I love dreams.
I didn’t always love dreams, but now I really do. I used to have some serious straight from Hell dreams – complete with Balrog creatures threatening to destroy reality.
You see, my dreams are always full stories. They have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Some of them could fit in the span of a novel, while others represent an entire surrealist epic. When such a thing is bad, it feels like it’s bad for a long time. When it’s good, it feels like it’s been good for a long time.
Usually it just feels… complicated.
Since my personal transformation, starting about four months ago, my dreams made a big change.
For a Bit of Power
For most people, dreams are disturbing because dreamers are passive observers to strange or frightening stories and images. But what about the dreamer who has control? What about a lucid dreamer?
I am no stranger to lucid dreaming. I used to do it all the time. Every night was a choose-your-own-adventure. The framework of the dream was set up, and I would go along with it until it came to a place where I wanted things to be different. Then I would change them.
Then I couldn’t do it. The ability disappeared. For whatever reason, I stopped lucid dreaming for years. As hard as I tried, the ability was just…gone.
Then suddenly, in the last month, my lucid dreaming returned.
Lucid dreaming doesn’t come naturally for most people, but meditation and increasing mindfulness greatly increases the chance of successfully lucid dreaming. Mindfulness in waking life helps because in dreams it is easier to spot the strange parts or failed details (clock times and words being blurry etc). I’ve noticed myself recognizing the dream earlier and earlier because of this mindfulness practice. Along with this earlier recognition, came increased abilities during dreaming.
Leveled Up Lucid Dreaming
As a highly aware lucid dreamer, I acquired some new abilities in dreaming.
I pause my dreams. When I do this, it’s usually to explore something about the scenery or think about what I want next. Pausing is as if I was playing a video game and got to a save spot. I can leave my controls for a bit and nothing major happens in the dream (though a bar tender might wipe the counter or a bird might flap its wings).
I can make a choice one way, play it through, and if I don’t like it, try it another way. I think this maxes out around four times, but usually I stop at three replays.
I change plot points and remove characters. I’ve thought, in my dream, “I don’t like that character. Let’s get rid of him.” In one case, I think a character ended up being jailed for embezzlement and assault, but an explosion, heart attack, or a move from the area would have done it.
I also fly. I can fly in any dream. There have been moments in a dream where I was “stuck,” so I just looked around and thought, “I’ll just fly out.” So I do. Sometimes the characters in the dream notice, but mostly they just go along like non-player characters (NPCs).
This is a new level of control for me. In earlier lucid dreaming, I might destroy a character (with a sword) or add an item, but that was as much power as I had. Sometimes I would have a conversation with a character, which was effectively having a conversation with my subconscious. Now, I have much more direct control over the course of a dream, to the point where it feels like something between playing a video game or being a goddess, which makes it similar to writing a novel.
So yes, I write while I sleep.
Do you lucid dream? Did you stumble upon it – or did you have to practice to make it happen? Leave a comment below!
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