Tap it or bottle it?

People have asked for my opinion on the advantages of bottled versus tap water. Here goes:

When you drink pure, fresh water, the body loves it. You can almost hear it saying, ‘thank you’. So does it matter if it comes from a natural well or spring in a bottle, or from a processing plant through pipes and a tap?

In the developed world, tap water is regularly and extensively tested by the water companies to ensure it is of drinkable quality. But what is ‘drinkable’? Most tap water has been recycled many times from the sewage and drainage system using chemicals (mainly chlorine). The body’s immune system, liver and kidneys recognise foreign substances and have to work hard to eliminate them. Chemicals can leave an aftertaste, but what is far more worrying are the medicines, drugs, contraceptive pills, etc. that constantly find their way into the sewage system. Some say a concentration of hormones in the water is leading to a ‘feminisation’ of the male population! Moreover, boiling the water kills germs but doesn’t remove chemicals. Water filters can remove most toxins.

Even so, tap water is cheaper, widely available, convenient and easily transported to the point of use through pipes. There are no issues around the disposal of bottles or the carbon footprint of transporting the water from source to consumer.

Like tap water, the quality of bottled water is highly regulated in most countries. It is frequently tested both at source, the bottling plant and the point of sale to ensure there is nothing harmful in it. There are many forms – still and carbonated (artificially carbonated water is best avoided since it is more acid forming), plain and flavoured (with fruit juice, for instance). You have to be careful, though, because some commercially available brands, far from coming from a well or spring, are merely purified tap water.

Some say bottled water tastes better, and generally I concur. It often contains natural trace minerals, but probably not enough to make much difference to health. It can be purchased and carried with you when away from home (but so can tap water if a bottle is filled before you go out). But it has downsides too:

  • It is undoubtedly more expensive, and some say it is a waste of money.
  • The cost of bottling and transport in both financial and environmental terms is higher per litre than tap.
  • Glass bottles are better, but both plastic and glass bottles have to be disposed of. They can be recycled, of course; it’s good to reuse materials, but transport and recycling are energy intensive.
  • Some are stored in warehouses for long periods before sale.
  • The best water comes straight from a running spring where it absorbs the health-giving energies of the natural environment.  This is not something you can bottle.

Whether tap water or bottled water is best depends partly on where you are – I’ve lived in where the tap water is drinkable but highly chemicalised, and I’ve also drunk some unpleasant bottled spring waters.

On balance I prefer natural spring water, but overall, the benefits of being well hydrated far outweigh the differences between tap and bottled. It is better to focus on the health benefits of drinking clean, fresh water than the differences between bottled and tap, and experts agree it’s better to drink tap water than none at all.


©David Lawrence Preston, 21.11.2017

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History was made under this tree

Under this tree in the picturesque Dorset village of Tolpuddle history was made.


In 1834 six farm labourers met here to discuss ways of improving their working conditions. They were arrested, convicted on a trumped up charge of swearing a false oath and deported to Australia. Their offence? Forming the world’s first association to fight for a living wage from their wealthy employers.

Eventually after a public outcry, the government was forced to give a free pardon which was followed by mass celebrations. The modern Trade Union movement was born.

Working people all over the world owe these six brave heroes a huge debt of gratitude.

David Lawrence Preston, 2017

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Affirmations and Denials

Denials and affirmations are powerful techniques for changing your thought patterns and creating a productive, positive mind.


To deny means ‘to declare untrue’. Denial is letting go of unwanted thoughts and mistaken beliefs. The process is then completed by affirming what is true.

Denials begin the process of change. When we want to grow something in the garden, first we dig up the weeds, clear the ground and prepare the soil, then we plant seeds, add water and fertilise. Denials are akin to preparing the ground.

In prayer, meet each unwanted thought with a denial, then affirm the good. Use the words ‘release’ or ‘let go’ in your denial statement. For example:

  • I now release all fear, all worry, anxiety and mistrust.
  • I am now letting go of all hatred, anger and all bitterness.

Speak your denials with conviction, feel the release happening and let the energy you have been giving to erroneous thoughts flow away.

Follow denials with affirmations

To affirm anything is to assert that it is so. Affirming anything begins the process of asserting that what you are asking for is already coming into form. Use a form of words such as, ‘I now accept…..’ or ‘I now establish…..’ The word ‘now’ adds to their immediacy. For example:

  • All wisdom and power flow through me now.
  • I automatically and joyfully focus on the positive.
  • Perfect harmony is now established in me. I am at peace.
  • It is right for me to have happiness (or love, prosperity etc.). I claim it. I give thanks for it.
  • I live with love and happiness and with reverence and compassion for all.
  • I have time enough, faith enough, strength enough and enthusiasm enough to do the things that need to be done by me.

Create some affirmations for yourself

Create some affirmations that will help you. Write them in a small notebook or on a card and carry them around with you. Read them often and speak them aloud.

In time, disempowering, negative thoughts will fade to be replaced with empowering, positive thoughts. Then your life will change for the better. Isn’t this what you want?


©David Lawrence Preston, 9.12.2016

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The Creative Power of Thought

Thoughts are powerful things. They have impact. They lead to actions, which bring results. They are the building blocks of our lives. We literally create our experiences by the activity of thinking.

We can take control of ourselves in any situation because we, and we alone, control our thoughts. They determine what we become, what we achieve and the way we see others. When our thoughts change, so do our lives.

Thoughts come and go, but do you always make wise decisions about your thinking? Do you act only on your highest thoughts? When you understand the importance of right thinking you become a creative force and potentially a force for good.

The Law of Vibration

There are vibrations in space related to the underlying energy and intelligence that holds the universe together. Everything is in vibration. Sound, light, energy, matter and thought are all forms of vibration.

Imagine tossing a pebble into a pond and watching the ripples spread out. What happens when two pebbles are tossed into a pond? Two sets of ripples spread out. Where they intersect, they create a variety of patterns.

Similarly, you continually send out thought vibrations. The mind is constantly radiating energy – and so does the universe itself. It emits a constant wave of thought energy. Where the two sets of thought waves intersect, a pattern is created. This is how your world is formed.

Imagine your thoughts intersecting with the universe. What kind of pattern do they create? Align your personal vibrations with the vibration of the universe, then you align with the best life has to offer.

Thoughts have substance

Thoughts have substance. Thinking produces energy. The longer, more intensely and more often you think something, the stronger the energy waves sent out. When your thoughts centre on higher things, your entire being rises to a higher rate of vibration.

Higher thoughts attract good into your life. You can think yourself into health, happiness, friendship and prosperity; similarly, you can think yourself into ill-health, depression, loneliness and poverty. If you repeatedly think, ‘I can’t do it,’ your thought becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. (The antidote for this disempowering state is to affirm, ‘I can’, loudly and often).

Negative thoughts are nothing to fear as long as you know them for what they are – not the truth, just thoughts, and swiftly replace them with higher thoughts. There is no reason to think that any negative thought reflects reality.

Thought stopping

Get into the habit of observing your thoughts. Isolate unwanted thoughts and let them go. Say, ‘No!’ ‘Go away!’ ‘Stop!’ or similar. Alternatively, tell yourself, ‘That’s an old thought. I no longer choose to think that way.’ This technique is called ‘thought stopping.’ Persistent application of the thought stopping technique soon stems the tide of negative thoughts and weakens their power.

Drop unwanted thoughts quickly – the longer you cling to them, the harder they are to get rid of. Most of us never take control of our thinking – which is why most of us don’t achieve as much as we would like.


Thoughts are expressed in words. The Buddhist text, the Dhammapada, emphasises this. ‘Just a single word that brings peace is better than a thousand useless words. Just a single verse that brings peace is better than a thousand useless verses.’

Become aware of the words you use. Use words and phrases which make you feel good, inspire others and align with your vision and purpose, and avoid any which are self-deprecating or disempowering.

Mental resistance

When you first become aware of the power of your thoughts and decide to change, you may notice a persistent voice in your head resisting your new way of thinking. This comes from the conditioned mind, the centre of your old habits, which hates change and feels threatened by it.

Give it short shrift. Talk to it. Tell it you recognise where it is coming from, and refuse to take any notice. Tell it to be quiet and go away. Negative thoughts create resistance to the universal flow of life and goodness. You don’t want to think those old thoughts any more.

If you want to transform any aspect of your life, start by changing your thoughts about it. Decide the kind of world you want to inhabit and think the kind of thoughts that will draw it towards you. Fact: when you change the way you think about something, what you think about changes. Not just your perceptions of things, but the things themselves.


©David Lawrence Preston, 10.11.2016

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The Real Secret

The Law of Attraction

The Law of Attraction is simply stated as ‘whatever we focus our minds upon we attract into our lives.’ It has become popular – dare I say fashionable – as a result of a best-selling book, CD set and DVD called ‘The Secret’. But it’s nothing new. King Solomon, the Buddha and Socrates said the same, and in recent years, Deepak Chopra, Louise Hay, Barbara Mohr, Dr Wayne Dyer and many others have written about it.

‘The Secret’ promises, among other things, that you can ‘learn to have, do or be anything you want – eradicate disease, acquire massive wealth and achieve the impossible! Wow! And the amazing thing is, it works. The Law of Attraction is as precise as the laws of mathematics.

I first became aware of it in the mid 1980’s when I was invited to a talk on Napoleon Hill’s masterwork, ‘Think and Grow Rich.’ Before then I had been a habitual negative thinker without knowing what I was doing to myself. I had twice lost job (my employers were so unfair!), and been divorced (she was to blame, of course!). My health deteriorated until I suffered a complete breakdown (my parent’s fault for not loving me enough when I was a child, naturally!).

I decided to apply Napoleon Hill’s blueprint. I joined a Mastermind Group of people intent on making themselves rich. I diligently recited my affirmations every day but nothing much changed – except my level of frustration.

Now I realise that for everyone I know who say it has worked for them I know several others who say it hasn’t. This blog is about why.

What ‘The Secret’ says – or rather what people think it says

The first part of ‘The Secret’ claims that the Law of Attraction doesn’t discriminate between good or bad, it simply gives you what you think about. Therefore you can literally ‘think’ your desires into existence by choosing your thoughts. Just quieten your mind, ‘feel’ your desires coming true, and they will.

It makes no difference whether you were born into an impoverished background,  physically or mentally impaired, in a wealthy country or the Third World, received a first class education or none, nor whether you are talented, creative, intelligent or not. Just let the universe know exactly what you want.

  • Believe that it’s already yours. Let the universe take care of the details. The means to acquire will be shown to you.
  • Affirm, ‘Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it and it will be yours.’ (Mark 11:24) (Note – I have always been convinced that this passage is about spiritual gifts, not money.)

Good stuff! But then the next part goes on to urge the reader to use the Law of Attraction to become wealthy. The more you ask for, the more you’ll get. Why ask for $1? It’s as easy to manifest $1 million as $1!

So overwhelming is this message that you have to listen very carefully to pick up a subtle caveat – happiness will come only if your thoughts are accompanied by love. Miss that, and you easily get the impression that you will attract money like bees to a honey pot and be happy and contented ever after. Implication: money guarantees happiness.

Of course it’s not that simple.

What’s missing:

I think there are three main reasons why it doesn’t necessarily work in a holistic sense, to bring health, happiness and wellbeing:

First, our lives are not just shaped by our own thoughts. There are vibrations in space related to the underlying energy and intelligence that holds the universe together. Everything is in vibration; sound, light and thought are vibrations. There is thought-energy coming from the universe itself. There is thought-energy coming from our own minds and from other minds. We humans are part of all creation and cannot isolate ourselves.

Imagine tossing a pebble into a pond and watching the ripples. When two pebbles are tossed into a pond, two sets of ripples spread out. Where they intersect, they create a variety of patterns. Imagine tossing a third pebble into the pond. Now three sets of ripples intersect and create a pattern. Similarly with thought-waves. Where the three sets of thought waves intersect, a pattern is created. This is how your world is formed.

Symonds Yat Oct 11

So this is my first observation – it is not just my thoughts that create my life. It is the interaction between my thoughts and the sum total of every thought that is and has ever been thought throughout the entire universe!

The second reason relates to the nature of Creative Intelligence (CI), the source energy of the universe. It emits a constant wave of positive thought-energy including growth, creativity, peace, and life-affirming oneness. Imagine for a moment if CI were capable of thinking bad thoughts about creation – the universe would not be able to exist.

And this is the point. If we use the Law of Attraction for greedy and selfish gain we are going against Creative Intelligence. We become like a droplet of water trying to fight the ocean. We may get what we want, but, like King Midas, we will not enjoy it.

Selfish thoughts attract selfishness (ours and other people’s) and greed attracts greed and greedy people. When our thoughts do not align with the good, we feel dissatisfied and unhappy.

The third reason is much more practical. To manifest, thoughts must be backed up with action. Every action is preceded by an intention and a thought, and every thought is conditioned by our intentions, imagination, our actions and their results. I’ve written widely about the I-T-I-A Formula – intention, thought, imagination and action. We need all four to create the life we want.

So there we are. The Law of Attraction is powerful, but if used manipulatively it can bring great pain. And I have no doubt that somewhere in another dimension, Robert Maxwell, Howard Hughes, Idi Amin and Saddam Hussein are listening to my words and nodding in agreement! And one day maybe Donald Trump will too!

©David Lawrence Preston, 3.8.2016

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How to resolve everyday conflicts

The challenge with everyday conflict is not to avoid it (which is almost impossible) but to settle it quickly,  learn from it and move on.

The fact is, everyone knows how to upset their nearest and dearest because they have inadvertently taught each other over time what hurts the most.

Conflict is best resolved by:

  • Realising that in any disagreement, you’re not likely to change the other person unless they want to – the only person you can really change is yourself.
  • Recognising that there are two sides to every argument. With goodwill on both sides differences can be resolved if both are willing to compromise.
  • Ask yourself: ‘Is there a genuine disagreement here, or are we simply not communicating?’ Perhaps your wires are crossed.
  • If there is a clash, ask yourself if it’s worth fighting over, or whether you can let it go (without compromising your integrity, of course). Don’t fool yourself, though. There are times when it is necessary hold firm.
  • Concentrate on finding a solution rather than going over old ground. Focusing on a problem magnifies it; focussing on a solution is productive.
  • Acknowledge their emotion, even if you disagree with their argument. A useful tip is to start your sentences with ‘I feel’, not ‘you are’ – it’s harder to hurt and easier to understand this way’.
  • Learn to lose arguments! Allow the other person to win from time to time. If the other person feels quashed, bitterness and resentment build up.

In relationships it is healthy for people to be able to express themselves assertively and look for ways of resolving differences.If handled skilfully, there’s no harm done.

©David Lawrence Preston, 30.6.2016

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Receiving criticism

Constructive criticism given by someone who is genuinely concerned for you can be very valuable.

When someone criticizes you, before you respond consider:

  • Where are they coming from? Are they really concerned for my welfare or projecting their own issues onto me? People who constantly criticize others are usually critical of themselves. They project these feelings on to others.
  • Is their criticism fair? All of it? Some? Or is it totally unjustified?

If it is legitimate, listen carefully. Ask for specific examples to make sure you’ve grasped the point. There’s no shame in this, in fact it takes a solid sense of self-worth to take justified criticism on board. But if the criticism is unfair, say so assertively there and then. Don’t let resentment build up.

©David Lawrence Preston, 29.6.2016

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Giving Criticism

Everyone is criticized from time to time, and there are times when we feel the need to criticize. This can be an uncomfortable experience for both giver and receiver, and if handled badly it can destroy a relationship.

Our response to criticism is heavily influenced by our self-esteem and our experiences as children. Critical parents tend to raise critical or defensive children. These habits are likely to persist until we learn to recognise and change them.

How do you feel when someone criticizes you? Do you have any triggers – vulnerable, sensitive areas which immediately arouse strong negative feelings in you? Do others pick up on them and use them to get you going?

If you have a need to criticize, try these:

 1. Be clear on your motives

Firstly make sure your reason for criticizing is not because of a weakness you have. Make sure you’re not projecting your feelings onto others.

 2. Choose the time and place carefully

Choosing the time and place improves the chances that the criticism will be taken in the right way. Above all, don’t criticize in front of others. You wouldn’t like it, and neither do they.

3. Criticize their conduct not their  character

Stick to comments on behaviour. Be as specific as you can, describe the effect it has on you and say how you feel about it. Give examples. If you’re referring to a particular incident, test their reaction by opening with a question, e.g. ‘How do you think that went?’ Avoid labels such as lazy, stupid, ignorant, inconsiderate etc. at all costs.

4. Avoid absolutes and generalizations

Avoid statements such as:

  • You’re the most…
  • You always…
  • You never…

They are rarely true and never helpful. These are easily dismissed. E.g. If you say ‘you always…’ and they can cite just one instance when it is not true, your credibility is destroyed.

5. The ‘Critical sandwich’

Start with a positive. Then make your criticism. Finish with an encouraging remark – as long as it is sincere:

‘I’ve been extremely happy with your work, Lucy,  since you’ve joined us. You work hard your work is always nicely presented. However, there is one thing that’s been brought to my attention. You’ve been making a lot of private phone calls during working hours. I know you’ve had personal problems recently, but you must deal with those outside working hours. I’ll be monitoring the number of calls you make from now on. Carry on with the good work; all I ask is that you pay attention to this point. It’s good to have you on our team’.

6. Say what changes you’d like

Spell out the changes you would like in as much detail as you can.

‘When you talk about George like that, I feel angry. I’d rather you didn’t talk about him like that. Promise me that you’ll stop as from now.’

7. Listen

Listen carefully to their response. Check that they understand exactly what you’re criticizing and are not taking it personally. Make sure you fully understand the impact you are making.

Criticism is not something to be ducked. Correctly handled, it can be a valuable learning experience for both parties.

©David Lawrence Preston, 25.6.2016

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