The second card is number one – the Magician, who represents manifestation and mastery of our personal universe.
The order of the cards sends a clear message. The Magician can’t begin his mastery before the Fool has completed learning about his environment through play.
And yet here I am working so damn hard on mastering my personal universe that I don’t have time for something as trifling or self indulgent as play. Can you see the problem here?
I can’t remember the last time I really played. When did I last lose myself in an activity for no reason other than that it brought me joy? It doesn’t happen often. And mostly not without some form of chemical support, which renders the play utterly useless in terms of leading to a place of mastery.
The only time I consistently feel a childlike sense of play is when I dance. And only when I dance on my own, in a class rather than at a club or at a party. Social environments reduce dancing to a mating ritual carried out with strategic intent. It’s not play. (Caveat: I believe that once I learn how to play more easily and more often, I will be able to play within social environments without fear. But for now this is not possible.)
Classes put the intent into learning, which frees me up to play. I went to a salsa class a few weeks ago and mostly enjoyed it. It was great to think of nothing but what my feet were doing for two hours. The trouble was, we paired up and I constantly felt under scrutiny and somehow responsible for (or maybe to) the person I was dancing with. It was the most fun I had had for ages, but it was also quite stressful.
I need to dance on my own to play. (Well, certainly at the moment.) I am so out of step with my own sense of play that I need to find it deep within myself before venturing out and finding others to play with.
And this can’t continue. I must bring 'play' back – you can have sexy, JT*; I am bringing play back into my life. It’s time to have some unbridled, transformative fun.
So I am choosing to play the fool and get back to Nia. There is the protective veil of anonymity that can be found in a group, with the added benefit of no expectation from others that you will in some way enhance their experience. You dance your own class and let others do the same.
I have struggled to integrate Nia into my routine. But the more I consider the lack of play in my life, the more convinced I am that dancing will open up the path and remind me how it is done.
LA Story quote: “Let your mind go and your body will follow.” But I’m going to let my body go and pray that my mind shakes itself out of its self-imposed seriousness and follows.
How do you play? And what does it offer you?