Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wanting to Fly

I had a dream last night that my dog could fly. In the dream, my husband and I were driving along a beautiful coastal road and the big fat moon was rising. We pulled over and got out of the car to witness the moon's journey, to catch a ray of moonlight on our faces, in our hearts. Trooper was with us romping around and paying homage to the beauty of the night. As Terry and I stood with gaped mouths and full hearts watching, Trooper took flight and was riding air currents under the light of the moon, tail wagging, undeniably joyful, liberated, free.

This dream struck me as particularly interesting because of an experience I had at work yesterday: as we talked about the holidays, the bakery schedule, all that needed to be done, a voice in my head began offering that I could work any and all hours, whatever was needed I would do. Keep in mind, "any and all hours" means beginning work some nights at midnight, doing such physical labor as to make one out-cold for the gatherings that holidays are built upon. This voice in my head is not unfamiliar. Traditionally, this is what I do...offer to go above and beyond with no thought to what I want or need. I have done this for going on ten years and while the holiday hoopla is a part of my job and a part I readily take on, it occurred to me yesterday that there was really no reason to draw attention to myself as a willing workhorse. What if, I thought, I could enjoy the holidays more fully because I was taking better care of myself? I would always do my job. I would always put forth my 110% effort when I was there. AND, I didn't have to selflessly sacrifice myself to make my contribution.

Hearing the voice that wants us to be more, do more, give more -- as if who we are, what we do and how much we give isn't already enough -- and knowing that doing what it prodded wasn't best for me in the long run felt like flying! Listening deeply for the voice-beneath-the-voice requires psychic space of sorts, the space that allows us to witness rather than react. If we can hear the voice of our inner wisdom, we have the time to consider it, to trust it and to act on it with intention.

Dog represents loyalty in Native American spirituality and as it often appears in my dreams, Dog has always represented loyalty to self. So perhaps in my dream, Trooper flying is a kind of psychic happy-dance -- Rudolph-the-Red-Nosed-Reindeer learning he can fly from sheer joy, realizing the love of his girl, Clarice. In my case, realizing the love it takes to hold myself and my highest good with respect. Maybe true liberation is learning to act on our own behalf rather than depending on someone else to see what we need and expecting them to do the work for us. Isn't our biggest task, truly, to be stewards of ourselves? To take care of ourselves, to honor what is best for ourselves and to act on that knowledge? To trust ourselves implicitly to know what we need, what is truly in our best interest?
If we think we're here, above all else, to take care of everyone else, I think we're missing the point. Yes, community and family are part and parcel of a full, meaningful life. But if we are all One -- all living beings in nature cut from the same divine energetic cloth -- and we only focus outwardly on others, we're missing the greatest opportunity to show respect to the gift of our lives by befriending, loving and taking care of ourselves. This is loyalty. And when we truly learn to care for ourselves as well as and with the same conviction as we care for others, we can fly.

And when we can fly, who knows what is possible for our lives?//

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