Lucidity practice on a limited time schedule

Whether it be work, school or sport we all have our own reasons to say we’re busy people. Busy as you may be there is a way to manage your time so that you can have all the benefit of lucid sleep with less overall time-consumption.

Consistency outweighs accuracy when it comes to keeping a dream journal. I recommend referring to my previous post about how to manage your dream journals titled  “The Tools of the Trade.” Yet regardless of availability, consistency with something as seemingly trivial as keeping a dream journal is still very difficult for most people.

The rules of taking notes on your dreams are the same as taking notes for any other occasion. Think business meeting or lecture hall: Get the key points down, pay attention and fill in the smaller facts later. I’ve known people that have tried different focused organization approaches to their journal keeping such as organization charts, The Cornell Method (http://www.alextech.edu/en/collegeservices/SupportServices/StudySkills/LectureNoteTaking/MethodsOfNoteTaking.aspx) and just plain speed-sketching.

So you woke up and have a good idea of your dream last night but you have about an hour to bathe and eat breakfast before work, clearly you don’t have the time to get every fact you remember down so where do you start?

Well this is up to personal preference but for me the order of importance for facts from my dream goes as follows: Characters > Tones (like brooding or whimsical) > Settings > Quotes > Storyline. The reason I put storyline last is for the purpose of keeping things easy to document for this exercise. For your end-product it’s ideal to have as much storyline as possible but when you don’t have time to get through it all don’t strain yourself. It’s better to focus on preserving broader topics such as tones as opposed to only writing the beginning of a full storyline and then forgetting what the rest of the story is when you come back to your journal later.

I know I have mentioned that doodling in your journal is recommendable in the past but I’d like to stress the point again. You’d be surprised at how even bad drawings can give you a fantastic idea of how certain people or places looked in your dream when words are hard to find. The point of the dream journal is to exercise your brains ability to remember the events of your REM sleep, not to win the spelling bee. Some things are just hard to describe in dreams, its just a fact of life, don’t be ashamed to get some charcoal on your hands with some good old fashioned drawing.

The tools of the trade

The tools of the trade

My series of half-completed journals available to me daily. The leftmost journal is usually in my book bag, the middle journal (the largest one) sits on my nightstand and that last journal goes in the living room for easy access.

The reason I bring this up as my first post is that before you do attempt any sort of lucid dreaming it is critical to grant yourself the availability to the tools necessary to train yourself. I’ve seen too many people try to get into lucid dreaming only to get frustrated within a week because they feel like they’re not remembering their dreams. Often this is a symptom of the fact that dream memories are very fickle and can quickly fade if not remembered actively.
It’s completely normal for memories of dreams to pop up in the middle of the day, only to be lost in the tumult of life’s hurdles. It’s with that reality in mind that I advise the practical solution I have taken to journal keeping. My motto is to purchase smaller journals to carry along my travels while a larger journal near my bed acts as a “home base” for the more interesting dreams. Smaller journals like the black ones pictured on the left and right side can sell for as low as under $10 for packs of three at your local office supply store. Oh and make sure to buy some pens while you’re at it of course. 🙂
The on-the-go journals can act as notepads for the large at-home journal or you can just fill them up with dreams as mine are. Keeping a strict sequential organization of your dreams is hardly important if you’re struggling with just writing the dreams at all.
In my experience many of my friends will be able to keep up with keeping a dream journal for a couple of weeks and then get into the habit of just remembering the dreams until they get home. This leads to a stressful backlog of dream memories that inevitably ends up causing the person to get unmotivated.
My humble opinion on the subject is if you just use on-the-go journals to little-by-little scribble as much as you can remember about dreams you’ve had you’ll be better resistant to the woes of loss of moral. While you wait for class, eat lunch or just decide to zone out try to write and doodle any dream recollections you might have. Don’t be ashamed to be a day or two late on writing your dreams, just write them!
That’s all I have to say for now, hope this will be an acceptable first post for you all.