A Facebook follower wrote recently to ask me how to control his dreams. In general I prefer to take the dreams that our subconscious mind or other dream source sends to me via Special Dream Delivery. I love and appreciate the guidance, insights, and inspirations I glean from my nightly dance with the sublime. However another use of our dreams is for problem solving, creating and visiting with teachers and departed loved ones. We can also request a particular type of dream! Setting the intension to have a flying dream, or inviting a certain experience to occur, such as let me dream about singing without fear tonight.
Being aware that you are dreaming while you are is called Lucid Dreaming. There has been much scientific research into this, and good books and papers are available on the subject. Stephen LeBerge researched and wrote on this topic for his dissertation at Stanford and went on the further study and write about the process. Two other authors whose works I enjoy on this topic are: J. Allan Hobson and Carlos Castaneda.
About 14 years ago I was giving a lecture on the vale and benefits of dream work to a group of 90 people. One woman told us about a recurring dream that she had had since she was a preteen and well after she was married. In the dream she was being chased by a big black gorilla! Each time she woke from this nightmare with her heart pounding in fear. Finally her husband suggested that she make an appointment with a dream therapist. The therapist's advice was: "Next time you have the dream, turn around and ask the gorilla what it wants." So, the dreamer followed those instructions and realized she was dreaming the big scary gorilla dream.
"What do you want?" she asked the primate.
"I just want to put my fingers under your armpits and sniff them." He replied.
The dreamer woke herself up laughing out loud. The dream had been a message from her subconscious to lighten up, be playful and have more fun! What a relief to no longer dread going to sleep for fear of having the gorilla dream.
You can train yourself to realize that you are dreaming and you can incubate the dream that you want to experience. However, first you must be remembering, journaling and interpreting your dreams. And thanks for the great question!
I hope this encourages you to pay more attention to your nocturnal dramas.
Until next time, all my best wishes for your Sweet Dreams.