September 2005 - Breaking Old Patterns: Dreaming a New Dream
Breaking Old Patterns: Dreaming a New Dream
Are you happy? Really happy in your job? Really happy in your life? Be totally honest.
If the answer is yes, you probably already know what Iím going to say. Most people canít say they are truly happy in their job. They may be there because itís easier to stay and go along than to leave or try to change things. Others may be truly miserable. Others stay because they have good friends at work or feel a sense of satisfaction in the work they do that is stronger than the things they donít like.
Take a moment and write down 10 things that you really appreciate about your job. Take time to feel gratitude for those aspects of your job that support you and your needs. Take time to feel gratitude for the people you care about.
Then, write down 10 or more things you wish were different. If you were in charge, how would you change those things to make them better?
If you take time every day to pay attention and feel gratitude for the things in your life that support you (your job, your family, your friends, your work, your life), you will soon find that your job and your life are going more smoothly. You may occasionally notice those things that are not so great, but they wonít hold you in their grip any more.
This process is called "dreaming a new dream" by the indigenous peoples of the world.
The "old dream" is one of fear, worry, anger, hatred, frustration, intolerance, violence, war, destruction, dominance, jealousy, etc.
The "new dream" is one of joy, partnership, trust, creativity, aliveness, happiness, prosperity, peace, acceptance, etc.
By focusing our attention on all that we donít like, we forget to feel the joy of all that we do like.
Consider that the Earth, nature, the atmosphere, the sun, the moon, the air we breathe, the trees, flowers, birds, plants, water, rocks and so much more all give us physical support and comfort in so many easy that make our life easier. We have food to eat, materials to build shelter, sun to warm us, water to keep us alive, wind to cool us Ė so many things that we take for granted!
Take a few moments now and notice how much of where you are right now was put there by someone else. The building where you work, your home, your car, your computer, the food in your refrigerator, your refrigerator and all appliances, your cell phone, the list is almost endless.
Take a moment to feel gratitude for everyone and everything that had to come together to bring you to the place you are right here, right now. Itís overwhelming the number of people who played a part in that journey starting from the moment you were born.
When you spend more time simply appreciating what IS, you will find more energy and ability to change what isnít to your liking. Those annoying things become very small compared to what is good about your world.
Take time each day to be still Ė to pray or meditate and to feel gratitude for all that is wonderful about your life. Your prayer or meditation may be in any form that works for you. It could be a walk in nature, a morning acknowledgement of the sun, time spent looking at the stars, the quiet enjoyment of beautiful flowers, the laugh of a child, lighting a candle, a connection with a friend or a stranger. All of these provide a moment of being present where you are rather than rushing off to something not nearly as joyful.
Being present is immensely powerful in clarifying your mind and helping clear your thoughts of the jumbled chaos most of us live in. Stopping time, even for a few minutes, does wonders for the health of your psyche and your body.
Many people are living lives of quiet desperation, worrying about world events out of their control or worrying about things way out in the future. Or, dwelling on past events that prevent them from feeling the joy of TODAY.
The secret to finding peace and harmony is to simply STOP! Stop worrying, stop rushing, stop thinking about the future, stop the anger at someone else, stop thinking about the past. Simply BE here now.
Stop and be still. Listen to the sounds of nature. Listen to the sounds of the city; listen to the birds; listen to the wind; listen to the sound of a stream. Listen to your inner voice that tells you everything will be OK.
If you would like to change things in your life, take time to appreciate all that has brought you to this moment. Write down a list of what has happened before, say thanks for all of it and do a ceremony of burning your list. This is symbolic of letting it all go so that you have the space and energy to go forward in a new way.
Write out how you want your life or your job to be. Feel the excitement and joy as you feel the experience of that new life Ė that new dream.
Starting today, every day do some small step toward fulfilling your new dream. Before long, you will realize that dream has come to fruition.
Then, one day, the cycle will repeat and it will be time for a new dream.
This article ó originally intended for our August newsletter ó was written in Santa Fe, New Mexico on July 25, 2005 sitting next to a mountain stream at the Big Tesuque area, which is part of the Santa Fe National Forest. I had just finished a workshop called "Praying with Power" with Josť Stevens and wanted to spend some quiet time reflecting on what we learned and what I wanted to change in my life.
Among the many things we learned in the workshop were:
A few days after returning home from the workshop, I had some family come to visit. While they were here, I slept in my guest room Ė and realized that I was taking a conscious step to shift my old habit patterns to make way for new things I want. I also rearranged much of my house to make it "baby-safe." Again, making a conscious choice to change some things as part of my intention.
The morning after they arrived, my computer hard drive failed suddenly. The computer technicians were not able to retrieve anything from it. Interestingly enough, I had noticed an odd noise a few weeks before and I had thought it was time to get a new larger hard drive. With the day-to-day demands of a busy life, I did not listen to my intuition on that one and the result was quite a few days trying to restore files from backup tapes after the computer came back to me. The tapes encountered some errors and so I have only partially restored the files; many documents and files have been forever lost. So, I am having an opportunity to start over with my computer.
Itís a very big lesson for me in what happens when you do not listen to intuition! Iíve had a few other almost as dramatic lessons about not listening to my intuition within the past month so it has certainly gotten my attention.
A few days after the new larger hard drive was installed, I heard that odd sound again. It turns out that the sound had nothing to do with the hard drive failing and it was easily repaired. So, I was reminded again that my original intuition about needing a new hard drive was very accurate.
I am immensely grateful that my life is shifting in new ways that will support the intention to make changes that I set in motion during my workshop in Santa Fe. Besides the computer challenges, several other physical things have broken in these last few weeks, again offering wonderful opportunities for me to change my old habit patterns and move my intention for changes forward.
May the Great Spirit bless you in your journey.
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