Last week, a friend advised me to post my philosophy of dreamwork
and self-help on my website. My approach, my stand, if I can call
it that, is more a mix of techniques and encouragement, hoping to
find what works for different people and then to pass it along.
There is no real formula for health and happiness. But there are
dozens of methods to discover a path toward wholeness and one method
might be the one that points to your path.
As for teaching self-help, the term is certainly an oxymoron. If
it's self-help, what do you need me for? And if you want to take
back your life, to be who you really are and realize your dreams
in your own way, then I would be doing you a disservice if I were
to tell you how you should do it. Only you can know what you want
and need and who you are when you are most yourself and most accepting
I come to dreamwork with the belief that only the dreamer knows
the meaning of his or her dream. I provide the space to discover
the personal meaning of the dream by asking the dreamer to look
at its contents in a way that is less threatening than most ordinary
conversations about dreams. After talking about your dream with
a family member or coworker, you are likely to come away feeling
as normal as a Cyclops wearing a tutu and tiara.
In my books and at my seminars, when working with a dream, I ask
a lot of questions. I encourage you to make connections with your
waking life and to talk about the emotional truth in your dream.
My books don't offer a list of symbols and their meanings because
what a symbol means to me and what it means to you will be quite
different. You choose your dream symbols because their meanings
are attached to your personal memories and your feelings about them.
Each element in your dream is attached to the stories of your life,
past and present. My associations to your dream will tell me about
me, but not about you. Only you can do that. And occasionally, our
stories will go together -- in harmony, but still not the same.
Dreams are like poems and we each see ourselves in them. When we
look again, we can see something new. Years later, the dream and
the poem may make more sense than they did the first time we looked.
My work with dreams is practical and centered in the present. I
don't do metaphysical dreamwork. I am more inclined to ask you what
you were concerned about at the time of the dream than to talk with
about past lives, astrology, or the spirit world. If you tell me
the dream is about a past life, I'll ask you what it has to do with
you today, otherwise you wouldn't be having this dream now. I'll
ask you what you believe you are trying to tell yourself with this
dream; where is the insight? What do you need to do or change? The
dream is calling you to be true to yourself -- even when it comes as
a nightmare. Especially then.
A Vehicle for Your Journey
Not long ago, during a training seminar where I was a participant,
I was asked to play the part of a boat in someone's psychodrama,
which reminded me of my proper role in my work. I am a small boat;
nothing as extravagant as a yacht or a cruise ship. More like a
rowboat with some basic gear available at the bottom-techniques
for discovering the meaning of your night dreams and daydreams,
a way to dream your future. The gear includes basic survival equipment,
but there's room for adventure and creativity, too. As this boat,
I am not your sails or your rudder. I am not the wind or the engine.
I am not the captain. I am, perhaps, just a container, a vehicle
to help you get to where you want to be, a place to sit quietly
and listen to the water lapping at the sides until you're ready to
raise your oars to move in your own direction. There's an anchor
if you need to pause in a safe harbor. No cosmic positioning system
because everyone chooses his own cosmology.
My desire is to help you with the most basic methods for navigating
through life until you find and trust your inner compass.
Step aboard and you'll find your sea legs sooner than you expect.
Call Joan Mazza at (540) 872-2332 for more information.