The Dream of My Life

When you are making love all the time, everything is wonderful and beautiful, and you can grasp heaven.

-Miguel Ruiz

I know it’s not a concept that all of us can grasp immediately. But I know that even those of us who have allowed negativity to seize our true nature, have something in our lives that we define as happiness or a way to make love. Perhaps it was only when we were babies and barely “conscious” that we connected to it. Just because we cannot remember them, doesn’t mean those experiences are not there to tap into.

When I read the passage above, it made me think how amazing it would be to be making love all the time. And I don’t just mean the kind of love that can be made through the physical union of two or more human beings. I don’t believe this was the only type of love Miguel was referring to either.

I mean the kind of love you feel when you are experiencing something that allows you to forget that time exists, or that you exist in some instances, the kind of love that gives you a glimpse into the possibility of an end to suffering, fear, guilt and shame. This kind of love can be found nowhere but in your own ability to allow it within yourself.

I was in a meeting at work yesterday, the kind of retreat/strategic planning/lets talk about our problems and break into groups with post-its meeting that I’ve been in more times than I care to mention there. I’ve been sick with a cold and a cough but I sat there listening to presenters, friends and co-workers whom I believe all have a genuine intention to make our workplace better for everyone, ourselves and therefore those we serve. We always come up against the same issues though. burocracy, hierarchy, poor compensation, lack of support, poor communication, low-tech applications and more. But we’re changing. Things are better and worse at the same time, mostly due to the fact that we have new staffs, who are less tolerant of work models that don’t in fact work at all. But there is a tension, always a tension, which mainly goes unsaid in meeting like these about whose work is more important and should be prioritized, invested in, supported or re-classified.

It’s a conversation that never ends. And somewhere in it, there am I, listening and scribbling notes and wondering why we keep doing this over and over again, with no significant follow up. And then, as always, my mind starts to wander. My mind seizes on something more pleasurable, light, safer, a place that makes me feel…love. I start to scribble some words to try and describe the feeling. I write in tiny letters because the director is sitting right next to me. But for me the words fail to capture this place my mind wanders to. I end up crumbling the sheet and tossing it in my wastebasket when I get back to my desk after the meeting adjourns.

This morning I called out sick from work and finished reading “The Voice of Knowledge” in bed. The last chapter is called “The Tree of Life” and it was all about things like how we create our own Heaven. We know plenty about how we create our own Hells, but it’s never as obvious to us that we’re the ones doing the creating. I spent a lot of time in the meeting yesterday thinking about how this was never going to work, how these attempts were reductive and pointless. Not to mention the fact that I was sick and coughing every few minutes, blowing my nose and sitting in a freezing room. But in that moment where my mind wandered which is does often, because I’m a consummate daydreamer, there was only a sense of, a glimpse of a different state of being, which had nothing to do with all the day to day tension and misery that are commonplace for so many of us. We’re conditioned to think of daydreaming as escape, as not being in the present. But I think that daydreaming is just our mind’s way of retreating to a place more desirable than the one we are in because we feel incapable of experiencing Heaven where we are. How many times have teachers, parents and various other authority figures enforced the need for us to stop letting our minds wander and keep our feet on the ground?

As if the ground was the same for us all.

Anyway, reading this chapter made me want to retrieve my scribbled notes again. It made me wish I hadn’t listened to the “authority” in my head and gave some more regard to my own seeking to give shape to something evasive and yet indelible.

Having been home schooled and receiving the message that my playtime as valuable as my education, I can remember what it felt like to be “making love” more often than anything else. My mind was allowed to wander, to imagine, and to make believe, to create. In fact, it was encouraged. Maybe I thought that the whole world was always going to be one big toy for me to play with and enjoy. I was in parks, museums, gardens, doing crafts, and no matter where my bother and I were, be it Subway, bus or airplane, we always found a way to play, to make believe, to tell a story or read one. That was my reality for a long time. And I think this is why toys still figure so resiliently in my life and in my creativity. That part of me that likes to play is still there, though in a different way.  It’s the same feeling I get when I’m walking alone through Central Park in the Spring or with my husband at home just hanging out, the feeling of sheer defenseless, messy, hilarious play, of love, of trust. I think it’s easy for me to access creativity and inspiration and spirit through play, writing, story and music. For others it could be cooking, painting, dancing, balancing a checkbook or cleaning the space around you. Whatever it is, it’s the dream of your life that you create.

Imagine being in that place all the time, feeling that way all the time, playing, creating, sharing, making love all the time! Is it possible?

From an early age, the importance of our dreams are often diminished by the lies we begin to believe or they’re supported, encouraged and valued as more important than others. The truth is, they are all important, all beautiful, all valuable, as long as they come from a place of love. Often the people who act from a loving place sound illogical, naive, unrealistic or “crazy.” These are usually the kind of people who usually catch my attention, the attention of the daydreamer, the infinitely playing, infinitely creating love maker who never dies in any of us. In some of us that spirit still waits patiently to be addressed like a child waiting for it’s parents to stop working so that they can watch it discover life and remember…

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