Explore the idea of lucid dreaming as writer Judy Darley takes us on a trip through our inner world.
Begin by making yourself comfortable. Ideally, you should be sitting or lying somewhere that supports your body fully. The light should be low, noises silenced or hushed.
If that’s not possible, draw on your imagination to picture yourself somewhere soft, quiet and warm. Breathe in through your nose, drawing oxygen inside your body. Exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat, concentrating on feeling your diaphragm inflate and deflate.
Close your eyes and embrace a gradual sensation of simultaneously sinking and rising. Your heartbeat is steady, one thud following another. Your hands uncurl, fingertips reaching. When you open your eyes you are resting in a calm space where light dapples.
The place is one you have chosen as your starting point. Sit up and press your hands to the ground, paying attention to the textures beneath your palms.
Inhale and consider what you smell, what you taste. Perhaps the air is fresh and green with the scent of budding leaves. Perhaps there is a hint of sea salt.
Ensure you have full control by tilting your head, first to the left, and then to the right. Listen carefully. What can you hear?
Choose one sound – birdsong, leaves rustling, waves shifting, or the far-off hum of traffic – to make the scene fully your own. Look around you and take in the details of your surroundings, whether that’s a forest, garden, shore, or room.
Ask yourself whether anything is familiar, and whether anything intrigues you. Stand up and stretch your arms over your head and out to the sides. Try bending your knees and bouncing gently on the balls of your feet.
Will your mind allow you to leave the ground? Is your version of flying a form of swimming through air, a kind of levitation, or something else? Choose a direction and move forwards. What can you see ahead?
If the destination is somewhere you know well from your present or past, consider why you chose this. What are you hoping to revisit or discover?
If it’s a place you haven’t travelled to before, what do you hope to find there? Are there trees below you, fields, rooftops, ocean waves or something else entirely? Is it somewhere you know or would like to know, or is it an amalgamation of glimpses and dreams?
As you journey onwards, notice the subtle strokes of air sweeping over your skin, the flowing fragrances, the swishes or whispers or any other sounds you hear. Hone in on any sound that interests or comforts you and ask yourself why that particular reverberation appeals.
Decide whether you want to tune in enough to hear exactly what that noise might be, or whether you’re happy to leave it drifting by.
It may be that you find yourself listening in to a conversation from your own past, or a piece of music associated with someone important to you. This could be an opportunity to ask questions, gain clarity or simply to lift your emotions.
It’s up to you whether you actually arrive at your destination, or whether your experience is about the journey and your discoveries along the way. When you feel ready, take a deep breath and return to the present moment.
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