Dreams do not often come to tell us what we already know. But they do come to shake loose our ego story—to tease apart the tight way in which we hold narratives about ourselves, our lives, and our predicaments.
When our habitual storylines are disrupted, our egos may react and defend what is familiar. W. H. Auden, the English poet, said it this way: “We would rather be ruined than changed, / We would rather die in our dread / Than climb the cross of the moment / And let our illusions die.”
I taught junior high school for over 30 years, so it follows that when I dream of classrooms and students, I assume that I’m the teacher. Early on, my Natural Dreamwork practitioner invited me to explore that assumption with questions like these: What if this isn’t your classroom, and you’re not the teacher? What if that is why the students aren’t listening to you? What is this teenager helping you to feel? What if you’re the student, and these young folks are the teachers?
In one classroom dream, a student tells me how she feels. I think she’s out of line and I let her know it. “I’m sure that was not what you intended,” I say. She responds, “Yes…it was.” I say, “Oh…” and walk away with my hands in my pockets. A bit later, she smiles, and I smile back.
Encountering the student’s candor dispels my sense of being in charge. I relate to her in a new way. In this dream, the teen’s honesty about her feelings is a lesson for me.
If we can practice loosening our grip on our point of view (dream ego’s point of view), something more expansive can enter our imagination (dream soul’s point of view).
Read your dream report aloud to yourself after you write it. Then read it again slowly. Pause occasionally to ask, “Is there evidence for this thought in my dream?”
A Natural Dreamwork practice can help us to see moments in our dreams from a new perspective – the perspective of Soul.
Collages by Donna Mazzola
Donna Mazzola is a certified practitioner of Natural Dreamwork. She is a passionate advocate for the potency of dreams and their ability to transform one’s waking experience. A student of Rodger Kamenetz since 2016, she began facilitating dream groups and working with individuals in 2009. Donna is a certified Interplay leader, Projective Dreamworker (Marin Institute), and member of the International Association for the Study of Dreams. She holds a Master of Education degree and Master of Arts in Wisdom Studies. Donna is available for Natural Dreamwork sessions via Skype, phone, or in-person. Contact Donna at firstname.lastname@example.org and visit her website at https://www.donnamazzola.com/.
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