Maqueda
Want to see these Holy Fools in action? Here’s the link to previous Holy Fools’ Day events.
Omega Institute events this summer