Being joyful and vital does not necessarily correlate with chronological age. I’ve met children who are bursting with creativity and happiness and people who are older than me who love to explore new concepts, try new activities, and bubble over with joie de vivre. On the other hand, I’ve encountered other people who are in their late adolescence who have become attached to dogmatic ways of thinking and seem much older than their ages.
One of the young-minded older people who was quite a free spirit was my late great-uncle Norman. He served as the Postmaster in the tiny village of Concord, Nebraska. His appearance and much of his behavior were more than passing resemblances of the classic comedian Jonathan Winters. Both men had a clean sense of humor that was laced with innuendo. Even their laughs were very much alike. I believe that uncle Norman was Jonathan Winters’ doppelganger. Both men were loveable because they were unmistakable free spirits.
By free spirits, I think of people who tend to give almost anything a try. “You only live once” is their motto. Such folks interpret new projects as opportunities and adventures for the soul. Their particular uninhibited nature seems like an inborn personality trait. Although many free spirited people behave in a light-hearted manner, they have profound thoughts. Uncle Norman was so popular among the family that it was difficult to find one on one time with him, if you were a child. However, once I managed to wedge my way past the grownups, Norman treated me like a best friend and let me know it was OK to be myself around him. After a little bit of silly banter, he’d engage me in conversation on my level. It’s easy to understand why Norman was so popular, because he behaved this way with everybody–young and old. Long after his passing, I still enjoy fond memories of his good-natured humor and curious mind.
Although free spirits are hard to pin down and place inside of a box, generally speaking, there is a sense of restless creativity. They take this positive form of restlessness and focus it into creative adventures and projects. they’re unafraid of conducting a few experiments in order to find ways to implement their ideas. Historical figures who could be considered as free spirits might be Leonardo de Vinci and Nikola Tesla, neither of them feared being labeled as eccentrics. They had very curious minds and the gumption to follow through to explore their unique ideas. Free spirits are engaged with their curiosity and yearn to figure out where their adventures might lead them–perhaps even more discoveries. Many free spirits can be identified by their openness to new levels of consciousness and spirituality. They often find themselves in the role of mentor–either formally or informally.
I posit that everybody has some measure of free-spiritedness within ourselves. We can tap into our own free spirits if we feel the inklings of new ideas within our minds. There is an intuitive spark that informs us that we are on the verge of encountering something exciting and enriching. In the early stages, we mentally play around with the ideas and imagine various scenarios that involve the ideas. This mind-play helps us develop strategies to develop and implement the ideas. This process works best when it is unforced, yet mindfully done. Quite often, if we “sleep on it” workable concepts or prototypes develop within the subconcious mind during our sleep.
All things considered, our eagerness to create a new invention or to travel down a new path might be hampered by opposition and inconvenienced by complexities. We may become indecicive about continuing or canceling our plans. We might be allowing fears, insecurities, and limiting beliefs to stand in the way of achieving our dreams. We can interpret this as prudence. We can transform our fears, with some caution, into impetus to carry on.
We can keep in mind that we are all multidimensional human beings. If we always thought perfect thoughts and only performed perfectly all of the time, we would be dullards. Likewise, if we were free-spirits all of the time we would be superficial and lack character and depth. If we were always quirky and enigmatic we would be unreliable. Being free-spirited in whatever amount we intrinsically possess is a personality trait we can mindfully utilize to our own advantage. After all we are here on Earth for own only chance at living. Ultimately we are here to admire, enjoy, and utilize our lives.
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes the late, former Principle Dancer for the Metropolitan Opera Ballet, Geoffrey Holder. “We are too quick to put labels on things. It is my profession. I get up and paint. Everyone wants to put a label on it, but I am a free spirit, so I fight against that.”