The Art of Lucid Dreaming

Every night, as my body falls asleep, my soul is awake, aware that it is in a dream. I usually see events unfold from a first person point of view with limited physical control, with my mind following the dream as it is to see if it has a message for me. I let the dream take over, and only interfere with it on times when I feel like I might be stuck in it or if it turns into a nightmare.

Facts say that we humans always dream, but most of us forget about it when we wake up. Ever since I was a kid, I would always have a recollection of what I have dreamed about the night before as I wake up every day. Sometimes I would get a whole episode, sometimes just fragments, although I cannot seem to remember everything. I have ignored this, thinking it was normal, and never questioned why my dreams seem to be real.

I don’t recall when I first heard about lucid dreaming, it’s just that I was amazed that there was a term for it and that it was rare. I researched about it over the years to fully understand it, there was even a time I tried to interpret almost every dream I would have. It made me more anxious and tired, as I would be stressing about what signs in my dream would mean and if it was bound to happen in my already challenging life. I learned that some people would even see themselves sleeping, and I was totally freaked when that first happened to me. I try not to do it again in fear of not being able to go back to my own body, I think that’s why most of my dreams are first person view. I don’t think I can even imagine what my reflection looks like in a dream, a defensive tactic I have developed to avoid seeing myself from another perspective.

The best dreams are the ones that seem so out of the world but yet feel so real. I have flown once, and I remember how vivid it was; how ecstatic the feeling of flying was like the superheroes I watch on TV. I remember waking up to aching legs, because in my dream the pressure of flying was made from one’s legs. I do not know how to swim in real life, but I had some dreams where I would be able to breathe underwater. I was living my fantasies while I slept.

However, as my eyes close and darkness captures me, it can also follow me into the other worlds I see. I have had encounters in which I had to force my physical body awake by thinking about which body parts I can easily move first, like my toes or fingers. I have tried to avoid these by not watching horror films before sleeping, as I tend to relive nightmares.

Perhaps lucid dreaming is my way of searching for the void I feel whenever I am awake, but the truth is sometimes I also yearn for a dreamless sleep where I can fully rest.  I don’t think I remember a time where I just.. slept.