How Lucid Dreaming Helped Change my Life

Life Savers save lives.

At least, I believed they did – I was a kid, okay?! I remember going to bed one night and seeing the most vivid images. I was running through a dreamscape, shooting disk-shaped Life Saver candies at my enemies, getting more and more faint until I collapsed. I woke up and thought “what a horrible nightmare.” Only now do I realize it was a premonition.

A week later, I was at a retreat “communing with nature,” or as I like to say “feeling wet, cold and miserable.” I was exhausted from all the physical activity and had no idea how I would get through the day. That’s when I felt the Life Saver candy in my pocket. I don’t know how it got there – call it a happy coincidence – but the sugar boost saved me.

I came to the same conclusion that any 8-year-old would: my dream had been magic. I thought if I could remember my dreams then I could control them, and if I could control them I could change my future. Here began my journey into lucid dreaming.

Stage I: Singing High School Musical Songs

I started keeping a dream journal. At first, my memories of the night were nothing more than vague flashes of recollection. But as the months passed, I started remembering more. I was able to transcribe conversations from moments as solid as scenes in a movie. Imagine my relief when I still remembered my dream-self singing “We’re All in this Together” from High School Musical during a math test while balancing meringues on my head. Imagine my relief.

Stage II: Changing the Channel

With a newfound ability to recount my dreams, I set my sights on controlling them. I wanted to be the TV remote, changing the channel on a whim if I didn’t like what was playing in my mind. Every night before going to bed, I thought of what I wanted to dream about. Was it easy? No. Dreams tend to reflect our greatest hopes or worries and suppressing those thoughts can be challenging. Was I able to do it? Yes, with time (and distractions that helped me ignore my life problems).

Stage III: Tasting the Sun

We all have unrealistic dreams: turning invisible, reading minds or having reliable Wi-Fi. Science may get there eventually, but in our dreams it’s possible today. When unaware that we are dreaming, we are bound to the rules of the human world. When conscious of the truth, the world is bound to us. Achieving this state requires daydreaming ordinary situations and changing them in extraordinary ways. Sitting in class, I would imagine myself flying away and tasting the sun (not a bad skill to put on your resume). For you, it could mean swapping lives with Ariana Grande to avoid your schoolwork. Whatever floats your boat. What I imagined during the day I would practice at night. The results were staggering.

So as it turns out, I can’t control the future, but I can better manage the now. By learning to remember, influence and manipulate your dreams, you can also achieve a heightened sense of enlightenment and inner peace.