Have you ever experienced Lucid Dreaming?
Lucid Dreaming is described as the phenomena of being aware that you are dreaming, while you are dreaming. This awareness usually enables the dreamer to begin taking some control of their dreams, or at least the narrative upon which it is played or develops.
When I was a child, I experienced an extremely light version of lucid dreaming: I would become aware that I was dreaming only in dreams that made me feel extremely uncomfortable or very fearful. In this moment of awareness, I did not feel like I had control over any part of my dream, but I did develop a way to exit my dream. I would close my eyes and my fists and squeeze them both very tight while dreaming. This woke me up every time, without fail. I can recall having used this technique a few times during my teenage years as well – but nothing more ever came of it.
Perhaps I lacked the mental will and desire to attempt controlling my dreams; I certainly did not know how in technique, but never spent much time researching it or how to begin lucid dreaming to actively practice.
When I was five, following the move to our new house, I had my first night terror, which was the very start of my long journey through insomnia and experiencing many episodes of sleep paralysis and gruesome nightmares. This night terror was quick and simple, though terrifying to the core:
I awoke in my dream, unaware that I was dreaming of course, but especially so, as nothing in my environment had changed. I was in my bedroom, everything looked and felt normal as it did before I went to bed. I looked over to my left and noticed that my teddy bear had fallen off the bed while I was sleeping. So I got up to reach for him off the ground on the other side of my bed. When I thought I had reached him, a long, scaly, almost burned looking dark hand with long, sharp “fingers” grabbed onto my hand and wrapped around my arm. It did not pull me closer to the ground but rather, pulled itself closer to me, showing me its full image as it came from behind my bed. I tried to slink back under the covers but he was too fast – I acknowledged in my dream that this was the devil – and he said one thing to me before I woke up, in a snarling growl, “I’ve got you now.”
I had many nightmares following, usually surrounding or implicating the death of my parents and my sister, some being very gruesome as I watched while hiding in my dreams. How do you explain that kind of thing to your parents? How can parents find the reason why their child is having those kinds of dreams?
Then came the sleep paralysis – which happened once in my own bed, and following, would only ever occur when I slept in my parents bed. I experimented with this over the years and found even by the age of 13, I would experience sleep paralysis even if taking an afternoon nap in their bedroom.
My sleep paralysis was characterized by having a brief dream, then waking up – as in it felt as though my eyes were open to my environment, and I felt as though I was awake enough to move, but my body remained frozen in place. Along with this came the “sinking” feeling where your body feels heavier and as though it is literally sinking into the bed, and to top it all off: there is an overwhelming feeling that an evil presence or dark entity is hanging above you during the experience. It was the exact same every time it happened, and would end by my childhood technique of squeezing my eyes tight and long enough to wake myself up and out of it.
There was a period in my life where I thought I was seeing a ghost – with what I’ve discovered over the years and have integrated and accepted as my truth, I honestly feel that I was not seeing a ghost, but rather a Being of Light, a child who was visiting me every night to bring me peace, comfort. To help me realize I wasn’t alone. His presence was nightly, between the hours of 11pm and 1:30am. I would always wake up to see him walk down the hall. I felt that his name may be Jacob at one point. But I never asked questions. I did not feel much fear, but definitely confusion.
To this day I question the correlation between seeing Jacob, and feeling discomfort while in my parents bedroom to the point of experiencing sleep paralysis. Was he trying to help? Or trying to tell me something?
Nightmares continued throughout my childhood, as did my profound struggle with having a good night’s rest, as I began to develop insomnia. My insomnia was and continues to be described as: broken up sleeping patterns, as in I wake up multiple times throughout the night, and unable to fall back asleep right away. I also am one of the lucky ducks who has a difficult time simply falling asleep. I can be lying in bed for four hours listening to Curt sleep while I wait for my own slumber to arrive. At times when I was younger, it simply didn’t arrive. Often enough, I was up before the morning alarm so I’d turn it off and get up for school, praying to get a good rest later that night. It played into a frenzy of exhaustion and being ill throughout my life. Poor nutrition, family trauma, heavy metal build up from vaccines (a theory still, but with staggering evidence), severe anxiety – these things absolutely played their part, but I did not process the language for those things at the time.
As an adult, the sleeping patterns were the same. I tried all the practical remedies: sleep with a fan, sleep in silence, sleep with white noise, try a hz frequency or meditation track, better yet – whale sounds, thunderstorms, and trickling water. Nope, none of it worked. I tried taking melatonin (do not recommend), 5HTP. I tried it all until I landed on smoking pot. That worked – it really worked. It put me right to sleep. The problem is that it took away my dreams.
Now I know you’re probably thinking –
This girl is complaining about nightmares and paralysis and insomnia and now she has her medicine and she is complaining?? About not having her violent dreams??
No my friends, not quite.
The heartbreaking realization that came with my THC medicine was that I wouldn’t remember most of my dreams. To me, this was simply a way of hiding from them. Of keeping my subconscious in the shadows – unwilling to acknowledge the narrative playing out in my dreams, which in reality, asked of me to pay attention to them as they all had lessons to teach me, things to realize – much of which was simply energy and guilt that I needed to release.
In 2018, I moved out West and as I was staying in a staff accomodation, I took a break from smoking cannabis. For three weeks I had the most intense, but not lucid, dreams of my life: all of which where independently themed around an area or a moment in my life, in which I felt immense guilt or sorrow. I believed my subconscious and possibly my spirit, were asking me to acknowledge these things through my dreams, and process them while I was awake, which I did through much journaling.
In August of 2018, I met Curt, and I spent my first night in a cabin that was off the grid. No background hum, no noise, no electricity, no people (energy). Being at Yellowhead allowed me to get my first night of deep, peaceful rest – a full sleep, not broken up, and not after a 2 to 5 hour long wait. Instant and powerful. I was 25 and it changed my life.
I still wasn’t lucid dreaming though.
In August of 2020, my Pèpé passed away after a life-long battle of medical ailments and set backs. My grandparents had their hand in raising me for the bulk of my life, especially as a child – and in return I was privileged enough to act as their caregiver for the winter before I moved out West. The physical loss of him is still something I am navigating and hoping to one day find peace and full acceptance – but the spiritual connection I felt that I was gifted was and continues to serve as a gain, a great gift that is further developing my spirituality, my connection with God, my understanding of afterlife / the energy that we are and how we transcend through our human stages of life, death, and re-birth.
Since Pèpé’s passing, I’ve been able to communicate with him through my thoughts and prayer, through a psychic, and yes, you guessed it – through my dreams.
I am entirely unsure if they would be considered Lucid – in the dreams of Pepe and I, I am aware that I am in a different place than when I am awake – but it is not entirely a dream. It feels like something in-between. All that comes in these moments is our connection, a very brief exchange of the love we have for each other.
The first time he reached out to me in my dream, I had prayed to God to make it happen the night before. I prayed in desperation to let me simply be with Pepe for one last moment – – as a child, I kept myself home – refused to travel or go too far for too long out of fear that my grandparents would pass in my absence. At 17 years old a friend even said to me, “Chelsey, you can’t spend your life mourning the living.” And thats exactly what I had done for so many years. At the end of Pepe’s life, I wouldn’t be present. I would be across the country on the other end of the line when he would speak his last words to me. It would be my dad who would catch his last breath.
I did not know how to manage that weight. The depth of the grief. I prayed and prayed to God to let me be with him. That night, Pepe did come to me in my dream.
I remember it being full of light, as if I was in the clouds with the sun shining ahead – there were no other details or objects, simply white light. I felt his presence reaching and suddenly he appeared, as he pressed his forehead against mine, we shared the briefest moment together, in acknowledgement of each other. It felt like Pepe was there to say Goodbye. And he did. If I could, I would have made that moment stretch into eternity. I felt his presence begin to part, as if he was being pulled back into heaven, and I back to earth – the distance created between us felt unlike any yearning I had ever experienced before. I woke up with the yearning growing deep in my belly and my heart, and tears began to swell behind my eyes. I could not believe what I had just experienced. I was just with him, and now he was gone. I had to leave the room so that I could cry without disturbing Curt. That dream completely broke my heart open.
I wanted to share the dream with a friend who I had met online; she was helping me learn about the Bible and returning to God, and I wanted to know what she had to say about my dream. What she said shocked me.
She told me to be careful.
She told me that there are dark entities that love to come into our dreams and act as people we love simply in order to harm us, or feed off our energy. She told me it was possible that a false light could disguise themselves as my grandfather in order to extract a certain reaction or emotion our of me.
The idea was not too radical or obscure for me – but it most certainly pissed me off. I did not want to accept or admit to myself that this could happen. That I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between my Pepe and a demon in disguise. I didn’t know how to digest that information; for the most part, I met resistance, and that was that.
I had several dreams of Pepes presence in my dreams, none of which served as an attempt to make me sad or confused, or increase my state of grief. Most of these dreams were very short and acted as movie stills:
• I am sitting in the back seat of his old blue Ford, holding my newborn baby, and he glances over to us in his rear view mirror and smiles. So does Meme, as she turns to look at me right before I wake up.
• A brief image of him in his red and black plaid button up reels by like a film reel, and the image of him skips when its ahead of me, as I recall trying to reach out to stretch it, making it last just a few seconds longer before waking up.
• Sitting in chairs across from each other, and Pepe looks very young and healthy, possibly in his 30′, no facial hair, no alcohol, and a straight back. I am simply asking him how it is that he looks so young now. I do not get an answer before I wake up, but I do get a smile.
These dreams often make me feel a tinge of grief because I do miss him immensely. But they do not make me hysterical as the first one did (which happened within the first month of his passing). In fact, when I dream of Pepe now, I simply wake up in sheer gratitude to have been able to see him and spend a moment with him even if it was in an alternate reality.
We fast forward now to present day, which marks two weeks since we moved to the pasture with our 40ft ’88 Nomad trailer.
On our very first night, I had the most lucid dream of my life.
I can recall flying above gravel and dirt, when something within reminded me of the control I processed. I changed my thoughts from acknowledging the gravel ahead, to desiring deep, clear blue water, like we have out here in the mountains. It changed instantly – the moment I expressed my desire, I dove into deep blue waters. It made me laugh like a child in my dream. I played around with that for a little while, breathing in the water, flying in the sky and diving in again… it was a blast. And it was a dream.. and I hadn’t stopped smoking cannabis.
To my knowledge, we are still trying to sort out why lucid dreams happen, what that means to and for us really. In our move to the farm, I wondered if the wide open skies we now live under had anything to do with my ability to explore my dreams on a more intimate level. The last time I lived under these kind of open skies, and societal silence (as we live rather far from any city, and over 20km from the local communities), was when I was a child experiencing night terrors and sleep paralysis, in rural/farm land of Northern Ontario.
What does the sky have to do with it? What does our distance from the busy and loud background hum have to do with it?
Last night, I had another lucid dream. But this one was combined with my questioning of dark entities in dreams – something I could no longer ignore as possibility.
The Lucidness of my dream appeared during conversation, and I was instantly able to acknowledge the malice behind the intention of my dream:
Growing up, I unfortunately did not have a solid, positive, nor healthy relationship with my mom, though we lived in the same house. I grew up with a strong desire to connect with my mom, but felt frozen in navigating how to do so. My parents both dealt with alcoholism and abuse of their own as they were growing up and as young adults; traumas of which I am sure they have yet to acknowledge or heal. This of course bled into my childhood and that of my sister, binding – but not bonding – us in moments of confusion, grief, and family trauma.
In my dream last night, there was a moment where I sat with my dad and sister, and my mom was in and out of the room we were in. Through her walking in and out, I can recall my dad trying to mention the traumatic event from my childhood, upon which I can recall in my dream, not wanting to talk about. Not wanting to dive into those feelings as I felt it was completely unnecessary. So in my dream, I refused to play along and I did not continue the conversation. As a result, my dad lowered his head into his hands and began to cry when he spoke of how different Christmas had felt without Pepe’s presence. There was the key.
I felt like something was instantly unlocked within me, and began to feel as though my tears and my sorrow were, not only shedding like a heavy waterfall, but also felt as though they were filling a cup. And not of my own, either.
I could clearly feel the sinister motives behind this act. I stopped crying in my dream and I said NO outloud. I refused to give any energy to the entities that were present – a new realm of Lucid Dreaming I never thought possible to experience.
And in my wake state, I can’t help but wonder. Have I won a battle? Have I destroyed a demon within? Or have I reclaimed my power from an entity that has fed off me since I was five? I will admit to feeling light today, connected to myself – very connected, and very proud, for acting in the way that I did in the middle of a dream that was playing on my strongest emotions. It has made me acknowledge the need to practice awareness within my dreams, perhaps this is a part of lucid dreaming we have yet to discover. Another piece to the equation worth looking into, is our surrounding environment, and how that alone can serve as the catalyst for disorders such as insomnia, anxiety, and depression – as I have struggled with throughout my life, but have found great solace and healing through, since living in a fully integrated nature based lifestyle.
Another win for Mother Nature. She helps heal and keeps us protected in our dreams.