I’m a free spirit. That means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Yesterday, lying under a tree seeking refuge from the sun, a handsome photographer told me about Plato’s The Allegory of the Caves, and it sparked a sense of deeper compassion for every person I meet. I live in a cave that is a creation of my life experiences. No two caves are the same and thus the way I experience life and define free spirit is likely different from yours.
To me, being free spirited means I don’t follow the rules, I don’t like rules, and I tend to do things my way. It means I live for adventure, making possibilities possible, trying new things, meeting new people, going with the flow, and saying yes. I’ll blaze a trail all by myself if it’s where my heart takes me. I’m open, honest and I’m not afraid to be me.
Not many people understand me, and that’s ok. I live for the moments that friends from afar invite me to help out at a festival across the country in the middle of a desert-like land. And so I decided to go to Lightening in a Bottle this past weekend and sleep in nature under the stars.
Traveling solo is something I’ve always done because of the freedom to do exactly what I want to do in each and every moment. This way I’m sure to meet new people and it excites me to see the world from a different cave— a new perspective, your perspective. It’s always a surprise— I love surprises.
This festival was memorable in many ways, and what sticks out to me most is all of the unique and beautiful connections I made with all kinds of people. I’m nostalgic already just thinking about it and I’m overflowing with gratitude for all of the transient words, smiles and hugs— each one a teacher, a guru. Some I exchanged contact info with, others I didn’t, and some I wish I had because after all that’s what Facebook is for, linking us together in the event we ever want to connect again.
I never would have guessed that lying on a hammock sheltering myself from the scorching sun is where I’d meet a tall, sweet man with big baby blues and an upturned mustache, who would give me heart-opening hugs and remind me that gentlemen still exist. My time with him reminds me that words aren’t always necessary; we don’t need to incessantly fill air with words just because. He was a reminder that a hug does not need to go beyond a hug and how much beauty there is in patience.
I still smile when I think of the petite blonde body worker who shared her homemade mead infused with love with me. As I sipped on her love elixir, she did a pretty good job of convincing me that the Bay Area is where I am best suited to live. Her warm, peaceful energy was inviting, and I could have talked to her all day. We chatted about ours clients and she reminded me that it’s ok to create our own rules when it comes to work.
I said yes when a joyful goddess with blue paint on her face asked me to go on an adventure. We mused over paintings and it was connecting that we found the same pieces of art to be aesthetically pleasing. She reminded me of the beauty of a strong woman who knows what she wants, voices her opinions, and makes things happen.
I felt relief when a love butterfly matched my hug and she wouldn’t let go. She reminded me of myself and all the love I have to give. A perfect stranger— I can see how I affect people with my hugs and affection because I felt how she affected me. Some people may not want love and she reminded me to keep on giving it anyway because it is who I am, and I will always attract those who will love and celebrate me unconditionally.
As I danced into the sunset, a photographer captured my blissful moment. When he asked to take my picture his yellow eyes made me shy, I felt as if I knew him. He affected me. I thought about him for some time and wanted to see him again, I had questions to ask. The next day he serendipitously called my name as I was filling up my water bottle. We sat under a big old tree, getting lost in words, Plato’s theory, touch, and the beauty of the moment. This guru taught me so much, partially inspiring this blog post.
And there were more. And each and every person willing to get beyond the small talk and let me into his or her cave is my guru. You are my teacher. You allow me to see the world through your eyes so that I can question my ways. I’m genuinely interested to know your view on monogamy and polyamory as I stare into your eyes as you battle between your biologic and societal blueprints. I feel your sincerity as you tell me about your likes and dislikes as you try your hardest not to be judgmental. You are beautiful. I love you exactly as you are. I enjoy our moments of intimacy where I experience the world with you for just a moment or two. I want to dive deep with you and explore all the wonders of this life.
I used to want to bottle up these moments and be sure to continue the connection. After traveling the world and meeting so many people, I realized how many more perfect souls I will meet. I realized that there is beauty in the impermanence of these moments because there is no pressure and we can be our truest selves because in reality, who knows if we will ever see each other again...
How beautiful would all of our interactions be if we treated them as if they were the last? Our reality is impermanent, so in fact this may as well be true. I’ve come to realize that some of the connections do continue on, as the bonds are too strong to resist. Others find their way back to me over time unexpectedly. And the rest are perfect memories, playing an important roll in the creation of my cave. I trust it all happens perfectly, freeing myself of expectation and disappointment as much as possible.
And so my free spirit will continue on, saying yes to invites, and being open to each and every person who crosses my path. I choose to connect fearlessly, sharing my inner longings and my quirky ways. I’m grateful for all of the gurus that are mirrors into my soul, reflecting back the lessons I must learn. Each and every beautiful human I connect with inspires me— you are just another reminder that I’m on an amazing path. And so I’ll miss staring into the endless abyss of your eyes… until we meet again.