|Kapaa Rooster, oil on linen, 24 x 20 inches
“I know that thoughts are not always 100 percent good, but I sure do hate it when they are negative.” My daughter Naomi wrote these words in her journal as she struggled to survive the cancer that eventually killed her while still a teenager. During my recent difficulties—finding myself single and bereft, I have often taken inspiration from Naomi's example of making effort to replace bad circumstances with something good instead. Her task was monumental and she achieved remarkable victory over negativity. She shaped her mind to be her ally. She also wrote, “Hardships can make us stronger . . . every situation has some good in it.”
My circumstances and efforts to shape my mind have brought me to remember a notable dream I had many years ago. Dreams are mostly fluff and reworking of days events, but sometimes a dream will act as a sign to higher levels of consciousness. This was such a dream: I was buried in the earth, upright with arms and legs spread, but only my head above ground. I felt fine, even happy and content. At the same time, I could also see myself from outside, as if witnessing. I was in a clearing in some woods, the sun was shining, air balmy. Two people arrived to stand in front of me. They were spiritual beings and stood in front of my head as if the situation were completely normal. They even chatted together. Just then, from behind a nearby bush, a chicken came running to peck at my face. He would peck, run back behind the bush, and come running to peck at my head again. I was completely defenseless except to wiggle my face side to side and try and close my eyes tight to protect them against the bird's beak. The two onlookers watched calmly as if nothing were out of the ordinary. I awoke.
Now upon reflection, I see that I am at one with the earth, and all is well. But thoughts coming from the ego or false imaginations can be like the pesky chicken upsetting the peace. My spirit guides are with me, bearing witness, but also informing me that in reality, I am in a safe embrace of essential elements and in oneness that is expansive. Not to worry about the pecking, which will pass.