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Dream Big in the New Year

This is the year to choose to dream bigger than the Joneses, to measure our dreams not by material wealth but by the balance of heart happiness we enjoy no matter what our bank balance.
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We are beginning a New Year -- the last before 2012, an election year in the U.S. and also one prophesized by the Mayans and other cultures as marking a time with the potential for important transformations.

My most important resolution this year is to offer myself -- and you -- a challenge. It is also one of the simplest we can undertake: that each of us will honor our deepest dreams and let them remind us of the intent we all have for creating a just and sustainable world. Let our dreams connect us to the deepest part of our hearts and to Pachamama (Mother Earth, Universe, Father Creator... ) that wants all of us to dream as big as possible.

So I ask the following of myself and of you.

Let us join hands and commit to making 2011 the year of refuting the idea that dollars spent toward arms, spying on civilians, and intrusive homeland security pat downs, as well as on goods and services provided through exploiting people and other sentient beings, will make us safe, prosperous, and happy. Instead, let us redirect those dollars toward developing sustainable energy and agriculture, cleaning up the terribly polluted lands, waters, and air of our planet, and helping starving people find ways to grow, store, and distribute healthy food to their families. Let this be the year our grandchildren will remember as the time when we the people initiated a transformation that will enable them to thrive.

In short, I challenge myself and you in 2011 to dream BIG, not in terms of material things, but in terms of love, compassion, peace, connection, and true joy.

I recently returned from guiding another group to the Mayan lands of Guatemala, along with my co-facilitator Llyn Roberts. One of the most inspirational teachings from these journeys is the lesson in rediscovering and re-empowering the dreams we hold for the world.

As Llyn and I often teach in our workshops, there is a true difference between dreams (things we want to materialize in the physical world) and fantasies (things we like to imagine but would not want materialized). To a large degree, our lives are determined by how successful we are at distinguishing the difference. My friend and guide, the Mayan shaman Viejo Itza once said to me, "The shapeshifter must be able to recognize both dreams and fantasies, and be able to separate one from the other. This is part of the intent. We can't understand our intent until we separate these two." (For more about Viejo Itza, dreams, and intent, please see my book, Shapeshifting: Techniques for Global and Personal Transformation. )

It is essential to give intent to our positive and healing dreams for the world and not to be taken in by the lure of fantasy in this materially obsessed media world. While fantasies can be enjoyed in the "journeying" state of imagination, our energy should be directed toward making what we dream a reality. Let's not get caught up by the seductions of media pundits. They are fantasy-weavers who profit by distracting us from a higher sense of being. They want us to try to keep up with the Joneses, neglecting to inform us that the Joneses are merely a fantasy that imprisons our dreams.

This is the year to choose to dream bigger than the Joneses, to measure our dreams not by material wealth but by the balance of heart happiness we enjoy no matter what our bank balance.

Individually, let us honor our dreams. Collectively, let us join together and dream a dream that will create a better world for all of us and our children.

Happy New Year and I toast to your very best dreams.