Lana, welcome to the LDE! Tell us about your early dream life. When did you first learn about lucid dreaming? What did you think when you heard about it?
Dream life for me happened very early on. As a child, I experienced nightmares constantly and this is what led to my first lucid dream experience. Although at 4 years old I didn’t have a clue what lucid dreaming was, I was sure sick of having nightmares. After watching the British TV channel (CITV) before bed, I made a decision—tonight when there is anything scary in my dream, I’m just going to turn it into a cartoon!
That night I had another nightmare and remembered what I’d told myself before going to sleep. The CITV logo then appeared as a button in front of me. I smacked it and the entire dream scene became a cartoon! I had an amazing time laughing at what were previously scary characters and shrinking them into tiny little ant-sized creatures. Little did I know then that this first lucid dreaming experience would drastically change my life forever!
I think I was around 14 or 15 years old when I first heard the actual term ‘lucid dreaming’! It was such a joy to put words to something that I had been doing throughout my childhood. I was excited that other people knew about it, too, as I was always the kid who told her friends about my dreams and they all just responded by saying their dreams weren’t like that.
Did you have immediate success with lucid dreaming, or did it take a while? What happened in your early lucid dreams?
I did have immediate success with my lucid dreaming practice. I think partially because I was a kid who had never been told what we could or couldn’t do with our dreams. When I tried changing the dream for the first time—it worked! So this gave me a lot of confidence that I could do that whenever I needed to. Early on, I used most of my lucid dreams for things I was struggling with. One example is when I was feeling really embarrassed about needing stabilizers on my bike when bigger kids were riding without them. My mum took me out and I had a really hard time—I fell off my bike a bunch and was super frustrated. I was scared of getting hurt as well. That night I practiced in my lucid dreams. I wasn’t afraid of falling off because I knew it was just a dream, and I was actually able to see the mechanics of the bike from the third person perspective, as well, which helped me realize what I needed to do with my foot when I first got on the bike. The next morning I could ride the bike without stabilizers, no problem. My mum was shocked! (I used this exact same process for learning how to drive a car for the first time after moving to America 20 years later! My husband couldn’t believe it either, haha!)
As you went along, did you have lucid dreams that surprised you? Or led to unexpected events? Tell us about those.
I had a lot of lucid dreams that really surprised me. I think some of the most shocking were visitation dreams. The one that has stuck out the most happened when my nana passed away. She was in the UK whilst I was in the USA and so I didn’t know of her passing but that night she appeared in my dreams as a younger version of herself. I got lucid immediately and went inside the house she was in, and she was running around this little kitchen making me a sandwich and brewing the tea. I really wanted to do something fun with her, like fly or travel somewhere, but what surprised me most is I had absolutely no “control” over her at all. She absolutely was her own self and she was talking with me about situations from her waking life that made no sense to me at the time. It was only after I woke up and got the call from my dad about her passing that it all began to make sense. It was powerful to be able to share some of the messages from the lucid dream with him, and I feel like that gave him more closure of her passing as well.
What was it about lucid dreaming that you found interesting?
The thing that I found the most interesting was the sense of growth and empowerment. This was a space where I was not bound by waking-life limitations (money, time, energy, location, gender, species—I could spend the night as a dolphin if I wanted to!). I loved the limitless potential within the lucid dream space. How we see things in there like a baby seeing them for the first time. The visuals—and it’s fascinating how there are slight differences to the waking state. It amazes me time and time again at the way our brain can recreate things that we haven’t seen or thought about for years and years in perfect detail once again. That we can go back to old memories. I love the element of surprise—that we don’t always receive the answers we anticipate or how it very much feels like a co-creation that is occurring. There is still so much that interests me and excites me, as you can tell by this answer I’m limited in my ability to truly do it justice.
What techniques were you using to become lucid? Which did you find most helpful?
As a child, it was mostly MILD (Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreaming). Thinking about getting lucid before going to bed and really setting that intention for myself.
Nowadays I practice what I call the CEEO technique which stands for: Characters, Environments, Emotions, & Objects / Observations. This is based around harnessing actual lucidity in my waking life using people I’m interacting with, places I find myself in, emotions I’m experiencing, and any other objects, symbols, or things going on that seem odd or notable.
I think this is much more reliable than physical reality checks because you are working with what’s naturally a part of your life and therefore will naturally be a part of your dreams. If you are setting alarms on your phone or looking at your hand 100X a day, but you never see your phone or look at your hands in your dreams, that’s going to take a REALLY long time for you to trigger lucidity. Whereas, if you are using themes that regularly show up in your dreams and you can make all of them lucidity triggers, you are able to increase your lucid dream frequency by a lot!
Did lucid dreaming seem to have rules? Or did it seem random and chaotic?
Sometimes I feel like there are particular rules. I’ve had some lucid dreams where I’ve uncovered information that blows my mind and I can’t wait to bring it back with me to the waking state…but upon awakening it had felt like that information has been totally wiped from my memory. Parts of the dream are blank even though the rest of the dream is totally intact.
There are also times where you can have the deepest and most profound interactions, conversations, and experiences whilst lucid and other times where you don’t get many answers or they seem just random and useless. But I like to believe that even when things seem random, they still have a deeper purpose. Sometimes it’s taken a few weeks or months for something that initially seemed random to suddenly make sense to me.
As for chaotic, I feel like our dream environments represent our headspace. If we are stressed and things are chaotic in our lives, this will also be represented in our dreams. If we are calm and grounded, this will be what’s reflected in our dreams.
You have an online presence as “;Getting Lucid with Lana” you mention as part of your story that lucid dreaming helped you emerge from depression. How did that work and what role did lucid dreaming play?
I suffered heavily with mental health issues, depression, drug addiction, and all kinds of problems growing up. I spent some time in an institution being treated and heavily medicated for psychosis. I was under 24-hour surveillance, wasn’t allowed to go outside, and wasn’t allowed to have particular items with me. I had my freedom taken away. During this time, my happy place was my lucid dreams where I could live freely and do whatever I wanted. No one could take my dreams away from me.
I didn’t do very well with therapy sessions, as I recognized that it was all down to my ability to talk and be able to express what I needed to. At that time, this wasn’t possible for me. However, my dreams were a place where I was constantly processing information—all the way from what was super conscious to totally unconscious. This helped me tremendously, and so I had a deep curiosity within about whether it could potentially be helpful for other people, too.
This led me to later publish the world’s first paper on the Healing and Transformative Potential of Lucid Dreaming for Treating Clinical Depression. Whilst conducting the research and working with data from hundreds of participants all over the world, I was able to see how this practice truly was transformative for people of all different ages, backgrounds, cultures, and unique situations. During that time, many ofmy participants asked me if I taught lucid dreaming practices or could help them with their lucid dreaming. This led me to starting my own lucid dreaming and living business: Get Lucid With Lana, LLC.
Without naming names or identifying anyone, have you worked with lucid dreamers who used lucid dreaming to resolve inner issues, limiting beliefs, or lack of self-confidence? Can you share a story?
I work with lucid dreamers who are using lucid dreaming to resolve inner issues, limiting beliefs, and lack of confidence on a weekly basis, so there are SO MANY powerful examples I could share. I’ll share one that I was given permission to discuss for part of my MSc dissertation. This woman (we’ll call her Mary) was having terrifying recurring nightmares that were incredibly stressful. The repeating theme was her as a child being left in the car for a few moments and then being kidnapped. Mary wanted to re-write and re-wire this situation, so she induced a lucid dream. In the dream, the man got in the car as usual to take her away, but this time she was lucid and said, “NO! I don’t want this to happen anymore!” The man responded, “Okay,” and got out of the car. That was the last time Mary ever had that dream. After awakening, she recognized how she can change things with the responses she has. This gave her a lot more confidence in how to stand up for herself and express herself in waking life.
A man (we’ll call him Joseph) shared about his fear of dogs. In his dreams, there would be a dog that chased him. Joseph was getting tired of this scenario so one day he decided to induce a lucid dream. He found himself in the dream with the dog and whilst running away became lucidly aware. He stopped running and actually turned around to ask the dog about this scenario. The dog responded, “Would you like to change bodies and see how things are from my perspective?” Joseph gained a lot of new insights experiencing things from the dog’s perspective. After awakening, he recognized that he needs to look at some of his waking life conflicts from different view points. In doing so, he was able to solve his problem.
As part of your work, you have The Lucid Entrepreneur Lab. In what way could lucid dreaming connect to or support entrepreneurism or one’s career? How has it helped you achieve your entrepreneurial wishes?
The Lucid Entrepreneur Lab is, in fact, my biggest lucid dreaming testimony for career and entrepreneurial expansion as the entire concept for it was birthed from one of my own lucid dreams. In 2020, I had a year of retreats lined up and ready to go when suddenly the pandemic hit. All my retreats were postponed and many of my students were suddenly out of work and canceling their sessions. I had no idea what to do, so I did what I do best and induced a lucid dream.
That night, in my lucid dream, I was shown the concept of the Lucid Entrepreneur Lab. A course that could be conducted online for people who are looking to use lucid dreaming and living practices for turning their own dreams into a reality. I saw all the different modules and things that needed to be included in order for it to work. The next morning the entire concept came pouring out of me. It took about 3 months for me to put it all together but the entire process was incredibly fast as I’d already seen how it worked in my lucid dream and was essentially just reverse engineering it into existence.
Two years later, the Lab is now the core of my business. We have Lucid Entrepreneurs (students of TLEL) in 14 different countries worldwide! The concept is really all about walking people through lucid dreaming and living practices that will help them with self-development, entrepreneurship (bringing anything new into creation—whether that’s personal or business based), and how to live life at their full potential!
As for my own entrepreneurial wishes, I now work full time running the 6-figure business of my dreams (pun intended)! Being able to share lucid dreaming and lucid living practices with people who can benefit from them just as I did and use them to not just improve their own lives but impact the lives of others, too, brings me joy beyond belief. It truly is a dream come true!
I recall one night as a college student forty years ago, I dreamt of coffee in a tea bag. I saw this and examined it in the dream. When I woke, I thought, “That’s actually an interesting idea. Someone could make some money with that!” And five years later, Folgers came out with the “single serve” coffee teabags (just like my dream).
Do dream- or lucid dream-inspired inventions ever appear in your or your clients’ dream lives? Or is there a way that we could ‘direct’ our dreaming towards that goal?
Absolutely! There are endless examples of inventions and creative breakthroughs that come from our dreams. Many of my students are artists, writers, musicians, and very creative people, so lots of them will induce lucid dreams to see their next bestselling painting, what to write next in their novel, get inspiration for their next musical masterpiece, and so forth.
For anyone who is looking to feel inspired, I’d recommend inducing a lucid dream for that purpose alone. Either getting lucid and just watching the dream unfold and looking out for something to naturally spark inspiration, like your “coffee in a teabag” dream—or to actually consciously embark on that task themselves. Simply ask the dream to show them their next best invention!
For some people, they have ‘dreamt up’ an idea, or can see a possible new life/career. How can lucid dreaming help them successfully cross over to having a more interesting and fulfilled life?
When we dream about something we desire, it might not always be so easy to take action on that in waking life. For example, when I first dreamed up the idea of hosting a lucid dreaming retreat, I had absolutely no experience with this or idea of where to begin. So I used my lucid dreams to get a taste for the experience. That way I could explore what it felt like to teach a huge group of people and a small group of people. I could practice teaching particular techniques and conducting presentations. I could experience the retreat in different environments. This gave me a lot more insight and confidence into how it would all play out and in what ways I wanted to bring it to life in the waking state.
We are able to use our lucid dreams as a kind of “playground” or virtual reality experience for practice and exploration. This can be especially helpful with things that we would have no way to experience without actually going through the entire procedure in waking life. It can save us lots of time and energy. PLUS when we wake up from a potent and powerful lucid dream where we tried something out (like my dream about the Lucid Entrepreneur Lab), it’s really hard to just say, “Ahh…maybe I’ll work on that next year. Or, “Ahh, it was just a dream.” You wake up with so much clarity, lucidity, and motivation to bring it to life.
In terms of fulfillment, I think it goes back to that concept of unlimited potential. If you get lucid and you aren’t bound by time, money, energy, or any waking-life “blockages,” what is it that you truly want to explore and spend your time and energy on? This will give you a better idea about what kinds of things are going to feel fulfilling for you in waking life, too.
If people want to learn more about your work or contact you, where should they go?
Instagram, TikTok, Twitter: @lanasackwild
My facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/luciddreamingandliving
My website: https://www.lanasackwild.com/
Or they can email me: email@example.com
Thanks, Lana, for sharing your experiences!
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