Waking Within the Dream
From Fear to Fun
I’m walking along a stream in the woods. Ahead, I notice a snake is coiled in the middle of the path.
Thank goodness I saw it soon enough. That’s a rattlesnake.
I begin to cross the stream by stepping on rocks sticking up out of the water. Poised to throw my weight forward, feet on two widely separated rocks, I moan in fear as I see an enormous snake approaching from upstream. Within seconds it’ll rise from the water and…
(Noticing) Oh no, that’s an anaconda.
(Thinking) Wait, there aren’t any anaconda in California.
(Realizing) This is a dream…
“This is a dream!” I shout, now lucid, shooting up into the sky, taking flight not out of fear, fleeing the impending nightmare, but out of sheer joy, taking the freedom one is afforded when finally knowing what’s what.
I love to fly. Feel the wind as you cut through the air. Experience the G-force as you take tight turns at high speed. Watch perspective change, just as it should, as you scan the landscape below…
I went to bed with an intense phobia lingering deep inside, deathly afraid of snakes, dreaming my fear again and again. In this single dream a lifetime of nightmares ended (at least none have occurred in the fifteen years since).
That doesn’t mean I’m free of fear, just this particularly intense one.
The first step is to identify events that seem to happen only in dreams.