Our waking thoughts could be described as cars on a road network where there are clear and defined routes to take. From multilane highways to back country roads. A decision being marked by a turn off, a tee intersection or indeed a roundabout! Our brain and our thoughts don’t stop when we sleep. Sleep takes these defined road networks away. This means our thoughts turn into out of control all terrain 4x4’s that travel wherever they like. This is why you can be sunbathing on the French Riviera in one instance and the next be arriving at Primary School in your pyjamas!
No one has been able to definitively describe exactly what dreams are or why they occur. It could be as simple as our thoughts running unchecked or our minds unwinding. Our subconscious having a try at consciousness or just random neurons firing. Some say it is a gateway to the subconscious. That it opens doorways to other realms, a portal for communication from the other side, a place where the divine can connect with us and then there are those, like me, that believe it is a mix of all of the above and that different levels of dreaming are attained at different stages of the sleep cycle. From the twilight between wake and sleep through to deep REM and back.
One thing for certain is that in today’s society, we neglect the importance of dreaming. We hear time and time again of the importance of sleep. Of course, this is true. We need sleep to regenerate and to be able to function within the next lot of waking hours however, what happens when we sleep is just as important. Blacking out and shutting down for what is on average, one third of our lives is not all that occurs. We are transported to another world and if we can grasp it, it becomes a world of endless possibilities.
This is a world where the fantastic is normal, where we can explore our innermost joys and challenge our deepest fears. We can visit other realms, speak to those that dwell there, we can receive messages from the divine, guidance from loved ones passed or become a mighty eagle or a winged dragon and take flight to see as we never have before.
Is any of this real or is it just our minds making it up? Are we exploring another plane of existence, another dimension in the Universe or is our mind a whole Universe of its own? The definition of what is real can only be defined by each individual and the interpretation of their experience.
Whether you believe it real or not, one thing is certain and that is that our bodies believe it. Dreaming can charge our emotions just as if we are in the waking world and one sure way of enjoying your dreams is to realise that you are dreaming. I experience two levels of lucid dreaming. One where I know I am dreaming but am only along for the ride and the other where I take control of the dream. Sometimes I only have limited control and others, the really fun ones, are when I have full control. All levels of dreaming should be appreciated, explored and understood as best we can but lucid dreaming should be a goal we all strive for.
So many have spoken to me seeking advice claiming that they do not dream. If you are one of these people that think they don’t dream, don’t worry - You do dream! It’s just that you don’t recall the dream. Your brain has either forgotten or never learned how to recall. There is a quite simple method to improve your dreaming experience whether you have no recollection, have a limited recall or even for those that are well versed in playing in this ‘other world.
Keep a pen and paper by your bedside!
Do you wake to an alarm? If you do, make sure it’s gentle, not a noisy one that shocks you awake and if you wake by yourself, even better.
When you wake, stay still for a moment or two, take the time to reflect on either how you feel (for non-dreamers) or what you have just experienced in your dreams.
With as little movement as possible, write a word that describes how you feel, (tired, alert, normal, relaxed etc.), a few key words that tell the basics of your dream or the whole story if you can.
Throughout your morning routine, throughout the day and most importantly before going to sleep the next night, re-read what you have written and try to remember, then, before nodding off, tell yourself that you will remember more this time. Repeat daily if possible.
This is only the basic first steps to the wonderful experience of lucid dreaming, where you take control of your sleeping world but it does work!
I've had many success stories told to me by people using this simple method. For some, it takes time and effort, for others, it just clicks...we're all different!
We spend so much of our waking hours pushing and challenging ourselves, why not do the same in the space provided for us to counteract the rigours of the physical world? We spend a lot of time there so go and explore it, test your limits and grow them and above all, enjoy the ride!
Love to hear of your experiences and any tips and tricks from your dreaming experience…
Andrew - The Crystal Man