Ten years ago at the beginning of October a river otter came to me in a dream and then, a few weeks later, began showing up in my waking life.
The dream began with a voice saying, “The wonderful thing about otters is the way they move.”
And there was a sleek, shiny otter, rolling, swimming, and cavorting in the currents of a sparkling river.
I became this otter and was simultaneously being and seeing this gorgeous, sensual creature, reveling in the sensation of the cool, silky water, delighting and feeling absolutely at one with the flow.
As the river otter I was dancing in the Dao, delighting in the Dao — reveling in the very river of life.
Then the very last day of October, standing at my kitchen window, washing dishes, I saw a ripple in the pond. It was my river otter. Now, I had been looking out this very window at this very pond for ten years and never before had I or anyone else seen a river otter. Yet there she was.
I ran barefoot across the cold, wet grass and stood on the dock and watched her swimming, diving and emerging to look at me. For nearly half an hour I watched her while the dreaming part of me swam in the water right along with her.
This dream has been important for me in two big ways.
Immediately in waking from that dream I saw many places in my life where I was breaking the flow of life by worrying, efforting, struggling and I felt in my body the joyful alternative. The delicious dream reminded me that at any moment I could choose to move in my life as the otter and I swam in the sparkling dream river.
Dreaming of the river otter returned me to my true nature. It brought me back home to the way of being in which I am most happy, healthy, creative and successful. Connecting physically to the essence of the dream helped me deal differently with tough situations, transforming the tension, fear and anxiety into energy I could use.
In the weeks after the dream I noticed over and over times when I was worrying over an upcoming presentation or a difficult conversation. Feeling myself tighten, I could choose to shift, “AHHH… whatever happens, I can just relax and delight in the Dao, revel in the river of life and use this energy to create my experience!”
This otter, coming to me as an ally, in dreamtime and then in waking life, confirmed for me what I know but sometimes forget: It is our birthright to enjoy a magical, enriching and enlivening connection with Nature.
How can I explain that an otter arrived in dreaming and then began showing up in my waking life? I cannot explain it but I receive it with joyful gratitude!
This sustaining connection with nature within and around us happens all the time when we allow it.
When we are tapped into that power of nature within ourselves, in our bodies and our dreaming imagination and with nature around us, we enter the river of life where we can access abundant healing, guidance, creativity and pleasure.
The otter as my ally over these ten years has helped me deal with divorce, death, heart-wrenching grief and numerous intense and challenging life changes.
Remembering the otter’s wisdom, every situation, even the toughest, becomes an invitation to embrace this wild and sacred life and a chance to delight in the Dao – to play in the river of life.
We all fall asleep to who we really are.
We fall asleep to what the world really is.
We forget the magic of our own true selves and we forget our interconnections with this precious world.
We get attached to struggling and we feel alone and disconnected from our true nature and from the power and joy of life flowing within and around us.
We live as if the dreaming, imaginal world is not real.
We live as if the natural world is soul-less and an inanimate backdrop for our human endeavors.
We live as if we are separate from nature and we feel lonely and hungry for something we cannot name.
This separation from nature causes illnesses of our bodies and our minds.
This separation has led us to cause unthinkable destruction on our planet.
We could not possibly treat the earth this way if we remembered our deep and holy connection with our bodies and with the world around us.
Each day I seek- and create- opportunities for to remember the sweet sacredness of who we really are and to awaken over and over to the magic and miracle of our human existence and to this precious earth we share.
I love to keep things easy and enjoyable.
Otters play and they teach their babies to play and they play with their friends.
When we are having fun we learn best.
Simple is the most potent.
Have you had dreams and experiences with animals that helped you get back on your path?
What reminds you to wake up?