I would consider myself a free spirit and an adventurer. But the two aren’t one and the same. There’s a misconception that to truly be living a full life, you have to be out there sky-diving and bungee jumping and swimming with sharks. That’s great stuff, but not a prerequisite for leading a fulfilling life. There’s no specific style you need to adopt, no checklist of personality traits to acquire, clothes to wear, places to visit or people to know. In fact, it's the absence of concern with becoming anything but who you’re meant to be.
You don’t have to travel the globe to be a free spirit. You just have to be willing to open your heart and your mind to discover your own personal truths. There seems to be a paragon for the archetypal bohemian, the soulful gypsy, the wanderlust, unencumbered traveller. It seems backwards that there would be any standards for being soulful.
Being a free spirit isn't about being barefoot and thin, doing yoga, putting flowers in your hair and looking great in bohemian clothing and funky jewelry. I’m not saying those aren’t beautiful things. Hell, I live for a flower crown, and am always wearing what my boyfriend calls ‘art teacher pants’. I sell funky jewelry and hate wearing shoes. I just think it’s important to be acutely aware that the body you inhabit and the adornments you put on it are only a tiny reflection of the person inside...they are a mere dressing on the vehicle your soul uses to trek this earth. Decorate your temple, take good care of it, but put far more energy into letting your spirit fly. When your soul can breathe, the rest falls into place. A free spirit is just that, letting your spirit be free.
There’s so much judgement out there about what constitutes a healthy, mindful person. It’s possible to be conscientious and still shop at Walmart. You can love animals and still eat red meat. You can be mindful and not meditate. You can be healthy and still eat refined sugar. I’m eating so many M&Ms and my blood pressure is lower than my IQ. You can also be all the things the world says you should be and still be an asshole. Even Gandhi made some really poor choices, and Mother Theresa wasn’t always a saint. I've also heard that John Lennon could be a real asshole.
Organic vegan gluten-free low-carb grass-fed peace-injected local fair trade is great, it's that's your thing, but it doesn’t determine the quality of human you are. It doesn’t rate your level of morality and it doesn’t necessarily make you good.
So what makes a person good? Kindness? Integrity? Compassion? Not littering? How frequently you attend church? How many whales you’ve adopted?
I don’t know the answers. What I do know is that the people I admire most are the people who are 100% authentically themselves - whatever that may be. Shy, cranky, insecure, passive, loud, bossy, clinically depressed, heavy smokers, homicidal, suicidal, Billy Idol.
Whatever life you choose to lead, come to your own conclusions and make your own rules. You get to determine what kind of person you are. The world will continue to tell you what to wear do buy see - but no one gets to tell you how to feel or who to be.
- Molly Barata
The photo above is me about to jump out an airplane, a must for anyone who wants to live a happy life and be a good person.