I was going to entitle this blog post – ‘The Right to Treats’, following on from my last post, but it sounds too much like dog treats doesn’t it? And then I thought to myself. What is it that we’re trying to get in touch with when we desire treats? It’s our soul, it’s inspiration, it’s our free spirit.

A free spirit is not a label that the lucky few of us get, which enables us to wear flowers in our hair. (Although I love flowers in hair, it’s so romantic, fun and yes free.) I would define a free spirit as a person who has space in their chest to breathe, a lightness in their step and a natural lingering smile on their lips. So it’s less about flowers and more about the way we feel. Who wouldn’t want that?

I believe that we are all born with  a free spirit. Children, babies especially have a lightness about them. As we grow older we get bogged down in the nitty-gritty details of life, the rules and messages that are passed down to us. We become heavy in thought, in heart, in mind. It often manifests in body weight as well or wrinkles. I once heard an energy worker say, ‘become light in spirit and you’ll become light in body.’ It makes sense if you’re happy in the moment you will want to move your body and you won’t want to overeat. (How do I always end up discussing food???)

I used to think that what I wanted was peace and calmness. Now I know that what I’m actually seeking is a lightness of spirit, so that everything is an adventure in the moment. But how do I get there? How do I do it at 6 am in the morning when I really don’t want to get up and face my lift scheme? I’ve been thinking about this lately especially as I’ve become more and more aware of my own heaviness, my own pressures I place on my self. I am living my life out from the whip of ‘have to’ instead of the joyful ‘want to’. Even though I know these concepts I just fall back into ‘old’ habit.

There within lies the answer. Catch the mind talk. Stop and breathe. (I know we’ve done breathing before but it’s such a classic truth.) Remind yourself that you’re alive. I’m doing that at this very moment as I type and I’m feeling wind blowing onto my cheeks. It’s cooled down since last week. It’s reminding me that Winter’s coming and to enjoy these days of Summer’s last kiss. (Lightness of being definitely buoys the poet in me, what can I say.)

Lightness of being is a big topic, it’s a practice, a decision, it doesn’t just happen and it also doesn’t just not happen. The paradox is that you can’t force it. You need to surrender to it. Just like you need to surrender to the process of child-birth (an extreme example I grant you, but a very powerful moment of surrender because boy are you not in control.) Surrender to God. I know how evangelical does that sound. But it’s the oneness, the power, the universe that is held all together and that you are a part of. Eckhart Tolle says ‘Life is the dancer and you are the dance.’ I never got this. I always thought that I was the dancer. Wasn’t it all about me? But it seems that there’s a bigger picture beyond all of us. And I really believe that when we say ‘Hear O’Israel God is your God, God is One’, we are pronouncing exactly that. We are all one, and when we enter that oneness, that Godliness then we are free. You know that you’re safe and protected and all is Divine love.

Big words I know but it’s the truth, stop for  a moment and feel it. This isn’t about ‘religous’ or anything. When you live each moment in the hand of the universe there is joy, safety and lightness of being. Your spirit is free to soar.

This is a theme I’m trying to integrate into my life. Am I succeeding. Sometimes. It’s a life’s journey and I can’t pretend that I’m always cradled in God’s hand. Sometimes I’m quite the opposite. But I really, really, really believe this is one of the key answers for mother’s angst, women’s issues and life in general. So it’s something that will keep getting repeated as this is as my one friend described this blog, ‘a mother’s search for meaning’. And isn’t meaning what all our lives are about, mothers or not?

If you are feeling a bit choked up and a bit like ‘what’s this blog going on about’, I get it I really do. It reminds me of when I was speaking to a woman at this event. I said, ‘Mothers should have a right to treat themselves and give themselves time out.’

The woman’s mother replied, ‘How can you say that? How are women meant to afford these luxuries.’

I didn’t have a chance to explain to her that actually treats can cost nothing. Like a walk, a cup of coffee (okay that’s 15 rand – a doable luxury) a cup of tea in peace and quiet, a magazine, a trip to the library or art gallery (there’s a beautiful exhibit on at Goodman Gallery at the moment, Reza Farkhondeh and Ghada Amer, it’s on until the 9th. I love the colours!!!) etc. etc. Whatever your free spirited heart desires. There’s even pleasure in a falling leaf, a floating cloud. This is ‘our world’ after all, and to me those small pleasures are a lot more valuable than a diamond. A free spirit can recognise that. A free spirit is not limited by the ‘don’ts’ and the ‘can’ts’. In other words we need our free spirits. You can start by looking at the sky and seeing what you see. More than that feel what you see.

Happy soaring!