When we work with our dreams, we are developing our capacity to be in feeling…our capacity to be in soul. I have found for myself that a quality of soul is in the recovery of my capacity to feel all feeling…those that are beautiful as well as those that are difficult and painful.
What can a world do to someone who has the capacity to feel it all…to be conscious in each moment…conscious in each encounter…truly be present with what is arising?
In our dreams feelings come to us through images…the image carries a feeling. When we begin working with our dreams we aren’t quite aware of that. We are caught up in the story, the characters, the events and we miss the deeper intention of our dreams…the healing medicine that is found in every dream…the feeling. In our willingness to feel we begin the return to wholeness…to being in relationship…to be en-souled.
Can this work with our dream images be translated to waking life images? Can we be aware of the feeling and the healing offered to us throughout our day?
-Early morning dark, sitting in a chair, my hands warming around a coffee mug. My mind is quiet and unexplained tears rise…of sadness, love, grief, joy…making their way through my body…soul moving into place for the day.
-I’m 20, on the phone with my mother. Something about laundry. She asks what detergent I use. My stomach flutters and I know I could lie and say Wisk. But I don’t, I tell the truth, Tide. The phone goes silent and I feel sick to my stomach. The tirade and name calling explodes, my very worth as a human being, a wife, a woman torn to shreds. Then something new happens. I hold the phone away from my ear and look at it. Profound grief. For the first time in my life I know…I truly know down to my bones…that nothing will ever change…nothing I say or do will ever make a difference in this relationship. I hang up.
-End of a long day, I am standing at the kitchen counter peeling a carrot. I stop. All my chemo drugs have taken from me my sense of taste. I won’t taste this carrot. I won’t taste all the good food that I’m about to prepare for dinner. And in that moment I realize that my relationship with food isn’t just in its taste. My love is just as much in its preparation, the choosing, touching, the combining…this intimate relationship and conversation with food…how the earth wants to be taken into us each day.
These are not dreams that I’ve just shared, although they may sound like dreams. They are examples of the many moments I’ve had (all of us have) throughout my life where…in the moment…I stopped…knew something had shifted…an awareness dawned and I breathed deeply into the feeling…and the healing in that moment.
Working with dream images can teach us to stop during our day and feel into the waking image happening in the moment. Just as we stop in a dream…and drop into a feeling, can we bring the inner learning to the outer? Can we begin the practice in waking reality…stop for a moment…take a breath…and take the feeling medicine…let it move through our system…our heart…our soul?
(Image by Irma Stern)
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