About Mary Jo
I live in the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Colorado, married to Joe, my high school sweetheart. I have a Master’s degree in Education and spent three wonderful decades in public education. I have a passion for cooking and the solitude of mountain living…but that’s not why you’re reading this…
Since age four, with my first remembered dream, I have had a steady and close relationship with my dreams, recording them, trying to understand them, intensely studying all dream-related material. And it may seem odd but in my early twenties, during a deep meditation, I had a knowing I would have to wait for my sixties for my heart’s work to show up. So I spent the next forty plus years doing my inner work, studying many paths, learning what I could on my own, practicing meditation, always with an eye to my dreams, continuing to record them, thousands of them, not knowing what they meant but trusting that they were trying to communicate something.
Along the way, I discovered many wonderful teachers and schools exploring the meaning of our dreams…yet nothing was quite calling me into the dream the way I desired…until I heard an interview with Rodger Kamenetz speaking about dreams. Here was the language, the heart…the soul…of the dream I had been searching for and desired to learn. Rodger is the author of The History of Last Night’s Dream as featured on Oprah’s Soul Series. I immediately became a client and student of Rodger’s.
My dream practitioner training includes four years of study (90 semester hours) and hundreds of hours of internship through the Center for Archetypal Dreamwork.
Since early 2015, with Rodger’s leadership, fellow colleagues and I have continued to evolve and deepen our understanding of dreams, the result of which is this unique approach we call Natural Dreamwork.
As a certified practitioner of Natural Dreamwork, I work with clients to find the natural medicine in each dream…the feeling moment…the place of sacred encounter found in each dream…an awakening, a healing and a return to connection with who it is we truly are.
In addition to working with my own dream clientele, I mentor new Natural Dreamwork practitioners as they deepen in their understanding of this work and begin developing their own dreamwork practice. My work with dreams has been published in The Journal of Palliative Medicine, in Dream Time, a publication of the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD) and I am a Regional Representative of the IASD.
Association of Dreamwork Practitioners
International Association for the Study of Dreams
Home Care and Hospice Association of Colorado
All roads have led me here, to working with dreams…muddy roads and sun-filled roads. Roads that included wonderful relationships, painful relationships, stage 4 breast cancer, deep love and deep loss. Working with dreams contains all this and more…it is a road that descends to the soul self, that helps us repair and return to our forgotten capacity and our forgotten potency…to be with and feel everything…our love/pain, our joy/sorrow, our fear/vulnerability…and to be in the world and in our relationships from this place of wholeness.
My dream practice includes working with clients locally in Colorado, throughout the country and internationally, either in person, phone or video conference. Geographical distance is not a boundary when working with dreams. My clients and I agree that even on the phone or video there is a deep level of intimacy similar to working with each other in person. I work with dreamers of all ages, some as young as six, teens and adults. My clients come from all cultural backgrounds and beliefs. Each age and stage of our life is reflected in our dreams and they come to us each night with an invitation back into wholeness.
It is a sacred privilege for me to be with clients when they have an “ahh!” moment during session…a new awareness…when something in their dream awakens them to a forgotten part of themselves, something hidden in a blind spot, ways they learned to be in the world that may look good but that don’t nourish their soul…or a felt connection to the inner support and love that the dream wants them to remember. We all carry wounds of hurt, loss, pain and trauma and our dreams know exactly where and why we’re hurting…and they know the way back to our true self…our soul self. I’ve been with clients as they heal into these places…a lost connection to the outer father and the reconnection to the inner divine father…the pain of superficial relationships healing into meaningful and intimate relationships…the fear to speak one’s truth opening to the beautiful sound of one’s true voice…the always tender, sometimes tearful, deeply felt moments in every session where my clients realize the dream is about them and for them.
A most precious and humble part of my dream practice is as a hospice volunteer, a dream specialist, exploring the dreams and visions of those in hospice, their families and grief groups. Even for those who previously didn’t pay much attention to their dreams, an impending death, whether one’s own or that of a loved one, can create a new urgency and poignancy with regards to dreams. End of life dreams can offer a healing presence, an ability to be with our fear and not be overcome by it, a release from what has weighed on us, offering support and even a helping hand across the mysterious threshold. I hold a guest membership with the Home Care and Hospice Association of Colorado.
On my Welcome page are links to two interviews with me about my hospice work, one with Rodger Kamenetz as part of the Shift Network’s Dreamwork Summit and the other with Dr. Joshua Black of Grief Dreams.
2021 publication of Dreaming into the Mystery: Explorations into the Dreams and Visions of the Dying, available in ebook and paperback, includes my experiences as a hospice volunteer, their dream specialist, and offers meaningful and helpful suggestions and guidance for all family and caregivers when invited to be in the presence of another’s dreams and visions.
“The Healing Medicine in the Dreams and Visions of the Dying” which shares some of my hospice experiences is featured in the April 2019 issue of the Journal of Palliative Medicine.
I am also a meditation practitioner of over 45 years, with training in Tibetan, Zen and Vipassana (mindfulness) practices, and have participated in retreats and training with Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh, Vipassana teacher Jack Kornfield, Tibetan teacher Pema Chödrön and many other wonderful Buddhist teachers. Since 1993 I have led and/or taught mindfulness meditation to individuals as well as private meditation groups, high school groups, senior citizens, bariatric support groups, at risk alternative high school, and spiritual groups, as well as co-leader of meditation retreats including silent retreats. I have integrated dreamwork and meditation for those who work with both. Working with dreams, my own and my clients, has deepened even further my own meditation practice. Meditation, like dreams, can help us clear our minds and open our hearts. They work together to encourage and, most importantly, provide inner support on our journery back to wholeness and healing.