Beliefnet
Dream Gates

Despite dreaming being such a normal occurrence, scientists are still trying to figure out its true purpose. Although there are quite a few different theories, scientists have yet to agree on one that would explain why we dream. Since they can’t even agree on the purpose of dreams, there are many who are skeptical about their healing power. There are those who think dreaming is simply a byproduct of evolution that has no benefit and merely represents an unintended consequence of sleep.

On the other hand, some scientists decided to dedicate their lives to learning how to understand dreams and use them for healing purposes. More specifically, they believe dreams represent a tool that can help us overcome mental health problems. Of course, you’ll rarely get an epiphany or actually figure out a solution to a problem you’re facing from a dream if you just go to sleep and wish an answer will come to you.

In order to experience this healing power, you will need to learn how to be self aware in the dream-world. This practice is commonly referred to as lucid dreaming. If you’ve never practiced this before, then you most likely don’t have the ability to make your own decisions in dreams. However, when you learn the art of lucid dreaming, you will know when you’re dreaming and you will have the ability to control what happens.

Although this may sound like a fairytale to some, lucid dreaming has been proven numerous times. In fact, it has a rich history in Asia, since Tibetan monks have been practicing this for thousands of years. Only recently have people all across the globe realized the power of this practice and started implementing it into their daily lives.

While some people may be thinking that they don’t even dream most nights, this is actually not the case. Typically, you experience three to seven dreams every night. Nevertheless, in most cases you forget them almost instantly. That’s why the first step towards learning how to lucid dream is to keep a journal and write down what you dreamt about. Do this every time you wake up and try to remember as many details as possible.

Since it’s hard to control your dreams at first, you will first need to learn how to know when you’re dreaming. You can do this by doing reality checks like checking the time or reading a sentence, which is incredibly hard to do while you’re dreaming. That’s why you should make it a habit to regularly do reality checks while you’re awake until they become your second nature and you start doing them while you’re dreaming. The next time you’re trying to fall asleep, simply think about a recent dream you had and think about being self aware in the same setting this time. If you’re start dreaming do a reality check and if that works, you’ll start becoming lucid. Of course, you should also research some other techniques to help you with lucid dreaming.

Once you master the art of lucid dreaming, you will be able to overcome many issues you’re facing. For example, if you have problems with confidence you can go through numerous scenarios that would normally make you uncomfortable and practice until you become comfortable. Lucid dreaming can help you even if you have a phobia.

Scientists are now figuring out that lucid dreaming can even be used to treat serious conditions like post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). One of the main problems that people suffer from PTSD experience are the recurring nightmares. But when you’re in control of your dreams, you’re able to change its context or simply wake up if you don’t want to experience it.

Despite the fact that it may sound too good to be true, lucid dreaming is a proven practice that can help you overcome many problems. Nevertheless, it’s going to take some serious commitment on your part if you want to master this practice.

You’ve probably heard that it’s important to look on the bright side and not worry too much, especially when you’re going through a hard time. But to people who usually think negatively, constant positivity sounds almost made up. Nevertheless, by learning how to focus on positive thinking, you will greatly improve your quality of life. After all, your happiness is dependent on you staying positive.

In case you have too many negative thoughts, your brain will start creating stress and feelings of sadness. On the other hand, positivity will help you relax and be happy. Although it may sound easy and simple to just start thinking positively, it actually isn’t. This is not something that you can change overnight, and it will require a lot of hard work and dedication.

Understanding Self-Talk

In order to get into the practice of positive thinking you’ll first need to understand self-talk. This is something that you do naturally while you’re awake. It’s extremely important because your thoughts represent the source of your mood and emotions. This is why positive thinking usually starts with learning how to control your thoughts.

Positive thinking doesn’t mean that you should ignore when something bad happens to you and just hope that things will get better. It’s more so approaching every challenge with a positive mindset. If you can master positive self-talk, you’ll start being a more productive, motivated, and confident person.

Being Aware of Your Negative Feelings and Thoughts

People who practice positive thinking never run from their negative feelings or push down negative thoughts. Instead, they learn how to deal with them. The first step to doing this is to completely be aware of your negative thoughts and feeling. Pay attention to exactly what it is that you’re feeling and label them. Understand that negativity is also a normal part of life and that you should never let it control you.

Health Benefits of Positive Thinking

It’s amazing how something you have complete control over like your way of thinking can improve your quality of life. This is the reason why you should instantly start working on becoming a more positive person. Here are some of the most impressive health benefits associated with positive thinking.

Strengthened Immune System

You’re probably already aware of the strong connection your mind has on your body. The condition of your immune system is influenced by your thoughts and emotions. In case you’re constantly going through negative thoughts and emotions your immunity will become weakened. However, your body will actually be in a much better condition to keep illnesses at bay if you practice positive thinking.

Reduced Stress Levels

It’s no secret that you will have to deal with a lot of stress if you focus on negativity and expect the worst case scenario in every situation you find yourself in. One of the main reasons why most people tend to become stressed is because they focus on things that they can’t change. When faced with a difficult situation, it’s important to figure out a way to resolve the problem as soon as possible. Don’t be scared to ask for some assistance from other people, as this may help everything get resolved quicker.

Keeping your stress levels low is extremely important for maintaining proper health. Keep in mind that chronic stress can lead to very serious health problems including heart disease, depression, obesity, high blood pressure, anxiety, and skin problems.

Stronger Relationships

Your way of thinking has a huge influence on your relationships with other people. When you practice positivity, you’ll start feeling more thankful for everything in your life, including the people around you. When you start expressing these types of thoughts and feelings and let them know how much you love and appreciate them, your relationships will start becoming stronger.

morning

If you were to study the lives of highly successful individuals, you would find that many of their daily routines are fairly similar. When studied, the only thing that could be correlated across the board with billionaires was the fact that they all made their bed in the morning. When you are looking to take your career or life to the next level, there are some morning habits you can adopt that would help you create a successful day.

Make sure you have a healthy breakfast 

While it may be tempting to just crack open an energy drink and head out the door, it is important that you eat a healthy breakfast. Vegetables, juices, fruits, and whole grains are all great examples of foods you can eat that will help jumpstart your day.

Get some exercise 

Waking up just a little earlier will help you have enough time to hit the gym or do some exercises before you head to work. Your morning exercises will give you a big boost before you try to take on the work for the day. When you feel healthy after the gym, you will be able to attack your tasks of the day with more precision.

Spend time with family 

With the fast-paced life that many busy professionals lead, it can be hard to spend as much time with your family as you may like. However, it is important to utilize your time before everyone starts their day to stay grounded with those you love most. Having a family breakfast together can be a great way to talk about your goals for the day while getting a little extra love.

Create a list 

Having a list of things to accomplish during the day can give you direction and help you feel more organized. It is important to make sure this list is simple and not overwhelming. If you have far too many items on your list, you will not know where to start. Instead, focus on choosing three to five things that absolutely must get done.

Reach out to others 

Whether you are answering emails, responding to texts, or calling your business associates and friends, it is important to start interacting with people early on in your day. This will help social people get energized by allowing their extroverted qualities to feel juiced up.

Choose what you are going to wear 

Most successful people have a pretty easy time choosing what they are going to wear because it doesn’t vary that much. The founder of Facebook and the Founder of Twitter both wear jeans and a T-shirt just about every day. They say that this helps them have one less thing to worry about in the morning. If you have slightly higher ambitions for your fashion life, create a good routine for choosing the clothing that you are going to wear each day. You don’t want to waste too much of your time in the morning having to pick out what you are going to wear.

Coffee is key 

Successful people like coffee. This isn’t true with every busy professional, but on most CEOs’ desks, you will usually see a warm cup of coffee throughout the day. Heading to a local coffee shop or brewing coffee for yourself in your kitchen can be a great way to get yourself energized and ready to take on the day.

It is important to get yourself going in the morning with some great habits. If you choose to have a successful lifestyle, it starts with your morning routine. Adopting these habits can take time. However, once you have created these good habits, it will be easy for them to become second nature to you.

The hair salon on the corner advertises, “Halloween Makeup Done Here.” There are spooks and scarecrows at the doors of the houses on my block. As we approach Halloween, I am thinking of the many meanings of the festival, from trick-or-treat to the turning of the year.

This is the most magical, crazy, shivery night of the year. It is the topsy-turvy, inside-out, upside-down time, when the past lies ahead of you and the future walks behind you, breathing on your neck. It is a night when the doors between the worlds swing open, when the dead walk among the living and the living move among the dead.

The last night of October is the start of Samhain (which is pronounced “sow-in”), the great Celtic festival when the dead walk among the living, the fires are extinguished and rekindled, the god and the goddess come together in sacred union, and as the year turns from light to dark, the seeded earth prepares to give birth again. It’s a time, when the Celts knew what they were doing, to watch yourself and watch comings and goings from the barrows and mounds that are peopled by ghosts and faeries. It’s a time to honor the friendly dead, and the lordly ones of the Sidhe, and to propitiate the restless dead and remember to send them off and to set or re-set very clear boundaries between the living and the hungry ghosts. It’s a time to look into the future, if you dare, because linear time is stopped when the hollow hills are opened.

As Celtic scholar Marie-Louise Sjoestedt wrote, “This night belongs neither to one year or the other and is, as it were, free from temporal restraint. It seems that the whole supernatural force is attracted by the seam thus left at the point where the two years join, and gathers to invade the world of men.”

If you have never learned to dream or see visions or to feel the presence of the spirits who are always about – if you have never traveled beyond the gates of death or looked into the many realms of the Otherworld – this is the time when you’ll see beyond the veil all the same, because the Otherworld is going to break down the walls of the little box you call a world, and its residents are coming to call on you.

It’s a time for dressing up, especially if you are going out at night. You might want to put on a fright mask to scare away restless spirits before they scare you. You might want to carry a torch to light your way, and especially to guide the dead back to where they came from when the party is over. Before Europeans discovered pumpkins in America, they carried lit candles in hollowed-out niches in turnips.

All of this was so important, and such wild, sexy, shiverish fun that the church had to do something about it. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III decided to steal the old magic by making November 1 All Saints’ Day, or All Hallows Day; so the night of Samhain became All Hallows’ Eve, or Halloween for short. A century before, an earlier pope had borrowed the date of the old Roman festival to propitiate the dead – the Festival of the Lemures, or Lemuralia – and renamed that All Saints’ Day. But since Roman paganism had been largely suppressed, the church fathers decided to grab the glamour of the Celts, among whom the old ways are forever smoldering, like fire under peat.

Few people who celebrate or suffer Halloween today seem to know much about its history. For storekeepers and the greetings card business, it’s a commercial opportunity. For TV programmers, it’s a cue to schedule horror movie marathons. For kids, it’s time to dress up as vampires or witches and extort candy from neighbors. My preferred way to spend Halloween is to rest quietly at home, with candles lit for my dead loved ones, and a basket of apples and hazelnuts beside them, tokens of the old festival that renews the world and cleanses the relations between the living and the dead.

Text adapted from The Dreamer’s Book of the Dead by Robert Moss (Destiny Books)

 

Divination at Halloween: By tradition, Samhain is also a time for divination, since the departed can see across time and at this turning of the year we may share in their powers – and anyway, at New Year who doesn’t think about what the year ahead may hold? The 1904 postcard in the illustration above shows a young woman looking in a mirror in hopes of spotting her husband-to be, a survival of an ancient rite.