Dreamwork 2 flowers

2 flowers

In this dream I am drawing. That there was two seemed symbolic somehow. Did I need to acknowledge some split in my world? (I can think of many). But I could definitely acknowledge that I had been ignoring that I like to create art. Often dreams inspire in a way that's beyond words. I sketched in this dream. I started sketching more in my life. That provided most of the art for this website. It felt good to start doing art again. Something I had stopped doing. I restarted.

Dreamwork Dream collage sword

Dream collage sword

This image was inspired after working with many dreams and the images that seem to recur so often for so many people. Water, mountains, jail, cups (often not full...) animals, swords... I have been gifted 3 swords in different dreams. It felt like a priveledge each time. I realize its a powerful image and has a double edge. Getting what one wants or needs could be helped metaphorically with a sword. But it can also cut or wound and demands respect and humility.

Dreamwork Bring together the pieces

Bring together the pieces

This dream seemed sacred and profound. After dreams with shattering glass and stained glass and I saw in my outer world my perceptions were being altered and shattered. (My own shattering). This good presence came and seemed to be collecting the pieces for me and presenting them back to me. Like all the broken pieces. Breaking and remodelling are common themes in dreams. I had to acknowledge I had been broken first. This dream gave me hope.

Dreamwork Bullets turn Rainbow

Bullets turn Rainbow

I sketched this after a girl in my dream told me to BE CREATIVE! It was a compilation of dreams: I was shooting and the bullets swirled like bees into galaxy shape (recurrent war dreams), I felt like I was being shot and dying and this womans face appeared while I felt this. (Reminded me of the Valkyrie myth) And Dream where I'm drilling into my own legs (Reminds me of how hard on myself I can be.) Somehow connecting these dreams in art helps me.

Dreamwork Grey man with ripped face

Grey man with ripped face

In this dream it felt like being whipped with Cat-o-nine tails. What?!! Why was I sent this dream? It's dreams like this that capture a familiar feeling that I know with a terrifying image that make me wonder about the source of dreams, and why should I open this door? But I have found to acknowledge what is somehow living within you opens you up to truly be alive in the outer world. Somehow it was a relief to "release" this dream.

Dreamwork Mask

Mask

I have never seen this mask before that came in my dream. I have seen similar in Neil Gaiman literature. It's terrifying and dehumanizing and made me feel like I was in a war. I have had numerous recurrent war dreams. But have never been to war in my outer world. Releasing this image helped me deal with all that I don't understand in this world and that's there's a lot of terrifying things going on constantly. I think it made me more compassionate somehow. I don't really know. Still processing this...

Dreamwork 3 dudes visit

3 dudes visit

In this dream I feel small. I am cowering on a bunk bed with what feels like my sister. (Somewhat familiar from childhood with fighting in the house). These guys felt like good energy dudes and support. I love music. I thought one was Bob Seger in the dream. Often the feeling of being supported or "not alone" seems the main message of some dreams. It's one thing to say I don't feel alone. It's another thing to feel it. Dreams open feelings. This was a great dream.

Dreamwork Face Bear/Wall of Flesh

Face Bear/Wall of Flesh

In this dream I was terrified. It was just a bear and a wall of flesh that went up to the sky. Like raw steaks stacked. Blood dripping. Working with this dream... I had to acknowledge there's rawness & trauma in me. I need to be the bear with a presence in the world: have boundaries and stand my ground not worrying about what others think.. like a bear

Dreamwork In the Fire

In the Fire

In this dream I watched a man in the flames. As I felt into being him, this fire did not consume or burn him. He was just in the flames. It brought many questions, including: What does that feel like? Can I be with my own fire or passion? Fire can be transformative. I'm still learning what this means. Writing helps. There was a black and white checkered floor next to this image. The part of me that viewed the world in simple black and white was being destroyed on some level.

Dreamwork Playing in the Wrong Game

Playing in the Wrong Game

In this dream from a few years back, I score and celebrate (I play ice hockey) as I play against this demon/darkness. Then I face off again and my heart sinks. I realize..."wait... he's going to let me score!" This game is hollow. Like winning a battle but losing the war. Like the arguments in my life that are pointless. In this dream realized I'm in the wrong game... in my inner and outer life. I needed to seriously reevaluate what I was doing and why. (Reminded me of Neitzche quotes of the allure of darkness.)

Dreamwork Letting Go... To find our focus

Letting Go... To find our focus

This dream was hard to put to words. The words in the dream came to me,"Letting go to find our focus". People were hanging onto the edges and the spinning force would seem to cause them to not hang on and just let go. I tried to draw this. It seems very Buddhist, like "non-attachment" is talked about in Buddhism. Did I need to hear this? Yes. Still do. (I have many dreams with seeming Buddhist or biblical references despite not following or being raised in either tradition.)

Dreamwork Watch Bear Fall

Watch Bear Fall

In this dream I saw a white bear fall, or be pushed, off a cliff from a great distance. I didn't feel much. But the metaphor is not a happy one. My distance from it may be significant and I often take notice of distances and proximities in dreams. Am I distant from something painful like the fall of a white bear? I likely was. Many bear dreams followed this one until they were everywhere. I had little choice but to face the fear of the bear and what it represented for me.

Dreamwork Weighted to bottom

Weighted to bottom

In this dream I am given lead weights to hold while on a boat. I rapidly descend to the depths of the ocean. In my outer world, I knew there was stuff I needed to deal with... and quick. I needed a push, and my dream gave it to me. Going down in dreams is often emotional and literally brings up things that are often painful and sad but live inside of you. I needed to go deeper. I'm glad I did. Going deep is often what seems necessary.

Dreamwork Feather

Feather

This feather came as an image in a dream. Floating. Peaceful. It felt peaceful. I often ask people, "is there a reason you might need to feel this feeling in your life at this time?". Could I use more peace? It seems like always. Choosing a job that is based in am emergency room or operating room gives an idea of the life choices I have made that are not always peaceful. Still looking for more of this...

Dreamwork creature around car

creature around car

This dream had me scared of this large lizard like creature around a car. I felt much fear. I often tell people dreams may have 100 meanings and keep an open mind. I have to with this one since I'm still processing this. But I felt compelled to "release it" through a sketch and somehow it it less scary that way. I often encourage others to sketch or paint their dreams.

What Is Dreamwork?

The definitions are not "set in stone" and not everyone agrees on them.

Dreamwork is a term currently used to describe a particular way of working with dreams. It is a way of working with dreams where the facilitator will ask the dreamer questions, but not give an absolute interpretation of the dream, or dreams, in return. (The Wikipedia definition for dreamwork is reasonable at the time of writing this.) It is up to the dreamer to interpret what feels true to them based on the dialogue that occurs with themselves... or with a facilitator. Archetypal Dreamwork can be called a category of dreamwork. Many use the terms interchangeably or see it as the same thing. Natural or Experiential Dreamwork are similar terms.

What type or tradition do you practice in?

The Dreamwork practice I do and the community I belong to both seem to be evolving so it's a bit difficult to define. The dreamwork I practice is a roughly a type of dreamwork practiced by those belonging to the Association of Dreamwork Practitioners. This group itself is evolving. It roughly aligns with a specific way of working with dreams where the focus of questioning, in my opinion, tends to be towards:

  1. Feelings
  2. Relationships
  3. The space or distance between these things
  4. How a person is in relation to the world

I believe that, in general, most powerful message is often found in the feeling of a dream and is an experience-based entity. So, no matter how one tries to define it in words, it is hard to put to words. (I had a dream about this). Certainly the traditions of Jung and Freud and the spiritual books all have influence upon me.

Why what you feel is important and how dreams can help:

It has been said that without feeling, one does not have a sense of being truly alive. No matter how many dream symbols and meanings you may come up with, if you miss the feeling of the dream, you may be missing the richest part. Dreams can teach us to feel. They can help guide our intuition. They can help teach us a language around it.

The feeling in a dream often contains an "inner knowing" or memory (“gnosis" is the ancient term as I understand it). I sometimes say this is the dream as the heart understands it, (or feels it... like intuition). The "heart" may know something that the "head" doesn't know. By head knowing, terms like ego or mind are sometimes used, depending on how one defines them... but again, I find much of what I have learned defies words and labels. (Some great spiritual books talk of a "hearts knowing" language.) For example, somebody's "head knowing" may say a dream is just about sweeping the floor. And that's it. And that's not wrong. That's one of the meanings. But often there is more. If you slow the dream down and get a person to "feel" the action of sweeping the floor, they may feel sadness or resentment or joy or a number of other things depending on their past experience of sweeping, or they may not. And another part of the dream may bring something up. But a feeling often brings out a memory, and this memory brings insight into patterns and feelings a person still holds onto. Patterns that may no longer serve them. Or patterns they want to foster and expand. What seems a simple dream is often, but not always, not simple.

Working with Dream Facilitators:

I personally have often found it hard to capture my "dream feeling" alone. I have had many clients that say the same. It's great to work with your own dreams. But I find revealing dreams to another person can be far more vulnerable, and the possibility to "find the lesson in the feeling of the dream" is both more rewarding and fruitful when working with a dream facilitator. But there's no rule book.

When I first started following my own dreams I had some profound seeming symbolic dreams. When I tried to feel into them, there was no feeling. One of the questions my facilitator asked was: "Have you ever had profound things happen to you and not felt the impact of them? Or just not felt?" The unfortunate answer from me was "yes". That was a hard lesson. I don’t want to just be a zombie in the machine of life. But on many levels, I felt that’s how I had been living. (This indeed may show up as a machine in dreams, or as a zombie.) There is a Buddhist saying that roughly translates as "You can be in bliss just sweeping the floor”. Which I can take to mean that the energy we bring to an activity can be as important (or more important?) than the activity itself. I have found it hard to find this “bliss” alone. I have found some. But I’m hopeful I can find more. As a facilitator I have found that even if I do nothing other than be a supportive ear, the courage the person has to come to me and "release" the dream to me may be enough to change the way they feel. Maybe even change the way they relate to the world. Sometimes I will point out that there was an option or hope in the dream that they hadn't seen before. Just the very act of sharing can be rewarding.