“Why does a standard mental health text list over 300 symptoms for mental ILL health but nary a one for GOOD mental health?” –Rob Brezsny
Happy April Fool’s Day! As a kid, April 1 was right up there on my list of favorite holidays. What a blast it was putting sugar in the salt shaker, adding food coloring to the milk, running into my parents bedroom screaming, “Becki (my sister) just fell down the stairs and broke her leg. April Fool’s.”
In honor of this sacred holiday, I couldn’t decide between two approaches. The first, honoring the holy fool, really appeals to me. I love people like Rob Brezsny who ran for office as the nation’s first Fool Czar.
Much like a drug czar who educates the nation on the hazards of drugs, his self-created Cabinet position would have the mission of teaching us how dangerous it is to take everything so seriously.
Among other things, he proposed Unhappy Hour, a two-hour moan and groan blowout to be held every Tuesday, so for the rest of the week, we can all enjoy good moods and broadminded visions and Bacchanalia, a week-long extravaganza where work and business is suspended so all patriotic adults can have a rip-roaring good time. Another of Brezsny’s brilliant schemes is “Reverse Panhandling.” At least once a year, he stands on an exit ramp holding $5 bills and a cardboard sign that reads, “I need to give. I love to help. Please take my money.”
My other April Fool’s approach was to list all the foolish practices in which we engage: worrying, feeling unworthy, trying to be cool.
So in honor of my friend, Carla, who is healing her belief in “either/or.” (old beliefs such as “You can’t be in love AND happy.” “You can’t have a job AND enjoy it.”), she now focuses on both/and. It’s normal to do all those things (both/and) at the same time.
So since I’ve already mentioned my deep appreciation for sacred silliness (And should probably list a couple things I’ve been known to do: One Easter, we all wore underwear on our heads. And instead of a tool box, I have a fool box with all kinds of crazy costumes that come in handy when I take myself too seriously), I will now explain why I think it’s a fool’s errand to worry, a practice I hope you’ll suspend in honor of this joyous holiday:
All the important stuff is already taken care of. The sun comes up every morning and you don’t have to do a thing. It warms the soil, turns seeds into food and provides light for you to go out and have a good time.
Your heart beats without you having to remind it. Your body heals itself every time you scrape your knee. I also believe it heals every other ailment or would if we didn’t begin focusing on the problem and blocking the flow. The big stuff, all the really important stuff, goes on seamlessly without us having to do a darned thing.
So today, I encourage you to do “both/and”. Give up worrying and do something gloriously crazy.