By Dr. Clare Johnson © 2016
Sleep Monsters & Superheroes: Empowering Children through Creative Dreamplay is edited by Clare R. Johnson and Jean M. Campbell and published by Praeger of ABC-CLIO. The following excerpt from Chapter 14 is reproduced with the publisher‘s permission: ―Dream Magicians: Empower Children through Lucid Dreaming,‖ © Clare R. Johnson, 2016.
A great many children seem to have spontaneous lucid dreams without ever having heard of ―waking up inside a dream‖, and once they become familiar with the concept, youngsters have the ability to pick up lucid dreaming very quickly. A sample of thirteen 10 to 12-year olds lucid dream induction techniques such as reality checks, re-dreaming, and MILD (Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams) over a six week period resulted in 92% of the children having at least one lucid dream. Such studies indicate that lucid dreaming is a learnable skill for the majority of children.
Lucid dreaming puts children in a strong position to work on their dreams and nightmares while they are dreaming. If children wish to guide the lucid dream, there are many possibilities for doing so in ways which encourage self-belief, creative thinking and problem-solving skills. These skills can carry over into the child‘s daily life, empowering him both in the dream world and the waking world. Once lucid, the dreamer can become a dream magician if he wants to, because lucid dreaming is a highly thought-responsive environment: simply thinking about something can cause it to manifest. This means being a dream magician can be as simple as thinking a clear, guiding thought in a lucid dream, or it can involve more complex actions such as reciting mantras and spells, creating new dream scenes, or using magical props such as an invisibility cloak or a wishing ring.
Young children often feel powerless in their dreams, just as they do in waking life, since adults have complete control over them. If children are informed about the possibilities open to them when they have a lucid dream, they can begin to take steps towards personal empowerment. This empowerment carries over into waking life situations and can help children to gain confidence and learn to speak out. This chapter discusses how to empower children in practical, lasting ways through a) Lucid dreaming and the four levels of lucid dream magic; b) Transforming bad dreams with my L.O.V.E Nightmare Empowerment Technique; c) Dreamplay as waking lucidity.
[…] There are many ways of applying touches of magic to a dream when lucid. These ideas for children‘s lucid dreams can be tweaked to make them age-appropriate. Rehearsing any which appeal to the child during the day, in a safe space, is helpful. In particular it‘s useful for the child to decide before bed who he will call on for help if he becomes lucid in a frightening dream.
When you know you are dreaming, ask the dream to make a certain person or animal appear. Call your request out loud: ―I‘d like to see my hamster!‖ Then wait and see what the dream comes up with.
Make something in the dream shrink small by pointing at it and saying: ― “Shrink!” Then see if the dream reacts. Something completely unexpected may happen. Every attempt at lucid dream experimentation teaches you more about the nature of your personal dream world.
Summon help: if you are faced with something scary, call for your favourite cartoon character, stuffed toy or football/movie star to help you out. Superheroes and parents work too! In a dream, help is always at hand. You just need to ask for it calmly and fully expect it to show up.
Ask a dream figure what it wants. Ask if it has a gift for you. Give it a gift. If you have nothing to give, look around and say: ― “Under that stone I‘ll find the perfect present for this dream figure.” Then lift the stone.
Inside Sleep Monsters & Superheroes there are stories about dreams that help children fight cancer, dreams that empower children to face moments of great change; spiritual dreams of transcendence. An all-star team of international dream experts has written chapters on everything from nightmares and bereavement dreams to psi and lucid dreams of time, space and the future. Each chapter gives practical tips for doing creative dreamplay with children to empower them within the fascinating world of their dreams.
Find out more on Clare‘s lucid dreaming website http://deepluciddreaming.com/2016/09/sleep-monsters-superheroes/ or order directly via Amazon.