Last week, I had the greatest dream.
Aidan and I were visiting the campus of UCI, my undergraduate alma mater. I was walking on the grounds, pushing him in a stroller, when someone ran up to me and breathlessly asked if I’d heard: The Dalai Lama was about to speak on campus, and it was specifically for mothers and their children. Suddenly I noticed women coming from all sides of the campus, like ants called to a picnic, some hauling babies, others alone, all funneling into a building across the way from where I stood. “Aidan,” I said, “we have to go hear the Dalai Lama. He’s speaking just for us!” And off we rushed, merging into the stream of women steadily flowing toward the concert hall.
When we got inside, a woman approached me urgently, saying the Dalai Lama needed someone to open with a prayer and would I please do it. I was surprised but delighted. “Of course,” I said. She handed me a microphone and I walked out on stage that instant. But just as I opened my mouth, intending to tell a story or speak a blessing, I was struck by strong intuition. Making a split-second decision to follow this inspiration, I began sounding into the microphone. A few notes in, several other people joined me, members of the Lama’s lay entourage. Then the Dalai Lama, himself, walked onto the stage.
Dressed in robes and sandals, holding a big microphone, he addressed the audience and, polite as can be, apologized for me! He thanked me for my service, apologized to the audience for this very strange blessing, and introduced a woman in robes to offer a proper prayer. As she began chanting, I left the stage and found my dear friend and former business coach, Christina Morassi, waiting in the wings.
Christina was beaming. She pulled me aside and said, “It totally doesn’t matter that the Dalai Lama didn’t like you. He wanted something more traditional… That’s fine. But you followed your gut and totally went for it. Huge things are going to come from this!”
I woke up laughing.
There are so many things I love about this dream.
I love that the Dalai Lama was speaking for “women and their children,” which is all of us, in case you didn’t notice.
I love that I found out about it last minute, and was asked to speak only seconds before going on stage. Plagued by cravings for control in my waking life, I love being reminded that amazing things are sometimes waiting just beyond my sight.
Of course, I love that I was walking, which I almost always am in my dreams. And it’s funny to me that I was pushing Aidan in a stroller, which I’ve never done.
I love that I felt totally confident to say a prayer for the Dalai Lama! The DALAI LAMA!!
And I love that I caught the intuitive hit and just went with it, no second-guessing, no hesitation, even though it was different than what I normally do or how I conceive of my gifts. I love this guided, fearless version of myself.
And I love love LOVE that the Dalai Lama hated what I did! It cracks me up that I was asked to speak (an inexpressible honor), I received and followed what felt like divine guidance, and he was HORRIFIED! That’s hilarious. What a way to remember not to take myself too seriously!
And yes, I also love that I find it hilarious. Neither in the dream nor after waking did I feel ashamed or mortified. I followed my intuition, committed fully to my own spirit… There’s no shame in that, no matter how it turns out. And I’m still laughing, remembering the Dalai Lama, of all people, ever so magnanimously kicking me off the stage!
I also love that Christina was waiting for me. The week before this dream, I attended her first, live business seminar, a three-day event so rocking rich with shamanic transformation, it feels almost absurd to call it a business seminar. I had the great privilege of speaking to her community on the last day of the event and it was a total game-changer for me, a direct experience of who and what, exactly, I can be, am already becoming. It’s hard to explain, and I’m probably not doing a very good job of it, but this was a glimpse into the ultimate level of my service as a speaker, storyteller, and reflector of wisdom. That I apparently have, now, an inner Christina cheering me on is just priceless!
But you want to know what I love most about this dream? Before having it, I never would have dared to imagine opening for the Dalai Lama. Not only do I have no connection to him or to Buddhism, but he’s in a class of speaker that just feels infinitely beyond me. Yet, the day after this dream, I suddenly realized how relevant certain aspects of my story are to Buddhist teachings. The extraordinary power of that surrender in the air, when falling… The grace of pure presence, while waiting for the paramedics. I’m not God’s gift to Buddhists everywhere, but I think I’d have something useful to add to the conversation, something compelling. And now that my subconscious has dared to imagine opening for His Holiness (however badly it went!), it actually seems possible. Unlikely, maybe, but within the realm of possibility. And I would be over-the-moon honored and delighted.
But trust me, if it ever happens, I’m SO sticking to stories.