I hope you’re beginning to feel how this embodied dreamwork connects to our waking life and creates the potential for deep healing and real transformation to unfold. Dreams are continuously guiding us. They are most definitely our inner compass. All we need to do is be curious and devote a couple of hours a month towards working on a dream and a bit of time in between monthly sessions to nurture this new information into your life.
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DREAM REPORT: WILD MAN
The very first dream I worked on with my beloved Ian was back in July 2015. We met at Ecstatic Dance Toronto in February of that year. He was living in Montreal and we became pen pals sharing our great love for dance and movement. Through our correspondence, he discovered that I’m a dreamworker, so innocently sent me this dream that he had the day before his birthday. Little did we know that working on this dream would send a ripple through his entire existence and contribute to dozens of more significant dreams that began to unravel important messages and set the course of his life in a whole new direction. This was a one-on-one session we did over the phone.
Tip: Pay special attention to significant dates. We may receive dreams that are of particular importance in and around these times and especially on the eve of birthdays, anniversaries and sometimes on the night before you are scheduled to meet with your dreamworker.
Wild Man. July 4th 2015
I was in a home in the country, where I grew up. In the home there was a dog owned by a friend of mine, from years ago. He had an English Bulldog, but in the dream, it was a Rottweiler. There were kids around and the dog was aggressively trying to get at a toy.
I reassured everyone that the dog was only playing and wanted the toy. It grabbed the toy with its jaws as I held it in my hand. I showed everyone how the dog wouldn’t hurt me by putting my hand in its mouth, and it loosened its grip. But the dog was very aggressive and relentless and I was afraid it may hurt a child, so I brought it to the front door and let it out.
While looking outside, I was marvelling at all of the wildlife walking in the front yard.
There were other dogs, deer, and other wild animals rambunctiously stirring. It was surreal. From up on a forested hill just in front of the house, a woman shrieked “he’s dead!” I felt my blood chill and sensed anarchy.
Then I spotted a savage man running down the hill screaming, I 4n a warlike state, looking for blood. I didn’t know if we were in the way of their enemy, or were their enemy. As he came down closer to the house, I watched closely if he was going to try to enter & then lost sight of him.
I listened to see if he would open the door and try to come in. I was chilled that the house was filled with my family, my children…and it was just me to protect them. I heard the door quietly open. I quickly ran into the kitchen. I wanted to search for the right weapon, but knew I had to grab the best knife I could find, and quick …it was a big chef’s knife. I ran into the hallway ready to turn the corner and face a crazed anarchist…I felt everything at stake and then I woke up.
Here is what Ian made of this dream
I’m not sure what the Rottweiler represents. A seemingly unwanted presence in the house? Or perhaps, something else.
The anarchy was very much like the dream I had when my father-in-law passed, being with my family and feeling the sense of dread of having to face serious battle.
Throughout much of my adult life, when I have dreams of having to face an adversary I’m never without empowerment. I’ll often have to feel out this adversary, bear with the discomfort awhile, and then choose my moment to escape or attack.
If I have family around, I’m that much more careful, deliberate, and distracted as I look out for their safety. This was a dream where I felt I was at a big disadvantage to stop the savage man and those that would likely follow. My family was in danger and I felt vulnerable to this fate.
The savage man represents a harsh uncertainty of life, which is change that is happening in my present day life. There is nothing that can be done about this uncertainty …it can’t be controlled for now.
My family is there along for the ride…once again, nothing I can do about that. Life is changing, as the house has changed hands, at least for now. I stand between the chaos (that is here for a reason) and my family and all that I can do is face it with all that I have, quickly choosing my best strategy (knife), and have faith and courage.
You can see by Ian’s attempt to make sense of this dream that in every way, he considered this “anarchist” an adversary, an enemy. There was no room in his psyche that this wild man could be anything else.
The dream ends with Ian opening the door. He never came face to face with this wild man. Because the dream ends in this very dramatic moment, we need to re-enter the dream, gather our resources and face the threatening character, in order to determine “the anarchist’s” true intentions, which is what we did. We cannot assume that the way the dreamer is responding is appropriate. We need to re-enter and investigate.
On the phone, together Ian and I re-entered the dream and froze the scene with the intention of gathering our strength. I asked Ian to approach the door and open it. He did. When face to face with the anarchist, Ian realized instantly he is not dangerous. This was a huge turning point because it was immediately obvious to Ian that this man was not there to hurt him or anyone else in the house. To his surprise, the anarchist was still and gentle. His energy was attractive to Ian. I asked Ian to ask the anarchist “what he wants?” The answer came quickly. He came for Ian. Chills & tears came immediately. He was there because he wanted to join Ian.
“This was a powerful realization. Like finding that I belong to another tribe.
It validated the yearning I always had for something outside the life I was living.
My primal Self, trying to make its way to the surface of my life.
The date of that dream marks the point where the fabric of my entire life began to tear open … for me to step through. Everything has changed from that moment forward. Absolutely everything!”
This demonstrates the power of the surprise that awaits us in doing the dreamwork. Many dreamers feel that just having the dream is enough. It is clearly not enough. The dream is here to illuminate what lives in the unseen realms of existence that we cannot see with our waking consciousness. The dream is here to guide us into creative action. It is not a passive activity.
Later I discovered that Ian’s primal male energy was not welcome in his family of origin, his own family and home life. It was always too much. He therefore hid it and it only grew in intensity. He learned to bring the energy out of the house and that energy magnified as represented by the wild animals that were very graphic in the dream … larger than life. Believing that the wild man was dangerous was a result of the fracture created from not having integrated his own wild energy in his family/home life since childhood and eventually rejecting it himself. When we repress, despise, reject or ignore parts of ourselves, the urgency of these parts to reunite with us becomes more intense. The truth is that a vibrant part of Ian was desperately trying to reunite with him and get his attention! So … the wild man, the vibrant part of him that was suffering in isolation emerged in full force charging at the family home. Because Ian was not in alliance with it, in the generational family home, the dream clearly depicted that Ian was ready to go against himself and give up his life to defend against what had become fractured in him.
The Heart of the Matter
“The result in my life since this dream is that I have given up all of what has not accepted the whole of who I am and my value. I ended a marriage with a woman and a family life that kept me compromised and hidden. I pursued love with a woman who holds and loves all parts of who I am, who we are and this evolutionary human ride …someone who lives on the sharp edge of life’s meaningful frontiers. I gave up all meaningless, soulless work and the pursuit of money for only money’s sake.
I pursued this new life in another city from my family and put my life force into showing up as who I am with nothing added …and making it work. I have been becoming more and more conscious of and disentangling myself from generational patterns and fields and redefining who I am by pursuing and living in accordance with what is most meaningful to me.
I have been making work of what my heart holds as truest for me. This has all been allowing me to see through the unspoken and unconscious contracts I lived by previously and to which so, so many others still do. None of this has been easy. It has been a magnificent personal journey of discovering my true rite of passage. A massive awakening.” Ian
The Wild Man showed up physically 2.5 years ago when, in trying to create a lion costume on Halloween, Ian stared in the mirror to find the wild man staring back at him. He was inspired to embody and dance his wild man for our halloween ecstatic dance that year (image attached). This is one beautiful example of the many creative ways we can integrate the message of the dream into our life. Even though it was almost 5 years ago, the dreamwork we did continues to be of great significance and a continued source of energy for Ian. We reference the wild man even to this day.
Ian’s dream is a classic Shadow Motif depicting a true potential part that is fiercely trying to reunite with him. Not to be confused with a harmful threatening character, this part has always been a part of him and the reason it has been cast in a negative role has likely to do with contamination from childhood.
In order to grow and realize our potential, we must eventually encounter these parts and welcome them back home. Because our dreams have our best interest at heart and are always guiding us in that direction, these types of dreams will persist, until we do.
Feeding the Mind
“A little book on the human shadow” by Robert Bly for those who want to learn more about this almost unavoidable dynamic where parts of us get pushed into the shadows. This book describes how the socialization process contributes to the repression of true parts of self.
DREAM REPORT: ‘Never-Enough-Feeling’ with Mom
This is such an interesting dream carrying a very important message. Because the dream is short and mundane, many would overlook it. If I didn’t know better I’d be thinking “I’ve been speaking with my mother on the phone nearly every day for years, and now I’m dreaming about it at night! What’s so special about this dream?” Those of you who know me, will have heard me say that every dream is a gem so don’t be fooled by what it looks like on the outside. Let’s dive in and see what happened with this one.
‘Never-Enough-Feeling’ with Mom January 17, 2020
I called my mom on the phone but was distracted and not connected with her. At some point I say I have to go and she makes me feel guilty for wanting to leave the conversation.
What I made of it …
I woke up from this dream feeling annoyed and resentful. I was triggered about the fact that no matter what I do for my mother, it’s just never enough! We speak almost every day but that’s not enough for her and this dream clearly put that in my face to look at. I have invested so much energy and time into this relationship but it seems like it’s just never enough. I felt defeated by this feeling and deeply irritated with this dream, especially since it came just as Ian and I arrived in Guatemala. I felt my space was being invaded by something I did not want to deal with now. I was presenting my embodied dreamwork at an ecstatic dance festival in San Marcos and it was a time of expansion for me, not a time of feeling limited by old stories.
“It’s never enough” is something I have been feeling with my mother yet I wasn’t sure when it started. It was one of those times I rolled my eyes at this dream thinking ‘really?!?’ And … if I were not a dreamworker I would have written this one off faster than you can blink. I was seriously annoyed and triggered. My long history with dreams and the way they have come through for me time and time and time again stands out even in moments like this. As triggered as I was, ultimately, I trust and know from experience, this dream is here for my good and a good reason. So even though I felt huge inner resistance, I went ahead and worked on this dream as I do with all the dreams that I remember.
I led myself through my process with Ian as my witness. I re-entered the dream and allowed myself to amplify through movement and breath the disconnection I was feeling in the dream. She is speaking to me with a lot of presence and love and I’m vacant and distracted. It’s interesting that from this embodied vantage point the experience began to change almost instantly. My triggered emotions started to settle as I began to feel the way I have not been present for my mother in conversations with her. I allowed myself to feel the pain of that. Tears started rolling down my eyes as I could feel how much my presence means to her and how distracted I have been. When we do carve out space for each other, I’m not present. I carry the weight and guilt of not having our needs met all the time and it’s exhausting! My mom is simply calling me out on this dynamic in the dream.
The Heart of the Matter
The simple truth was revealed. I developed some bad habit of double-tasking while on the phone with my mother. I would look through my emails and do other work-related things at the same time. She was repeating the same stories that I’ve heard so many times before and I started tuning out during our phone calls. The truth is that I don’t know what came first, her repeating herself or my non-presence. This dynamic slowly crept up and became a bad habit on my end and she started to sound like a broken record.
It’s clear what the dream is asking for and I responded to the call to action. I made a conscious choice to give her my undivided attention and fully drop in and connect with my mother. It was hard in the beginning because I didn’t realize how strongly rooted this behaviour really was. I noticed the impulse to be productive, but I resisted it in favour of presence and connection.
A cascade of gifts came from making this shift. I started to feel I was part of the conversation, meaning that she wasn’t talking at me and repeating herself, instead we were both contributing to the evolving dialogue. The feelings of ‘never enough’ melted away and were replaced with a deep sense of satisfaction and joy. I felt seen and heard. I felt liberated of the weight our conversations seemed to carry. I realized how much I need the very same connection she was calling out in me. Looking back, I see how I was projecting the problem onto my mother whereas I had the key to shift this dynamic the whole time. But we’re not aware until we are aware. This is where dreams play a tremendously important role … in holding up the mirror so we can see ourselves.
Most of us know the behaviours that don’t feel good and aren’t serving us but just have not found a way to actually cause a shift. Our dreams are deeply wired into our psyche. That is the reason, embodied dreamwork has an amazing way of facilitating change.
Six months later, I have been on the receiving of a whole lot of love from my mother and my heart is radiating the same back to her. Our conversations are no longer something I partially dread and do out of duty. I am uplifted and inspired each and every time we get on that call. Surprisingly, I am now the one who calls my mother far more than she calls me. I acknowledge that I need this love and connection. As oppose to being non-present and continuously feeling bad about it while at the same time, projecting it all onto her as the source of the problem between us, I now consciously nourish our authentic connection and fully drop into the designated time we have together. I am in a consistent stream of love with my mother and it feels remarkable.
DREAM REPORT: SNOW AND PUCK
Lisa is a 49 year old woman who was sexually molested by her mother’s boyfriend at age 11 and has been single most of her life. In and around the Snow & Puck Dream, she was reading many “attract health, wealth and happiness” types of books and videos. She also rarely remembers her dreams.
Snow & Puck Feb, 19, 2019
There’s a snowbank. I was uncovering all kinds of things about myself. There was an old car there. I was listening to this recording but I could also physically see my phone. At one point I was shovelling the snow and uncovering all of these things.
There were these things that were black… they looked like hockey pucks but they had a chevron shape on top. As I was discovering these things they would appear and then they would dismantle themselves. I could see that out of the corner of my eye. It was like bugs that were programed to be there.
But when I went back to the snow, it was back to being a clear straight line (it looked like it did before I shovelled). I knew I was onto something!
And then I could see my phone on top of my speaker. Someone was with me. It may have been a spiritual guide or Daniel Scranton (a channeler). But then I found this other phone which was a bit smaller.
I then saw a big TV screen that opened up. When I looked at it, it was scary. I think it was Daniel Scranton’s face. At first, I was scared but then I said to myself “don’t be scared, this is showing me something.” I saw people being strapped to moving objects. They were moving quickly through time and space but they were not aware of it. They were not feeling the feeling. There is an old person… an old woman who is being strapped to a bed but she did not realize it. She was moving quickly through time.
Here is what Lisa made of this dream …
I can’t expect to just listen and watch videos and audio hypnosis sessions and think it’s gonna change things. I was not actually feeling the feelings. At first, I was scared in the dream but then I thought… don’t be scared… this is showing me something important.
The message was “you have to feel the feeling” … you can’t just strap yourself to the experience of listening to a recording thinking that it’s going to change things. These people that I saw… they were being strapped down and they did not realize it.
In our one-on-one session, we went back into the dream together to uncover the snow and see what was there. We saw the old car and to our surprise we discovered a woman inside! It was clear she was buried deep in the snow and Lisa was wondering how to reach her.
TIP: When we feel under resourced, we can always ask for help. It is something we very often forget to do and therefore can remain stuck in the dreamwork and in life. I asked her to consider who she wants to call into this dream scene to join us.
Lisa recruited some friends and her angel guides to help shovel the snow and pucks out of the way in order to uncover this car. Now she had a clear view of the woman sitting in the driver’s seat. She noticed the woman was very clearly sad, overweight, unhappy and not very responsive.
“Do you want to reach out to her?” I asked. Lisa confirmed, so we continued this exploration. She noticed the car window was open and with some encouragement invited the woman to join us outside. They now stood in front of each other for the first time. Lisa looked into her sad eyes. From this place, she recognized an old version of herself. Looking at her face, she saw the wounded child who had no confidence growing up all these years programmed to believe she was unworthy, unlovable, not good enough and not enough in many ways.
Lisa began to feel some compassion for this woman and hugged her. A conversation started to unfold between them. Lisa reassured the woman “we have help and things are changing.” She asked her if she was open to change? The woman responded, “it will take time but yes, I am open to change”.
The Heart of the Matter
“This dream offered me a way to work with a part of me that was so vulnerable and deeply buried and literally out of reach. It created room for change. It gave a voice to my willingness. With my freewill I was able to make changes in my life.
I realized that I had been attached to erroneous self-beliefs for a very long time that were no longer serving me. I had not dated anyone for a long time. In the fall of 2019, I started dating. I dated 3 nice men – one of them for a few months. It was scary but, in the end, it was a good experience.” Lisa
Traumatic life events can sever parts of us and send them underground. These parts will often emerge later when we have enough strength to see, heal and properly integrate them back into wholeness. What’s remarkable is that our dreams will be delivering these messages to us, only when we are ready, not before.
Notice the dream did not serve the message on a platter for us. Dreams generally don’t. We had to go down the rabbit hole looking for the gold. Even though it took some clever work to reach this woman, you probably felt the readiness of the dreamer. Lisa was clearly ready to reunite with this wounded buried part of herself.
This is a great example of a dreamer who has been on a long journey of healing from childhood sexual trauma. This dream came to her now because she is capable of healing and integrating these wounded parts. Great dreamwork Lisa!