A long time ago a very, very close friend who just happened to be a true real life Wiccan taught me a special kind of dream. She taught me a way that after some practice, and some luck, I could trigger a state of transcendental dreaming. sort of an odd form of lucid dreaming. I don't recall the exact steps I took to make it happen, but I believe it involved laying still on my back and falling asleep while paying close attention to my level of consciousness and attempting to maintain control of my thoughts. It required a certain level of concentration and nerves. I recall it only worked once for me. Traditionally, what I was taught happens is you experience falling asleep and then a feeling of being lifted off your bed and if you're able to maintain control and concentrate on not freaking out over the fact that you were floating above yourself you'd be able to stay above yourself and not only see what was going on from above, but exert some control over what was going on. It is supposed to be a way of learning what is going on deep in your subconscious while at the same time allowing you to work out any issues that might be lurking.
The one time I somewhat succeeded I only got a few seconds in. I was able to completely relax myself and had a level of concentration while attempting to sleep that I have never obtained before. At the start I was aware that I was sleeping and dreaming and was able to control what I saw, and suddenly I felt myself lifting off of the bed...and I'm not kidding. I actually felt like something, I don't know what, was lifting me from underneath and bring me closer to the ceiling. Obviously I was still in bed, and I didn't stay focused long enough to look down and see myself still in bed, but I felt as if I was four or five feet off the bed. This was rather scary...just imagine it for yourself and you can probably imagine how frightening it was. I got nervous, lost concentration and focus, and immediately woke up. I never got back to where I was, but it was certainly an interesting experience.
I bring this up because last night I was laying in bed for approximately two hours before I managed to fall asleep. At some point I decided to will myself to lay perfectly still and concentrate on making myself fall asleep. Any insomniacs in my readership have all gotten to this point, and also know how fruitless such as exercise can be. Anyway, at some point I must have fallen asleep, or so I thought, because I did slip into a dream...except all the "dream" turned out to be was me lying in bed trying to fall asleep in a completely different room that I didn't recognize at all. There was an air conditioning vent over my head and curtains flowing in the air from the AC, and a door all the way on the other side of a room that was made up of tile. It was a rather drab and asylum looking room that actually frightened me. When I sat up in my dream and looked around and didn't recognize where I was, I knew that I was dreaming. In fact, my first thought was "I'm dreaming, this isn't actually where I am. I am in my bedroom and I need to wake up"...and then I woke up. It is strange when you are in a dream and know you are in a dream and even stranger when you can control some aspect of it.
Have any of you had the ability to tell yourself to wake up? And if you did, did it work? I'd love to hear strange dream stories.