During my years of training as a dreamwork practitioner I would ask clients to send me their dreams a few days ahead so that I would have time to look at them and then get the dreams to my mentor and plan a time when we both could look at the dreams. This need for dreams ahead of time was organizational, a need for scheduling to honor everyone’s time.
When I became a certified dreamwork practitioner that request was no longer necessary. Many of us who work with dreams can step right into a dream. On a first read we can see where there is a spaciousness or where there is a contraction…where there is a feeling felt or where there is a turning away. We can step right into the dream with a kind heart and a kind eye…helping the dreamer to be in conversation with their own dream material. Yes, I can and often do that.
Yet even today I ask for dreams ahead of time. Having time with another’s dreams is something different for me…a way I have of being relationship with dreams that I find trustworthy and true…
When I receive new dreams I read them though once…ingesting them…letting my mind and intellect take in what is shared and then I drop from mind and tuck the dreams away for a bit…
There’s a little pocket near my heart…near my own soul…a sacred tabernacle really where I tuck the new dreams. I let them incubate…absorb into me…reveal to me their own heart. I spend the day with them…sit with them…go on walks with them…sleep with them. In Spanish to dream about someone is “soñar con”…to dream with. Isn’t that lovely? And in asking for dreams ahead of time that’s what I do…I dream with another’s dream.
And often in the middle of a walk…in the middle of the night or early morning I experience an intake of breath…”ohh, that’s what that might be…that’s where the sacred encounter is being met or isn’t…that’s where the feeling is or isn’t…and I stand in that place…perhaps in a breach and feel what it is like…is there pain…joy…grief…fear?
I feel this deep relationship with the dream and the dreamer…a love for both…and a humility and awe that I get to be in this kind of conversation and relationship with another…and from that place I step into another’s dream as we explore together their unique and precious experience.
(image by Michael Z Tyree)
Mary Jo Heyen is a certified Natural Dreamwork Practitioner working with clients throughout the country and abroad in person, phone or video conference. Learn more about her work with dreams at www.maryjoheyen.com.