Lucid Dreams

Jim:    Salutations and best wishes to the listeners of this podcast.  Those who are about to enter, I salute you.  I congratulate you on having an interest in participating in your life rather than finding yourself creating yourself.  Combining serendipity and synchronicity.  Creating a reaction rather than waiting for one.  Let’s make 1+1 equal 3.  Let’s deal with fear.  Let’s use it.  Let’s expect the unexpected.  Follow the sound of my voice down the rabbit hole and live a life without definitive expectations.  Participate in full-impact mindfulness.  And, if that interests you, listen on.  Dive into the deep end of the pool and I’ll teach you to Fish Without Bait – a lifetime without definitive expectations.  Today, as always, I’m joined by my good friend, co-host, and producer of this program – Mr. Mike.  Good moment to you, Good Sir.  Could I ask you where you’re at?  And, could I ask you what time it is?

Mike:     It’s right now, as always.

Jim:    Yes it is.  It’s always right now.  What else – for the listeners out there – ask yourself, what else time could it be?  Mike, once again, I’m going to ask you if someone came up to you and said, Mike, what is this Fishing Without Bait?  What is full-impact mindfulness?  What would you tell them?

Mike:    I’d say, first of all, it’s a way of life.  A venture into being here, being now, and being present.  

Jim:    And, what we’re interested in is helping people help themselves to participate fully in life.  We don’t make any illusion that we’re going to handcuff ourselves to people and drag them across the goal line.  This is full-impact mindfulness – it’s them participating in their lives.  To live life out loud and create themselves.  To realize that they – they’re the ones that they’ve been waiting for.  So, Mike, is not our health, our wellness, and our happiness our responsibility?

Mike:    Yes.  Absolutely.

Jim:    And, do we have a choice in this world?

Mike:    Yes.

Jim:    Our lives are made up of a continuous series of choices.  And, Mike, we often talk about becoming the observer behind the thinker and how the thinker can attempt to be a helpful friend who volunteers to watch your dog and then leaves it out and it runs away.  So, we’re talking about not taking yourself too seriously.  About seeing the absurdity of life.  These are challenge podcasts.  If you remember what our friend George Elliott the author said it’s never too late to be what you might have been.  We’ve been talking about how to help people hit their reset button and to shift their sails and sail into a new era in their lives.  And, again, when I discuss taking the absurdist view of life, it’s not laughing at everything.  And, not seeing everything as ridiculous.  However, it’s stepping back and seeing – really seeing.  To make conscious choices about our lives and understand the attachments that hold us back that really and truly don’t matter.  Keeping that in mind, buckle your seatbelt.  Buy the ticket.  Get on board.  And, let the adventure begin anew.  So, Mike, full-impact mindfulness is about participating in life, would that be correct?

Mike:    Correct.

Jim:    And, when we remember something, it’s called what?  When you remember something, what is it called?

Mike:    A memory.

Jim:    A memory.  Of course.  So, in full-impact mindfulness we’re talking about creating memories.  Creating them.  People constantly talk about how they can’t remember anything, right?  And, what they did yesterday.  So, what type of life is that, Mike?  When we can’t remember what we’ve done.  Is that a life?

Mike:    It’s kind of a life of absence.

Jim:    It’s a life of being absent – absent in your own life.  Let’s keep in mind that we remember emotionally charged events much better than the mundane – much better than the average, everyday life experiences.  So, if we want to remember something, Mike, we attach an emotion to it.  Whether that’s happiness, sadness, anger – so we’re more likely to remember something when it’s followed by something strongly emotional.  And, actually, this effect is stronger in women than men.  So, let’s give an example.  Let’s say we’re having lunch or dinner together.  Sometimes we often do.  So, could you remember what we talked or ate about 6 months ago, Mike?

Mike:    Not terribly.  No.  

Jim:    Of course not.  However, if during that lunch if I got up and dropped a hot cup of coffee into your lap, I have a hunch you would remember everything about that day.

Mike:    Certainly.

Jim:    Absolutely.  And, remember, it’s emotions that surround the event.  It’s the arousal.  It’s not the importance of the information that helps you remember.  It’s the emotional arousal.  And, that’s a choice we have on creating, do we not?

Mike:    Right.

Jim:    And, we get back to the conscious choices.  We get back to emotions.  And, again, I always talk about the importance of labeling and describing.  And, keeping in mind the effect a mood has upon encoding – which is what makes our memories, what puts them in the cells, puts them in the data bank.  And, retrieving – which of course is bringing them back.  It sounds a whole lot like a computer, doesn’t it, Mike?

Mike:    Certainly.

Jim:    If we want to remember something we evoke – we remember the emotional state where those things were encoded at the time.  And, we can generally bring that type of memory back.  And, we’ll talk about memory in another podcast because it’s so fascinating.  But, a little bit today I wanted to talk a little bit more about time.  So, again, Mike – other than money what would you like to have more of during the day?

Mike:    Time is money.  Time is a commodity.  Time is currency.

Jim:    However, you do have the same amount of time in a day that Abraham Lincoln had, did you not?  The President of the United States.  Albert Einstein, Bill Gates – do they have more hours in a day than you do?

Mike:    Absolutely not.  We’re all born with the same budget.

Jim:    Indeed.  How much time does a person spend sleeping, Mike?

Mike:    On average, it should be around 7 or 8 hours a day – a night.

Jim:    Which would mean a third of your day.  Which would equate to most people sleep a third of their lives.  So, let’s give a lifespan of 75 years.  That would mean that you spent 25 years asleep.  Mike, I’m not sure Rip Van Winkle slept that long.  So, if we’re going to participate in our life, can we do something about that sleep time?  Can we do something about it?  What do people generally do when they sleep?  Even if they don’t remember it?

Mike:    They dream.

Jim:    Absolutely.  So, Mike, can we use full-impact mindfulness?  Can we go Fishing Without Bait in our dreams and influence our dreams so they have some meaning in our life?  Perhaps to solve problems.  Perhaps go to different places.  Use our imagination and creativity.  So, what I want to talk about today is about lucid dreaming.  Mike, do you know what a lucid dream is?

Mike:    No.

Jim:    So, let’s talk about the definition of a dream.  The literal definition of a dream: it’s an air of experience that occurs while sleeping and sometimes it’s defined as – you’ve heard of REM, the rapid eye movement type of sleep?

Mike:    Yes.

Jim:    Okay, that’s the last and most deepest stage of sleep.  Dreams do occur in other stages of sleep.  However, Mike, it’s during REM sleep that the cortex of our brain is as active as it is when we’re awake. So, we’re getting back to our topic – what is a lucid dream?  A lucid dream is one where you’re aware that you’re dreaming.  So, when you’re in a dream state and you know you’re dreaming – to participate in your dream.  So, could you imagine what it would be like to be the observer behind the dreamer?  

Mike:    That’d be powerful.

Jim:    Indeed.  So, Mike, can you think of any reasons why we would want to have lucid dreams?

Mike:    I think certainly to work out problems in our lives, to process the information for the day and the issues on your mind.

Jim:    How much more could we get done in our lives?  And, how much more could we participate in our lives?  How much more could we create ourselves if we could influence our dreams?

Mike:    About a third more.

Jim:    Indeed.  You’re quick on your feet today.  And, we can certainly do that.  But, with some of the willpower and some of the benefits of the lucid dreams – so getting back to basics once more – remember that during the day our thoughts are structured according to our morality.  According to expectations of others around us.  And, according to expectations of ourselves in the society that we live in.  However, at night when we dream we have what is called unstructured thought, which is why most people refer to their dreams as weird.  Have you ever done that, Mike?  Have you said oh my gosh I had a weird dream last night.

Mike:    Most nights.  It’s like well that was a thing that happened.

Jim:    Well, they’re not weird, Mike.  You’re just identifying them as weird as the only thing that you have to judge them against is the structured thought of your day, and weird is what you come up with.  So, what we have in weird dreams, Mike, are highly symbolic images, sights and sounds.  So, how do we influence our dream?  What we do, Mike, is what we’re always talking about – the full-impact mindfulness. It’s about paying attention on purpose during the day.  Participating in your life during the day.  Accurately labeling and describing what was going on in you – being in the moment.  Saying I’m right here and it’s right now.  When you want to remember something, when there’s a particular problem, there’s a particular sight.  There’s a sound.  There’s something that you want to encode into your memory.  You go through that reality check.  I’m right here and it’s right now.  You do the breathing.  Am I alive?  I’m really excited about this stuff obviously.  I’m passionate about it.  Trying to help people gain another third of their life back.  So, when we do the reality check we can hit that reset button constantly.  Participating in our life and encoding – attaching those emotions to the memories that we want to influence.  So, if we want to solve some type of a problem, if we want to deal with issues in our lives – and, Mike, perhaps we’ve been having nightmares.  Do you ever have nightmares?

Mike:    Yes.

Jim:    Sure.  We learn how to deal with them.  And, quite often, Mike – these nightmares are unresolved issues from our past.  And fears in our lives.  Remember, these are symbolic dreams.  How often do we have dreams about running away from something?  And, maybe we can’t get fast enough, or our legs won’t move – or having dreams about falling. 

Mike:    I have a lot of dreams about zombies, actually.

Jim:    Okay.  Great.  So, keep in mind, Mike, that in our dreams we cannot get physically hurt during our dreams.  We cannot be emotionally destroyed.  Mike, in our dreams we can be fearless.  And, if we have lucid dreams – if we can participate in them we can influence our dreams and those fears in our lives.  Those symbolic things, we can actually stop and turn around and face those “monsters” in our lives.  We can turn them around and face them.  And, confront them.  Perhaps something that we couldn’t physically do during the day.  We could confront them in our dreams.  And, do something about that – have those unresolved issues.  And, in real life change your life.  So, here’s my challenge to everyone: Think about what you want to do, or what you want to dream about during the day, and before you go to bed have some quiet time.  Unplug yourself from the technology. Put those images in your mind.  Full-impact mindfulness.  Have your mind jump into the deep end of the pool of those sights, sounds, and images that you want to deal with.  Become that observer behind the thinker.  Behind the dreamer.  Talk to the dreamer.  Talk to the thinker.  Injecting what you want and putting emotions to the memories, the things that you want to talk about.  Put some emotion behind your words.  Put some emotion behind your thought.  Attach them to them.  Naturally, this is going to be a frustrating experience and you may not get any results immediately.  My hope is that you’ll have the honesty, the open-mindedness, and a willingness to try.  I challenge everyone to keep a dream journal as this is very important as most of our – remember, we don’t remember our dreams when we wake up.  And, that is because the encoding devices in our brains generally when we dream are inactive.  So, remember, and consider that once you’re in your dream you’re not constrained by any types of laws of physics, society, gravity – you’re free to do anything and everything that you could possibly imagine.  Deal with fantasies and adventure.  Becoming more involved in your spirituality.  Solving problems that occur during the day.  That the thinker inside you, Mike, is preventing you from solving.  Mike, this is such an exciting area.  And, this is an area where full-impact mindfulness can really have an influence and meaning in people’s lives.  We’re going to continue this subject and others.  So, my challenge out there is for everybody to participate in your life.  Walk through your life with me.  Fishing Without Bait.  Use full-impact mindfulness to jump into your life – jump into your dreams.  Until next time, Namaste.  

Please check out our website at FishingWithoutBait.com where you can listen to the show, comment on our discussions and find out where you can subscribe to our podcast.  Fishing Without Bait is a production of Namaste Holistic Counseling, P.C.