Natural Dreamwork with Mary Jo

first responders…

A few weeks ago I was invited to speak with our local crisis advocates team about dreams and their role in supporting inner and outer wellness. 
The crisis team is an incredible group of professionals and volunteers who are called into situations of domestic violence, terrible accidents, death…and as part of the first responders they step into the unknown, what is raw, what is still unfolding. As first responders they are met with a full range of the unpredictable…and in this unpredictability their role is to give support and comfort to the survivors. 
Together we explored how working with their dreams could help support them to be in these moments…to be there for the families they serve…to be there for themselves…to help them deepen their capacity to be present in these pain-filled situations. 
The night before I was to speak with them I was called into my midnight loft…where I am called to  most nights…and I step into the quiet dark…and speak what wants to be spoken…and listen to what wants to be heard…this liminal space between worlds.  And there waiting for me was a teaching…a simple yet potent teaching about our inner first responders…
As our dreams heal us…help us to drop our walls, the protective defended structures we believed were necessary in order to survive, we discover that our first response to the world…is not our mind…not even our body…and we recover what has always been and wants to be again our first response…
The closer we come to being in the world from our soul we find that our first response to the world…to a situation…an experience…is through the feelings that arise in that moment.  The body’s wisdom recognizes and expresses the feeling…even holds it for us if we’ve lost connection to our feelings…until there is a return to feeling.
And slowly we recover this excruciatingly raw and vulnerable way to be in the world…the way of the soul…as we become the girl in her potency…in her capacity to feel everything. And we recover our capacity to be with ourselves, with each other and the divine as soul…the first responder of feeling.

(Image by Daniel Sundahl)
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 or