Archive for the ‘dreams’ category

Meeting Each Other in Soul – for Mary Jo Heyen

September 4, 2022

Here is a piece I wrote to honor Mary Jo Heyen, a Natural Dreamwork practitioner, who passed away this summer. Learning about myself through bi-weekly dreamwork sessions with her was lifechanging. I wrote this piece to help put into words the kind of relationship that grows between dreamer and their dedicated spiritual companion and dream-guide. The link below takes you to the Natural Dreamwork website and blog, where you can read my writing and many other interesting pieces by other members of the Natural Dreamwork group.

Dreams Never Abandon Us in Our Grief – Interview with Mary Jo Heyen

June 6, 2022

I am sharing a link to a podcast interviewing Mary Jo Heyen, the wise woman with whom I engaged in dreamwork for the past 4+ years. The healing of personal trauma and deepening of spiritual life given by a long-term relationship to dreams with the help of a trained dream practitioner is profound. Mary Jo passed away yesterday, June 5. I met with her every two weeks by Skype. I never met her in person. But she met me in soul in every one of our encounters. I hope her interview inspires you to begin or deepen your own journey with dreams. Please consider my July workshops, described in my post right before this as a way to help your dream life flourish.

Natural Dreamwork Events Summer 2022

May 14, 2022

Some members of the Natural Dreamwork team of practitioners are offering workshops and groups this summer. These offerings provide both in-person and online opportunities to learn about the Natural Dreamwork approach to healing through the sacred encounters in our dreams. Here is a link to the events page of their website:

Included in these events some online workshops that I am offering, including an Introduction to Natural Dreamwork, and Introduction to Expressive Arts and Dreamwork, and a Dream Sharing group for those who want to explore their dreams collaboratively. You can find information about these programs through the above link, through the Upcoming Programs page of this blog, or below:

Introduction to Natural Dreamwork:

July 13, 2022

7-9pm ET by Zoom

Learn how exploring your dreams with commitment and companionship can help you find healing, increased vitality and self-compassion.  Through this introduction to Natural Dreamwork, participants will explore how to approach dreamwork as spiritual practice. Examples of Natural Dreamwork approaches to specific dreams will be provided to illustrate the basic concepts within Natural Dreamwork. Participants are also invited to share a recent dream and engage with it through the Natural Dreamwork process.

2 CEUs are available for art therapists, mental health counselors, and social workers.

Fee: $60, or $90 if you sign up for both this workshop and the Expressive Arts workshop below

To register, contact Liza at

Natural Dreamwork and Expressive Arts:

July 20, 2022

7-9pm ET by Zoom

For those already engaged in Natural Dreamwork, or who complete the Introduction to Natural Dreamwork course above and want to dive deeper by learning how to connect expressive arts practices to enhance the dreamwork experience. This workshop will explore how to use the Expressive Therapy Continuum model to more deeply engage with the healing medicine in the images of dreams.

2 CEus are available for art therapists, mental health counselors, and social workers.

Fee: $60, or $90 (for both Intro to ND and this workshop)

to register, contact Liza at

Natural Dreamwork Dream Sharing Group:

6 months on the 2nd Wednesday every month for 6 months

August 10, September 14, October 12, November 9, December 14, January 11

7-9 pm ET by Zoom

Explore your dreams with other dreamers in this monthly gathering facilitated by Natural Dreamwork practitioner Liza Hyatt. For those new to Natural Dreamwork, completing the Introduction to Natural Dreamwork workshop on July 13 is recommended.

Fee: $25 per session, or pay in full for all 6 for $120

to register, contact Liza at

Becoming an Earth Monk

April 30, 2022
Earth Monk watercolor by Liza Hyatt

I haven’t been active on the is blog for several months because I have been writing chapters of a book whose working title is The Dark Night of the Earth and the Earth Monk’s Vigil. I am now ready to share here what my writing and research are enlivening for me.

Like many people, over the course of the past few years, I have felt growing despair for what is happening on our Earth and to our Earth. I feel a deep need to be with others who feel the same despair – and the hope that humanity can mature through the dark times ahead and learn to live more compassionately with each other and with reverence and caring for our local ecosystems and the planet as a whole.

Here is an excerpt from the introduction to The Dark Night of the Earth and the Earth Monk’s Vigil:

  As a young woman, I hoped that our collective transition away from the Earth-destroying culture we currently inhabit and participate in, toward new, sustainable, more just and compassionate systems, would be completed in my lifetime, with a relatively brief and collectively chosen period of transformation. Now, I grieve for how we are only just entering what must be an extremely complex, dark, painful, disordering, chaotic, conflict-filled, multi-generational liminal expanse, from which a radically altered, profoundly humbled human culture might emerge –  into a very different kind of rebirth than the world-conquering Renaissance of the past – if we don’t render Earth uninhabitable along the way.  

     Now, as a woman entering my crone stage of life, I am starting to see that I will live my elder decades as a participant within a time of global descent into disorder and confusion, revealing that what we have lived through in recent years has been merely the beginning ripples, the early distant rumblings of the much larger storm of change, struggle and painful psychological and spiritual initiation necessary to make us surrender our old familiar ego-centric cultural systems. The transformation that we must undergo will be humiliating in the truest, root sense of the word – a process in which we are brought low, back down into the earth, into the humus nature of being human, a return of Adam to adama –  the clay, the earth to which we belong and must be real stewards of.  Initiation, the soul’s process of ripening us, is humiliation of the ego, rendering us more in service of community and of the needs of soul. Only through such an initiation will humanity learn again to live in relationship with earth and each other. I do not expect this human-humus initiation to be completed in my daughter or granddaughter’s lifetime. Perhaps my great-grandchildren, and even more fully, my great-great grandchildren will be born in a truly Earth-stewarding culture.

     At the same time as I’ve been stripped of my younger naïveté, which hoped for an easier transition and an easier era in which to live the second half of my life, my soul life and spiritual love has grown and deepened. This is a love that encompasses the whole Earth, humanity, and the sacred web of interconnected relationships within which we are woven. The spiritual formation through which this love has expanded gives me strength, courage, groundedness, and personal commitment to living as one engaged within present and future suffering, complex and scary as it will be. I want to be as present as I can, in deep relationships with people around me, witnessing and staying awake, keeping vigil throughout what is to come – the collective dark night of both the human soul and the planet itself. 

     The state of being in vigil is a state of being liminal. Of opening to silence, unknowing and darkness. Of suffering and lamenting and witnessing the pain within our depths. Of meeting our own demons, which we created in fruitless effort to be in control. Of surrendering to waiting in prayer dark for dawn.  

      More than anything, the Earth needs us to enter this state of vigil. To stop doing what we have been doing, to surrender our being in control, to face the demonic mess we have made of things, to meet the trauma we have inflicted and carry within us. To grieve, soften, and acknowledge the collective pain in which we live. And to wait, learning to listen to nature itself for what will heal us, and for the real work that is needed of us.

     To grow capable of such vigil, we need to learn to be more patient within the liminal. We must be willing to become monks – Earth Monks born from the spiritual and communal needs of our era, committed to living in service of healing the collective trauma of humanity and our planet. 

I hope this post finds its way to many others who are also called to become Earth Monks. In the coming year, I will continue to post excerpts from my book project, including suggestions of practices to help us unlearn the conditioned behaviors of Western society and its colonizing and consumerism. One of the key wounds to our soul-life in this society is the impairment of imagination, without which we cannot experience the world as alive and sacred. Therefore many of my upcoming posts will be about ways to heal our relationship with the imagination, first through the primary imagination that we encounter in our dreams, and later through the secondary imagination found in contemplative art making practices.

Tending Dreams through Art Making

February 10, 2021

Here is a link to an article I wrote for the Natural Dreamwork blog and newsletter. Much healing can come from exploring our dreams and the images saturated with emotions which they bring us nightly. 

Tending Dreams through Art Making: Part Two, Perceptual and Affective Pathways


Mini Red Books – An Amazing Dream-Tending Art Process

March 13, 2016

Three Mini Red Books

Three Mini Red Books by Liza

I dream of two Irish passports that are filled with poems, drawings, photos, inspiring quotes, maps, and myths. And so in my art therapy studio, I collage together little passports. My journey through old magazines, recycled paper, and tattered maps leads to one synchronistic discovery after another: standing stones, ancient burial mounds, maps for places I was lost and found my way in, poems for places that loved me, messages for where I am going. I am surprised by how creatively renewed I feel and decide to make passports exploring other dreams.

Next I have a dream in which I am standing at the intersection of two dirt roads. A man from Columbia, dressed in indigenous hat and tunic, is standing in this intersection, holding a 4-necked guitar. He says he is the guardian of the crossroads between life and death, to which I have been walking since my mother’s death, aching to know what has become of her, what will become of me. The crossroad guardian will not let me continue on. “You are not yet ready to visit the land of the dead,” he cautions.

I make a dream passport for the crossroad guardian, drawing him and his unreal guitar. I google “crossroad guardian myths” and find Hermes and his lyre, and Papa Legba from Haitian Vodou. I open a National Geographic by chance to an article about the Kogi people of Columbia who see themselves as the guardians of the Earth. There is a photo of a Kogi man dressed in the very garb my dream figure wore, and carrying around his neck a lyre-shaped medicine pouch. The audiobook I am listening to on my drive to the studio talks about St. Columba, 6th century Celtic missionary. I fill my dream passport with images of Celtic crosses, crossroad mandalas, lyres, myths, and a handwritten request for guidance through mid-life’s letting go, and for the muse’s gift of duendé for my art and poetry. I give the little book a red cover, and realize I have made a small version of Carl Jung’s Red Book, his magnum opus of active imagination and dream-tending.


God is in the Wound Book

Inside pages of “God is in the Wound” Book

Then I have an image-less dream offering only these words: The wound is already there before the injury. The healing is there before the wound. The healing creates the wound, which desires the injury, so that we can learn to participate with the healing. I wake up feeling C. G. Jung is speaking to me, joining the dream-book conversation. Googling “Jung wound quote” confirms this hunch by leading me to a simple statement from Jung: “God enters through the wound.” I make a little red book illustrating the dream message with oil pastel resist watercolor on black paper, each page a dark blooming.

Then I dream of a hermaphrodite who is doing yoga. My internet searches to learn about the hermaphrodite in myth, spirituality, Jungian psychology lead to Shakti and Shiva, Hermes and Aphrodite, the sacred marriage of the masculine and feminine in early Christianity, the Buddhist bodhisattva archetypal figures of compassion that are both male and female like Avalokitesvara with 1,000 arms. I fill my book with stories of this sacred marriage, images of lingam and yoni, phallus and vagina.

And now, after a dream in which a bear comes asking for therapy, I have spent the winter in creative hibernation making a bear dream passport, painting images of the Great Bear Mother, god-symbol since the age of Neanderthals, who has come to ask we give therapy to raped and pillaged wild Earth.


Inside pages of Great Mother Bear Book

Inside pages of Great Mother Bear book

The energy that comes as I make each “Red Book” Dream Passport is potent and enlivening. I feel connected to my personal unconscious, and the collective unconscious of humanity, nature, and world soul. I am in awe. Things I do not know are known by my dreams. The creative process leads me to this collective knowing with surprising grace, serendipity, and generosity. Images and stories come from the collage box and the Internet in response to each dream without me sweating, struggling, or feeling alone. It is as if everything is one organic mind and making these little books enters me into dialogue with Self. What began for me as a simple collage process has become a recurring confirmation that the territory of the soul is both infinite and somehow accessible, at every point, by imagination.


How to Make Your Own Dream Passport “Red” Book


  1. Pay attention to your dreams and practice remembering them. Keeping a notebook at your bedside and writing your dreams down each morning will help deepen your connection to them.
  1. Choose a dream that is vivid, mysterious, challenging, or inviting, perhaps one with an animal, a place that seems unfamiliar of symbolic, or a specific message. Write this dream into a creative narrative or poem, typed so that you can include it within your book.
  1. Use the Internet to explore the mythic, spiritual, and collective layers of the dream. For example, if you have a dream about a turtle, search “turtle mythology” to see the multicultural stories associated with this animal.
  1. Print text and images from Internet searches that reveal interesting details.
  1. Using these print-outs, and a variety of other collage and art materials, fill the pages of a blank book (pre-made, or hand-made if you prefer) with creative responses, text, and stories that help amplify the expanding territory into which your dream-tending takes you.
  1. Take your time. This journey with your dream may provide you weeks, or even months of exploration.
  1. If you find this process as awe invoking as I do, looking through Jung’s Red Book will also inspire you. Your public library and/or art therapists in your area will have a copy.