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The Dream Catcher is a place where your dreams can find a voice. It’s a reservoir of wisdom brimming with practical advice, strategies and tools to ensure your success. It also provides guidance on how to become a better person, respect other cultures and do your part in making the world a better place.
Blog Added: April 01, 2017 06:57:17 AM
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5 Life Skills That Solo Travel Teaches You

“Don’t be scared to walk alone. Don’t be scared to like it.” – John Mayer Traveling is without a doubt one of the most effective sources of experiential learning. Breaking away from your daily routine to venture out into the wild to meet new people, see new sights, and try out foods and activities in...  Read More » The post 5 Life Skills That Solo Travel Teaches You appeared first on The Dream...

“Don’t be scared to walk alone. Don’t be scared to like it.” – John Mayer

Traveling is without a doubt one of the most effective sources of experiential learning.

Breaking away from your daily routine to venture out into the wild to meet new people, see new sights, and try out foods and activities in total anonymity, free from the labels that are placed upon us, is genuine food for the soul.

Whether you vacation to stimulate your mind and senses or to just unplug and relax, each and every journey that you embark on will change you on a fundamental level. Whether you realize it or not, your perspective will shift and you’ll see yourself and the world around you in a new light.

I’ve been fortunate to have been on numerous exciting travel escapades, many of them on my own. In fact, I just returned from a six-month sabbatical, so the after-effects of my journey still linger as I write this. I’ve blogged a lot about the benefits of traveling and cultural immersion, but after returning, I feel compelled to dive deeper into the benefits of solo travel specifically.

I realize that most people dread the idea of traveling on their own. It seems like the only travelers who have a valid excuse for going solo are business travelers, while those who indulge in it for leisure are seen as being loners, social outcasts, awkward or misfits. These heavy labels are downright intimidating and can understandably put anyone off the idea of going it alone.

Yet what I have found from my experiences of solo travel is that most of these concerns are fabrications of our fears. We are more prone to be influenced by our fears if we lack self-esteem and if we’re deliberately avoiding unaddressed turbulent thoughts and emotions that might be brimming within us. The reality is that when you’re alone, it’s harder to avoid facing your demons.

I believe that it is totally worth our time and effort to resolve these internal issues so that we can step outside our comfort zone and venture out onto the road alone. Once you’re able to do this, you’ll see how easy it is to appreciate your own company and spend time on your own. You’ll have the perfect opportunity to reach higher realms of consciousness and spiritual insights.

This became more apparent to me after my recent visit to the Omega institute in Rhinebeck, New York, a global center for spiritual learning and personal development. Throughout my stay, I felt like I was submerged inside a mystical cocoon. The campus is a sacred haven, peppered with idyllic spots for introspection, such as ponds, trails, libraries, labyrinths and meditation halls.

On my first day there, I woke up unusually early due to the jet lag I was still recovering from. As I walked out of my cabin on a cold, frosty morning, I was instantly struck by the quietness and tranquility of my surroundings. I made my way to the dining hall for breakfast. Along the way, I noticed a small group of people practicing tai chi in the gardens, a few others walking the trails, and a couple sitting on bench, staring out into space, lost in deep thought.

I continued to move until I stumbled on a sign that said “Sanctuary”, which pointed towards a little, craggy hill. My curiosity drove me to take a detour to check this place out. I climbed a few steep steps until I reached an archway that led to curving stone walls and ever-changing cairns, which finally led to a magnificent stone structure of the Sanctuary, the spiritual heart of Omega.

Inside the hall was a cluster of individuals, steeped in tranquil meditation. Outside, there were two women, looking out at the scenery thoughtfully, and scribbling their reflections in their journals. Being in this elevated energy felt like soothing balm on my soul. I expressed gratitude for having those precious moments of solitude, where I had the privilege to be still and witness the sacred.

Admittedly, the hard-nosed critic within me wondered whether or not there’s something odd or even anti-social about loving one’s own company. Does this yearning for quality me-time make me and the people I saw at Omega weird and socially-awkward loners with overly complex inner worlds? I decided to turn to the works of great philosophers and thinkers for answers.

I was delighted to discover a plethora of luminaries who shared the same need for solitude. In fact, they were vigilant about making time to retreat from a prosaic existence so that they could be immersed in their inner world. The writer Oscar Wilde once said, “I think it’s very healthy to spend time alone. You need to know how to be alone and not be defined by another person.”

German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, one the most prolific writers of our modern times, was a devout advocate of the role of solitude in human lives for creative and developmental purposes. His profound insightfulness helped him see how a detached perspective on life is essential when it comes to insulating ourselves from superficial ideologies and social dogma.

He believed that spending time alone guarded our creative juices and prevented our ideas from being diminished by the judgements of those around us. “Choose the solitude,” Nietzche said, “the free, playful, light solitude, that gives you, too, the right to remain good in some sense.”

The truth is that we are surrounded by people all the time. We socialize with them, work with them, and share our homes with them. Having the time and space to withdraw from the crowds to listen to our inner voice is a luxury, considering our busy and hectic lifestyles.

That’s why anyone who’s ever traveled on their own (myself included) will tell you that they wouldn’t want to have it any other way. It actually can be quite addictive once you overcome your initial hesitation!

Besides being exciting and fun, solo travels can be incredibly enlightening experiences where you can broaden your repertoire of life skills and understand yourself better. Here are 6 important skills that I’ve learned from my solo sojourns:

  1. Adaptability and self-reliance: Once you step out of your home turf, you’ll inevitably encounter unfamiliar situations and foreign environments. No matter how much advance preparation you’ve done, there’ll be unforeseen happenings due to various reasons (weather patterns, cultural practices, etc.), which will require you to improvise and think on your feet. You’ll be challenged to adapt your normal way of being and go with the flow. In this way, traveling to other countries will teach you how to rely on yourself, trust your heart, and your problem-solving skills. In the process, you’ll become increasingly confident about your ability to survive in any set of circumstances and overcome any obstacles that may come your way. By taking responsibility for yourself during your travels, you’ll discover just how capable and courageous you are.
  2. Social and conversation skills: When you’re out and about, on your own, you’re more inclined to strike up a conversation with people along the way. You’ll be able engage with locals on a wholehearted level that wouldn’t be possible if you were traveling with other people. Based on my experience, I can confidently say that there are friendly people everywhere on the planet who would be glad to engage in a conversation with you and even help out during your times of need. I’ve had total strangers go completely out of their way to assist me without expecting anything in return. My encounters with people from various cultures and backgrounds has taught me the subtle art of finding commonalities with people and conversing about those common interests. As a solo traveler, you’ll always return home with boatload of new friends!
  3. Observation skills: People-watching becomes a default pastime when you travel solo. You aren’t distracted by conversations with travel companions so you have the rare opportunity to notice details and idiosyncrasies that you would normally miss if you were in someone else’s company. The clothing, gestures, mannerisms and conversations around you become much more vivid, and you could even entertain yourself with a running inner commentary as you watch others. Your observations could also provide a reason to elicit a conversation with others.
  4. Self-reflection: Solitude offers a direct pathway to connect with your inner world. Traveling to a new environment takes you away from the worries and demands of your life, making it even easier to delve in deep reflection. During those unplugged moments, you can engage in introspective assessments of your life back home and your future direction. Sometimes, it’s unpleasant to deal with, but your detached perspective will give you the strength to call out your own BS, face your shadow and cut out all the deadwood. On a lighter note, you could receive waves of creative inspiration and ideas to enhance your life and passion projects. Being immersed in a far away destination could instigate personal breakthroughs about life’s bigger questions such as your life purpose and where you see yourself in the grand scheme of things. I suggest keeping a small notebook to jot down your thoughts over the course of your travels.
  5. Self-knowledge: When you travel to a new place, you get to leave behind the labels, titles and identity that you take on back home. Instead, you can work with your soul essence and your personal truths. No one knows you in your destination so you have the chance to experiment and break away from the personal and professional mold that you’re normally accustomed to. As you do this, you’ll most likely uncover new aspects of yourself, and your preferences and quirks. During your solo travels, you get to date yourself, define your qualities and tastes, and own them with a sense of pride and confidence. Knowing who you are at your core will give you a newfound confidence and clarity about your values and what you want from your life.

Life is, ultimately, a journey of personal evolution and growth, and we should strive to manifest circumstances and opportunities to maximize our learning. I believe that solo travel is self-discovery on steroids, and therefore, the perfect spiritual portal for accessing higher levels of consciousness, divinity and transcendence.

All my best on your journey,

Seline

Question for you: Have you ever taken any trips on your own? If you have, what was your experience like?

The post 5 Life Skills That Solo Travel Teaches You appeared first on The Dream Catcher.



5 Subtle Ways You’re Giving Away Your Power

Power in the animal kingdom is determined by a creature’s ability to survive on the planet. For almost all living beings, the capacity to survive is determined by several key factors such as strength, adaptability, size, speed and intelligence. Based on Charles Darwin’s evolutionary principle, “survival of the fittest”, “fittest” relates to the best physical...  Read More » The post 5 Subtle Ways You’re Giving Away Your Power appeared first on The Dream...

Power in the animal kingdom is determined by a creature’s ability to survive on the planet. For almost all living beings, the capacity to survive is determined by several key factors such as strength, adaptability, size, speed and intelligence. Based on Charles Darwin’s evolutionary principle, “survival of the fittest”, “fittest” relates to the best physical specimens that are in the best shape and health.

Lions are master hunters because of their strength. Cheetahs get ahead of the game because of their speed. Ants and bees survive because of their industriousness. Roaches and other insects display superior adaptability in even the harshest conditions. Birds have wings that help them soar above us all.

For us humans, our power lies in our advanced intelligence and the awareness that we have of the life force within us. Unlike other living creatures in the animal kingdom, our range of power isn’t limited to physical characteristics and mental agility, but it goes a level deeper into the spiritual and ethereal realm.

We’re all projections of consciousness and guardians of the latent psychic power that lies within us all. Every single interaction and experience that we have is a spiritual opportunity for us to choose between love and fear. Whichever path you choose to take will have a direct impact on your personal vibe.

On the surface, this may not seem like the case. Our circumstances may seem limited and mislead us to believe that we are powerless. There might be people around us who seem like they control our fate and elicit a victim mentality within us. We could feel a lack of power because we don’t have the looks, money, status, wardrobe, connections, or whatever we think is required to reach a place of prominence.

The truth is that we are the main source of our feelings of powerlessness because of how we relate to our own sense of power. If we’re open to seeing things from a symbolic perspective, we’ll see that we have more power than we realize. Your sense of power has nothing to do with what others say and do to you and your life circumstances – rather, it lies in your ability to make choices.

You always have the power to choose what you think, do and believe in. You channel your power every time you decide to take action that moves you towards your desired results. As you keep doing this, you’ll become increasingly confident in your ability to manifest the reality you’ve always dreamed of.

This dynamic form of inner power is much more potent than the superficial kind that’s associated with money, status and beauty, which many of us gave grown accustomed to wanting. None of the shallow symbols of power mean anything if you don’t believe in your self-worth and if you can’t experience your life from a prevailing sense of balance, harmony and contentment.

Power comes from being yourself, standing your ground and doing the right thing. You reverberate with power whenever you choose to walk in the pursuit of truth and integrity. You don’t have to use force or aggression to intimidate others to get what you want. You can ask for what you’re worth and fight for justice from a place of peace and understanding, just as Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King did.

Yet this is easier said than done. None of us are capable of being in perfect alignment with our inner power at all times. There are times when we’ll relinquish our power and give it away without realizing that we are doing so. Depending on which stage of consciousness you’re at, you could do it once in a while or you may find yourself caught up in a habitual cycle of disempowerment. Over the years, you may have developed a belief system that gets you trapped into a pattern of giving away your power.

The unfortunate reality is that there are plenty of individuals who would be happy to take advantage of our inability to tap into our power. If we aren’t careful, these toxic individuals will find ways to capitalize on our weaknesses for their personal gain. That’s why it’s essential for us to become conscious of the ways that we sabotage ourselves and learn how to overcome those patterns and reclaim our power.

Living in a state of powerlessness will not only lead to unpleasant and painful situations but can also cause a lot of harm to us on a physiological level. According to medical intuitive, Caroline Myss, every time we give our power away, we are psychically drained and we experience energy leaks and imbalances that lead to diseases, sickness and other body ailments or an overall sense of weakness.

This occurs because we are energy beings with a strong mind-body connection. We need to listen to the wisdom of our intuition because it will always let us know when we have compromised our power through our emotional state and our energy levels. Myss says that personal power is ultimately about learning not to negotiate your self-worth for the sake of someone else or selling yourself short for a job.

If you’re unsure about whether or not you’re giving your power away in your interactions, I’ve put together a list of the five subtle indicators that will help you figure it out:

  1. You stay in situations and relationships that don’t fulfill you: When we choose to stay in situations and relationships that don’t fulfill us, we not only waste our time but we also drain our spirit. This occurs because we choose to ignore the fact that we aren’t aligned with our values, and we tolerate behaviors that do not honor our truth. There are many people who allow fear of change to control them, and trap themselves in the process. They believe that they are victims of their circumstances and they find it easier to complain about their situation rather than change it so that they move away from the toxicity.
  2. You don’t speak up for yourself: Every time you fail to defend yourself and fight for your rights in the face of unfairness and injustice, you give away your power. A person with a strong sense of self-worth will never allow someone to say disrespectful or mean things to them, and will be quick to either build healthy boundaries or to cut these people out of their life altogether. You won’t feel the urge to please, perfect, pretend or prove yourself if you aren’t needy for approval and validation. You’ll be brave enough to confront others about the things that bother you and stand up for what you think is right.
  3. You’re unwilling to forgive and forget: Buddha said that holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. I think this perfectly sums up the effect of holding onto anger and grudges. I’m not saying that we should ignore or minimize hurt feelings – it’s important that we acknowledge and process our pain in a healthy way – but a big part of our healing does involve forgiveness. This doesn’t right the wrong done by the people who hurt us – it simply liberates us from the pain. Forgiveness is like a spiritual detox that allows us to move on from past disappointments.
  4. You sacrifice too much for others: Relationships offer us a chance to share our love and be of service to another being. Displaying generosity is an honorable and noble way of living, as long as we don’t get drained out in the process. We have to be careful about not adopting the role of a martyr and sacrificing ourselves at the expense of what we need to feel whole and nurtured. It’s important to place limitations on how much we’re willing to give of ourselves, and have the discernment to recognize when we’re overstretched and being taken advantage of. If you’re always trying to rescue others and be their savior, you’ll feel run down and experience a significant loss of energy, which could have been put to better use.
  5. You wait around for things to happen: When fear is the driving force, you tend to wait around, wishing for things to happen, instead of taking action. Not doing anything to change your circumstances and assuming a passive stance in life creates a sense of powerlessness. We have to develop the drive and confidence to take the initiative to make things happen. We have to overcome the inertia that comes from fear and become proactive about pursuing whatever excites us and brings meaning into our lives. Eliminate those “if’s” and “buts” and step into your power and create a life that deeply fulfills you!

Deep down, all of us want to feel powerful. We’re intuitively aware of the power within us to create our desired reality. But it is up to us to decide whether we will reclaim our power and use it to become a source of inspiration and love in the world. As spiritual teacher Marianne Williamson said:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.”

All my best on your journey,

Seline

Question for you: Are there any places in your life where you’re giving away your power? How can you take back your power in those situation?

The post 5 Subtle Ways You’re Giving Away Your Power appeared first on The Dream Catcher.



Why Laughter is the Best Medicine

“A day without laughter is a day wasted.” – Charlie Chaplin When was the last time that you had a good, hearty laugh? Did it happen while sharing an inside joke with a dear friend or while watching a funny sitcom or reading the newspaper funnies? No matter what the circumstances were, it most likely...  Read More » The post Why Laughter is the Best Medicine appeared first on The Dream...

“A day without laughter is a day wasted.” – Charlie Chaplin

When was the last time that you had a good, hearty laugh?

Did it happen while sharing an inside joke with a dear friend or while watching a funny sitcom or reading the newspaper funnies?

No matter what the circumstances were, it most likely left you feeling jovial and elated. During those few moments, you forgot about all your worries and cares and the world looked just a bit brighter. It may have also strengthened your connection with whomever you shared your laughs with and created a warm and convivial atmosphere.

Our personal experiences are proof of the undeniable feel-good effect of laughter. It’s led many people to believe that laughter is, in fact, the best medicine, and especially effective in diffusing tense and distressful situations. But what exactly is laughter and what gives it such potent healing powers?

Laughter is a natural response that we have to any stimuli such as images, sensations, sounds or thoughts that we find funny. Our higher brain decodes the stimuli and once it understands the humor, our emotional system releases a pleasure-inducing chemical that promotes happiness. Finally, our motor function causes us to react by laughing, smiling or tearing up. Our physical response to laughter is pretty quick!

Even though we have this natural form of joy easily available to us, we don’t laugh as much as we need to. Just walk down a busy street in any big city and what you’ll witness is a sea of serious or worried expressions on commuters darting from point A to point B. As a society, it seems like we’ve allowed ourselves to get bogged down by the grueling demands of life and drown in our anxieties.

Life is without a doubt serious business, but I believe that we can be better at coping with the seriousness of it all if we traveled lighter. In other words, things would seem more doable if we could lighten up and be willing to see the humor in our experiences. Doing so will instantly shift our energy and make us feel productive and enthusiastic about dealing with anything that may come our way.

I admit that I gravitate more towards the serious side of life. As a writer who focuses on deep and weighty topics, I can get stuck in this somber realm if I’m not careful. That’s why I make a conscious effort to breakaway and disconnect from thinking about heavy issues to engage in fun, leisurely pursuits.

I do this by taking time out to watch funny sitcoms, movies, stand-up comedy shows, and spending time with people who help me appreciate the fun aspects of life. You might prefer other kinds of activities such playing sports or games. No matter what you choose, make sure that it genuinely amuses you.

Finding something to laugh about not only lightens your mental load and makes you feel good in the moment, it actually induces physical changes in your body. Science has shown that laughter benefits us on a physiological level by lowering blood pressure, improving heart health, lowering stress hormone levels, boosting immunity, and triggering the release of endorphins (awesome, feel-good hormones!).

Given the many benefits of laughter, the medical community has developed a healing modality known as laughter therapy. This practice aims to relieve physical and emotional stress or discomfort by using the natural physiological process of laughter. It often combines laughter and movement to boost heart rate, as in the case of laughter yoga. In fact, 10-15 minutes of laughter can burn as much as 50 calories!

Laughter is also an excellent social lubricant that helps us connect better with others. It’s a universal language that can be understood, no matter where you go on the planet, and it can melt down any tensions or differences. I believe the humor is a great cross-cultural bridge, which can be used to gain mutual understanding and cooperation to deal with important world issues that need to be tackled.

Of course, our cultural upbringing and family history play a major role is what we consider to be funny and how much we allow ourselves to indulge in humor. People from certain cultures (like Northern Europeans) are considered to be more serious and stoic than other cultures (like Latins). Also, some individuals prefer a more dry sense of humor, while others prefer a more slapstick genre.

Regardless of your preferences for comedy, laughter will always be one of your core human needs. Without enough of it in our life, we can wither like a flower in a cold, dark and harsh winter. If you feel restricted or unable to engage in laughter, you might want to examine your existing beliefs and do some work with your inner critic. If that’s not enough, consider working with a therapist for deeper insights.

Humor is undoubtedly one of the most potent tools for instantly shifting us from a place of gloom and doom towards a more positive one. Every day, set an intention to see the world through the lens of love and tackle any resistance or fears that may come up in the process of doing this.

Need to add more humor into your life? Here are some effective ways to bring a smile to your face:

  1. Reflect on your past experience of humor: Your memories are one of the best sources of laughter because you can gain instant access to the pleasant emotions you had in those past experiences. These memories could be from any age and circumstances. Whenever I do this exercise, I’m enveloped in warmth and sometimes even giggle a little. Remembering any fond memory allows you to relive those special moments. You could magnify your joy by reminiscing about good times with friends and family.
  2. Commit to doing the things that make you laugh: Everyone has different preferences for humor. What you find funny might not amuse others at all. For example, I don’t like comedians that swear a lot and crack perverted jokes. I prefer a more intelligent genre of comedy, based on keen observation of human idiosyncrasies. Figure out what makes you laugh by reflecting on previous experiences that amused you. Once you’re clear about that, make time during your day to engage in those activities. You can use laughter as a tool to deal with stress or to give you a boost in energy when you’re feeling down.
  3. Hang out with funny people: If you’ve ever had the delightful experience of being around someone with a great sense of humor, you’ll know how refreshing it is to be in the presence of someone like that. These people have a natural knack of making others laugh, like an impromptu comedian doing a stand-up comedy routine. These are the class clowns who just like to have a good time and spread good vibes around them. It’s important that they have the sensibility to not to use others as targets for their jokes, and that they avoid joking during inappropriate times. It’s not easy to come across these people but you could probably increase your chances of meeting them at fun-oriented events, workshops and venues.
  4. Find humor in your life, no matter how tough things get: It’s true that life is full of ups and downs and we can’t always find a reason to laugh, especially when we’re in the midst of a crisis, tragedy or an immense loss. Of course, we need to honor our sadness and process our emotions in a healthy way, but once we do, we must commit to raising our vibration, and the simplest way to do that is through laughter. If we try, we can find a humorous angle in almost every facet of life. Comedians are brilliant in doing this. They can take an ordinary observation and help us see it from their comical point of view.

You’re here for a brief, cosmic stint, and during that time, you have the opportunity to create and live some wonderful life experiences, many of which will involve humor – so don’t miss out on those opportunities! Let the joys and wonder of laughter pervade almost every precious moment of your life.

All my best on your journey,

Seline

Question for you: Do you believe that laughter is the best medicine? Do you have any fun experiences that reflect on this statement?

The post Why Laughter is the Best Medicine appeared first on The Dream Catcher.



How to Overcome the Fear of Rejection

“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” – Jack Canfield Rejection – the very thought of it will send many of us running for the hills. Yet no matter how hard you try to escape it, it will catch up with you because it’s a fundamental part of the human experience. This...  Read More » The post How to Overcome the Fear of Rejection appeared first on The Dream...

“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” – Jack Canfield

Rejection – the very thought of it will send many of us running for the hills. Yet no matter how hard you try to escape it, it will catch up with you because it’s a fundamental part of the human experience.

This deep sense of vulnerability can be traced back to our childhood days. The fear of rejection is especially stronger during these years because we haven’t yet developed a sense of self. A kid on her first day at school would rather run back home into the safe arms of her mother than make new friends. A teenager is willing to do pretty much anything to be accepted by the cool crowd in his high school.

As grown-ups, most of us still harbor those sensitivities and feel just as anxious as we did when we were kids and teenagers. The severity of our vulnerability depends on our own unique life circumstances and how much we have invested in our personal development. It goes without saying that the more we worked on building our confidence and developing maturity, the easier it is for us to manage our fear.

While we’re all painfully aware of what the fear of rejection feels like, we don’t really have an objective understanding of its origins. Like most of the other fears, it is irrational and based on the assumption that people won’t accept you for one reason or another. You may be worried that they won’t accept your opinions, beliefs, behavior or ethics. The fear is usually totally unfounded and not based on reality.

But no matter how much we try to rationalize it, it still feels very real to us. The reason why it does is because this fear has its roots in the very primitive part of our brains. Rejection is one of our deepest human fears because we’re biologically wired with a need for belonging and to be loved. We’re terrified at the thought of being cut off and isolated, and we want to be accepted and seen for who we are.

In ancient tribes, being ostracized was as good as a death sentence because of how dependent the members were on each other when it came to their survival. A baby that isn’t shown signs of love and affection such as being held, nuzzled or hugged can literally stop growing and might even die, even with proper nutrition! On both an instinctive and social level, we know that rejection is bad news.

It’s no wonder that we get distraught, agitated or even depressed at the mere possibility of being rejected by someone. After all, who wants to feel like they are unlovable or not good enough? No one does! But the reality is that you will encounter circumstances and people that will trigger these fears at some point and you’ll need the right coping mechanisms if you would like to come out of them unscathed.

If left unchecked, the fear of rejection can have a debilitating effect on your inner peace and negatively impact your daily decisions and actions. It can also cause you to be excessively needy in relationships and vulnerable to being manipulated and taken for granted by others. Remember that the more fragile your ego is and the lower your self-esteem, the greater your fear of rejection will be.

The truth is that we can never really get rid of the fear. We can only learn how to manage it and knowing how to do this is an essential ingredient of success. Almost everyone who has become recognized for some talent, discovery or idea has faced rejection on the path to success. Even though they experienced the demoralizing effects of rejection, they didn’t let it get to them and they kept going.

A recording studio prophesized that The Beatles would have no future in show business. Michael Jordan was cut out from his high school basketball team. A newspaper told Walt Disney that he lacked imagination and had no original ideas. Oprah Winfrey was demoted from her job because a news anchor thought that she wasn’t fit for television. Rowling’s Harry Potter was rejected by 12 different publishers.

The list of famous people who were rejected is virtually endless! While each of one of them is undoubtedly talented, what got them to the finish line was their ability to push through the discouragement from rejection and to not allow it to define their self-worth and their abilities. They continued to move forward and did not allow someone else’s opinions to determine their destiny.

Now, I’m not saying that facing rejection should be treated as a trivial matter. It can definitely sting, especially when it comes to matters that are important to you. As a creative professional, I had to learn to face my fears head on. It was hard when I first started. I found myself being upset by mean comments left on my blog or social media pages, or every time someone unsubscribed from my list or complained.

Eventually, I realized that there will always be critics and naysayers who’ll be happy to rain on my parade, but it’s essential that I don’t give them any power and let their judgments have any sort of bearing on my creative endeavors. What matters is that I continue to express my truth and maintain my focus on delivering quality content that will continue to enrich the lives of people who do appreciate my work.

The truth is that if you want to play a bigger game in life, you have to be willing to take healthy risks and put yourself out there, because success is a numbers game. We’re less likely to do this if we’re constantly worried about what others think of us. Our prospect for our careers, relationship and spiritual growth become limited, and our world instantly shrinks when we’re controlled by the fear of rejection.

The good news is that when you commit yourself to doing the inner work of building a solid inner foundation that’s predicated on a clear sense of who you are, you can easily push past the fear. When you learn to love and accept yourself unconditionally, what others think will no longer have any control over you. Here are a couple of practical steps that you can take to reach this empowering state:

  1. Heal past hurts: People tend to fear rejection more if they haven’t properly dealt with the lingering pain from past experiences where they were hurt. The wounds caused from feeling rejected in our youth will continue to linger in our subconscious minds. These festering thoughts of not being good enough can paralyze us as adults. You’ll get triggered by others’ behaviors and words because of your sensitivity about these unresolved issues. It’s almost like someone is touching an open wound, which will hurt much more because it’s still hurting. For example, if your former partner left you for someone else in your last relationship, the chances are high that you will feel insecure and anxious in your next relationship if you haven’t done the inner work to heal from this past betrayal. If you want to prevent people from having the power to push your buttons, you have to be willing to probe into your issues and deal with them appropriately. You can gain more awareness about your fear and how it’s affecting your life by journaling and working with a qualified therapist who can help you work through the issues.
  2. Acknowledge yourself and get in touch with your true worth: It is critical that we maintain a healthy relationship with ourselves if we would like to be strong enough to deal with rejection. A big part of that involves committing to speaking to ourselves with compassion, just as we would speak to someone that we love. Fear-based thoughts are usually accompanied with the harsh internal dialogue of our inner critic, which causes us to feel like we aren’t good enough and that we lack in some way. You’ll have to make a conscious effort to replace the voice of the inner critic with an inner cheerleader. Your inner cheerleader will acknowledge all the efforts and progress that you make and ground you in your true worth. When you’re in touch with your value and you believe in yourself, your fear diminishes. You’re also less likely to take rejection personally and you won’t allow it to shake your confidence in yourself.
  3. Release expectations and attachment to outcomes: Although it’s important to have clarity on the results that we would like to derive from our situations, we also need to develop a healthy detachment from the result of our actions. Putting ourselves out there is tough enough and getting overly attached to the outcomes that we desire makes it even tougher. While it’s okay to have high expectations, we want to be careful about involving our emotions, because once we do, we put ourselves in a vulnerable position. I know that this is easier said than done, especially in matters that are close to your heart, but you’ll find that with practice, the art of surrendering will come to you more naturally.
  4. Develop a healthier outlook on rejection: It can be tempting to make rejection appear to be scarier than it really is. Like little kids in the dark, we see rejection as a monster that’s lurking in the shadows, ready to pounce on us. Just like kids, we create these imaginary projections from our fears and give them too much significance. But rejection does not have to be viewed from the lens of drama and finality. We can shift our perspective on rejection towards one that is healthier and more conducive to the evolution of our consciousness. What if we saw rejection as nothing but useful feedback? If we can analyze things objectively, we could learn a lot of valuable insights, which we can use to tweak our strategy. For instance, if your job applications repeatedly get rejected, perhaps you need to change something about your resume or how you show up at interviews. Keep getting turned down for dates? Maybe you need to change your approach, attitude or enhance your appearance to become more appealing to others.

Like a personal trainer, your experiences of rejection will give you lots of opportunities to strengthen your resolve and the belief that you have in yourself and the cosmos. More importantly, you’ll be less afraid and intimidated by rejection and feel empowered to express love and accept love from others.

All my best on your journey,

Seline

Question for you: How often do you experience a fear of rejection? Are there certain types of situations where you experience it the most?

The post How to Overcome the Fear of Rejection appeared first on The Dream Catcher.



Why Education is the Solution to World Peace

“Establishing lasting peace is the work of education; all politics can do is keep us out at war.” – Maria Montessori On July 12 2013, a gathering of nearly 1,000 young people aged from 12-25 from over 100 countries gathered at the United Nations Youth Assembly in New York. One of the speakers that they...  Read More » The post Why Education is the Solution to World Peace appeared first on The Dream...

“Establishing lasting peace is the work of education; all politics can do is keep us out at war.” – Maria Montessori

On July 12 2013, a gathering of nearly 1,000 young people aged from 12-25 from over 100 countries gathered at the United Nations Youth Assembly in New York. One of the speakers that they were being addressed by was a young woman named Malala Yousafzai, one of the many victims who was shot by a Taliban hitman in Pakistan in 2012.

In Malala’s moving and impactful speech, which she delivered in a firm yet compassionate tone, she used her story to encourage world leaders to provide free and mandatory education for every child on the planet. She said, “We realize the importance of pens and books, when we saw the guns. We realize the importance of light. We realize the importance of our voice when we are silenced.”

Upon saying this, she received standing ovations. She smiled as she continued on to say, “Let us pick up our books and our pens. They are our most powerful weapons. One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world. Education is the only solution to illiteracy, poverty and terrorism.”

Malala has become a major influencer because of the wisdom that she has gleaned from her terrifying experiences with the Taliban clan in her community. Living under the pressure and subjugation of an extreme regime opened her eyes to the value of education and its capacity to unlock human potential.

The universal right to education has become a major endeavor that’s been prioritized across the globe in nations, multilateral organizations, NGOs, and other companies working towards raising global standards of living. In an information age driven by ideas, new technologies and creativity, knowledge has become the most important currency, which makes having an education more important than ever before.

Sadly, there are millions of adults and children who lack access to quality education because of various reasons. Some aren’t allowed to attend school because they’re girls or because their families need them to work to support the family, or because they live in conflict zones. Studies show that 59 million school-age kids are being denied an education, and 65 million don’t have access to a secondary school.

A collective effort is needed if we are to make education more accessible to every person in the world, because it is the key to promoting the understanding of social justice, health issues, and eradicating global poverty. A mother who can read is more able to protect her child from chronic diseases and dying young. A child born to a literate mother has more than a 50% chance of surviving past the age of five.

A better educated global society also leads to more prosperity. A country’s gross domestic product (GDP) per capita can increase by 30% if its citizens have equitable access to quality education. Educating girls is especially crucial because it can literally mean the difference between life and death. It’s been shown there would be 1.7 million fewer malnourished children if all women had a primary education.

Education not only enables us to meet our survival needs and benefit our economy, but it also has a humanitarian influence on us. We become better stewards of the planet, more tolerant of differences in others, and less likely to resort to acts of violence and crime. Education also leads to self-sufficiency, which frees us to spend more time and resources to dedicate our lives to larger global causes.

This comes as no surprise, as knowledge makes us more open-minded and able to think independently. This insulates us from the voice of dogma and fixed regimes, which try to influence to us into accepting dark and selfish agendas. Instead of blindly following ignorant schemes, we can choose to contribute towards resolving social ills such as prejudice, violent crimes, and the unequal distribution of wealth.

A lack of knowledge is the root cause of ignorance and all misunderstandings that result from it. That’s why an essential part of education should include bringing together people with different beliefs, attitudes and backgrounds so that they can learn and appreciate each other’s differences. In this way, we can create a sense of unity and a working relationship to resolve the global issues.

Albert Einstein, who lived through a time of massive conflict in the World War era during the 1900s, could clearly see, with his superior level of intelligence, that peace can only be achieved once we make an effort to understand others on a deeper and more profound level. He believed that the more we understand, the more we see, and when we gain wisdom, we also breed compassion within us.

Education should not just be about calculus, essay writing and periodic tables. We need an education system that allows students to broaden their horizons and teaches them to think intelligently, so that they can develop a healthy approach towards living. Education should not just take place in schools but in homes, where values, morals and principles are inculcated in our personal and behavioral makeup.

Making education more accessible to the masses may seem like a global epidemic to be dealt with by the bigwigs, but you’ll be happy to know that you too can be part of the solution. Here are a few things you can you do to contribute to this cause:

  1. Constantly seek out learning opportunities: You can’t fully appreciate the value of education until you commit to educating yourself on a continual basis. Fortunately, we live in an information age where we’re flooded with valuable content everywhere. Learning sources are no longer limited to books and schools – we can gain knowledge from YouTube videos, blogs (like this one!), online courses, workshops, etc. Today, you can learn about virtually anything under the sun. So if something piques your interest, take advantage of the abundant learning opportunities available. Know that more knowledge will increase your personal power and will evolve your consciousness to higher levels of existence.
  2. Become a positive role model to kids: By dedicating yourself to the pursuit of continual learning and education, you set a positive example to those around you. You can share your knowledge and wisdom with younger generations by giving them inside tips on how to deal with common challenges and issues that they might encounter along the way. The youngsters of today are in deep need of positive role models who can steer them away from the shallow mindset driven by social media and pop culture, and towards more intellectual themes in life that engage their minds in deeper and more meaningful ways.
  3. Combat ignorance whenever you encounter it: All forms of ignorance and prejudices are rooted in the lack of knowledge and fear. If you encounter a judgmental individual who demonstrates these characteristics, take the initiative to enlighten them with the information and perspectives that can offer them a different point of view. Of course, you can’t force someone to change how they think within a short span of time, but planting the seeds at an early stage could initiate a positive shift in their thinking. You’ll also feel satisfied that you stood by your principles as an ambassador of love, peace and the truth.
  4. Volunteer or donate: If you would like to take a more hands-on approach towards making education more available, I suggest signing up for teaching volunteer opportunities. There are several websites that post opportunities to teach English and other subjects in schools located in developing nations. You can also donate to charitable organizations that are dedicated to building schools in places that lack funding. They also work towards improving educational standards by training teachers and providing school supplies and books. The education standards and schooling system are still light years behind in developing countries, and we need to invest time and resources so that we can get them up to date.

Education should ultimately prepare us with the knowledge that will give us the wherewithal to solve both contemporary world problems and the ones that are becoming. It should equip us with skills and information needed to address social, economic, environmental and health problems. More importantly, it should engender us to celebrate the various differences in culture, color and beliefs.

All my best on your journey,

Seline

Question for you: Other than education, what else do you believe is the solution to world peace? Do you believe that education is the solution to world peace?

The post Why Education is the Solution to World Peace appeared first on The Dream Catcher.



What to do When Your Life Feels Boring and Predictable

“Boredom: the desire for desires.” – Leo Tolstoy Another day, another dollar. Same ol’, same ol’. Life on repeat mode. Do you identify with any of these statements? I sure did. I used to be one of those people who couldn’t stand still for a minute and needed constant mental stimulation to feel fully engaged...  Read More » The post What to do When Your Life Feels Boring and Predictable appeared first on The Dream...

“Boredom: the desire for desires.” – Leo Tolstoy

Another day, another dollar. Same ol’, same ol’. Life on repeat mode.

Do you identify with any of these statements? I sure did.

I used to be one of those people who couldn’t stand still for a minute and needed constant mental stimulation to feel fully engaged with my life. As an excitement junkie, I wanted lots of things to be happening around me and a full schedule. I did anything to prevent my existence from resembling the life of Bill Murray’s character in the movie Groundhog Day. His life seemed like a nightmare to me!

It wasn’t long before I realized that my avoidance of predictability and boredom was actually a symptom of unresolved psychological issues that I was running away from. It was a coping mechanism that I used to protect myself from facing the reality of my life and dealing with the damaged and shadowy aspects of my persona. I’m certain that many of you can admit to doing this at some point in your life.

It doesn’t help that we live in a culture that makes life seem like one big popularity contest, where the most successful people are the ones who have a lot going on. Our celebrity fascination gives us the illusion that happiness is a result of being busy and constantly on the move. We fill our Facebook and Instagram pages with images and status updates that make our life seem just as eventful.  Besides social media, we have plenty of other avenues, such as chat programs and apps, to share our life happenings.

Yet deep down, many of us are bored, and we experience a sense of malaise. No matter how busy you are with your career, relationships and social schedule, when you’re actually truthful with yourself, you’ll admit that you are dissatisfied and unfulfilled. In your heart of hearts, you know that you’re not in the flow and you feel disconnected from the abundance around you. In other words, you feel “blah”.

This trend is reflected in the younger generations of today. According to a survey published, two thirds of millennials are bored with their life, twenty-seven percent are bored with TV, and one in six is fed up with social media. This is an epidemic that shows the extent to which their interest in living has dwindled and how desensitized the youngsters of today have become to all the wonder and beauty.

Allowing ourselves to continue living in a state of apathy is the equivalent of giving ourselves a death sentence, albeit a slow one, where our spirit gradually deteriorates. It’s no wonder that people feel the need to get quick-fixes, using sugar, alcohol, cigarettes and antidepressants. They’re going against their nature, which is to experience life from place of aliveness, vitality and connection with their life force.

I’m sure that you can recall feeling a zest for life when you were a kid. Despite having short attention spans, young children make it a priority to find ways to be entertained through play and by channeling their natural enthusiasm. I believe that it’s possible for us to experience the same verve for life if we can let go of our worries, gain deeper self-awareness and adopt a positive approach towards life.

I’m certainly not suggesting that we go back to being kids and teens. Neither am I saying that crazy and extraordinary events should be occurring every day of our lives. All I’m saying is that we have the ability to make every single day as significant and joyful as we would like it to be. We can experience excitement in the ordinariness of life. We can vibrate with a buzz for life even in a peaceful, calm and centered state.

No matter how restricted you feel due to financial limitations and other demands, you can always make time to attend to the needs of your spirit as part of your self-care regime. You also have to genuinely believe that you deserve to have an exciting life and apply yourself towards creating that lifestyle.

A wonderful example of someone who radiated a natural enthusiasm is Walt Disney. Throughout his life, Walt was passionate about whatever he was working on, whether it was building a family, an animation studio or theme park. His enthusiasm was contagious enough to influence everyone around him.

Voice actor Corey Burton said, “Walt was excited about his projects, his movies, his theme park. When he was excited about something, his excitement fired up everyone around him. That’s how he sold his dreams.” We’re all capable of generating a Walt Disney-like enthusiasm through our creative thinking.

If your life feels boring and predictable right now, here some steps that you can take to change that:

  1. Figure out which aspects of your life are boring: It’s very likely that there are only certain areas of your life that aren’t floating your boat as opposed to your entire life being boring. Does your career not inspire you anymore and do you keep wondering if there’s something else more interesting you could be doing with your time? Is your relationship or marriage lacking passion and you don’t feel connected to your partner anymore? Do you not like the place where you currently live and do you wish to live in an area or country that’s more in alignment with your true nature? Get clear and specific about what exactly is causing you to feel discontent and analyze how it makes you feel and why.
  2. Add some spice and creativity into your life: Once you have clarity on which areas of your life aren’t working for you, the next step is to make changes to your current life circumstance by adding some activities that stimulate your mind and creative juices. Make a list of the things that excite you and commit to including them in your daily routine. There are plenty of ways to add novelty and variety into your schedule, such as reading different genres of books, watching a new TV show, listening to various kinds of music, and watching a genre of movies that you don’t normally see. You could also attend events to mingle with people from diverse backgrounds in various groups, organizations and communities.
  3. Change your attitude, focus and energy levels: Sometimes, all we need to feel enlivened is to shift our attitude and perspective. Perhaps you’ve grown accustomed to focusing on the negative and what’s not working in your life. If you have dark clouds perpetually hovering above your head, it’s time to examine your thought patterns and shift any negative belief systems that are blocking your path to happiness. Perhaps you need to learn the art of being in the present moment and savoring it. A daily practice of gratitude of acknowledging the things that you’re grateful for is an effective way to do this. You can boost your physical sense of wellbeing by nourishing yourself with healthy foods and engaging in some form of physical exercise to experience more balance, vitality and strength.
  4. Find purpose and meaning in your life: Having a strong sense of purpose is a powerful source of drive and motivation. When you believe that your life has meaning and that every day offers you an opportunity to live out your purpose and make a difference, you’ll be energized with enthusiasm. Running through the motions and mechanically carrying out our duties without any sense of purpose is a sure recipe for boredom and a lack of contentment with life. Bring meaning to your life by crafting a vision that compels you and support it with goals and action steps that are in alignment with your values. It also helps to pursue dreams that not only fulfill you but also contribute to improving the lives of others. If you’re unsure about how to find your purpose, this past blog post offers some key insights.
  5. Get curious and be open to learning: The world is vast and wonderfully complex, and provides us with a profusion of learning opportunities. We need to approach life from the standpoint of a life-long student and cultivate a sense of curiosity about everything around us. Nowadays, there are plenty of chances to expand our knowledge if we’re open to seeing them. We can step out of our bubble and dislodge our mental ruts by simply taking the initiative to seek out the unusual. When guided by our curiosity, life becomes one grand adventure. Like Indiana Jones, we’ll be able to charter new territory, search for priceless treasures, and broaden our horizons as we unearth new worlds and ways of living.

The Universe is inherently a dynamic and ever-changing place. You’re always connected to this universal energy and you’re part of its cosmic dance. As a conscious and intelligent being, you play a key role in this dance. You become an active participant once you’re plugged into your purpose and you can appreciate the meaning and significance of your existence on the planet.

All my best on your journey,

Seline

Question for you: Does your life feel boring and predictable? What are some steps that you can take to create a shift in your approach and lifestyle?

The post What to do When Your Life Feels Boring and Predictable appeared first on The Dream Catcher.



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