From the earth thou springest
Like a cloud of fire;
The blue deep thou wingest,
And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever singest.
- Percy Shelley's "To a Skylark"
One of my favorites was Romantic Poetry, and although I love the poems from that period, I'm convinced the major reason I liked the class was because of how the professor presented that group of writers; essentially, they were the hippies of their generation.
Which is why I think we can learn a lot from them. Wordsworth, Keats, Shelley (we share a birthday!)...they taught us creative expression, love for all things natural and spiritual, and positive rebellion.
Adopting some of these poetic hippies' attitudes can lead you to a whole new outlook on life!
Here's how to work some Romantic characteristics into your daily routine:
Get down with nature.
Nature was deeply appreciated by the Romantic. Take time out of your busy schedule to admire the simple things Mother Earth has to offer. Observe the colors of a flower petal, watch the clouds drift by, really listen to a bird's song. Even one minute of "becoming one with nature" will help you gain a deeper appreciation of it.
Create, create, create.
Write a poem, paint a picture, make a collage -- create something just for you and that means something to you. Let go of your inner critic. Anything that comes from your heart is something to be proud of.
It's okay to let your mind wander every now and then. Letting your imagination take over helps you feel more at ease, happy and creative. The Romantics were all about existential meditation, so take a walk on the beach, walk through a secret garden or fly with the birds, all while lounging on the couch!
Become one with your spirit.
The Romantics loved to let their spiritual self guide their physical self. It allowed them to experience pleasure that the physical world could not offer. It will do the same for you. Whatever task you choose to do, whether it's dancing, writing, cooking, cleaning house, or singing your child a lullaby, put your whole spirit into it. Focus on the internal self and you will experience something far deeper than any pair of new shoes can offer you.
Acknowledge your individualism.
I'm not talking about showing up to work with spiky, pink hair. Although, if you're able to and feel the urge, please do! Just realize that being different is okay. We don't have to look like Angelina Jolie to be beautiful or paint like Picasso to be a great artist. It's our differences that make us succulent.
Be a little rebellious.
Romantics were constantly breaking the rigid rules of the 18th century. Poetry didn't have to be in one distinct form and not everything had to make sense. By learning to break away from "the norm" and opening up your mind, you can appreciate what life has to teach you.
Embrace bad times.
The good times are easy to take in and enjoy, but to become a stronger person you must walk right through the rotten parts of life. A Romantic would say that you can't fully enjoy happiness without having experienced sadness.