Thursday, October 17, 2013

Don't go back to sleep!

Last night I had the worst nightmare of my nearly four decades. When I woke up, a line from a Rumi poem began to echo in my mind, “Don’t go back to sleep!” 

And so I got up, grabbed the pink shawl my newest and most lovely guardian angel just sent me, and went downstairs. I wanted to cry. I wanted to call my dad. I wanted to find my kitties and hug them. It was a really bad dream and it left me buzzing with dread. I wondered if it was a bad omen for the trip I leave on today. I wondered if someone else I love had died. Then I closed my eyes and this is what I saw:

The world is a tragic and beautiful place. The Rumi quote knocked on my mind's door, “Don’t go back to sleep.” I was relieved that I had not gone back to sleep, that I had gotten up and come to sit in meditation and wade through the disturbing energy of a really bad dream. I felt steeped in the coziness and love of my beautiful pale-pink shawl. Then the knock came again - some of us recognize that sign from the Divine that we need to pay attention - my friend Sara gets a chill on her arms. Another friend hears a distinct buzz in his ears. I get a sharp pain in my right ovary - go figure. 

The sharp pain said, “Hey, don’t be so literal. We’re talking about Rumi here...” And I contemplated for a moment what Rumi meant when he said, “Don’t go back to sleep!” On one level, he is telling you not to sleep your life away - as in actually lying in your bed too long and missing a beautiful part of the day, losing minutes of life, and general sloth and hebetude. 

He also meant don’t fall back into old habits of thinking, old patterns of being, rutted out reactions, and limiting beliefs. Wake up to the divine spark, pulsation, energy inside of you and have a look at it! Peel your eyes open to see the God-ness inside of you. Don’t cover it up with disbelief and negative junk, and don’t go numb to the tragedy of life lest you miss its sincere and concurrent beauty. Be hard enough on yourself that you grow, grow, grow toward the light!

Incidentally, as we approach November 1 and my birthday (November 2), we approach the time of year when the veil between the physical and spiritual worlds is the thinnest; when all of our angels can most easily brush their radiant fingers across our cheeks. Sometimes this manifests as a really bad dream that gets you out of bed and into the appreciation of the blessings life constantly sends your way. 

May we all receive the gift and absolute joy of life with eyes wide open!

Here's Rumi's full poem:

“The breezes at dawn have secrets to tell you
Don't go back to sleep!
You must ask for what you really want.
Don't go back to sleep!
People are going back and forth
across the doorsill where the two worlds touch,
The door is round and open
Don't go back to sleep!”
- Rumi