MY MYSTICAL LIFE: 4 SURPRISING SELF-CARE TIPS

My self-care tips are all about balance, and it doesn’t have to cost a thing. PLUS the best self-care books of 2018 reviewed …

Photo: Caitlin Mitchell

When Kelley Hughes of Philly-based apothecary brand Wilde Gatherings offered to show me her signature facial, it was a no-brainer. Right, you say. But being on book deadline while overseeing a total Numinous re-brand (coming v. soon!) and somehow juggling all my other projects means zero space in my diary for heading up to Midtown on a random Thursday afternoon. I don’t even really like facials.

But. Right now, anything to get me BACK INTO MY BODY is a no-brainer. With a chart that’s all Fire and Water and a work life that runs on Air (elementally and literally, since my Macbook and me are inseparable), Earth is what’s lacking. Grounding. Which means it’s on me to make sure I make space in my iCal for it. (And thank you so much Kelley it was divine! I like facials again!)

Meaning, for practices that invite human touch. For IRL conversations with hugs and vibes I can feel. That remind me of my physicality from the inside out. Without this WEIGHT to balance me out I may as well just float off into the Cloud.

Kelley’s line is based in Ayurvedic principals, which is also a science of balance. On a daily basis we can feel we’re too much of this, too little of that. The same imbalances that find us reaching for a quick fix. Coffee, sugar, booze. Mindless TV. Things to liven us up or calm us down. When often all we need is some time away from our phone, a nourishing meal, and a decent night’s sleep. Inviting in what brings us balance is the essence of self-care to me.

Here are four of my surprising self-care tips (which also don’t cost anything):

1 // Journaling in the middle of the night. When I get too Airy, my head gets full of crazy thoughts. They get so loud they often wake me up, and since SLEEP is my ultimate self-care rule, I will do anything to protect it. The best way to stop the thoughts? Get up and write them all down, IN THE DARK (turning a light on only makes the thoughts think they’ve won), on a piece of paper. Works like magic.

2 // Taking Instagram off my phone at night and on weekends. As an entrepreneur, I used to go around bitching / bragging about how I was always ON. How doing what I love means my work is my life, and how this is great, but can also feel relentless and like its own kind of treadmill. Then I realized I could create my own “office hours” by just simply IG off my phone! Game-changer! Of course I still work evenings and weekends, but in the peace and quiet of my own mind.

3 // Not drinking. The morning I began writing this post (including the “not drinking as self-care” tip) my friend Mia from @thesoberglow put a comment on Insta that basically said it all. Which is this: “No workout.
No juice cleanse. No spa visit. No massage. No colonic. No vacation. No meditation. No dry scrub. No salt scrub. No detox. No wheatgrass shot. No hike. No manicure. No smoothie. Nor will any of the million things I could do to take care of myself ever be more potent, more radical or more important than my choice not to drink..” Alcohol is only fuel to my already raging Fire. A flood of Watery feelings where I already have plenty of those floating about. An ejector seat into the Airy ethers. My Sober Curiosity, above all, is what keeps me cool, dry, and with my feet planted firmly on the ground.

4 // Giving myself an extra hour in the morning. For drinking lemon water and meditating, yes, but mainly to give myself time for a proper poop 🙂

Want more pro self-care tips? Below, Lisa Kjellsson reviews 5 of the best self-care books for 2018 …

Product’s from Kelley’s line, Wilde Gatherings

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Recharge: A Year Of Self-Care To Focus On You, by Julie Montagu (Piatkus)
When yoga teacher and nutritionist Julie Montagu’s husband became seriously ill, caring for him and their four children soon left her drained of energy and she realised she had to make some changes. Her book is a one-year commitment to self-care, split into monthly chapters focusing on topics such as mindful eating, stress management, digital detox and self-esteem. The chapters on finding your truth and living with purpose are especially inspiring. This refreshingly jargon-free book is essential reading if your intention for 2018 is to put yourself first, but will the format work for everyone? Most of us want to feel better now.

Self-Care For The Real World, by Nadia Narain and Katia Narain Phillips (Hutchinson)
The long list of celebrity endorsements had me wondering whether this hyped title would be all lifestyle shots and hot air, but my initial scepticism was soon replaced by true book love. The Narain sisters touch on everything from body confidence to heartbreak, and share their strategies for navigating life with self-love and kindness. The tips on how to inject more self-care into the workplace, for example, might just make all the difference if you work in a high-pressure environment. This is a beautifully crafted book and, like Kate Moss, I want to give it to everyone I know.

The Self-Care Revolution: Smart Habits And Simple Practices To Allow You To Flourish, by Suzy Reading (Aster)
As a psychologist specialising in stress management and healthy lifestyle change, Suzy Reading certainly has the credentials to write about self-care and her book draws on lots of interesting research as well as her own life experience. The ‘vitality wheel’ she has devised to help readers diagnose which areas of their life need more attention is particularly useful as it illustrates just how multifaceted a full life should be and how easy it is to neglect any one aspect. This practical guide to wellbeing also has excellent tips on goal setting and developing strong coping skills and will perhaps especially resonate with busy parents.

The Self Care Project: How To Let Go Of Frazzle And Make Time For You, by Jayne Hardy (Orion Spring)
Having struggled with her mental health for most of her twenties, Jayne Hardy often wondered which came first, her lack of self-care or her depression. Her account of feeling too low to leave her bed or brush her teeth highlights the need for support for those in the same situation, and Hardy now runs a social enterprise in aid of those affected by depression. Her advice is to form a ‘self-care squad’, a group of friends to rely on for different types of encouragement. Sadly the good points she makes – about people pleasing and overcommitting, for example – are somewhat lost in a writing style best described as a stream of consciousness. Overall this is more of an insight into the author’s mind than a source of self-care inspiration.

The Little Book of Self Care: The Tiny Everyday Habits That Will Transform Your Life, by Mel Noakes (Ebury Press)
Despite enjoying professional recognition and a social life filled with travel and parties, Mel Noakes had always battled with low self-esteem and for years used food, exercise and work to numb herself. After reassessing her life during a year of travel, she changed direction and became a life coach. Her book may be small in size but it packs a punch – covering everything from decluttering your home and nurturing your relationships to getting more sleep and managing your money. Financial self-care, as Noakes calls it, is not just to do with budgeting but also tackling the beliefs and values that may be holding us back from prosperity. The bite-sized chapters with actionable advice make this a great little book to refer to for a dose of mindful transformation.

For more book recommendations, check out @thelkedit on Instagram, where Lisa shares inspiring non-fiction reads.

THE NUMINOUS BEAUTY AWARDS 2017

For our first ever Numinous Beauty Awards, Eunice Lucero reports on the most magical product picks to bewitch and beautify, from your third eye down to your toes …

Marie Kondo must have been a mystic; there’s pure, Venusian magic in beautiful, useful objects that spark joy—or glamour, or confidence, or whatever it is we want to feel at any given moment.

Whether you’re looking for the witchiest fragrance ever, in search of some serious love potions, or simply to live more mindfully in the new year, here are the products that have earned a much-coveted spot on our vanities and our altars …

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:: GO-TO GOOD’UNS :: Gentle, cozy and nurturing, these are our fluffy safety blankets for when life just doesn’t make sense (a.k.a. Mercury is retro).

Rodin Luxury Face Oil

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:: THE UN-STRESSORS :: If a weekend getaway isn’t in the cards anytime soon, having charming little enablers that help you de-stress in the comfort of your own home is probably the next best thing to actual nirvana.

  • REN & Now to Sleep Pillow Spray, $25Lavender and frankincense come together for a deeply relaxing scent that promises to ease anxiety and worries at bedtime—which is, in the Now Age, so damn clutch.
  • doTERRA Peace Reassuring Blend, $37.33 ($28 wholesale), 5ml. One second you’re rubbing this minty blend of vetiver, lavender, ylang ylang and frankincense between your palms and on the soles of your feet; the next, you’re calmer, more collected, and actually, peacefully, sleepy.
  • The Pines Apothecary Luna Mist, $20, 2oz. Say hello to sweet, relaxed dreams with this pine, lavender and bergamot pillow spray, which encourages a few mistings on both the body and your beddings at nighttime.
  • Herbivore Calm Bath Salts, $18Not only does this look way too chic on our bathtub rims, but the vanilla and ylang ylang elevate the now-ubiquitous calming and detoxing properties of Himalayan pink salt crystals, for the last word in total body relaxation.
doTERRA Peace Blend

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:: THE DE-TOXERS :: Never underestimate the power of a good detox. Products infused with energy cleansing Palo Santo or sage help clear out icky low/bad vibes and purge you of all that no longer serves you. Clean slates for 2018, amirite?

  • Urb Apothecary Copal Palo Santo Body Oil, $30Our fave way to wear this mildly smoky (but super anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory) oil is right after a hot shower—cleansing on cleansing.
  • Skin Owl Clary Sage Beauty Drops, $30Simplify your regular serum + moisturizer combo with an oil that does both, while plumping up skin that’s been through its paces. It helps refresh and brighten skin with only two ingredients: organic Argan oil and organic sage.
  • Yoshimomo Black Charcoal Cleanser, $34, 120ml. This takes our charcoal obsession even further, and its cocktail of willow bark (natural salicylic acid), thyme, lavender and lemon also brightens and calms inflammation, making it a hard-hitting detoxifier. Act fast, though: this famous Etsy cult fave sells out in a flash.
  • Plantfolk Sacred Space (Palo Santo + White Sage) $18.50, 2oz. Chock-full of revered ingredients renowned for their purification properties and ties with the spirit realm, this tiny powerhouse is an über-practical solution for sageing and clearing your space, whether it be at home or on the go, like your car, locker, or even at work.
  • Peet Rivko The Rituals Box, $84Give the gift of fresh, new energy to your loved ones (or yourself!) with this charming, rustic set that includes all you need to detoxify both body and spirit.
Peet Rivko Rituals Box

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:: TIME-SAVERS :: For when you gotta get a move on, get some help from these multitaskers and 2-in-1 heroes that know the meaning of hustle and flow.

  • Egyptian Magic Cream, $39The 21 Century answer to medieval snake oil, that acts as a moisturizer, soother, burn healer, makeup primer, and even a lube (!) As the website says, it’s made with olive oil, beeswax, honey and, yes, divine love. Because what’s a stronger healer than that?
  • Purequosa Shower On the Go Organic Cleaning Body Spray, $17.95, 8oz. Essential oils like sage and lemon tea tree refresh and are reinforced with colloidal silver to neutralize odor and, fingers crossed, ward off any werewolves that may come a-sniffing.
  • Glossier Birthday Balm Dot Com, $12This cult fave all-purpose salve is the last word in low-key glam, a.k.a. MLBB (“my lips but better”). Note: The subtly sparkly Milk Bar collab is the perfect stocking stuffer for the holidays!
  • Pursoma x After the Class by Taryn Toomey Post-Workout Bath, $34. Fitness guru Taryn Toomey extends her wellness ethos with this post-workout tension-relieving muscle soak, which comes with a fun, intention-aligned crystal surprise inside each pack.
  • Piper Wei Activated Charcoal Deodorant, $11.99. 100% natural, odor-fighting, non-staining and wonderfully refreshing—finally a natural pit refresher that works as hard as we do
Glossier Birthday Balm

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:: HIGH-VIBE SERUMS :: Top of our holiday lists this season? All that’s calm and all that’s bright—especially our skin, because we’d rather spend our energies on big-picture stressors (like, you know, attaining basic healthcare and equality for all).

  • KORA Organics Noni Glow Face Oil, $68, 30ml. Miranda Kerr’s rich, nourishing face and neck oil has enough equity (and antioxidant power) to give good face to our most impossible missions.
  • The Vintner’s Daugter Active Botanical Serum, $185, 30ml. 100% organic from conscious growers, but with the price tag to match, we so wanted to be skeptical about the hype. Unfortunately (or fortunately?), we can’t, and can only wish this super-serum finds its way to us somehow this year!
  • W3LL People Bio Booster Facial Serum, $28.99The seven-in-one active botanical serum helps rejuvenate and resuscitate skin, while evening out our complexions and skin tones. Calms rosacea too!
  • The Ordinary Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3%, $7.90. From the baby brand that took Instagram by storm in 2017, and with good reason: its insanely affordable yet high-potency skincare rivals even the most premium of labels. We love layering this slightly heavier serum under our moisturizer for a dewy, winter-proof plumpness.
Kora Organics Noni Glow Face Oil

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:: MULTI-PURPOSE MAGIC :: There are days when it seems like the Universe literally has your back. Now take that synchronicity and bottle it, and you get these super streamlined, multi-purpose products, where everything just flows … 

Philosophy Pure Grace Nude Rose Shampoo

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:: SKIN-SAVERS :: For when you can’t get over your past skincare sins, like sleeping with your makeup on or skimping on the SPF, these effective—and deeply nourishing—peels and moisturizers can help you along the way to self-forgiveness.

  • Josie Maran Argan Exfoliating Cleansing Powder, $40, 60g. A logical extension to her much-lauded oil, this gentle powder exfoliant can be emulsified with either water, or her signature Argan Oil for skin that’s buffed to perfection.
  • Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask, $58. City-weary complexions and clogged pores get a revitalizing fix with this award-winning BHA, 1oo% natural mask, which can be used several times a week to get the refinement you seek.
  • S.W. Basics Exfoliant, $19.99, 3oz. Those who love a good Pinterest D.I.Y. recipe will embrace the tactile experience from this kitchen-quirky USDA-certified organic exfoliant, which uses oat and organic almond flour to renew skin.
  • Grown Alchemist Hydra Repair Day Cream: Camellia & Geranium, $49Jam-packed with plant actives, yet refreshingly non-greasy (and very French-toilette chic), this is one of our go-to hydrators for both day and night.
Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask

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:: LOVE POTIONS :: These glamour spells in a bottle all include rose, the ingredient most rhapsodized in both romantic and occult literature for its seductive, love-enhancing properties.

  • Euphoria Aphrodisiac Love Tonic, $24When you ain’t got time to mess around! A few drops of this 1oo% organic love potion (which has hibiscus, rose petals and goji berries, among other ingredients) is meant to stimulate blood circulation, and is best shared with a partner, an hour in advance.
  • Shiva Rose Celestial Body Butter, $65Celestial rose opens the heart and crown chakras, while the formula envelops you in pure, luxurious softness. What better pre-game is there?
  • Witch Baby Soap Love Body Scrub, $8One whiff was all it took for us to obsess over this spreadable body exfoliator, but it’s the ingredient list that blew us away: it’s formulated with roses, apples and poppy seeds, a.k.a. all potent love spell ingredients.
  • Fresh Rose Floral Toner, $40, 250ml. Clarifies without stripping our skin, and leaves it calm and hydrated for nearly one full day.
  • French Girl Rose Lip Polish – Rose du Maroc, $15, 1oz. This organic rose and mint scrub makes sure those puckers are always ready for the kissing, with a gentle exfoliating and plumping effect.
Witch Baby Soap Love Body Scrub

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:: MOON BEAUTY :: The age-old archetype of the Divine Feminine, the nurturing Mother Goddess and the mysterious, untapped parts of our psyche, these products help you navigate life’s tides by harnessing the magically intuitive energy of the Moon.

  • De Lune Menstruation Tonic, $9Not one for Advil? This mineral-rich tonic helps ease uterine contractions and minimizes blood clots.
  • Moon Juice Dust Sachet Sampler Set, $35Not sure which mojo you want rising? Try ’em all with a handy sampler of liquid-soluble sachets.
  • Kypris Moonlight Catalyst Serum, $77Specifically used at night, this gentler retinoid option is the herbal way to go for those with more sensitive skin that can’t take traditional retinols, but crave similar smooth, refined, luminous results.
  • Fig & Yarrow Moon Mist, $24This sleep-inducing mist has lavender and yarrow (a root associated with Cancer, the sign ruled by the Moon) to help relax and nurture before bedtime. Bonus: It has a sweet shimmer reminiscent of moonlight.
  • Aquarian Soul Lunar Bathing Stones, $12It’s easy to get lost in Aquarian Soul’s wide mystical offerings, but it’s these clever, practical/magical crystals that earned it those precious three words: “add to cart.”
Aquarian Soul Lunar Bathing Stones

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:: THE PROTECTORS :: Whether from the ravaging effects of UV exposure or against psychic, karmic vampires you meet on the street, protection, as they say, is everything. Underrated but utterly necessary, the name of the game is establishing the right boundaries—via SPF or otherwise.

  • The Ordinary Serum Foundation, $6.70Any foundation worth less than our weekday lunch earns a second look; that, plus a high-pigmented formula and lightweight feel, plus SPF 15? Now they’re just showing off.
  • Sister Spinster Ghosts Essence, $20. Lift the veils of illusion with this magical elixir that helps us see the truth, while smoky quartz and obsidian align and ground in the process. We like using three drops on our pillows at bedtime for an “a-ha!” moment in the morning.
  • True Botanicals Everyday Sheer Coverage, $40, 30ml. A lightweight feel with a breathable coverage, and full spectrum SPF 20 to keep away any nasty rays.
Sinister Spinster Ghosts Essence

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:: OUR FINAL FIVE :: And finally, a list of faves we can only hope and pray to find in our stockings this year …

Herbivore Rose Quartz Facial Roller, $45

Rahua Omega 9 Hair Mask, $58

Among the Flowers Essential Oil + Soy Wax Candles, $18 each

Captain Blankenship Mermaid Sea Salt Hair Spray, $24

Storybook Cosmetics Gun Metal Wizard Wands Brushes, $55 for set of 5

Herbivore Rose Quartz Facial Roller

Eunice Lucero is the Editor in Chief and Chief Content Officer for All Things Hair US. A writer, editor, and beauty and style obsessive for over 15 years, she is also a certified astrologer under My Path Astrology, and an empath and intuitive—a combo she attributes to her Cancer + Libra stelliums.  

MY MYSTICAL LIFE: ARIANNA HUFFINGTON

Forbes’ 52nd most powerful woman in the world, Cancerian author and spiritual activist Arianna Huffington is at the forefront of the mindfulness revolution. Initiated into transcendental meditation by the Maharishi himself when she was just 13, here she reveals the details of a successfully Mystical Life…

Do you have any recurring dreams and what do you think they mean?
“I had a dream that has remained very important to me but is not recurring. I am on a train going home to God. (Bear with me!) It’s a long journey, and everything that happens in my life is scenery along the way. Some of it is beautiful; I want to linger over it awhile, perhaps hold on to it or even try to take it with me.

Other parts of the journey are spent grinding through a barren, ugly countryside. Either way the train moves on. And pain comes whenever I cling to the scenery, beautiful or ugly, rather than accept that all the scenery is grist for the mill, containing, as Marcus Aurelius counseled us, some hidden purpose and a hidden blessing.

I’ve always been fascinated by dreams and my younger daughter and I regularly exchange our dreams. One of her recurring dreams is a good metaphor for what a good night’s sleep allows us to do. She imagines herself as a living “Stop” sign, forcing people to come to a complete stop before moving on with their lives.”

What is your morning awakening ritual?
“My perfect morning begins the night before, with a good night’s sleep – which, for me, means seven to eight hours. And a big part of my morning ritual is about what I don’t do: when I wake up, I don’t start the day by looking at my smartphone.

I make sure I have my phones charging far, far away from my bed, to help me avoid the temptation to check the latest news or emails. Instead, once I’m awake, I take a minute to breathe deeply, be grateful, and set my intention for the day.”

What is your favorite feel-good breakfast and why?
“I have terrible breakfast habits. I basically love breakfast foods but not at breakfast – the only thing I like at breakfast is a soy or almond cappuccino.”

What mantra do you leave the house with in the morning?
“’Don’t miss the moment.’ This was one of my mother’s favorite sayings and it embodied the philosophy of her life.”

Arianna’s daughters Christina and Isabella: “My healers”

What’s your lucky charm?
“Flat shoes!”

In what ways do you most embody the traits of your sign?
“If one of the signs of being a Cancer is being a homebody, then there is nothing I like more than staying home with a good book and my favorite music.”

And the healer you have on speed-dial?
“My daughters!”

What’s the one universal message you wish we could all could get our heads around?
“It’s a lesson I learned when I had my painful wakeup call in 2007: not only is there no tradeoff between living a well-rounded life and high performance, your performance will actually improve when your life includes time for renewal, wisdom, wonder and giving.”

And how do you deal with negative thoughts?
“I call my negative thoughts the obnoxious roommate living in our head. It feeds on putting us down and strengthening our insecurities and doubts. I have spent many years trying to evict my obnoxious roommate and have now managed to relegate her to only occasional guest appearances in my head.

Educating our obnoxious roommate requires redefining success and what it means to live a life that matters, which will be different for each of us, according to our own values and goals (and not those imposed upon us by society).”

Retail therapy is…?
“Nice, but ultimately not the answer!”

What’s your power outfit?
“A simple beige dress that I wear with a cotton bolero.”

And what makes you feel beautiful, why?
“What makes me feel beautiful is an 8-hour sleep, half an hour of meditation and a great yoga class.”

Your last conversation with the universe went something like…?
“It was me putting the universe in its place: ‘Sorry, I know I have an obscene number of unanswered emails, but I’m putting my phone away and going to bed!’”

For upcoming Third Metric events go to www.thrive.huffingtonpost.com.

Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder by Arianna Huffington is out now. 

@ariannahuff

INNER VISIONS: A LESSON IN LUCID DREAMING

If turning on to your spiritual journey is often described as the process of “waking up”, lucid dream coach and Hay House author Charlie Morley explains that actually we can reach the same higher state of being by…going to sleep. He explains all to Lisa Luxx.

Lucid dreaming is the coveted state of being able to navigate your way around your dreams, like playing in the virtual reality of your own esoteric landscape. Which can be shed loads of fun. For example, Charlie Morley got seriously into lucid dreaming when he was 16, and revelled in the opportunity to have loads of sex and be awesome at skateboarding. But alongside the obvious kicks, lucid dreaming can be used as a technique for enlightenment and even as a preparation for death, while he says one of its key side effects is increased kindness in your waking life.

I sat down with Charlie at the Hay House Ignite event in London for a lesson in the hows and whys of lucid dreaming.

So how do we begin training ourselves for lucid dreams?
There’s no quick way to learn lucid dreaming, but there are ways to help your mind move towards the lucid dreaming state. The first is to start remembering your dreams. Keep dream diaries to work on your dream recall and start to get to know the territory of your dreams. Eventually you’ll begin to recognize that territory when you’re in it, and go “aha, I’m in a dream right now.”

What if you’re one of those people who never seem to dream?
Our dream world is behind a sliding door, not a brick wall. Those people who don’t remember their dreams simply need to ask for a dream before they go to sleep. Try repeating this; “I remember my dreams and I have excellent dream recall.” Present tense affirmative works like any good hypnotic suggestion, so say that right before you go to sleep and you’re going to have much more vivid dreams that night.

But the work we do to train ourselves is done during the day?
There are more difficult practices such as falling asleep consciously, and a lot of people try going straight to that but they miss the lazy man’s option. That is to train your mind in the waking state so that the mindfulness muscles are so strong and so flexed that when you go to sleep at night lucidity will dawn naturally.

Image: Karolina Daria Flora

How does working our mindfulness muscle translate in our unconscious mind?
It’s all about awareness and recognition. If you spend your whole day walking around going “could this be a dream right now? Can I see anything dreamlike right now?” you’ll do the same thing when you’re asleep.  In a dream you might ask yourself; “can I see anything dreamlike right now? Oh, there’s a pig flying through the sky! I’m in a dream!” And boom. You become lucid.

What is the relationship between lucid dreaming and dying?
Within Tibetan Buddhism, lucid dreaming is used as preparation for death and dying. It’s because of a concept called “the bardo”. A Sanskrit word meaning “in-between,” the idea is that don’t just die and are instantly reborn, rather you enter this in-between state, which occurs when the mind stream separates from the physical body at the point of death. The mind stream then flips inward on itself and experiences its own projection. Which is not dissimilar to what happens when we dream.

If you can train yourself to recognize the dream world consistently by having lucid dreams, then at the point of death you might be able to recognize the death process. So rather than going “aha I’m dreaming, great I can fly!” you can go “aha, I’m dead.” If you can have the presence of mind to realize you’re dead, you’re experiencing the mind beyond the limitation of the physical body, and as separated from the Self. So you’re experiencing the raw nature of mind. This opens up the potential for full spiritual enlightenment at the point of death.

Wow. So, what changes should we expect to manifest in our waking life through lucid dreaming?
It makes you aware of your own projection. So in a lucid dream you literally recognize that what you thought was real is in fact a projection of your own mind. Lets say that you’re having a dream that you’re the Queen of Egypt – you totally believe you’re the Queen of Egypt, right? In a lucid dream you recognize that you’re not the Queen of Egypt; you’ve woken up to the fact that what you believed was real is in fact the projection of your own mind. So you’ve trained your mind to see the difference between physiological projection and the reality of the situation. In the daytime state you might be projecting onto someone you’re in conversation with, arrogance for example, and then you’ll get this moment of lucidity. It’ll taste like a lucid dream – it’ll be a sudden realization.

Which makes you a more compassionate person I guess?
I spoke to my teacher about this and he said; “Soon you’ll get to the point where you’ll recognize a projection before you do it. This is when you really start to open up to compassion.” 99% of the times we’re mean to each other is because we’re projecting onto each other. It’s very rare to meet someone who is actually a nasty person. Usually it’s the fact that we’re so unaware of our projections that we project our darkness on to others without seeing it in ourselves. If we can start to see it in ourselves before we project, we start to open up to more feelings of kindness.

Is there a way to bring that clarity of the bardo into our daily life?
You’re talking about is that which isn’t constrained within this contained vehicle of me. And yes it is in us at all times. In a lucid dream you see that you’re everything. If I dream about you tonight, I know it’s not you, it’s my projection of you. So I realize that whatever you represent to me has come into my dream to communicate. If we can apply those same contemplations to our waking state we can enter that numinous space while we’re awake, while we’re doing the washing or going to work, or sitting next to the guy on the bus with BO. We can realize that this is available at all times, if we could only step out of the self and into something bigger.

If you can do whatever you want in a lucid dream and reach a higher state of being, surely waking life becomes dull in comparison…
Lucid dreaming helped me wake up to my potential and see how much more I could be doing with life. In lucid dreams you can fly through the sky, walk through walls and hug your demons. The next day is different. Because you think; “maybe I can fly through my own limitations, maybe I can walk through the wall of my own arrogance, maybe I could embrace the demons of my phobias or my relationship issues in the waking state.” The lucid dream becomes a rehearsal for waking life. It’s not that you want to stay asleep all day. After a lucid dream you can’t wait to wake up and put it into practice.

Dreams of Awakening: Lucid Dreaming and Mindfulness of Dreams and Sleep by Charlie Morley is out now on Hay House. 
Charliemorley.com

Lisa Luxx is the editor-in-chief of Prowl magazine.
@ProwlHouse