Wednesday, January 6, 2016

'Tis but a Dream- My Adventures in Lucid Dreams

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now, 
Thus much let me avow--
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream; 
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem 
Is but a dream within a dream.
-Edgar Allan Poe

“Often when one is asleep, there is something in consciousness which declares that what then presents itself is but a dream.” -Aristotle

Have you ever had a dream and you knew you were dreaming? Where you have total control of your actions, your surroundings and even the ability to change them at will? If you have, you are one of the few like me that have experienced the phenomenon of lucid dreaming. These are dreams where you are aware of your dream state, capable of making decisions, self-aware, and are able to concentrate and focus. Lucid dreams often give the illusion of reality which blurs the line between what is real and what is imagined.
It is more common in children, which is understandable. As we get older, most people become more jaded and the looking glass we use to view the world gets cloudier. Throughout my childhood, like every other child, I had dreams that 3 headed, 10 eyed monsters were chasing me. Other times, real life monsters in the form of scary bearded men with guns were out to kill me and my loved ones. Basic instinct is self-preservation, so most kids would run and I would for a while. But when I got tired, I would just give up. I stopped in my tracks, walked up to the bad guy and surrendered. I would tell the monsters, “It’s ok. You can kill me because it’s just a dream and when I die I can finally wake up.” Then they would do their job and I would wake up in my bed. Growing up I thought all kids gave into the monsters in their dreams, but I guess that isn’t the case.


As I got older, my dreams definitely became more self-serving. My most memorable one was winning a contest and my prize was spending the day with Vampire Diaries star Ian Somerhalder. We went to my favorite local restaurant, and then to play a charity basketball game. While in mid-air shooting a 3-pointer (Note: I am not athletic or graceful and would probably find a way to miss a slam dunk), I realized that it was a dream. I would not have made that shot in reality and of all things I could be doing with Ian Somerhalder, it probably wouldn’t have been playing basketball. So mid-game, we left. Again I remembered I was dreaming, so I had my way with my sexy vampire dream man.

#amreading
ALWAYS! 
For the last couple months, I have been on a YA reading binge to help with my own writing. I was on the couch reading Cost of All Things by Maggie Lehrman. In the story the town hekamist, a witchy voo-doo priestess, performs spells using food. I drifted off to sleep with the book in my hands. Suddenly I was in a world where my family had ingested “spelled” bread and was dying. I called 911 and since a hekamist is purely fictional, the operator in my dream didn’t know what I was talking about. As I watched my family slowly dying, I closed my eyes and willed myself out of the nightmare. I could feel my body shaking itself, my shoulders lifting up off the couch and finally I was back to reality.

I have spoken with quite a few Editors
and I am proud to announce I have chosen one.
I need an editor (I just edited, I chose one)
I saved the best, most inspirational and somewhat eerie experience for last. As I write this sentence tears are already forming in my eyes. My YA novel in progress, QUESTIONING THE UNIVERSE is based on these dreams and the guardian angel who saved me.

First a little background, my grandmother battled cancer for 18 years and made friends with the nurse who administered her chemo. I lived with my grandma and the nurse was the mother of a boy who went to my high school. Thinking there was no way her son and I knew each other, each week they both bared their souls, divulging secrets they could no longer keep to themselves. She shared that her son had secretly battled Leukemia for most of his life, but was winning at the moment.

I didn’t just know her son, we actually shared a locker. Matt* was a happy, decently popular, handsome boy with an infectious smile. We were casual friends and saw each other every day. He knew my secrets and I knew his. One day in the hallway we traded glances and it was an agreement between us that we would keep our mouths shut. We didn’t talk much after that, but I always kept a close eye on him to make sure he was ok. When we were 21 and I was 3 months pregnant with my youngest, I got a text from a mutual friend. My heart dropped as I looked at the screen, my eyes read the words over and over somehow expecting them to change if I read them enough. Matt had taken his own life. I was too ill to go to his funeral. I regretted not going and still do.

When I was 5 months pregnant, I woke up with a strange feeling and kept writing it off. I finally decided to go to the doctor even though I wasn’t in pain or ill in anyway, it was just a bad feeling. I was diagnosed with a pretty severe silent placental abruption. It was too soon for my daughter to survive on the outside, so it was a waiting game in the hospital. That night Matt came to me in a dream. He picked me up from my bed and took me to an ice cream parlor. I kept repeating that he was dead and that I knew I was dreaming because he wasn’t real. He looked over to me with a salute and said, “Well thanks for letting me know, Captain Obvious.” He ordered my favorite ice cream and told me in a matter of fact tone that Emma and I would be fine. He needed to give me that message and that was it. The abruption corrected itself and my beautiful baby girl was born in January of 2011.

Months later my relationship with her father became toxic and Matt came to me again. This time in an inconceivably large shopping mall (if it existed, it would be my equivalent to heaven) with white walls that were almost too bright to keep my eyes open. The escalator he came down was made of shiny metal and he looked too beautiful to look at. He was dressed in all white as he descended towards me. He grabbed my hand and we walked down the empty hallway together.  Again my first instinct was to remind him he was dead and that it wasn’t real, but he put his finger over my lips. He informed me it was his job to show me a good time when I needed it the most, so I would never lose hope like he did. He was very adamant that I had to end my relationship because it wasn’t good for me or my kids. This was a fact that I already knew and was too scared to admit, but eventually took the advice.

RIP July 2010 You will not be Forgotten 
I didn’t see Matt again for a while. Over the next year I was diagnosed with Grave’s Disease and was in a pretty bad car accident while visiting a homeopathic doctor because I refused to accept my diagnosis. I was struggling to take care of my 3 children alone because I was a barely functional human being. My ex-husband and father of my 2 older children came to my rescue. We slowly started to find our way back to each other, but I had built up a wall, so high and so strong, it was pretty impenetrable. When Matt came to me this time, the dream seemed so final. I knew in my heart that it was the last time I would see him. He took me to his house where he floated above me. I questioned if he was my guardian angel. His answer was, “If you believe in that kind of thing.” I asked if he was ok and he replied, “Better than ever.” Then suddenly we were at a carnival. I felt like my senses were on overload. I could feel the wind in my hair while on the roller coasters and the smell of the cotton candy tickled my nose. It is still the most vivid dream I have ever had. He pulled me away from the carnival chaos and we sat on a bench. He grabbed my face and made me look into his eyes. “This is it Cheryl, you don’t need me anymore. You have Tanner to take care of you now. Trust him, he loves you. I promise you will be ok. Don’t forget me!”

Forgetting him was something I could never do. I woke up with goosebumps and chills that couldn’t be cured with a blanket. Tears in my eyes, I grabbed my coat and got in the car in search of his grave at the local cemetery. His mother overcome with grief had moved away and taken his ashes with her to bury in her hometown. I felt like I never got to say goodbye to the kind boy who spilled his lunch on my text books, but that day in my car I finally did. I am so grateful for his guidance, whether otherworldly or my own mind taking his form to help me help myself. RIP My Guardian Angel

Someone dies from suicide every 40 seconds and their loved ones are left to grieve a loss that can never be filled. On that day in July the world became a little dimmer because it lost all of the brightness that surrounded Matt. If you or someone you know needs help don’t be afraid to speak up. You are not alone, it isn’t your fault and there is help out there. Talk to a parent, friend, or anyone who you trust and is willing to listen.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-8255

Dreams are often most profound when they seem the most crazy. – Sigmund Freud


Whether I am being chased by monsters or murderers, playing basketball with vampires, poisoned by hekamists or visited by the dearly departed, they all shape my awakened state. Digging deeper into the psyche, dreams are a way of working things out that you cannot deal with while you are awake; your worst fears, biggest hopes, and deepest desires.



Have you had experiences with Lucid Dreaming?
Comment below and tell me your weirdest dream!

Entranced by Lucid Dreaming? Check out my friend's blog http://www.janealveyharris.com



Make Sure you stop by & view my First Author Spotlight w/ Slow Echoes author Kristina M. Serrano



15 comments:

  1. I don't personally have lucid dreams. The closest I come is dreaming my story characters.

    But that in no way invalidates your experience. My mystical experiences are always awake and in the context of my religious faith. They're rare, but there have been enough that I cannot doubt them. One time, I was flooded with pure joy in answer to a desperate question. It's something I've never felt before or since.

    I'm glad your connection with Matt was something that enriched your life.

    Congrats on publishing your book! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for reading Cathleen. Although I am not a deeply religious person myself, my grandmother was and also had deeply spiritual experiences while awake. So I understand that and completely believe it is true.

      My connection with Matt truly did change my life and writing this book was very therapeutic. I haven't been published yet but found an editor that is an absolute Godsend. Together hopefully we can create something that the world will love and will do Matt's memory justice.

      Enjoy your day and I really appreciate your support. Hope you continue to stop by on WednesdayBlogDay.

      Delete
  2. That's pretty cool! I have lucid dreams sometimes, but nothing like that. I can imagine how that would inspire a book! Depending on the content, I usually wake up once I realize I'm dreaming. It's usually about time for me to get up, too.

    Congratulations on finding a great editor! Wishing good things for your novel! ^_^

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lucid dreaming is such a cool experience and a blessing for a writer.Thanks so much for you well wishes. It is an equally exciting and stressful time.I can't wait to share Matt's story with the world and just hope I can do his memory justice. I really appreciate your continued support. Hope you are having an enjoyable day!

      Delete
  3. Hi. Too late to recall weirdest. Too many also. But I have long love affair with dreaming, which means I also have had fights and break-ups! But we'll always be friends to the end. lol

    I had flying experiences as a very young child and I didn't interpret them as dreams I was so young. A bit older when I talked about them they weren't shot down but supported and I believe it engaged very early lucid dreaming abilities for me. After that, bullies, monsters, bad guys or any situation I felt the need to flee from, but knew I was dreaming, I gave myself a dream power to fit the situation. Since I already knew flying in a different way, I'd usually lift off the ground high in the air to escape as first choice.

    Later, as an adult I taught other people, not just children how to use that exercise, a dream power in a fearful situation, to help them with learning to practice lucid dreaming purposefully. There are other ways I've used to prep my beginning sleep for helping myself with better dreaming and better sleep. But I'm already commenting very long here.

    I had a lot of insomnia and night terrors for a period of time and regular meditation techniques were not enough at first. I've been out of practice of keeping a dream journal by the bed and writing in it before putting a foot on the floor. You've reminded me of those days when I spent a lot of time doing that.

    Your book sounds very interesting and it is evident you have really done something wonderful with your experiences to honor them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi JustJunco! I would love to hear some more about your techniques and exercises. If you want to discuss it further, you can email me Cherylamontgomery1@gmail.com

      I haven't been dreaming much lately, maybe because I haven't been sleeping. =P I used to keep a dream journal as well but haven't been so good at keeping it lately. I make sure to write down ones that would make a good book premise though.
      I can't wait to share Matt's story with the world. It honestly comes from my heart and those dreams really helped me at a time I needed it the most.

      I appreciate you support and hope you continue to stop by on Wednesday. Hope you are having a good day!

      Delete
  4. I.N.T.E.R.E.S.T.I.N.G! :)
    You have got my attention and I really look forward towards reading your first book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much! Hope you are having a good day!

      Delete
  5. I dream in cartoon and sometimes verse. Do you have any thoughts about that?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have never had an animated or verse dream before but it seems amazing. I am not sure if you are a writer, but the closest I have gotten to that is the pictures that I see in my head while I am writing. Right now my main character Faye looks like Chloe Moretz. My next project which is a little different I see an anime character playing out my story.

      Sorry I didn't mean to ramble. Again I find it very fascinating and will definitely look into it. If you are a writer you should take full advantage of your dreams. Most (if not all) of my writing is somehow inspired by my adventures in dreamland. Along with lucid dreaming I also have auditory dreams (sound but no picture) and it really freaks me out.

      I would love to hear more about your dreams if you are willing to share. Hope you have an amazing day!

      Delete
  6. Yes, I write and I do write about the characters I meet in my dreams... 'the Pangaloo who's fur goes gangaloo' is an example. That whole dream was in cartoon and verse. As well as others...but the cartoon ones are most enjoyable. I hardly remember the exact rhymes unless it's catchy them it swims in my head for hours after.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's so interesting how our minds work. I feel like dreams are truly a writer's blessing. I would be lost without them. Your dreams sound so fun and I wish I could have more like that. Mine are always so serious.

      Delete
  7. Yes, I write and I do write about the characters I meet in my dreams... 'the Pangaloo who's fur goes gangaloo' is an example. That whole dream was in cartoon and verse. As well as others...but the cartoon ones are most enjoyable. I hardly remember the exact rhymes unless it's catchy them it swims in my head for hours after.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I very rarely remember my dreams, so I love to hear about the dreams of others. However, as a child, I had a recurring dream of walking aimlessly around an abandoned carnival and waking up when I heard footprints rustling in the meaves. I can stil envision it vividly.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I very rarely remember my dreams, so I love to hear about the dreams of others. However, as a child, I had a recurring dream of walking aimlessly around an abandoned carnival and waking up when I heard footprints rustling in the meaves. I can stil envision it vividly.

    ReplyDelete