Okay, I had another one of those MADDENING dreams last night – we all have them – the one where you’re trying to make a phone call and the phone is missing numbers, or entire keys, or you’re talking and the other person can’t hear you, or you can see the entire keypad and numbers but for some reason your fingers keep hitting the wrong ones? Often in my dream I’m also in a hurry which only amplifies the confusion.
For years I’ve wondered what was behind these frustrating dreams. And maybe that’s it. Maybe they’re nothing more than the manifestation of the things that frustrate us about being alive, about being in this body, and on this physical plane. Communication is a huge issue in our daily reality – trying to be heard, to be understood, to understand what someone else is trying to say, to get a point across. If we communicate inappropriately we risk hurting another’s feelings. I mean, how often do you feel like you had a truly stellar communication day? Where the entire day you were diplomatic, empathetic, sensitive, humorous, and able to access exactly the right words every time in every encounter? Maybe these dreams are the culmination of the frustration we feel in general with our lack of communication and inter-personal skills.
What I have learned about these dreams is that they can be excellent triggers to alert me to the fact that I’m dreaming. When things start to act up and turn strange I have the perfect opportunity to stop and realize I’m dreaming. Once I realize I’m dreaming I can often turn the frustration into a productive lucid dream experience instead.
Another type of trigger, which has some interesting side effects of its own, is to ask yourself, whenever you think of it, “am I awake or am I dreaming?” Do this long enough and you’ll find yourself saying it in your dreams as well. And when you find yourself stopping to consider this question in a dream, you realize that in that moment you also have the ability to completely change direction if you like.
What has happened for me as a long-term result of this practice is that it has blurred the line considerably between “waking life” and “dream state.” Go ahead and try it right now. Ready? Out loud, ask yourself the question, "am I awake reading this or am I dreaming I'm reading this?
Are you sure?
How do you know?