You’re fully conscious, but you can’t move a muscle. You hear loud footsteps all around you and see a dark presence approaching you, but there’s nothing you can do about it.
No, this isn’t the opening scene of a horror movie; it’s something that many people across the globe have experienced.
In fact, about 50% of all humans will experience it at least once in their lifetime.
It’s a commonly misunderstood phenomenon known as sleep paralysis.
Most people who experience sleep paralysis find it to be a nuisance, and they wish that it would stop happening to them. However, what if there was a way to embrace the experience and gain some spiritual enlightenment in the process?
Perhaps this would dispel any fear that comes along with these episodes and possibly leave people feeling thankful for new insights and discoveries.
But first, a little more about how most people view sleep paralysis
During sleep paralysis, the body is asleep, but the mind is fully conscious and aware. Most people who have experienced this phenomenon say that they could see and/or hear a malevolent presence around them at the time.
Additionally, most say they feel a strong pressure on their bodies, almost as if something is pushing on their chest or throat and is trying to suffocate them. Some even recount their experiences as an alien abduction.
These episodes usually last only a few moments, but they can leave you feeling very frightened and unsettled, and some people experience them frequently.
Needless to say, many people are scared and confused after having these experiences, and they’re left looking for answers.
So, what causes these bizarre experiences?
The exact cause of sleep paralysis has not been proven, but it is commonly believed that stress, sleep deprivation, and other drastic changes in sleep patterns can contribute to its occurrence.
Many say that sleep paralysis is simply “dreaming while you’re awake”….but we don’t all have the same dreams while we’re unconscious, so why are everyone’s conscious sleep paralysis “dreams” so similar?
Why do so many people who experience sleep paralysis recount their episodes nearly identically…all involving a dark presence and strong pressure on their chests?
There has to be more to this phenomenon than we think…
Similar experiences all over the world
For centuries, different parts of the world have had their own interpretations of the sleep paralysis phenomenon.
In Chinese culture, sleep paralysis is referred to as “ghost pressing on body”. In Africa, it’s known as “the witch riding your back.” In Persian culture, it is called “bakhtak” which is thought to be a ghostly creature that sits on your chest and tries to make it hard for you to breathe.
All of these different adaptations of the same phenomenon show us that sleep paralysis is a common human condition, and the experiences can be shaped and molded based on one’s expectations.
So, how can we turn these seemingly frightening, “ghost-like” encounters into something that is actually positive and beneficial?
Many of you may be familiar with lucid dreaming which is the act of controlling your dreams when you are able to recognize that you are, in fact, dreaming.
Lucid dreaming is believed to have many benefits, including boosting your problem-solving skills and improving your confidence. Plus, it’s just a fun way to explore an alternate reality on your own terms and from the safety of your bed.
Many people practice the art of recognizing the tell-tale signs that they are dreaming, so that they can easily become aware they are unconscious and begin having lucid dreams whenever they please.
So, if you’re one of the “lucky” ones who experiences sleep paralysis, perhaps you can use this as a stepping-stone for lucid dreaming.
Chances are that the symptoms of your sleep paralysis will always be pretty much the same. You won’t be able to move, you’ll hear footsteps, and you’ll likely see a dark presence near you.
Since these signs are consistent, it might make it easier for you to realize that you are in a dream-state, and you may be able to harness this power and control the experience for the better.
If you keep this in mind, and focus your intention on that fact that you know that you are safe and that there isn’t actually anyone there who can hurt you, there might be a chance that you can turn these experiences into positive ones.
For example, maybe you could learn about this “presence” that most people tend to see when they are in a state of sleep paralysis.
Perhaps it’s an aspect of your personality or lifestyle that you need to confront or work on. Many individuals who experience episodes of sleep paralysis report anxiety or are emotionally or physically stressed.
The presence that you see during sleep paralysis could be the manifestation of this stress and anxiety. Maybe instead of running from it, you could try confront it to gain some clarity and learn about why it’s there.
Sleep paralysis is, for the most part, misunderstood. The cause and meaning of it remains a mystery, and most people who go through it are disturbed and frightened. However, with a positive focus and intention, it could possibly turn into something that could change your life for the better.
A quick exercise to try…
As many of you know, the pineal gland — the pea-sized gland inside your brand that is sometimes referred to as your “third eye”– is associated with dreams and higher consciousness.
Focusing on and clearing this area could help to ease your fears if you experience sleep paralysis, and it could even help you to transition from sleep paralysis to lucid dreaming.
The sixth chakra, also known as the third eye chakra, is associated with the pineal gland. A meditation to clear this chakra could help to heal your pineal gland and may, in turn, help you to benefit from your dreams.
Find a quiet place and sit comfortably.
Close your eyes. Imagine that you are breathing in a beautiful indigo light. Feel it flowing through your third eye chakra, right between your eyes, allowing it to cleanse and purify this area.
Do this a few times a week before bedtime, and see how it affects not just your dreams, but even your quality of sleep.
Have you or anyone you know ever experienced sleep paralysis or something similar? Share your experiences below!
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