Flying dreams – are you a leaper or a flapper?

When you tell someone you’re working on a book about dreams an interesting thing happens – instead of the polite, interested look they get when you talk about your other assorted writing projects their face lights up and they straight away tell you about a dream they’ve had.

I’ve experienced this heaps of times since I’ve been writing my dream book, but my absolute favourite was one night at the pub after choir practice.

Someone asked me what I was working on, I told them, and they straight away remarked that they often dreamt about flying dogs. Someone else, overhearing, said that he didn’t much like dreaming about flying because it was always such hard work, all that flapping.

‘Flapping?’ a fourth person joined in. ‘Why don’t you go to a high place and glide? That’s what I do!’

‘I usually just float up,’ said someone else.

I had very little to report on the topic of flying dreams because I’ve only ever had one or two in my life, and I didn’t get much higher than the tops of the streetlamps and trees. Also, I have absolutely no idea how I achieved lift-off.

I love hearing about other people’s dreams! So what’s your recommended method when it comes to flying – are you a leaper or a flapper?

17 thoughts on “Flying dreams – are you a leaper or a flapper?”

  1. Alas, I am not even a boot-black or skivvy in the House of Dreams. Can’t dream to order or remember them. Have never had a flying or lucid dream. I used to, as Stephenson said, keep ‘a fine stable of night-mares’, but don’t even seem to have them any more.
    But I read this blog with great interest and a hope that I might learn how to dream!

  2. Opening to dreams starts with just being interested, so reading this blog may be an excellent first step! I find most people can establish recall within a week or two, but you do have to want to enough to set the time aside etc as per my tips page, and be quite disciplined. Dream incubation is quick for a regular recaller, but according to Patricia Garfield, it takes a couple of weeks after regular recall is established, and that’s certainly what I’ve found myself with groups. Could your fine stable of nightmares be the gatekeeper holding you back?

  3. I used to have so many flying dreams that I almost believed I could do it. It was such a wonderful feeling, so powerful and empowering. I was soaring as a child and as an adult I was lifting off the ground and floating, sometimes getting quite a good lift off but usually not very far above head height. Sooo nice!

  4. Ooh, your adult flying dreams sound a bit like mine, not far above head height. You’ve got me thinking further back to my childhood dreams now, Tessa, and I think I maybe did have more flying dreams when I was little, but I remember very few specific dreams from those early days. How interesting that your flying style changed when you grew up!

  5. Thanks for the link, Jenny. Funnily, you know, I now can’t remember having that second flying dream, but the first one – which I had as a child – will be with me for ever. And the balloon flight I had a few years ago was almost as good a flight as any dream.

    1. Yes, it’s interesting how memory works the same with dreamlife, some things staying with you vividly, colouring your life, and others falling away. It was lovely chatting to you, and thankyou for giving me the idea for this post 🙂

  6. I start off flapping, very hard work. If I’m lucky I suddenly tip forward, nose nearly brushing the ground and then the really hard work begins to maintain that slight lift, inches away from falling on my face, elbows pumping. Sometimes that’s it but If I’m very lucky I might be able to spread my arms and soar. Then the grass, or tarmac falls away and I’m above the same mountainous, pine covered landscape quite effortlessly swooping. The pleasure is immense and I’m also mentally detached enough for my waking fear of heights not to kick in. Perfect!

    1. I know this is a super old comment, but I just have to say this. The other day I had almost the same conversation with my Mom that was described in the pub in the original post. I was recounting a dream I had to her and I mentioned that I flew up to the ceiling of the room I was in and hovered there. But, as I said it, I was flapping my arms vigorously from the elbows down, lol. My mother asked if I always have to flap my arms to fly in my dreams, and I answered yes. She just thought that was so funny, lol. She said she simply lifts off and soars and my Dad and brother said they too lift and soar.
      This really got me thinking though, and I couldn’t help but wonder how it connected to my subconscious. My family are all very organized and high achieving people. But, my whole life I have always struggled just to do the bare minimum. I definitely see a connection there and if anybody would like to help me articulate it that would be greatly appreciated!

  7. I’d say, worth the effort, Liz! Interesting that when you fly it’s in the same landscape. I think one of the great opportunities dreams offer is that we can experience ourselves as powerful/fearless etc in areas of waking life we would normally shy away from.

  8. Hi Jenny, Oh I’ve done leaps and flies! When I was younger I used to dream regularly about flying, and contrary to the person who said it was an effort with all the flapping, I just used to lean forwards and float into the air – it was blissful. I really wish I still dreamt about it – I shall have to incubate the thought Jenny and try it!

  9. Hi Abi – it’s vexing to me, because I regularly incubate dreams for work solutions/health concerns etc, but I’ve never been able to incubate a flying dream. I’ve loved the few I’ve had. Maybe I should give it another go myself. We might bump into each other!

  10. Oh, I *love* flying dreams. I’m a floater, and it is the most wonderful sensation imaginable. I must admit it can be disconcerting at first, even scary, to find yourself gliding up, but then (in my dreams at least) I always remember that I can control the speed and direction, and then it’s just delicious to go swirling around in the air.

    Thank you for another wonderful, thought-provoking post!

  11. Oh, Amy – I’m so jealous! My streetlight-level flying dream was a floating one, and it was exactly as you describe – completely wonderful. I’m hoping all this chat about flying dreams might inspire some more in my dreamlife 🙂

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