I recently introduced Baby G to the swings in our local park. He is still far too small to sit in them comfortably, but with his legs dangling either side of the cross-bar and his little hands clinging on to the front of the frame, he can balance just enough for me to swing him gently. As he experiences the sensation for the first time, his round face and rounder eyes light up with such contagious joy and excitement, that I find myself echoing his water-melon smile and bubbling laugh.
LIST THE THINGS THAT MAKE YOUR SPIRIT FEEL FREE.
This is List number 20 from the 52 lists project – a book that my sister-in-law gave me for my birthday. It’s a big ask, and one I ponder for some time. It’s not just listing the things that make you happy, or the things that make you smile. To me, freedom of spirit is larger than that. It’s about the exhilaration of heart and mind. About feeling alive but without the worry of life. Something akin to what I imagine Baby G felt when he flew through the air on that swing. Bubbles of happiness bursting up through the heart, and out of the mouth. Lifting the mind up through the clouds. There, where the sun always shines and everything on this precious earth seems so small and inconsequential.
I love being encouraged to think happy thoughts and making lists helps me to feel proactive and fake a semblence of order, but it seems somehow ironic writing a list of things that set your spirit free:
- Not writing lists
- Dancing wildly to Abba
- Singing loudly (even if it is somewhat tunelessly)
- Skinny dipping at night
- Bouncing on a trampoline
- Sailing with the wind in my face
- Swinging with Baby G
I realise that as a 10 year-old, my list would have been very similar. 25 years later and the activities that allow me to channel my inner child are the ones that make my spirit feel free. But despite the relatively simple steps towards spiritual freedom, I can’t really remember when I last truly allowed my heart and mind to let go. Why is it, that as we get older, we lose touch with our child-like wonder and capacity to feel stuffed full of joy?
In the 52 lists project, the author, Morea Seal, challenges us to take action each week after compiling our lists:
“Turn one of your easiest freedom-enhancing activities into a weekly routine. You deserve a little magic and lightness this year”
So I’m off to the park now, to sing Abba loudly on the swings. What will you do today to find your happiness bubbles?