Natural Dreamwork with Mary Jo

go faster…

I’ve had a daily meditation practice for almost fifty years…teach meditation and facilitate mediation retreats. Yet nothing prepared me for the slowing down that comes with working with my dreams as we do in Natural Dreamwork.


As a Natural Dreamwork practitioner I move through the dream slowly, thoroughly…with intention and a deep feeling sense. I may pause at a shift in the dream, at a particular word, at a space between two words. If there is a feeling felt in the dream I will deepen that place with the dreamer. If there is a place where a feeling would be expected (for example, fear or pain) but it is unfelt in the dream, I will deepen that place and help create a space to allow for the feeling to rise. 


However, that is now. Back then in that first year of my own dreamwork I would experience impatience…why are we staying in this dream moment so long? I’ve got it; let’s move on. I would even find myself jumping ahead in the dream…a kind of antsy sheep dog wanting to hustle the dream along at a faster pace…in a certain direction. Fortunately, my dreamwork practitioner couldn’t be hustled. He was there to both honor the dream and honor my soul…and that meant going slowly.


Many of my dream clients feel this way, too…the unspoken, “yeah, I got it; let’s move on.”


Who is the “I” that’s got it? It isn’t our heart or our soul. It is our mind. We misunderstand. We think that because our mind, our intellect, gets what is happening in the dream that we can now fix that or through an act of will behave differently. Yet it’s just that…a fix…not a true healing…a remembering of soul.


Working with our dreams in this way isn’t about being in conversation and relationship with the intellect, the outer ego. It’s about being in conversation and relationship with our soul. Since most of us have forgotten how to do this it takes time to re-establish this sacred and true connection with soul. And so in a dream session we pause…we stay…we turn back…we take a breath into…we feel… all with the desire to allow for a space to open…a feeling to rise…to be felt…to heal.


I’ve shared in my writings that in my 20’s during a deep meditation I could feel the impulse to get somewhere, the impatience to move it along…and there came stunningly and clearly in my ear a strong voice, “Relax…we’re going to be here a while.” It was a great teaching for me in the unfolding of my own journey and how it is I am within my own and others’ dreams.  


As we learn to trust the dream process, its gifts and its challenges we learn to trust this way of slowing down, deepening into what the dream is inviting us to feel. We recover the capacity and remember the luxury of being in this kind of conversation…this kind of relationship…


(image: The Roadrunner)


Mary Jo Heyen is a certified Natural Dreamwork Practitioner working with clients in person or video conference. Learn more about her work with dreams at

2 thoughts on “go faster…”

    1. Kimberlee, I’m so glad you appreciated this piece; that means a lot to me. I love sharing my own experiences and hearing from others. It helps keep me in the knowing that we are all connected and so often struggle with the same things. We truly are all in this together.

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