I had this dream a few years ago, one of those Big Dreams that tends to change a person. It was an important teaching for me at the time and for some reason I thought of it today.
The dream went like this…
In a woodland clearing was an expansive arena, round, concrete, and sterile looking. Within the structure was an immense creature which looked like an alabaster curl bug with long tentacles and short millipede-type appendages. She rested there, quietly sleeping. It was my job to care for her while she slept, which required an exact and regimented routine. Every day, I’d visit her. I’d circle her pool while twirling and skipping, jumping over her tentacles which were much too large to be contained within her resting place. I’d feed her and scrub her armored back, every single action done with purpose and love, exactly as she liked it, exactly as she demanded it. If I followed this pattern, she remained peaceful. She remained quiet.
My love and care for her was all she asked and I did love her with all my heart. This love fueled the entire planet. I understood that staying true to her, maintaining her tranquility, meant stability for the entire world, but after time I came to resent the daily routine which took a full twenty minutes. I got lazy. I started spending less time with her. I stopped skipping. I started tossing her food without rubbing her back. And who had time for twirling… I started taking her for granted, getting in and getting out. I’d think, “I’ll spend more time with her tomorrow. I’ll rub her back next time. I have stuff to do today. Important stuff.”
The following morning I arrived to her hangar to find her restless. Her tentacles were moving, angry, slowly slapping at the concrete around her. Each tentacle had a thousand barbs attached to it, meant to grab and devour. I recognized her anger, and understood that only a few more minutes spent with her today would return her to a state of tranquil peace. But I had things to do which trumped the time it took to care for her, to provide for her the love she needed, and besides, I reasoned, I’ll get back to caring for her in the way she loved tomorrow. Leaping over her grasping tentacles, knowing that each and every day I chose to further ignore her, she’d become more angry, more forceful, stronger, faster, inescapable. I thought, “tomorrow… tomorrow” and once again left the building too soon.
When I woke up from the dream I felt completely drained. And then after lying there, contemplating its meaning for awhile, I felt completely energized. This dream was a message about my own self-actualization. My own life-dreams. Was I feeding them? Loving them? Loving myself? Or was I encroaching on a dangerous cycle of ignoring my inner desires. Burying them. Gambling with never-ending thoughts of “I’ll meditate tomorrow,” or “I’ll take time for myself next week when all of my responsibilities are taken care of”, knowing full well that all of our responsibilities are never taken care of.
Keeping the peace means loving ourselves, pampering ourselves, and taking those steps- no matter how tiny- toward the manifestation of our greatest desires. The fuel that drives us is drawn from the simple acts of twirling, skipping, loving, and feeling our way through the joy and pain of life. Without those things, Life has a tendency to devour rather than propel. I strongly believe that this inner knowing- this ability for all of us to find our inner harmony and commit to it- will transform the entire planet, person by person.