My strategies are dream journaling and reality checking. I also say an affirmation of my intent while going to sleep, such as "I"m going to remember/have vivid dreams" or "I'll soon be dreaming and I'm going to know I'm dreaming" or something like that. The hands thing has never worked and I don't seem to have any rhyme or reason for becoming lucid. I just suddenly realize like an insight that slaps me, that I'm dreaming. I never notice specific dream signs, it always just spontaneously happens.
Am I not doing enough or something. Or does it take time for the process to deepen?
I get those too. But when I stop everything I'm doing and realize I don't have to go along with the 'plot' of the dream, it changes it a lot. I like to announce my name (reminds me I am separate from the dream), and then declare that I have a body. I look down, rub my hands on my chest or even do jumping jacks. (that gives me more presence). It's like giving yourself a wake-up call or a good slap in the face to snap out of the dream-stooper. Then I usually declare, "I have a purpose...." Then I have to think, what was it anyway that I was planning to do in this lucid dream. (It's hard to remember, but that helps).
Everyone has their own techniques, but the key is to wake up FULLY in the dream, without actually waking up.
I get those weak LD's too, and am only semi-lucid and sometimes I just direct it like a movie director, but am not aware of my true self and am not 'in it' fully and a part of it.
So I think I need to give it time so that can lay the foundation of being a dreamer. This really begins to occur when I make the effort to work with a dream journal and affirm my intention to remember and have vivid dreams.
Jump up and down, rub you hands, feel your feet touching the ground of your dreamscape, and yell “Clairty now” see if the dream will weave into focus.
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