Three things went through my head when I had my first Out of Body Experience (OBE): ‘Oh my god, I’ve left my body. How is this possible? This is amazing!’ In fact, when I first turned around and looked back at my physical body, I gasped – shock held me to the spot. How could I be here and there at the same time? As I nervously edged over to get a better look, I remember thinking, ‘why am I so scared of seeing myself, it’s just me, right’? It sounds scary, but looking back I may have always been destined to have this experience. As a child it often felt as though someone had grabbed the end of the bed and was shaking it back and forth while I slept. I’d hear unusual sounds and occasionally seemed to see through my eyelids. It scared me to the extent that I slept zipped up in a sleeping bag with the hall light on until I was 18. Then one night, I realised if I slowed my breathing right down I could bring it to a stop. If I hadn’t done that, would I have had an OBE? I don’t know, but 30 years later in a dusty old book shop, I discovered Robert Monroe’s book Journeys Out of the Body and something resonated with me. Now I was grown up and less afraid, I really wanted to try it.
It felt like removing a pair of ill-fitting glasses and replacing them with x-ray vision
A vibrational state
I devoured the book and tried every tip I could, but after about a month I got impatient and gave up. Then one night I got up to go to the loo and when I got back into bed I dropped straight into the vibrational state. Because of what I’d read, I knew that if I used an exit technique at that point I could leave my physical body. There are many ways you can exit the body. You can float out, sink through the back, sit up out of the body or shift out sideways. That’s what I did! It felt like velcro, or peeling dried glue from my fingertips as a child. I wasn’t afraid, I was elated. I thought, ‘Ok, I’m in my room, my body’s on my bed, I should go and do something,’ so I flew out of the window and dropped to the street below. It was early morning and I saw with crystal clear clarity the dew on the grass and the sunlight beaming down. It was more real than reality. It was like having high definition glasses on and my senses were highly attuned. Somehow I peered down at myself as I was without my body. I was translucent, like the Invisible Woman! I had a sort of energy body and when I moved my arms they left a trail like light behind. I wanted to verify the experience with myself when I woke. So I traveled down the street to a crossroads. The house on the left hand side with a green door was number 18. I made a mental note and wondered what to do next.
what can feel like forever might only be a short amount of time and vice versa
A trip to Nirvana
On a whim, I shouted, ‘Take me to Nirvana!’ As soon as I did this everything was out of my control. I started to float upwards as though an unseen force was lifting me up above the trees. But before I reached the clouds I passed through a sort of thin membrane like a flat sheet of static hanging in the sky. Passing through it felt like when you break the surface and slowly rise out of water, moving from one atmosphere to another. And then I was in a huge tunnel that filled the entirety of my perception, there was no up, down, left or right, no sense of space. I had lost my energy body and was now just a point of awareness. I was drifting towards a bright white light. For the first time during the experience I began to feel scared. As soon as I felt fear, click, I was back in my body. I sat up with a bolt, which woke my husband up. He was yelling, ‘What’s happened? What’s happened?’ I told him and he just said, ‘Oh ok, well done,’ and rolled over and went back to sleep. (He’s had a few OBEs himself). I felt like I was out of my body for around 40 minutes but time and space don’t work the same way in an Out of Body Experience, so what can feel like forever might only be a short amount of time and vice versa. That same day I went back to the house on the corner to check to see if it was the same door number. It was. I looked up the tunnel of light and other people had seen it too. I wish I hadn’t got scared because people have had profound experiences on reaching the light. A new perspective Seeing myself separate from my physical body when I had self-identified with it for my entire life made me realise that I am not limited to it, and if I’m not limited to it maybe there are other areas of my life which I am not limited to either. In fact maybe there are no limits, only possibilities. Connecting to this ‘knowing’, particularly in difficult times, has brought me so much reassurance and courage. The experience changed my life completely. I worked as a choreographer and was about to receive a large investment from a national governing body to roll out one of my programmes across the UK. I turned it down. I couldn’t go on doing what I was doing knowing what I had experienced. So I nervously left a 12-year career and embarked on a Masters degree in Transpersonal Psychology, where I studied the transformative effects of OBEs on personal change. I was eager to find out why they happen and how they impact people’s lives. Were there others like me?
I was astonished to find out that people who have spontaneous OBEs seem to have them for a reason
I was astonished to find out that people who have spontaneous OBEs seem to have them for a reason. They might be at a crossroads in their life, or need direction, help or healing. This is because their OBE journeys incur realisations which guide them with their current situation, such as transforming fears, healing grief and greater connection to others. This was an evolutionary phenomena. When I started sharing my experience with friends and family I quickly realised that many people found it hard to relate to and struggled to respond, so I made a documentary to raise awareness. The film is called ‘Insight Out’ and explores expanded states of consciousness, how to harness sleep states for self-growth and examines whether altered states of awareness are the new path to wellbeing. I travelled the world to interview leading global experts in consciousness, neuroscience, philosophy and neuropsychiatry such as New York best-selling author Dr Eben Alexander, Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Leeds Beckett University Dr Steve Taylor and former NASA Physicist Tom Campbell. It was a thrill to watch it premiere in London to the public a few weeks ago. Nothing to fear The wonderful thing is that anyone can have an OBE because it’s a natural human phenomena. And, I know what you’re thinking, don’t worry, it’s perfectly safe. It tends to happen in an altered state of awareness such as during deep relaxation, meditation or on the cusp of sleep in the hypnogogic (falling asleep) and hypnopompic (waking up) states. Other triggers can take place within lucid dreams, sleep paralysis and during a neardeath experience. (I wouldn’t recommend experimenting with this). Since that initial OBE I’ve had many others. These experiences have left me feeling more complete. It made me feel like I could bend reality because I saw how my own perception shaped my world, so it felt like removing a pair of ill-fitting glasses and replacing them with x-ray vision. I saw myself more as a separate entity to the ‘whole’ before, but now I have more of an awareness of the interconnectedness between all things. And so it is.
NOW TRY SOMETHING NEW
5 ways to safely encourage an OBE
- Ask what your motive is. A meaningful motivation makes an OBE more likely to happen.
- Keep a sleep and dream diary. By staying connected to your dreams you’re more likely to experience an OBE, especially as they tend to happen while we’re asleep.
- Meditate into sleep. See how long can you be aware of what is happening in your senses as you fall asleep.
- Affirmations are good. Try saying, ‘I have the power to leave my body, I will astral project tonight.’
- Ask your higher self, spirit guides or God to support your journey.