Last night I had the most wonderful dream.
I dreamt that I was back in Minnesota again, and I acquired a little tiny yellow bird as a friend. I had bought him a new bird house, and he loved it so much he became my best little winged friend.
He was wild and fun and free. He would get up and fly everywhere, and always come back to me. He would land in my hand and nuzzle me with the top of his head like my cat does when he’s happy and wants attention, and then he would get up and do sky pirouettes, flit around, and come back and either sit in my hand or pop into his bird house.
The feeling I had during this dream was one of deep companionship, the kind of unbreakable bond that we humans develop with our closest pets. It was the bond I had with my cat who passed away three years ago, and it’s the bond my boyfriend has with his beautiful doggie, Princess. Slowly, my cat Nico and I are building a bond similar to this one; he has been slower at opening up to the family, and he is growing to own his place in the household quite beautifully.
The awe and wonder I had throughout this dream was profound. I recall actual emotions coursing through me as this dream took place: joy, contentment, ease, peace, completeness.
I didn’t want the dream to end. I had never had a bird as a pet before, and I never anticipated a bird to have a relationship like this one with a human.
But, like all dreams, it must end, and of course, it ended abruptly, most likely because it was about time for me to wake up.
I appreciated the events of this dream so much because my dreams used to be intense and sometimes borderline horrifying. My dreams have always been extremely active, colorful, and either exciting or scary. Many times I have more or less dreamt myself into being the leading star of some sort of action movie, Angelina Jolie or Scarlett Johansson-esque kind of role, sometimes I was unsure if I was saving the day or trying to cause it’s destruction! The muddiness of dreaming leaves questions like that all the time for me, and these muddier, negative dreams seemed to have exited stage right for me.
I attribute the clarity of this dream and the wonderful imagery and experiences to the volume at which I am meditating. I have committed to twice per day meditation, and I get it almost every time. Yesterday I sat and meditated in the morning, and then I meditate again later when I taught gentle yoga at Green Monkey.
I have heard that meditation does alter dreams, and that meditation manifests whatever it is you are thinking and whatever it is you ask for, and lately I have been very intentional with the thoughts I allow to have life support in my brain. As soon as a negative thought steals space inside of me, I immediate think of at least three things in my immediate vicinity I am grateful for. Nothing now will hinder me from my goals I have written for this year, and no negative thought is going to deter me from where I am headed.
Every time I think something negative about someone, I think of the Indian monks who would travel through rough terrain and wild forest to arrive at a waterfall with freezing, pounding water. They would make themselves stand under the cold crushing flow of water until they could not stand it anymore, in a ceremony to cleanse themselves of their negative thoughts. That’s how important it was to them for clearing negative thought from their entire system, and that is how important it has become to me, too. I just don’t have access to a waterfall!
My waterfall instead consists of remembering beautiful things in my life. It consists of looking at the beauty of this world with open eyes, and becoming present to the good that is inherent in all of us. When a negative thought penetrates my brain, I immediately look at a beautiful piece of art in my home, look up something positive on Instagram (I deleted all the negative accounts I followed, and kept only inspiring accounts and accounts with amazing photography and artwork from around the world), I look at the malas I have created in the past few weeks, I hold one of my crystals in my hand, I give my boyfriend a hug and a kiss, pet my dogs and cat and tell them how much I adore, appreciate, and love them.
All of those things are my figurative waterfall. The simple things in life that are near to me and dear to me and within my grasp at all times. We are completely surrounded by love and wonder, the only thing that matters is where we choose to focus.
And, who knows? The deeper you choose to focus on the positive, maybe you will be visited by a beautiful friendly bird in real life: the person or people who are meant to be there for you, and help you move forward just by making you aware of the good that does exist on this planet.
Today, if you have an opportunity, go and feed some birds. Put out some bird seed on your deck or in your back yard and see what birds you attract. Go to a park and feed some ducks (make sure that park allows it first though!) and see what a difference you make for this world just by showing up powerfully and adding to the abundance and creation of what we have here on this planet.
It’s what we are meant to do.