In four decades of lucid dreaming, I have experienced lucid dream droughts, or periods where more than six weeks would pass without a single lucid dream. But like the rains, the lucid dreams always returned, and sometimes in great abundance.
So what happened? How did the lucid dream drought begin? And how does it come to an end? In these five points, I hope to show you how to return to lucid dreaming after a drought:
1. Re-build Your Focus on Lucid Dreaming.
In talking to lucid dreamers around the world and seeing my own experience, I have noticed that lucid dream droughts occur when I begin to focus almost all my energy on waking life and its various duties, hassles or emotions. For example, a big project at work or an ongoing disagreement with someone shifts all your attention and energy to the waking world. In effect, you have simply stopped focusing on lucid dreaming (or you feel too wiped out at the end of the day to care).
The solution? Move past the waking life issues and create a positive focus on lucid dreaming! For me, this would mean reading about lucid dreaming in high quality books, or re-reading past issues of the LDE. As I read about various lucid dreams, especially before sleep, my mind begins to focus on the possibilities and joy of lucid dreaming. The ideas refocus my mind on lucid dreaming.
2. Establish New Intents.
After one lucid dream drought, I asked myself, “If I became lucid tonight, what would I want to do?” Nothing came to mind. Not a thing. Nada.
In this moment, I realized that a lack of ‘intent’ seemed behind the drought. Without an intent or goal/purpose, lucid dreaming loses its priority status and motivating force. I needed a new intent so I could get excited about the next lucid dream, and achieving that intent! You know what? I found that when I searched within, and found a heartfelt intent or curiosity. Then, within a night or two, I would have a lucid dream. Simply having a deep intent seemed to call forth the lucid dream. My friend, Ed Kellogg, often said something like, “Seek an intent that makes your heart sing!” A powerful intent carries powerful energy.
3. Look at Lucid Dream Blockages or Fears.
Awhile back, I gave a workshop and had a delightful crowd of lucid dreamers. One person mentioned that they had not had a lucid dream in six months, and asked me the simple question, ‘Why?’ I told the person that it may involve something that happened about six months ago. For example, the person may have had a troubling lucid dream, or read something scary about lucid dreams on the internet. The person nodded, as if to say, ‘I’ll think about it.’
The next day, the person came up and told me, “I thought about your comment, and then the answer hit me. Six months ago, I felt so excited about lucid dreaming, I talked to my dad about it. Then I asked him to watch the movie, Waking Life, with me. At the end of the movie, he made a comment that really hurt me. He said lucid dreaming seemed stupid and a waste of time. Since that day, I have not had a lucid dream.”
Each case seems different. For one person, the lucid dream drought may connect to a fear, such as, ‘What if I met my deceased mother in a lucid dream?’ or ‘What if I ____ (fill in the blank)?’ Fears constrain us. They keep us in the small world of our comfort zone. In my experience, you have to resolve your fears in order to grow, as a person and as a lucid dreamer! Look within, and see if your lucid dream drought connects to a fear or concern or something (e.g., my dad thinks it seems stupid).
4. Examine and Expand Your Lucid Dream Beliefs.
As I went deeper into lucid dreams, I had to face many unusual situations. Anyone who has read my first book can see the deep, deep journey. However, I realized some lucid dream droughts occurred when I had to ‘expand’ my beliefs about lucid dreaming. I had to let go of small beliefs, old beliefs, and accept new and larger beliefs.
For example, it seemed difficult to accept that in lucid dreams, you can engage a non-visible awareness behind the dream. I had to expand my belief system to allow for such a thing! Also, I see the fear or hesitancy in the lucid dream reports of others, the first time they reach out to this larger awareness— their question gets stuck in their throat, or they cannot speak at all.
During a drought, you may want to look at your last lucid dreams and see if they strive to get you to expand your limiting beliefs. You may find that you need to ‘surrender’ to the experience and allow for new possible beliefs.
5. Be Easy on Yourself!
Years ago, I received a note from a young man who had a long lucid drought. He said that he decided to re-read my first book and get his ‘head’ back into lucid dreaming. As he read it, he came across the chapter on the ‘reality creating’ principles of belief, expectation, focus, intent, etc. Then he did something amazing.
Instead of beating up on himself about the lucid dream drought, he began to energize his positive beliefs about his lucid dreaming ability! Every time he doubted himself, he stopped, mentally tossed out that belief, and inserted his new belief in his natural ability to lucid dream!
The result? He told me that within a week of starting this belief regimen, he had eight lucid dreams in one week! He said he had more lucid dreams in that week than the past eight months—all because he altered his waking life belief and stopped the negative, defeating inner chatter.
I hope one of these ideas will help bring the cooling and healing rains of lucid dreaming into your next lucid dream drought, and allow your mind to flourish with growth, creativity and inner beauty.