No worries. And I am glad you are free from rehab! It certainly wasn't off-topic. There is a tip that you might want to bear in mind which yields fast and effective results. As soon as you awaken from an ordinary dream, separate immediately!!! Don't even think how you will do it or if it will or won't work. Just do it. A lot of people don't realise but the first sensations of lying in bed after a dream and prior to a full awakening are phantom. That is your window to enter the lucid dream world.
You may not encounter the beach straight away, you may, in all likelihood, encounter a slightly altered replica of your bedroom or the place where you sleep. Rub your hands, palpate dream objects (or any other deepening technique that you are familiar with) and be sure to examine the details of your surroundings. Don't just assume that just because they feel familiar that you must've got up physically. Test it! I say this because at times the lucid dream environment is undistinguishable from the real world. Find those discrepancies that tell you it is a dream world!
Then, you may think about the beach and employ what I call a method of translocation. I often start running, shut my eyes, and imagine that I am already running at the desired location. I really believe this. Then, when I open my eyes, vision confirms that I'm there. This works well for me. LaBerge used to spin.
Anyway, here's an excerp from my journal which illustrates the degree of control that the lucid dreamer can attain:
"Decidedly, I performed deepening by rubbing the palms of my hands on every surface I could find. As I explored the phase, discovered a small extension to my simulated abode. There was a small barroom with a few red stools where the tavern existed earlier. I opened the front door and found a sunlit suburban area that was completely different from the town we live in. There was nobody about so I had the idea of materialising a person out of thin air. I held out my hands and pretended to hold a human head. I gazed at the space between my hand palms and concentrated on bringing a head into being.
It is worth mentioning that I stood still and was not concerned with fouling. I felt very determined as I tensed my posture and growled through gritted teeth before bellowing out: “I’m in the phase, goddamnit!” - Suddenly, to my amazement, there was an ethereal outline in the shape of an oval between my hands. I continued to will the form to manifest entirely. The more opaque the object became, the stronger the haptic data grew. As soon as I could feel the shape of a skull with my fingers, a smiling face was recognisable and a bust didn’t take long to form. In a matter of seconds, I had a full-fledged woman kneeling in front of me and resembling Helen. I could breathe life into her, too, just by willing it. I played with her facial expressions by changing them with my mind and even made her senesce swiftly. When I wished to make her plump, a bigger lady with curly brown hair popped into view right next to her.
I remembered my plan to visit Connor and went back inside my house in the hope of finding him there. There was nobody inside. I amplified my tactility and peered at walls in order to maintain the phase before deciding to use translocation to get to Connor. I started running towards the living room and closed my eyes. As I ran with no visibility, I imagined that I was already at Connor’s location. I opened my eyes to find that it was still pitch black but could still hear myself deliberately stomping on the floor. It seemed like only the floor existed, and, by running as far as I did, I would have defied physical laws if it had been in the real world. I extended my arms and felt a wall in front of me. As I walked along the wall and felt it with my hand, coloured objects aglow with crisp brightness gradually appeared all around me. The surroundings resembled the indoor play area in Connor’s house. I turned around and saw a tall woman wearing a nurse outfit milling about the place. The area she was in looked like a mixture of a hospital room and the actual front room where I usually find Connor when I pay him a visit in waking life.
In fact, the more I approached that area in the phase, the more it resembled his home except for one thing: the entrance was situated where there should only be windows. The nurse looked like Sarah (Connor’s mother) but her hair was short and black instead of long and blonde. She did not acknowledge my presence and soon left the house. As I turned a corner, I found a black couch where Connor was playing."
"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."