As far back as I could remember, I would travel while the rest of the world slept. It would take me the better part of two decades before I would experience a glorious night of uninterrupted sleep.
My journey into out of body experiences (OBEs) also known as astral projection, began before I could do basic arithmetic. My first memory of the experience ever was short and terrifying. I woke up to find myself completely awake and conscious, but completely paralyzed. I literally could not move a muscle in my body! However, it wouldn’t be long before I accepted this paralysis as the gateway for a flexible mind bending reality that would make me question everything science and society would teach me in the years to come.
What followed generally ranged from a series of loud and unusual noises to buzzing sounds and vibrations throughout my body. Often times, even though my eyes might be closed, I would be able to see everything around me as though the moon were forever full and beaming.
In the beginning, the experiences were quite frightening. A few times, I felt something on my chest suffocating me, as though it were attacking me and even pushing me deeper into the mattress if that’s possible! Other times I would hear voices and occasionally I would see undistinguished figures. Sometimes I could feel the presence of other beings! I’d say my earliest experiences ranged from creepy to terrifying.
Were my OBEs straight up hallucinations? I would have to say my first experiences would fall into the category of hypnagogic hallucinations. But as I became more experienced and learned how to maintain my focus and clarity throughout an experience, I think it is more accurate to say that my Out of Body Projection Experiences were more psychic than hallucinatory.
In the beginning of course, I wasn’t really concerned with the dictionary definition of an OBE, I just wanted to figure out how to put a stop to them, the paralysis and the weirdness in general. Later, I did learn that body paralysis is completely normal during sleep especially during dream states in order to avoid injury to ourselves and others. But since I wasn’t privy to sleep science at the time, I just had to figure out how to snap out of this state so I could get some zzz’s!
Within the first couple of months I accidentally discovered that although my body was immobile, if I focused my energy on my toes and could manage to wiggle even a single digit, I would be able to break out of the sleep paralysis and accompanying weirdness, allowing me to fall back asleep. Often times to my dismay however, I would awaken shortly thereafter to find myself once again in a state of paralysis and buzzing.
Once in a while, I would find myself separated from my physical body where I could see myself lying in bed, but within the blink of an eye I would be pulled back into my physical body. And since I didn’t seem to have any control over any of this, my growing frustration fueled my determination to get answers.
Being young and fairly unbiased, I ignored the possibility and any accompanying fear that there was something wrong with me. But I also knew ‘normal’ people wouldn’t be able to help me, so I took my case into my own hands and hit up my local library to start researching.
Around the age of 12, I came across some books by Robert Monroe, an author and researcher of Out of Body Experiences. From the experiences recorded in one of his books Journeys Out Of The Body, I began to understand that while my experiences were unusual, they weren’t something to fear or be ashamed of. It seemed there were many people throughout the world searching for how to have an OBE!
Over time I learned how with focus and concentration, I could take my OBEs to the next level. I learned how to step out of my physical body at will, pass though walls into other rooms and eventually fly. Sometimes, I would play games and try to see what my mother was doing in another room late at night. I did find that I could get bits of information, but a lot of times my own imagination would get mixed in if I got distracted by other thoughts for even a second. Later I learned through The Seth Material that I was in fact experiencing other realities including probable realities that closely mirrored our own!
The closest analogy of this loss of clarity that can occur is similar to the experience of falling out of a state of lucid dreaming. When we become aware that we are dreaming within a dream, we can begin to interact and influence the state around us. But this awareness and power can all be lost in a heartbeat if we get distracted and lose the awareness that we are in fact dreaming.
Over the next couple of decades I would experience well over a thousand Out of Body Experiences and they ranged in experience. As I mentioned, in the early days they were often frightening, but eventually they became very adventurous and sometimes I looked forward to a night of exploration and travel. There were even some extra-extraordinary experiences I can recall including some remote viewings of bases on the backside of our moon! Another one during my university days was especially memorable- I awoke to find myself soaring like a rocket though outer space. I have never before or since experienced such speed or traveled so far during an OBE. I was traveling like light itself! I was so shocked by the experience, I immediately wiggled my toes to snap out of it. Sometimes I wonder how far I could have gone and what I might have discovered if I had allowed that experience to continue.
Eventually, the novelty of OBEs wore off and I once again found myself longing for a normal sound sleep. I really did try to make the most of my experiences. After all, I conquered a lot of fears of the unknown and I journeyed in psychic spaces on a nightly basis- experiences many people would give their left toe for (although that would be a very sad irony!) Nevertheless, it would take another decade before I discovered how to finally put my OBEs to bed and an additional several years before I realized how to transition from OBE's into Lucid Dreams!
In 2009 I was reading Oliver Sack’s book Musicophilia about people who heard music in their head as clearly as if it were playing on a loud speaker in a room. At one point, Sacks describes some studies of epileptic patients who would experience these auditory hallucinations or ‘auras’ as a precursor to an oncoming seizure. What struck me was the way he described the subjects’ aura experiences and the physiological triggers for their hallucinations. This was huge for me because the auras these patients experienced were very similar to my initial out of body experiences.
Ultimately, what I gleaned from the book was the answer to a question I had been searching for for over two decades. The research in the book indicated that epileptic subjects with auditory hallucinations or auras were found to have electrolyte imbalances in the auditory cortexes of their brains. Similarly, subjects with visual hallucinations during their auras were found to have an imbalance in the visual cortex and so on and so forth. So being my own Nancy Drew, I put two and two together and figured out that I must have some electrolyte imbalances in different areas of my brain.
Immediately, I cut out coffee and any other beverages and foods that might potentially aggravate or deplete my electrolytes while also supplementing with more electrolytes. Shortly thereafter I also got into Earthing and grounding bed sheets which supply a constant flow of negative ions to our bodies while sleeping. The results for me were incredible. Within a week, my OBEs of over twenty years disappeared and I’ve been sleeping like a baby ever since!
Update (Dec, 2021): I had several years of glorious zzz's before my interest in night time explorations and dream work rekindled. I have since learned how to move from OBE's into a lucid dream experience which for me is incredibly valuable. Lucid dreaming and dream work in general has opened up doors to other aspects of my self and an array of magical insightful experiences, learning, growth and adventure.
Another note: if you want to increase your chances of night time exploration, you can reverse engineer my method to get good sleep. Sleeping with your head to the north (if you are in the northern hemisphere) can increase your dream vividness, drinking a bit of caffeine and breaking up your sleep schedule might be all you need to turn your nights on!
I am sharing this deeply personal experience with the hopes that if you know someone out there who has struggled with insomnia, sleep paralysis, night terrors or any other undesired sleep experiences, there is a solution. And I have found that diet can make a world of difference.
In my sessions, we talk about the importance of nutrition, dream work and sleep. Depending on your goals, I will look at all varying aspects of your life and suggest custom recommendations to optimize your efficiency and success in all things. +Learn about my Coaching Services
Thanks for reading!