I love dreaming. I just adore my dreams and look forward to sleeping every night just so I can wake up and recall what I dreamt the night before. I love what my dreams tell me, the messages they carry and the symbolism that runs deep in each dream. I keep a dream journal on my bedside table and write down everything I can remember before my feet even hit the ground. My dreams have carried messages and told me about many events about to happen.
Dream interpretation is a hobby of mine. So naturally when I heard about lucid dreaming, I had to learn more. It just sounds cool. Leonardo DiCaprio’s latest movie, Inception, brought this subject to the mainstream.
So what is lucid dreaming?
To have a lucid dream means that you become aware within your dream that you are dreaming – you become conscious within your dream.
The word lucid means ‘mentally clear’. You’re able to think clearly & logically. If you have a lucid dream, you know who you are, you know what day it is and you know you’re dreaming. A lucid dream can almost feel more real than your waking life.
Wondering how to have a lucid dream?
- Realize you have several dreams every night. Become conscious of the fact that you dream every night, even if you don’t yet remember them.
- Put the intention out to remember your dreams before you go to sleep. Keep a dream journal and write down all of the dreams you can remember when you wake up.
- Practice becoming conscious while you’re asleep. This is the hardest part. You have to work at it. Lie on your back, arms to your sides and try to ‘catch’ yourself falling asleep. I do this when I wake up in the wee hours of the morning but need to go back to sleep. Or when I am about to have a nap.
- Lie awake and be conscious – feel yourself falling asleep. Allow yourself to go, but be as conscious of this as possible. This helps your conscious mind stay awake while dreaming.
- Stay calm once you are in a lucid dream. Don’t get scared and jerk yourself away. There’s nothing to fear in a lucid dream – you’re the one in control!
- Once you are aware you’re in a dream, try willing something into existence: your fantasy man/woman, an ice cream cone, new shoes – doesn’t matter.
- Practice, practice, practice. As with anything, we won’t get it right the first time.
Why would anyone want to have a lucid dream? Why bother?
Well, besides the obvious (you can FLY in your dream if you want to!) here are some other benefits to lucid dreaming.
- Improve your creativity: Before you go to sleep, you can set a dream intention. If you’re an artist, set the intention to create the most amazing piece of artwork you ever have. Wake up feeling inspired and ready to create that piece of work in your waking life. Your subconscious is far more creative than you can imagine – let it go wild and see what it comes up with! You can use this increased creativity for almost anything.
- Increase your confidence: If you have a fear of public speaking or are terrified to ask your boss for a raise, why not practice within a lucid dream? Lucid dreams are a playground for experimentation. You can try out any scenario imaginable.
- Face your fears head-on: Conscious dreaming allows you to face your fears in a controlled setting. You’re in control in a lucid dream. Have a fear of heights? Go up in a hot air balloon or sky-diving in your dream! Face your fears head-on in a completely safe environment controlled by no one but you.
- Practice new skills: Have you always wanted to play the drums but never had the time or money? Try it out in a dream! Wanted to go snowboarding but are afraid of falling? Go snowboarding in your dream world just to give it a shot!
- Skip the symbolism in dreams. Get to the heart of the matter by asking the subjects in your dream what it’s all about. Find out directly what your subconscious is trying to tell you within a lucid dream. Dream interpretation books aren’t necessary when you can take control within a dream and get to the bottom of ‘why’.
Want to learn more?
Check out Robert Waggoner’s book “Lucid Dreaming: Gateway to the Inner Self” Waggoner says lucid dreaming is the “gateway to the inner self”.
If you’ve had a lucid dream, share your experiences here!