One of the tools that I use to access my unconscious and some of the stuff that goes on in there to create sustainable, deep transformation, is Dreamwork.
I somehow always loved dreams, and found them very powerful, but I didn’t have any particular experiences with anyone in my family or anyone who knew about dreamwork until I was in my early 20s and I found out that the Sufi group I hung out with saw dreams as sacred and they would always have the members share their individual dreams with the Sheija (leader) to interpret for the collective. This fascinated me, and later on, when I was living in the women’s community of Shakti Rising, I participated in one woman doing her doctoral dissertation on Stephen Aizenstat’s “DreamTending” on US. I was in her 8-week workshop, and fell in love. I felt like THIS was my language! It felt like home. It made such sense now that as a teenager, when I was 17, I would have asked my dad, “When one does not have a language out of either being a baby or simply having lost memory or something, how does one dream?” He answered, “In symbols.” I was fascinated by this, and went on to Columbia University to study anthropology.
At the time of the DreamTending workshop, however, I did not feel like I could pursue a path in this, as I felt Pacifica Graduate Institute, which Aizenstat founded, was just too expensive and I couldn’t. Later, when I found myself pregnant, and wanting to inspire my son to live his DREAMS , I went. Over the course of 2.5 years, I went up once a month and spent a dreamy weekend in retreat with a cohort, exploring depth psychology, dreamwork, counseling, family counseling (understanding our own patterns), eating, dreaming, living, working, in this beautiful campus up in the Montecito hills of Santa Barbara. It and of itself was a true dream come true.
Now, more than ever, I firmly believe Jung and his followers were on to something when they saw that, as Marie Louise von Franz said, healers do not or SHOULD not tell others WHAT to do, as they are often tempted to; that is the loveliness of dreamwork—it is the unconscious of the dreamer itself—the dreamer telling ITSELF—what it needs, what is going on! The dreamworker or analyst (therapist, counselor, healer, mentor, guide, etc) is only there, as an experienced hand, to help interpret the language of the symbols.
What is your relationship like with your dream world? Do you dream while sleeping? How about while waking? Do you write your dreams down? Have you ever painted, drawn, or done something with a dream?
I am curious to hear.
For those of you who find this theme fascinating, be sure to let me know or comment below, so I can let you know, as I will be announcing something really fun about this very shortly!!