We offer this from our beloved friend and colleague Mary Jo Heyen…
This is the season of giving…the gifts of our hearts, our selves, our presents and our presence. For our dreams there is no special season. Each and every night they come bearing gifts selected precisely for each of us.
In The History of Last Night’s Dream, Natural Dreamwork founder Rodger Kamenetz shares what are the three gifts of the dream.
Summarized here in my own words…
The first gift of the dream…
is to show ways we have distanced ourselves from our true essence…from soul.
What is it we are doing in our lives that is out of alignment with our true self? Our dreams may show us being reactive, judgmental, lying, hypocritical and that can be quite startling. We aren’t always consciously aware of being like this and we don’t like seeing it in a dream. So we can ask ourselves, how are we this way in our outer life? Some of these ways we may be aware of and others may be hidden in a blind spot, that is ways we think are working for us, and the world may love, but leave us feeling empty, a sense that something is off in our lives. So, perhaps the dreams will show us caretaking others, all at the expense and loss of our own needs and desires. There is nothing selfish in honoring the needs and desires of our souls. It models for others that each of us matter, including ourselves. We can ask ourselves, are we living a life of passion and desire, living from our fullness, and from that place being with others, or are we living from our emptiness, making it all about others…leaving nothing, having nothing of and for ourselves? Who would we rather be in relationship with…someone who is filled with their truth and with us from that place…or someone who is running on empty, somehow believing that is what life is?
The second gift of the dream…
is to teach us about who we truly are.
There is a well known Zen koan, “What is your original face?” Underneath who we believe ourselves to be, our persona, our ego, is our true self, our eternal self.
Years ago, when I was teaching high school I used to facilitate student retreats. One of the partnered activities was to ask, “Who Are You?” The initial answers came back as expected, “I am so and so…I’m a senior in high school…I’m a soccer player.” The question was asked again, “Who Are You?” This went on for quite a while…each time it took longer to answer as the students dove more deeply beneath the surface to the core of who each was…there were even tears as tender unknown qualities and desires were touched into and revealed.
This question, in varying forms, is the question our dreams ask of us each night…
”Who are you in your soul self?”
When we are shown a part that is not nourishing our souls, we can hear the question,
“Is this who you truly are?”…and we have the choice to explore and change.
“Do you know that you are so much more than who you think you are?”
“Do you know that who truly you are is treasured, loved and supported?”
Our dreams ask us these questions because they want to bring us home to who we truly are…to re-connect us to our capacity to love and to receive love, to feel our excitement and passion, our joy, even our sadness and pain…the capacity to feel it all…this is who we truly are.
The third gift of the dream…
the soul needs to be in relationship…
We, like the wolves, are pack animals. We are beings who, in order to thrive, need to be in relationship…all kinds of relationship…as friends, lovers, siblings, parents, children… intimate relationship…with ourselves…with others…and with the divine. This is reflected in our animal nature…but it’s more…this is the nature of soul…to love and to be loved and that is found only in the mutuality of relationship.
Our dreams reveal to us the state of those relationships…how we are or are not in alignment with our own soul, the inner and outer, to each and every relationship in our lives.
Our dreams, through images and feelings answer the question…Are we in a satisfying and fulfilling relationship with one another or is there a disconnect, a way we are not being nourished or nourishing for others?
Do we somehow believe that we don’t fit in anywhere, that we don’t belong, that we’re misfits and that we are better off alone?
Do we live from the misunderstanding that relationship is a one way street, where we must give of ourselves tirelessly and want or need nothing in return?
The three gifts of our dreams…the invitations to re-connect to soul, to our true self and to all our relationships…arrive each night with the steady hope that we can find our way to receive them.
Here at Natural Dreamwork we invite you to invite us to step into your dreams with you, explore together what it is that wants to be healed and take birth in you…who it is that wants to be in relationship with you.
We work with clients throughout the country and abroad in person, phone or Skype. Click on the About Us page to get in touch with one of us and begin this sacred, soulful conversation with your dreams.
Mary Jo Heyen, M.Ed., was an author, founding member and certified practitioner of Natural Dreamwork until her death in 2022. She had a diverse private practice working with dream clients of all ages and backgrounds. Her practice included her volunteer work with the dreams and visions of those in hospice, their families and grief groups, honoring the gift of their dreams at this most important threshold. Her experiences in this area have been published in The Journal of Palliative Medicine and the 2021 release of her book, Dreaming into the Mystery: Explorations into Being with the Dreams and Visions of the Dying. Mary Jo was a featured teacher as part of the Shift Network’s Dreamwork Summit. Her work with dreams has been published in Dream Time, a publication of the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD) and she was also a Regional Representative of the IASD.