Another precious part of my time being with the dreams of others is spent in volunteer work…with hospice patients and their families…with those who come to our local grief group…and my visits to our local nursing home.
It is always an unknown experience for me going to the nursing home…as the elderly have this wonderful unfiltered quality and say what is on their minds…or they may doze off…or get caught in the loop of a story. I’ve learned to go with the flow and expect the unexpected…including the miracles that happen when we step into the eternal and speak of dreams.
My last visit included ten of us, if you count those who nodded off. But I’ve come to not underestimate what looks like nodding off. We were speaking of dreams and dream images for a while. One woman, who was new to our group, was not speaking and I thought she may not be interested. But then, a few minutes in, got up and grabbed her walker and took a chair closer to me…”I can’t hear what you’re saying.” Her name was Elsa (changed) and she will turn ninety nine this week. Elsa sat next to me, quiet, eyes closed. and I assumed another one dozing off in the serene space…the soft voices…but I was wrong.
The sharing of dream images and feelings continued and suddenly Elsa said…”You know…I remember a dream from a long time ago…I never thought much about it until now. My grandmother was a wonderful seamstress; she used to make wedding dresses….and I remember this dream…My grandmother was showing me the wedding dress she had made for me. It was beautiful but it was really short and I said, “Grandma, I can’t wear this short dress!” She said, “This is exactly what you should wear!”
I asked, “What would it be like to wear that dress?” And Elsa’s face lit up…she was beaming…the ninety nine year old turned sassy girl in the short wedding dress. She said, “I haven’t thought about my grandmother in years. She was always the one who encouraged me…to study nursing…to do what I loved.”
I then asked the whole group to close their eyes and to feel what it would be like to be the girl in the short wedding dress and we all felt it…got quiet…expect for the beautiful grins that graced every face. In that moment no one was aged…no one was infirm…we were all the girl in the short wedding dress…the miracle of the dream that reminds of our eternal selves.
Mary Jo Heyen is a Natural Dreamwork Practitioner working with clients throughout the country and abroad in person, phone or Skype. Learn more about her work with dreams at www.maryjoheyen.com or www.thenaturaldream.com