Thanks for sharing Erin. I don't think I've ever astrally projected myself in my sleep. My experiences tend to happen while wide awake, often in mid conversation. I've explained it as 'going through the gaps in reality' because I get the sense of time slowing down and my focus becomes fixed in one place, then I slip through into an entirely different setting (most often places that are not in this dimension).
When I'm doing readings though, 'they' come to me in the sense that I'm fully aware of the room and other people but guides or deceased people appear in the room with us. I'm aware of the different levels they come from by the energy surrounding them and how physical they are.
For 3-4 yrs I've had a couple of teenagers who died in a car accident near where I live 'come through.' They were a popular couple and friends with my oldest daughter so quite a few of their friends and relatives have been to see me. These two have always come through very differently and never together.
He was a 'hot' (according to all the broken hearted girls he left behind) boy racer who lived life on a razor edge, tempting death at every turn, like he was invincible. She was a very intelligent wise old soul type with a big personality to match her physique. Her parents were very wealthy and Dad had bought her a flash fast car for her 17th b'day. She was driving when they crashed but he was egging her on all the way. Both had a pot pouri of alcohol and drugs in their systems when they hit a lampost travelling at 180 kmph on the corner of suburban street.
When I first met them after they'd died, he was in total shock. It took him months to come to terms with his death and the impact it had on his family. I spent many hours counselling him after readings, on my front porch. He always appeared very physical. Conversation with him related to his family and immediate events as if he was unable to percieve more than this reality.
She came through the first time as energy and took 4-5 mins to recreate her physical presense. Her messages where more futuristic in relation to her family and fathers business, usually simple and to the point and she'd shift back to energy again. It was only when her sister came to me that she gave some small glimpses of childhood memories and words of comfort.
I was exploring numerology at this time and hers were old soul/spiritual master numbers while his were physical/emotional. I tend to 'know' things in the spiritual realms, without having been taught but my rational mind (the doubting Thomas) is always seeking explanations. I also have trust issues. Trusting myself that I do know (typical of a 9 dayborn).
From a physical perspective looking at these two teenagers, I'd have thought that he would have been the one seeking a return to spirit. He seemed less attatched the physical world, more free spirited and she was very earthy, aware and solid. So it was a bit of a suprise to find the opposite.