I’m in a big room and leaving. A young man intercepts me saying fiercely, “You’re not leaving without feeling this.” I feel fear. He presses his fingers against my heart so hard it hurts, pressure and pain growing. I feel fear rising and try to move away and then he lets me. It’s hurting. 

The young man interrupts my leaving, with a caring so intense I feel fear. His touch to my heart awakens pain, and fear of pain, the healing medicine of the dream. How fiercely he wants me to stay with these feelings, as I try to move away. This is the deep caring found in all our dreams.

Such feelings are not easy to feel, and we may react instead. We all lose touch with feeling, through our wounds and the conditioning we learn when young and vulnerable. It helps to know that our dreams don’t cause feelings, but show us what’s already present and waiting to come to life again. The invitation is to step closer to feeling, stay a little longer.  Our feelings can then move and flow, and loosen our fixed thoughts and stories.

Feelings are felt in the body, in the here and now. Dreams return us to our bodies, to our senses and feelings, where soul comes alive. A dream moment may call attention to a place in your body that holds a depth of feeling for you, so you can listen more closely.

Often the heart is such a place for me. This sacred encounter, as hard as it was, felt tenderizing. In a more recent dream, a beloved presence presses his heart to mine, and I feel warmth flowing in. This is the unique gift of Natural Dreamwork, not in ideas about a dream, but in the actual, direct experience of your soul’s encounters.

            I’m outdoors in a crowd before a wooden platform like a stage packed with people.  A young man on the stage looks around, sees me and lights up, like there you are! He reaches his arm to me a long way and takes my hand, still smiling so brightly. I feel an intense happiness. Now we are both jostled by the crowd and lose our grasp. But he finds my hand again. I feel so happy, feel how he won’t give up.

This dream came a few nights later and connects closely. I felt this powerfully in my dream session.   Being in a crowd touches into an old place of disappearing. As the young man holds me in his gaze, reaches his long arm through the crowd to take my hand, I feel a sense of “I’m here.”  Most of all, I feel a connection to him, the warmth of happiness.

And then I lose him, lose his grasp. Loss of connection happens for all of us, perhaps many times a day. We get distracted, lose touch with feelings, may try to control and avoid them. We forget, and need reminding.

He finds my hand again. This moment stays alive, helps me feel how he will always find me. Dreams give us paths of return we can practice, a return to what we know and have forgotten. Your dreams will never give up trying to reach you.

Feeling dream images along with those in other dreams is a rich path. Our dreams speak to one another. As I move between these two encounters, I feel how they are at root the same place of vulnerability. The heart that feels fear and pain can feel love and happiness. These feelings are not separate but flow together, and move us naturally towards relationship.

Feeling our unique images in this way, we learn their language, the language of our soul. Over time, we may become fierce in our desire to live from this place.

Rodger Kamenetz gives a beautiful teaching of dream images that nourish and repair the imagination. I can feel the truth of this in my experience of these dreams, a fresh way of seeing and being. It’s a gift I cherish, and one offered to all dreamers.

Marian Enochs Gay is a certified Natural Dreamwork practitioner offering a contemplative approach to dreams as a path to soul. She is devoted to helping dreamers deepen their relationship with their dreams. Her own dream journey began in 2009 with teacher Rodger Kamenetz, and she has worked with clients since 2014. She offers individual sessions in person in the New Orleans area, and anywhere through phone or Skype.  She also gives presentations and workshops about dreams and dreamwork and edits The Natural Dreamwork Newsletter. Please visit dreamwellspring.com to learn more about her work with dreams.