When we hear the voice of someone we love, the felt sense so particular to that person, this can affect us deeply. It’s like music our heart is attuned to, which has become part of us.
We can feel this in our dreams. The experience of voice, its sound and tone and quality, is one of the ways dreams can bring us healing and open our hearts to connection.
This can feel poignant when a departed loved one comes in our dreams. One dreamer I work with, “Carla,” had the following dream about her beloved grandfather:
Something about grandpa. He was to my right and said something to me… Advice maybe? I could feel that it was truly him, his presence, his smell, his appearance.
Carla told me she almost didn’t send this dream, because her grandfather’s words were unclear to her. But as we re-entered the moment together she felt his presence in a visceral way, the love between them, the quality of his voice.
Words matter and can open worlds. When our beloveds do bring words in dreams we want to record and cherish these. But dreams also bring us the experience underneath words, the richness of sound that carries depths of feeling. We have the chance to remember what it’s like to listen and respond with our whole body.
Dream teacher Rodger Kamenetz gives the beautiful teaching that our feelings are alive and in a harmonic, with overtones and undertones, vibrations and movements:
“Like harmonics, vibrations of feelings can move quickly from one to another…. Feelings are rich notes…. The whole body becomes an instrument of feeling.”
How true this feels when we hear feeling resounding in voice and moving through us. In a dream a few years ago I’m caught in an old conditioned story of letting people down, a place of anxious thoughts. A woman comes close and speaks in my ear with a kind of healing hum that says with no words… All is well. She brings me a dress she’s knitted, soft on my skin. Feeling her voice in me as a tactile hum brought a lively healing I can still feel. We speak of being “touched” by feeling and this has an actuality as a voice of kindness reverberates in us.
Our dreams can also help us recognize voices of conditioning that can shut down our feeling. Dreams will show us the lie of these voices with truth and clarity so we can begin to turn away. The boys and girls in our dreams, who embody soul, often bring this to life for us.
In the following dream I hear a woman, a critical voice who speaks to the girl with contempt. The words are indistinct but the violence of the voice is clear in its intent to crush the girl:
A woman appears, yelling at the girl, how she’s all wrong. I feel anxious. I feel intense anger from the girl which becomes a roaring sound. Now I’m between her and a boy, roaring across an ocean in a small motorboat, feeling the engine. The girl is driving. She looks fierce in her fury. I feel scared and want to say let me off but then I’m just in it. I’m still scared but feel the freedom, excited and curious.
The girl’s roar of anger is a full-body No to this voice. She moves far away from the critic and into the freedom of ocean and sky. The dream allows me to feel this release of energy when we turn away from constricting voices, to feel what is possible. The sound of soul is a huge vitality.
What is it like to hear the welling up of your own voice in a dream, to speak from the truth of your feelings? These moments are unique to you and will often bring the unexpected.
In a recent dream a young man wakes me up from sleeping in a tender way. After a moment I sit up and feel a desire to speak, so I do. This consists of a single word: “Hi.” The sound of it startles me, wakes me up. I can see him responding as if he’s waking up too.
It would be easy to miss this moment with its one everyday word. But the Natural Dreamwork practice of slowing down moments helped me feel the depth of this sacred encounter. The word resounds in my chest. It’s the sound of feeling that wants to connect and does. One word can be enough, or just a sound.
Often in dreams I don’t voice my desires. This is true for many of us. But our dreams continue to invite and encourage us, to wake us up — and this can spill over into waking life. Allowing feeling into voice brings us alive and connects us. It’s a great freedom to step into.
If you’d like to listen more closely to your dreams and the unique healing they offer, we invite you to visit About Us to learn more about our community of practitioners. Natural Dreamwork Practitioners work with dreamers throughout the world in person, on the phone and over video-conference. We are happy to connect with you, to continue the conversation with you about your dreams.
Marian Enochs Gay is a certified Natural Dreamwork practitioner offering a contemplative approach to dreams as a path to soul. She offers individual sessions in person or via phone or Skype. Learn more about her work at dreamwellspring.com or on the About Us page.