I recall recently having a dream, where I was exploring an area something like the Grand Canyon. I was at the top, hiking, enjoying the view of the canyon below, feeling the tiredness in my legs as I walked endlessly, but none the less feeling good. It was a pleasant dream.
My perspective changed when I suddenly became aware that I was dreaming. I remember pausing, taking a moment to try little, impossible things to verify this. There was a rock I owned as a kid, dug out of the clay bank near Lake Kashagawigamog, that I had carried with me for weeks after the visit. I knew the weight, the smooth feel, the dimensions, and I knew, it had been lost almost forty years ago, so there was no way it would be in my pocket. Yet, there is was, and my lucid dream state was confirmed.
One thing I've been able to do since I was a kid, when I would accidentally lucid dream, was fly. At first, it was more like hovering in place, then slight movements. As years past, I learned how to move up and down, then how to adjust my speed. Yes, I actually had to teach myself how to fly properly in my own dreams. Now, as an adult, I can soar as high and as fast as my imagination can take me, and here I was, on the edge of a giant chasm, so I took the plunge. It was exciting, invigorating and memorable.
When I woke up, I felt so alive and refreshed, like I often feel after a good run, or a particularly satisfying writing stint. I felt like I had accomplished something, yet in reality I hadn't - it was all im my mind.
That's when the concept his me - here I was, stuck while I slept in my own head, and when I realized I was lucid dreaming, I immediately did the one thing in my dreams that I LOVE to do the most - fly. If only I could live my real life like that - and then it occurred to me, that I can (within the confines of the Laws of Physics. I've never been one to break the law!)
The idea behind Lucid Living is that, here you are, in the big sandbox that is the world, and most of the time, you have the freedom to do what you want. Yet, many of us spend that valuable time planted in front of a computer, watching TV, movies or YouTube videos, wishing we could have a life like the protagonists do, but never actually. . . .living.
Why is it we when we lucid dream, we are often able to do almost anything we put our mind to, yet when reality hits, so many of us neglect, or simply refuse, to do this?
I'll tell you why - self-imposed limits. Its too hard. I'm too tired. It costs too much money. I'm too stressed. I don't know how. I'm too busy. The excuses are endless, and we all fall into the trap at one time or another.
Using my practice of Mindfulness, I've committed to being more focused on the things that really make me happy and satisfied, and clearing every reasonable hurdle that can be cleared. I may not be able to fly, like in my dreams (in reality, I suffer from vertigo sometimes), but that doesn't mean I can't clear my agenda and make time for that book I've really wanted to read, but can't find the time, for that story that's been swimming in my head but hasn't hit the page yet, that run I want to do, but if I ran that long it would take over an hour. Researching my next vacation and making sure I can get the most out of it. These are the things that, at this point in my life, really satisfy me, and I'm sure they will change over time. That doesn't bother me at all - its what's happening now that makes all the difference, and I'm doing what I really enjoy.
So get out there, make Lucid Living a regular practice. Identify what really, deep down, satisfies you, then throw yourself into it. No more excuses that you can't. It's not that you can't, its that you won't - and that's a shame. You would do it in your dream, where its not real - why won't you do it in your life, where it makes all the difference?