When you suddenly realize, “Hey, this is a lucid dream!”, what happens next?
For beginning lucid dreamers, your success may depend on how you respond in the first 30 seconds of your lucid dream. Because in those first exciting seconds, you need to know how to respond – and avoid the common errors which can make the lucid dream collapse.
Three important steps can set you on the path to an exciting and lengthy lucid dream. To make it easy to remember when you become lucid, let’s call them the REM steps: 1) Reduce your emotions, 2) Enhance your awareness, and 3) Maintain your focus. By recalling this advice when you first become lucid, you will amaze your friends with the length, depth and stability of your lucid dreams.
1) Reduce your emotions
Often, when we become lucid, we also become very excited! This can be a big problem. Why? Because if you are too excited, then your excitement may cause you to wake from the lucid dream. And your lucid dream may not even last 30 seconds!
Thankfully, it is easy to overcome – if you can remember this advice.
When you begin feeling too excited when lucid, tell yourself to “Calm down,” before the emotions get too high. In lucid dreams, your mental commands will make an immediate decrease in the emotional level.
After telling yourself to calm down, then visually focus on something boring for a few seconds, like your hands or the floor. Any neutral visual stimuli will naturally reduce your emotions – especially if you became lucid after meeting a favorite movie star!
By not letting your emotional energy surge, you improve your chances of staying lucid.
2) Enhance your awareness
Once lucid, it can help to increase your awareness, especially if the lucid dream seems to look dim. For example, I shout out a suggestion to the dream, such as “Greater clarity now!” or “More lucid awareness!” Incredibly, this often makes the lighting in the dream get much brighter, and I feel more aware too.
You can also increase your awareness by engaging in a solidifying ritual, such as rubbing your hands together or touching something in the lucid dream. In a way, this ‘grounds’ you in the lucid dream and establishes the kinesthetic senses (feelings of touch) to help you feel solidly ‘there.’
If you wish, you can perform a ‘Reality Check’ – which means that you can ‘check’ that you exist in the dream reality by doing these kind of things: jump and float, or tell yourself to levitate, or maybe even pull the index finger on your hand and watch it grow longer! These kinds of ‘reality checks’ confirm that ‘This really is a lucid dream.’
By increasing your awareness, it makes the next goal of maintaining your focus much easier.
3) Maintain your focus
Many lucid dreamers discover this important point: You must maintain your awareness of being lucid, while simultaneously exploring the lucid dream. That is, you must stay ‘mindful’ of being in the dream.
In other words, if you become too interested in dream events (and en-tranced by them) then you may forget that it is a dream – which means your lucid awareness will end. In these cases, you lose your lucidity and return to regular dreaming.
Maintaining your focus requires an ‘active’ realization of lucid dreaming. Some lucid dreamers perform repetitive actions to remind themselves that they are dreaming. They announce every 30 seconds, “This is a lucid dream.” My friend, Lucy, sings a song to remind herself that she is dreaming.
In my workshops, I encourage beginners to create a series of small goals to achieve, when they become lucid. For example, they may want to fly to a nearby tree, then examine the leaves on it, and touch the bark. Does it feel like it does in waking physical reality? By making little goals to achieve (one goal followed by another), it ‘focuses’ your mind on examining the lucid dream realm, and staying lucid as a result.
One caution about focus involves staring at objects in a lucid dream. For some reason, lucid dreamers find that staring fixedly at something for five seconds or more often causes the dream to feel shaky and then collapse.
Once you have done these three REM steps (Reduce emotions, Enhance awareness and Maintain your focus), then you have created a very stable lucid dream environment. At this point, you can explore the dream state, or if you wish, express your intent or goal (for example, announce, ‘Hey dream, show me something important for me to see!’).
By following these three REM steps, it builds a strong and stable foundation for lucid explorations and experiments! A final tip: Memorize them now, so you know what to do in your next lucid dream!
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