How to do dreamwork with heart? I call the work I do “Heart-Centered Dreamwork” with good reason and I can teach you to do it too!
But first, the back-story! My training was in body-centered psychotherapy (though it is no longer referred to as such) called the Rubenfeld Synergy Method® back in the 90’s. (Yes I’ve been doing the work for a long time!) The work is powerfully amazing as it combines talk and touch. The “talk” grew out of Gestalt therapy and focuses on the present; the “I am” rather than “I was” statements. After all, whatever happened to us in the past, we can still only process it in the present moment. And the “touch”, a light Reiki-like touch rather than the deeper touch of massage, grew out of the founder’s experience with Feldenkrais work and the Alexander Technique. But what happened when Ilana Rubenfeld combined the three methods, with a dash of Eriksonian trance work, was true “synergy” as it became more than either of the individual methods were on their own. I learned so much from doing this work for myself and, as a “Synergist”, I learned how to open up a dialogue between my client’s emotions, their physical stuck places and chronic pain or illnesses and eventually, even their soul. That lead me to Soul Coaching® because whatever door we enter through- body, mind or emotions-they all lead to our heart and soul.
Fast forward to now. Along the path, I discovered that my passion is dreams and I followed my passion and continue to use the tools I gathered along the way. I studied with Denise Linn and added Soul Coaching® to my tool kit and became one of her Mentors for her online courses for Hay House (I highly recommend them!), but I had also been trained by Robert Moss and became a dream teacher, I satisfied my intellect and got a Master’s degree studying dreams and their role in healing in ancient Greece and I studied with Caroline Myss for the pure pleasure of delving into the Mysteries… And my tool kit continued to grow as I studied energy healing, became a Reiki Master, and learned to do Past Life Regressions! When I paused to look back over the road I had travelled, I saw that the common thread wasn’t dreams or the body, psychotherapy or one particular technique, it was the heart and soul! The path I took was a path following my curiosity but mainly, it was the path to heal my heart. I discovered that dreams were the technology of Soul- perhaps it’s the “hardware” giving us the structure or a framework for exploration- but without the heart there was no “software” to operate the system!
As a Rubenfeld Synergist I learned to listen. I learned to hold my clients in a state of active listening, without judgement and with respect, while holding the space for them to “become” themselves. I learned to meet them where they are and not where I think they should be. Years later, Denise Linn said “The instant you judge someone, you lose the ability to influence them” and I understood the “why” of no judgement. How can I model self-respect, healing and growth if I don’t give my heart to my clients show them how I practice what I teach? Can you do dreamwork without the heart? Certainly, however it is a intellectual pursuit when the heart isn’t part of the process. You might think I learned this for myself then shared it with my clients, but it was the opposite! I learned to treat my clients from a heart-centered space of love and respect, then I started to treat myself like I treat my clients. Some of us learn arse-backwards but hey, at least we learn! At the end of the day, the Golden Rule rocks! Treat others in the same way you wish to be treated…Or my version, treat yourself with the same love and respect that you freely give to everyone else!
How To Do Dreamwork With Heart
- Read through your dream and ask, “Where do I feel this in my body?” Don’t forget that we are spirit having an experience in the physical. Ignoring the vessel through which we experience our emotions and our life, is not the path of heart. Put one hand on the spot where you feel the dream’s emotions and your other hand on your heart.
- Ask the body part to speak to you. What does it want you to know? Your knee might simply say, “I hurt”.
- Now ask your heart to respond to that body part. What is the most loving response your heart can give? It might say, “I’m so very sorry! I’ve been putting so much weight (responsibility) on you without thinking how painful this is. I promise to treat you with more TLC!”
- Next, imagine your closest friend was sharing this dream and conversation with you. By the way, you ARE your closest friend! With your hand still on the place where you felt the dream and the other hand over your heart, imagine it opening wide, encircling you with love. Do you notice a colour or any other sensations? The physical and energetic experience of your visualization may help you really feel it.
- Now from that place of total self-acceptance, ask “If I knew what this dream’s message is, what would it be? You’ll be surprised how you really do know what your dream asks of you. If not, give some more love to yourself and practice patience.
- Use oracle cards to help you find the dream’s meaning. (My own deck of The Abaton Keys® or any deck you love will be perfect. Denise Linn’s Gateway Oracle Cards are my second fav!) When you feel stuck, picking a card can help you by-pass the rational mind to get to your intuitive answers.
Really, dreamwork and personal growth are an inside job. It is the job of the heart.