In addition to dream presentations and workshops that I offer to the general public, I am invited to speak to groups of first responders, such as our local hospital and crisis advocate group, on why our dreams matter, how exploring our dreams can help support inner and outer wellness.
These crisis teams are an incredible group of professionals and volunteers who are called into situations of domestic violence, terrible accidents, death…and they step into places where they are met with a full range of the unpredictable…and in this unpredictability part of their role is to give support and comfort to the survivors. First responders step into the unknown, what is raw, what is still unfolding. Could working with their dreams help support them to be in these moments…to be present for the families they serve and for themselves…to help them deepen their capacity in the pain-filled situations.
One night before I was to speak with a group 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 feelings. It is our body that responds first. We may feel a jolt or a thrill and instead of taking it right up into the mind to explain it can we run it through our heart and see what feeling is there that wants to be felt?
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 body and then the feelings that arise in that moment. Our bodies 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 soul in its potency…in its capacity to feel everything. And we recover our capacity to respond…in the moment…fully present with ourselves, with each other and the divine as soul.
(Image by Daniel Sundahl)
Mary Jo Heyen is a certified Natural Dreamwork Practitioner working with clients in person, phone or Skype. Learn more about her work with dreams at www.maryjoheyen.com or www.thenaturaldream.com