The other night I had a dream that seemed profoundly important in these uncertain times.
I was walking in a peaceful meadow. The day was beautiful and silent. White birds were flying.. That was it...just me, the grass and the sky, and the birds. As I walked, I began to focus on the birds... and then I began to worry about the birds. (After all, there was nothing else to worry about!) The number of birds seemed to grow larger, and they started to fly closer to me. As my fear mounted, they became more threatening... in fact, they were no longer birds, but pterodactyls (dinorsaur-like flying reptiles). I was almost overcome by fear... and then, awareness dawned as I observed myself: I realized that it was only when I began to focus and fear the birds that they became threats. The more intense my fear, the more threatening they became. With that revelation, the swooping flock retreated into non-threatening beings.
My dream reminded me that how and where we focus our attention matters in a direct way: i.e., if I choose to focus on the financial crisis... the global unrest... the petty problems of my life...those issues will loom as frightening and breathtakingly real to me. If I instead choose to notice the beautiful weather... the love of my family, friends and perfect dog... the good news that does exist... the growing awakening among people everywhere... those positive reminders become my greater reality.
It sounds simplistic and naive. But if simplicity and naivete help us find balance in an uncertain -- though interesting -- time, I am grateful for the assistance.