English: Polar bears in Churchill, Canada.

Image via Wikipedia

Recently, in a week’s worth of dreams, I’ve encountered polar bears – twice. Each one, magnificent and mighty, stormed through two very different dreams, several nights apart. Each bear literally burst into my dreams. Clearly they wanted to get my attention.

Often we’re blind to our own dream’s meanings—and you can color me guilty. Like someone looking for a polar bear in a blizzard, perhaps, I couldn’t see what was right in front of my eyes.

I asked some of my dream-savvy friends what the polar bears might symbolize. “Well,” my friend Gale said, as if hesitant to insult me by stating the obvious, “Polar bears are endangered,” she said. “Their habitat is literally melting away. The situation is urgent. Haven’t you seen the Coke cans with the Polar Bears on them?”

I hadn’t. But I was beginning to see the light.

In preparation for our upcoming 350Dreamers dream for global healing (Monday night, March 19), I’ve been thinking a lot about the global nature of dreaming. I’ve searched my dreams for possible information, messages, symbols and images that might relate to issues beyond my day-to-day personal concerns.

All at once I saw that the polar bear was my global symbol. These bears were asking me perhaps, to notice them. To pay attention! Through the haze of every day distractions and concerns, I felt called to think about these creatures enthroned at the top of the food chain, but who are suddenly faced with an enemy they have no means to oppose: Global climate change caused by human action … and inaction.

Inspired by these dream visitors, I thought for several days about what I can do for them. I already try to live an Earth-friendly lifestyle. I reduce, re-use and recycle with the best of them.

But with no new ideas or inspirations about what more I could do,  the bear and its stark presence in my dreams faded from the forefront of my mind. Until today. I was walking in New York City when I stumbled upon a little toy bear, dressed in her holiday best, perched on the sidewalk on East 87th Street.

And not a block later I came across another one, this one gracing a discarded Coke can—the one my friend Gale had told me about, but that I hadn’t seen before.

Still, I haven’t had any brainstorm as to what I can do for the plight of the polar bears, or our planet. In the meantime they’ve become like a touchstone for me. Each time they appear in my dreams, or in my life, I’m letting them act as reminders to bring my focus back to the question and the intention.


In honor of the Polar Bears, I hope you will join us on the night of the Spring Equinox, Monday March 19, and dream with us for Global Healing.

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