What’s the purpose of dreamwork?

A while ago, I talked with someone engaged in a particular form of dreamwork. They said that the women in their group tend to express themselves as more feminine – with long hair and skirts – after doing dreamwork for a while.

I was slightly surprised. To me, dreamwork means to be more fluid and embrace more sides of ourselves. It means to explore many different sides, perhaps at different times in life. It means to be more authentic, which will change over time and can look many different ways and sometimes won’t follow stereotypical gender norms.

It’s a reminder that what we see as the purpose of dreamwork may differ between groups and people, which is – of course – good. Diversity means we can learn from each other.


What do I see as the purpose of dreamwork?

For me, it’s to get to know more and more sides of myself (who I am), become more familiar with my nature (what I am), and find more fluidity with it all.


The world is my mirror, so everything I see in the world is something I have in myself. Whatever story I have about someone or something in the wider world, I can turn to myself and find specific examples how how and when it’s true.

I can find and embrace those parts of myself and relate to them more consciously. That gives me a far more rich and fluid sense of myself, and when I find in myself what I see “out there”, it helps me relate to it in a more conscious way.


Also, the world as it appears to me happens within and as what I am.

To myself, I am fundamentally consciousness. The consciousness I am forms itself into the world as it appears to me.

Night dreams and waking life are no different in that way. So the way I relate to others and the world is how I – directly, immediately, and literally – relate to myself.


Dreams show me what’s at the edge of what I am consciously aware of. It’s an invitation to be a little more aware of something at the edge, perhaps to recognize that I know something I previously wasn’t aware of knowing.

Dreams can show me what’s happening in my energy system. They can reflect and make it into images and stories. For instance, if I have done energy work on myself (often Vortex Healing), my dreams often reflect that process the following night.

Dreams can also, in some cases, say something about the future. These dreams seem to have a quite different quality than regular night dreams. I have had five or ten of these kinds of dreams. (I dreamt I would live in Oregon several years before I, for completely different reasons, found myself living there. I dream I would live in the northern part of South America, near a very particular school, and many years later – again for completely different reasons – found myself living there and next to the school from my dream. I dreamt my cat in Wisconsin would be hit by a car and die, I kept him inside for several days, and when I let him out again, he was killed by a car that day. And so on.)


For me, this means that I find more of my inner richness. I become more aware of my inner richness which is literally as rich as the world. It doesn’t make me more of something in particular. It makes me more of everything. It helps me find and explore many more sides of myself, many of which may not conform to norms and expectations. It means to paint outside of the lines.


I have to admit that I may appear relatively conventional in my clothing. That’s because I still have quite a bit of social anxiety and find it easier to not draw too much attention to myself. If I felt freer, I would likely use a lot more colors and vary between traditional masculine and feminine clothes (including skirts), find more androgynous styles, and sometimes have fun dressing in a far more eccentric way. I don’t at all justify my conformity here since I know it largely comes from my response to my social anxiety.

Even if I am a white European male, my views often align with those more typically found among women, non-Europeans, minorities of different kinds, and even indigenous people. (Although I don’t pretend I understand their situation or worldviews very well.) Even my illness is more often found among women.

In more important aspects of life than physical appearance, I hope I am following what’s authentic for me. I moved to South America to start a permaculture food forest and regeneration project. I will get rid of the water toilet in my little house and instead install a composting toilet. I plan on growing as much of my own food as possible. And so on. This is what feels good and right to me, and what’s aligned with what I see as most important in the world today.

I am not doing this just because of dreamwork, of course, but it is supported by my general exploration of projections and my inner richness, finding my real priorities, and so on.

Image created by me and Midjourney

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