So many times we wake up believing we have a good understanding of what our dreams are saying to us, who the characters in our dreams are and why they are acting the way they are. And that may be true.
Often times, however, as we open up even a seemingly simple dream we see there is something underneath, something very special just for us…how thoroughly our dreams know all about us and what it is we need to be nourished in our heart and our soul. And our dreams and many dream characters want to help us remember these parts of ourselves and encourage us to be in relationship with our true self.
Following is a short dream shared during a dream workshop along with some questions I asked to help the dreamer discover what was just under the surface story of the dream…
Dream – I go into a committee meeting and all the chairs are taken. I say to the tall handsome man in charge, “There are no chairs left for me. I guess I’ll just leave.” He doesn’t move any chairs to make room for me. He doesn’t even try to stop me. He smiles at me, like he’s glad I’m leaving! I’m miffed and irritated.
As the dreamer (DM) was reading her dream to me she was really back in the moment, getting into a snit actually that everyone so ignored her and wouldn’t make room for her in the committee meeting. I asked if it would be okay to ask her a few questions about her dream, to look at it from the way it is I have learned to look at dreams and she readily agreed. Following is a summary –
MJ: What’s it like to be entering a committee meeting?
DM: Very familiar. I’ve been on lots for many years.
MJ: Do you enjoy being on committees?
DM: I used to enjoy it but I think I should do my part and be
a responsible community member.
MJ: Okay…that’s what your thoughts about it, that you should be
a good community member… but what are your feelings…
take a few moments.
DM: (After some silence) I’m getting tired of it. I’ve been on so many
committees for so many years. It’s not fun anymore.
MJ: Is there something else you haven’t done or would rather do?
DM: Yes! (energetically) I’m passionate about art and doing more of that.
This is where I feel creative.
(We explored what some of her artistic expressions were…and she described them very clearly and enthusiastically.)
MJ: Can you look at the man in charge again. What if he knows this about you
and that’s why he’s not making room for you at yet another committee
meeting, why there are no chairs for you. Look at his smile. Can you
consider that he is glad for you, that you’re leaving…that that is exactly
what he wants for you but not for the reason you thought. It’s not that
there’s no room for you but rather he knows that you’re leaving will make
space to do something that nourishes you?
DM: Yes…he’s happy I’m going to do something else!
MJ: Take a few moments here to really feel this…how he is supporting this part
of you that wants and needs expression in the world.
DM: “I’m excited; I get to go do what I really want!
We sat for a few moments of quiet absorption as a look of ease and even awe came over the dreamer’s face. She smiled, took a breath and said, “I could have looked at this dream for 1,000 years and never seen it like this.”
How quickly one could assume that people were being rude to the dreamer, not including her, that even the man in charge wasn’t making space for her. That is the surface of the dream, the part which many of us never look beyond. Yet, as we looked more closely the whole story of what was happening and why the man in charge was behaving in such a way got turned 180 degrees. He wasn’t there against her…he was there for truest part of her…for the needs of her soul.
In such a seemingly mundane (they never are!) dream is a whole world we can trust if we are willing to lay down our outer world rules, conditionings and stories. This dream became a sweet truth about the dreamer’s desires that had been put aside in order to do what she thought she should do. She had left no room for her own needs…her soul’s needs.
Again, our dreams aren’t saying don’t join committees; they aren’t saying don’t be responsible participating members of society. They are saying, very pointedly, are you included in that mix? Are the desires of your heart and soul being listened to and honored? Are you expressing in the world that which only you can express? The world needs and misses this uniqueness that is us when we discover and express our own creative self.
(Image by Carol Dance)
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.