My dreams have guided me ever since I can remember. I’m curious to know if you remember your dreams. If you do, do you write them down? My dream journal occupies my nightstand so when I have a dream I remember, I scribble whatever it is I can recall – even if it’s one word or image. My dreams have offered me insight into my life purpose, have helped me make decisions, solve problems, and some dreams carry life changing messages.
I’ll share one dream I had when I was a young 7-year-old, before I knew dreams could have significance. I didn’t write down my dreams then, but this one is lodged in my memory and is as clear to me today as it was when I woke from it 50 years ago. In my dream I am visiting a huge toy store, complete with everything I could ever wish for when I suddenly get my wish. A Big Wheels –that blue, yellow, red giant tricycle made of plastic that looked like so much fun in the commercials—appears in front of me. I sit on it and I’m riding it up and down the isles of this store having fun going fast, spinning when I pedal back to break on the slick shiny floors. I squeal with delight! ALL the toys are mine! As I gleefully ride my Big Wheels I forget for a moment where I am. Suddenly I want to share this experience with my friends and my brother. I want everyone I know to join me in the fun! Then I stop, and now I’m quiet and still, and looking around. Where did everyone go? I’m alone. I have an understanding that I am the only person on the planet. What good is all of this when there’s nobody to share it with? It has absolutely no meaning to me now.
Upon waking I remember lingering in the memory of the dream and wanted to go back to that feeling of riding the Big Wheels. It was something in waking life that I had been asking for as a Christmas present or Birthday gift, but never got. Then I started thinking about the part of the dream where I was alone and how that felt. I distinctly remember understanding that without shared experiences life was lonely and meaningless. Maybe I didn’t have the words for it back then, but I do know that what I really wanted was to share that experience with my best friend, Heidi, or my brother, Steve. For me, especially after having that dream at the age of 7, life has always been about human connection.
I bring up this dream because it is the foundation of what I believe to be a universal truth. We are One. Without one another we couldn’t exist. Each of us has something of value to share with others.
I am hopeful that as we continue to grace our planet with our existence, we will all come to understand that we all can make a difference by sharing —- our love, knowledge, skills, time, kindness, music, art, food, laughter, and compassion, to name a few. What happens to one affects us all. Our lives are much richer with each other to share in the joys as well as the sorrows. When we have good news (i.e. I had a baby boy!, or I got the job!, or I passed my exams!, or I’ve been accepted into . . . . ) the first thing we want to do is SHARE IT and CELEBRATE! We make a call or hug the person who is with us. It is our joy we want to share! Likewise, when a loved one passes, we let others know so we can help heal and release the grief that is lodged in our hearts.
That dream, from the age of 7, has helped me understand that we need each other to share in our life experiences.
A few years ago, while hiking in the bamboo forest here in Maui, I was ascending this staircase of stone in the woods that looked other-worldly. Upon reaching the top, I turned the corner and before me was the most breathtaking waterfalls I had ever seen. I cried. I was so touched by the beauty and wisdom of our natural world that I stood there in awe and cried. I was so joy-filled at that moment that thinking about it now brings back that same joyful feeling. THIS is what I want to share. THIS is the feeling I want more people to feel and experience. It is our birthright to feel this JOY!
When I paint, I am inspired to share the joy not only of the process of creating, but also share the feeling behind the inspiration that led me to paint it. Sharing my skills as an artist is one of the greatest gifts I can give. By doing so, my life is made rich! Thank you for being here and allowing me to share with you.