Sometimes a dream breaks through your conditioned, autopilot disconnection with such simple, generous clarity and ease that you can carry it like a mantra for the rest of life. A recent dream offered me such portable wisdom.

In the dream, I am pacing around rapidly repeating, “I am here to be with you buddy I am here to be with you buddy I am here to be with you buddy…” without meaning or feeling, just a series of words. I come to stand in front of a tall, curly haired man, in ordinary clothes, who looks kind, boyish, and playful, in a Will Ferrell kind of way (the comedian who played Buddy the Elf).  He gently says, “Slow it down.” I am then holding hands with him, looking him in the eyes and slowly saying, “I am here to be with you, buddy.”  Suddenly, I feel so lovingly connected that tears flow from my eyes, and my voice quivers with surprised tenderness. The curly haired man – the healing archetype, who has arrived as an ordinary guy, a friend, my buddy – holds my hand in his, witnessing my breaking open, and responds, “Maybe this is your practicum.”

My practicum – as in the on-going, experiential learning of a student in training.  As in practice. Spiritual practice. Since this dream, I have been practicing slowing down and saying to everything: I am here to be with you, buddy.

In ordinary moments – like now as the cat interrupts my writing. I pick her up and take time to be with my feline buddy.  Or when my partner rambles on about something. I slow down, practice being with him, my best friend and buddy.  Or when I am out walking – passing maple trees, squirrels, neighbors walking their dogs, hawks in clear blue sky. I remind myself to slow down, meet each of these familiar things as buddies.

And with the sacred, too, in all its mystery and shapeshifting beyond-ness – I am starting to remember that even the infinite Beloved is accessible and real, a constant buddy.

This practice of “slowing down and being with” distills for me what Natural Dreamwork is all about. In most dreams, I am hurrying around, not being present.

Yet, many dreams offer opportunities for a deep relationship with a startlingly loving presence.

If you meet with a dreamwork practitioner every couple of weeks, within a year’s time you will have recorded hundreds of dreams and received more than two-dozen dream homework images to engage with. This coming winter, as an end-of year reflection, I encourage you to look back on your year’s journey with dreams. Find one or two of them that can be carried with you as unforgettable, portable teachings, distilled to a mantra of a few simple words.

Liza Hyatt, ATR-BC, LMHC is a certified Natural Dreamwork practitioner, board certified art therapist and licensed mental health counselor in Indianapolis. For more information about spiritual growth through dreamwork with Liza, please contact her at lizahyatt@gmail.com. You can learn more about Liza on the About Us page of our website.