Lucid dreaming is a hot topic among many on the internet, as it's an interesting way to explore your psyche and the capabilities of your imaginative mind. Many spend years training themselves to be able to lucid dream, while others naturally have the ability to do so. What is lucid dreaming? It's the ability to become aware of the fact that you are in a dream, while you are still dreaming and eventually the ability to take control and steer the dream in a manner you deem necessary. Why do some have to work for the skill while others have it as a natural talent? I've only recently understood that as I've begun to explore my natural talent for lucid dreaming.
I had never had any contact with the concept of lucid dreaming until my adult life, when I ended up on the lucid dreaming reddit, which was essentially a support page for people having trouble training themselves to dream lucidly. When I read the definition of what it means to lucid dream, I found that it's something I've naturally done for as long as I can remember. There were a lot of people asking what it takes to be able to lucid dream easily, without much answer as to what causes the phenomenon in the first place.
I remember discussing dreams with my mother at an early age, with her telling me that dreams can have a dark side too, something called a nightmare. I didn't quite understand what she was talking about, until that point for me dreams were nice little escapes from life, with pleasant situations that I could control as I wished. The closest thing I had to a bad dream was one involving ghosts, who were unaggressive. I had no idea that most people could not control their dreams in this manner until reading about it later on in life on the internet. Not long after this conversation did I experience my very first nightmare, which was weird to say the least. There was almost like an introduction theme song thing explaining to me that this was my first nightmare, followed by horrible images that I can't even remember at this point.
I allowed the images to wash over me in fear until it hit me, this was what my mom was talking about. It was only a dream, it wasn't actually happening. If it was anything like the good dreams, I could manipulate it how I want. I decided I wanted out and started rubbing my eyes with my hands. Eventually I felt myself go from my dream world back to reality. I was scared, but I comprehended fully what I had done. For the years to follow, whenever I had nightmares which was often I used this eye rubbing technique to get me out of it. I never tried to manipulate my bad dreams further than getting out of them however, not until I was an adult. Sometimes I'd have the problem where I'd keep going back to sleep into the dream that I had just forced myself out of. This would end in a frustrated and crying Lily, until I learned to manipulate the bad dreams too.
Recently, I've learned to take persistent and often repetitive bad dreams and turn them on their head, often in ridiculous ways. Especially since being on the run, I've had a lot of reoccuring nightmares recently, of the type pull you back in even after you've woken yourself from it. The mind has a way of using dreams full of metaphors to help us through our problems, sometimes those dreams can be really uncomfortable in the form of nightmares. It many ways however, learning to control nightmares can do a lot of good mentally. They teach you creative ways to deal with possible uncomfortable or downright terrible situations, which allow you to respond better in times where there is no time to think up a creative situation.
My most recent lucid dreaming experiences have been right here on my mountaintop in Mexico. This is a high earthquake zone, as well as an extremely hilly one and I've been told this has an effect on how much you dream. A friend recently remarked on how much he's dreamt since being here, and I've heard that from others as well. I've dreamt a lot since being in Mexico, but I attributed it to the change in environment and atmosphere, and to being on the run considering the subject matter of most of my dreams. The increase in dreams also may be a consequence of my recent exploration of lucid dreaming, although I can't prove any of this.
My most recent reoccuring nightmare almost nearly always involves running from the police or breaking out of jail. It's generally pretty random but I find myself in a dream in which I know I am being chased by the police. It's usually a situation in which they clearly have me, but I find some ridiculous and borderline impossible dream option to get me out safely. These types of dreams continue all night long, even if I get up for an hour or so in the middle of the night. They brute force their way and I take charge and fight back essentially for my freedom. It's a mental exersize and I generally wake up to feel pretty tired after dreaming these sorts of dreams. I don't know if it's my mind forcing me to deal with the possibility of a chase of that sort or if it's my minds way of practicing to be creative in my solutions and to be tenacious in my daily activities. I honestly find them cathartic, as I don't know if I'd wake up in a very good emotional state in a dream that ends with me in prison with no way out and no will to find a way.
Recently, I've figured out the main reason I've always been able to dream lucidly, while others struggle to have even a bit of control of their dream world. From the day I was born I slept a lot, probably due to the high level of stress I experienced throughout most of my life, especially my early life. It was my way to check out of my crazy life that I didn't understand and to check into something that I did understand. I had such lack of control of my surroundings and nothing was really ever the same, so the only thing I really had control of was my head. I've always been extremely artistic and creative, so lucid dreaming is not a stretch for me. In many ways, it's the act of taking something ugly and making it beautiful. It's also a tool for understanding why your mind things in certain ways, which can sometimes be ugly and scary.
I definately understand the interest and desire that is common in many people to explore the act of lucid dreaming. It can be used in your advantage, as I have myself to the point where if I think about something intently before I fall asleep, I'll dream about it. I used this as a child to pull myself into a sort of dream world where I spent my time while I slept the day away. For me, it was hiding from a pretty scary childhood that made it so it was easy for me to change my dreams. Only now am I seeing the true metaphor, if I can change what I dream, I can change my life.
So if you're interested and have the time and dedication, look into lucid dreaming. Being able to control your dreams allows your to explore your mind in ways you aren't used to. While it can be a tiring experience, it is worth what you can get out of it in terms of motivation and problem solving skills. It allows you to really understand what makes you tick, so you can function as best as possible in your day to day life. In my way, I think its my minds way of trying to work on the mental stuff I need to address at a time where my mind is not occupied, while I'm sleeping. Once you know how to do it, it's easy to do for the rest of your life. Something I've personally noticed though, and I'm sure other natural lucid dreamers have as well, is that it really isn't easy to explain to someone how to wake up in a dream.
For some however, just understanding the concept of lucid dreaming and understanding that it is possible and attainable for most people can be enough to trigger you to be able to do it. All the sudden you're aware of the ridiculousness and impossibility of the current situation, and bam, you're lucid dreaming. What you do from there is on you, be it to just stop the dreams or explore them to their fullest extent. Look into it, give it a try with an open mind and see where exploring your dream world takes you.