What the.......

I’ve run into the hardest challenge of my ld career, and I need some help to solve it. It all started a couple of months ago when I went on a road trip to Chicago. I was really bored in the car and I started thinking about lucid dreaming. At this time I was fairly adept in the art and had several lucid dreams under my belt. Usually I had lds twice or three times a week. Anyways I started thinking about all the things I really wanted to do and I decided to try, just to see if it was possible, to make a dream sign. What I mean is to cause something to appear in all my dreams regularily because I intended it to. My imagination went wild, the nights after that I had a hard time remembering my dreams but that was mostly due to the travel so I didn’t pay it much heed. But once I returned home I realized that I had barely any dream recall at all, almost back to how it was before I started LDing. I worked hard to reconstruct my dream recall with my goal of creating a dream sign still in my mind, but what I found is that my dream signs completely changed and the level of consciousness that I had previously experienced in dreams was entirely gone! I was shocked to say the least and I almost gave up my quest then and there but instead I decided to rededicate myself to lucid dreaming. But not before I find out what happened to me. That, dear friends is where you come in. Why did this happen to me? What did I do wrong? Will it happen again? And most importantly how should I proceed from here?

Hey, TheQuasar. It is hard for anybody to say what exactly caused your reduction in dream recall; however, perhaps I can speak from my own experience.

First and foremost, the human mind is both infinitely complicated and painfully simple. My personal philosophy stems from the idea that our subconscious mind tries to do what is best for us. I say painfully because often times, our subconscious minds decide things that we either do not anticipate, or worse, do not recognize. Are you hungry? Do you like the idea of a hamburger right now? Well, lucky for you, your subconscious mind will enforce that thought until it burns through your skull. Next thing you know, you are grabbing your keys and meeting up with a pal at the local burger joint.

Understanding the intentions of the subconscious mind is incredibly powerful and is precisely the very tool you can use to do anything you desire, whether it be becoming somebody successful, excelling at a particular skill, or in this case, enhancing dream recall. You have already begun walking in the right direction–writing this very topic has triggered something, somewhere inside your mind. But as you asked in your first post, how did you get here?

Personally, I have had similar experiences. I think I have somehow mastered the art of lucid dreaming by having a few every month (mastering is a relative term, is it not :wink: ), and then suddenly it seems all lucidity and dream recall stops, as if I just close my eyes to go to sleep only to immediately open them up to start the day. At first, I blamed my studies and overall stress level. I work hard every day, am usually up until the early hours of the morning working on assignments, and have weekends consumed entirely by projects. But then, I stepped back and asked myself, am I really trying to have a lucid dream? My sort of knee-jerk reaction was, “Of course!”, but after giving it thought, it sort of felt I merely wanted lucidity without actually having to do anything. I was not performing any techniques, nor was I maintaining any sort of dream journal. Most importantly, and perhaps the reason for the lack of lucid dreams, I had lost my passion. And, when passion is lost and you no longer care, why should your subconscious?

So, what did I do from here? I bought myself a nice looking journal, a fancy unique-looking pen, and set those next to my nightstand. As corny (and perhaps silly) as it feels, writing your dreams down immediately upon waking up is perhaps the greatest thing you can do for yourself. There are so many things happening when you write down your dreams that most people either take for granted or simply do not see.

Firstly, it has been observed in a number of studies that physically writing things down with pen and paper dramatically boost your memory capabilities. While most studies relate to studying for tests and whatnot, the idea carries over with dreaming. By nature, our dreams sort of have this abstract feeling to them, one that is hard for our waking-life selves to connect or relate to. It is because of this lack of connection that we often forget our dreams. A simple non-dreaming example would be recalling the last time you were waiting in line to purchase something. Do you remember what the people ahead of you purchased? Do you remember their voice? Odds are, probably not. Why? Well, why should you–it is not relevant to your life! But alas, there are the times where you can remember, aren’t there? In these cases, it is probably because the people (or person) had some notable feature, such as a crazy voice, abnormally funny demeanor, extremely attractive body, etc. These types of things are relevant to you, simply because they feel like experiences (“Oh, the funniest thing happened to me today, I saw this guy who…”). So, in short, write your dreams down and they instantly become relevant to your life, even more so than you probably think.

Another helpful thing about writing dreams down is to assess your common dream signs, as you mentioned in your initial post. It may feel that some times our dream signs change or disappear entirely, but writing your dreams down and reading over them may allow for you to see a pattern that may serve as “the bigger picture” compared to what your initially recognized dream signs were.

Lastly, taking the time to write down your dreams allows for you to re-imagine them as you try to piece together the events that occurred. Not only does this boost relevancy (as we already discussed), it also helps you send those beneficial messages to your subconscious–showing it that you do indeed have a passion and interest for dreaming.

Anyway, I hope at least some of that helped. The last thing I shall leave you with is to consider perhaps the two most powerful words you can say to yourself. These words, when used appropriately, can define who you are, who you are not, and perhaps most importantly, where you shall go in life. And, like the philosophy behind the subconscious, they are both infinitely complicated and painfully simple: “I am”. Not “I will” or “I want”, but “I am.” Do not treat your subconscious like a genie, wishing for something about yourself to change. Tell it exactly who you are.

Wow, BenDrummin, that was a great reply, just what I needed to read right now that I’m lacking motivation :smile:

I’ve been lding for almost two years now, and I’ve had more Ld’s than I can count. I’ve found that I too travel or something gets in the way of my dream life and I have dreamless period like you describe. However, it seems that the dreams come in cycles, I have to work hard to get my dream ability back, but it come back stronger and stronger every time. Traveling can sometimes be a good time to explore your dream life because you’re sleeping in new places and it takes your mind out of what it is used to. If you can exploit that time properly you can have some interesting dreams. I’d recommend being patient with the techniques you know and just start again. Patience has helped me all the way through my ld career above most other things.