Friday, 4 February 2011

Happy Chinese New Year!

We hope the Year of the Rabbit brings you everything you wish for! Our guest blogger this week is Maria Darling, well-known voiceover and author of our latest titles, "The Lifestyle Lowdown: DreamCatching". Here she talks about the inspiration behind the series.

Ok, the bad things about “New Year” are: those ear-splittingly noisy parties where you can’t have a conversation, causing you to get drunk in a corner.  Waiting for a night bus in a freezing deserted unfamiliar urban wasteland.  The expectation and pressure to feel something special that always ends in anti-climax. New Year Resolutions, harbingers of your failings that rebound on you each year, adding to a growing list. And, those January sales advertisements for humungous brown squidgy shiny sofas that remind me of something my uncle’s Labrador recently deposited. Why? Nobody wants them! 

But good things really can come out of New Year. I met someone over the banana counter in my supermarket that I hadn’t seen for years, bringing many happy memories of my teens, when life was properly beginning! It was on the identical spot the previous New Year that I met an old school friend whom I hadn’t seen for more than twenty years!  We’ve been joyously re-united ever since.

This local supermarket holds magic for me, and not just for their terrific bargains on Irish Cream! You may say it’s not unusual to meet your past in a home store!  Well, perhaps, but it reminded me of some good advice; “expect good things to happen at all times, know in your heart that a lovely surprise awaits around the corner, even in times of adversity, and you will be sure to attract grace and joy in your life”. I know it’s hard when you are having a black dog day - your chops dragging in the gutter somewhere. 

This was the thought behind creating DreamCatching. I thought that being depressed or trapped in a problem is like being stuck in a bad dream you can’t wake up from. What if you could flick a switch and wake up with a totally fresh positive thought. That would be just brilliant!  My meditation practice taught me that you are what you think. Many people find it a difficult discipline, I know I did and still do sometimes, but I began thinking what if I could make meditation attractive and fun like reading a book or playing sport or going on a holiday!

Last year I researched the benefits of daydreaming and how it facilitates a break from over-thinking. I attended talks on psychology and researched mind therapies over some months and became increasingly fascinated and inspired. I put my findings and my experience of meditation together and, presto - DreamCatching was born. I wanted to create a meditative story to lift the spirit and, if necessary, turn around mood whenever desired, as easily as flicking a switch. 

Meditation practice makes you conscious that something is wrong with your Kama, but the difficult part is acting on it. The basic idea for DC is that when your mind is overloaded with stress, the past, overwork, or not enough work, you can literally plug into a structured “day dream” designed to relax and cleanse your mind of codswallop – replacing all that mental crud with something positive, inspiring, fun and entertaining.   

This is what I have tried with all my heart to do in Dream Catching.  You can only know if it works if you try it. If it works for you, I have some exciting new dreams already in the making for those who want more!  I love creating them. So next New Year who knows what might be around the next aisle pushing a shopping trolley? Happy New Year and happy dream catching!

Photo by herocakepops

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