The Power of Suggestion

Suggestions have a big influence over our lives. Tell anyone something convincingly enough and they’ll accept what you say. Tell them over and over again and sooner or later they’ll start to believe you.

Unfortunately it’s often the suggestions of others that we allow to control us. For instance:

  • Advertisers use them to persuade us to buy their products. Promotional suggestions are often recalled years after they ceased to be used.
  • Politicians use them too with catchy phrases (whether or not they’re true) as we’ve recently seen with the election of Donald Trump and the Brexit referendum.
  • Parents use them all the time. Young children tend to believe everything their parents say. E.g. when a young child gets hurt and Mum ‘kisses it better’ it does feel better, even though there’s no logical reason why it should.
  • Placebos – pills and potions with no active ingredients – can cure illnesses for no other reason than the patient believes they can. Placebos were once treated as a bit of a joke – as if the patient were ‘fooled’ into getting well -but now they’re taken very seriously indeed.
  • Suggestions don’t necessarily have to be direct: parents who receive a letter from school about head lice in their child’s class often feel itchy!
  • Nor do suggestions have to be verbal. Non-verbals (gestures, facial expressions and so on) can be even more powerful, and verbal suggestions backed up by visual, taste, tactile or olfactory stimuli can be extremely compelling.
  • Some hospital radio stations do not play certain records because of the effect they could have on patient recovery. For example, ‘My Way’ (‘And now the end is near, and so I face the final curtain’), ’ ‘The First Cut Is The Deepest’,  ‘I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight’ and ‘Help Me Make It Through The Night’ contain some unhelpful suggestions!

You’ve used suggestion many times, and it has also been used on you. You can learn to make good use of this vital tool to:

  • help internalise your goals.
  • replace negative attitudes and beliefs with positive ones.
  • relax and combat stress.
  • cultivate better relationships with yourself and others.
  • change unwanted habits and personality traits.
  • build confidence in yourself and your abilities.

… and for many other purposes.

Suggestion, Affirmations and the Law of Attraction

Affirmations are simply suggestions made to ourselves – statements that represent how we are or how we want our lives to be. They help bring into effect the great Universal Law of Attraction:

Whatever your mind dwells upon, with feeling, you attract into your life.

Think about it – do you know anyone who is always talking about their illnesses and who is always ill? Or anyone who is always running themselves down, and who consequently never achieves very much?

Affirmations are powerful tools that use the power of structured repetition. One of the best known was formulated by Emil Coué in the 1920’s: ‘Every day in every way, I’m getting better and better.’ He helped many people to heal themselves using this simple phrase. Try it for yourself!

Properly phrased affirmations make a big impact on your unconscious, but be aware you must observe certain rules, otherwise they may backfire.

The following rules apply to affirmations. They’re even more effective when used in conjunction with deep relaxation (this is called ‘autosuggestion’) – but slightly different rules apply.

Personalise your affirmations

Affirmations which attempt to change other people are totally ineffective. Repeating ‘Jim loves me’ does not work, because only Jim can make this choices. But you can affirm ‘I am attracting a wonderful person into my life who has… (all the qualities you’re looking for)’ You may not win Jim over, but you will find someone to your liking.

A simple way to personalise your affirmations is to use the first person pronoun, ‘I’. For example:

  • I accept, love and approve of myself.
  • Every day, I am becoming more calm, peaceful and relaxed.
  • I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, peaceful and happy.
  • I am a positive person. I think, act and talk positively at all times.

Another way to personalise – and strengthen – your affirmations – is to use the ‘first, second and third person’ technique. Let’s suppose you want to be a calmer and more confident person. Add your first name and affirm:

  • I, Chris, am a calm and confident person.
  • You, Chris, are a calm and confident person.
  • Chris is a calm and confident person.

Use positive words and phrases

It’s important to always use words and phrases that express what you want, not what you don’t want. Otherwise you might inadvertently end up with the opposite of what you intended.

The unconscious often overlooks a negation if it occurs in the middle of a sentence. If you affirm, ‘I will not fail’, only the word ‘fail’ registers. It’s far better to affirm, ‘I am a success’.

I recently heard a woman telling how she stuck little notices all over her house one morning reminding her not to forget her son’s team’s football kit for the match that afternoon. The notes said, ‘Don’t forget the kit’. Guess what happened!

Make your affirmations credible

This is one of the biggest secrets for using self-suggestion. The purpose of self-suggestion is to impress your unconscious with empowering beliefs which reflect the way you want to be. This is why some writers recommend stating all your affirmations in the present tense, i.e. beginning your affirmations with ‘I am’, ‘I can’, ‘I have’, ‘I do’ etc.

The problem, though, is that an affirmation which totally contradicts your current belief system alerts a mechanism in the brain known as the Reticular Activating System (or ‘Critical Censor’). It can assert itself in many ways, such as an uncomfortable feeling in the chest or solar plexus or a quiet but persistent voice in your head saying, ‘Don’t be ridiculous.’ This is your old programming and conditioning trying to reassert itself.

How do you get round this?

Firstly, consider affirmations as a tool for change rather than statements of absolute truth. Think of them as planting seeds. You won’t see the results immediately, but have faith in the technique, and you will.

Another way is to choose your wording carefully so the suggestion will bypass the Critical Censor. This is how:

  • Put all weaknesses and limitations in the past tense.
  • Affirm your willingness to change.
  • Affirm that you are making good progress towards your goal, and this continue.
  • Affirm your determination to do whatever you can to improve.

A useful form of wording is:

‘I used to be… but all that is changing. Now I am becoming more and more… ‘

For example, if you’re shy, affirm: ‘I used to be shy, but all that is changing. I am becoming more assertive every day. I know I can and I will continue to improve.’

More examples:

  • I used to believe that I was weak, but all that is changing, and I am now becoming stronger and stronger each day.
  • I used to be negative, but that attitude is now behind me. Nowadays I think, talk and act positively at all times.
  • I used to be judgemental, but that is now changing. Every day, I am becoming more open and accepting of myself and others.

Say your self-suggestions as if you really mean them

The Law of Attraction is widely misunderstood. Just wishing or hoping – even believing – are not enough. You must invest some energy into the conditions you wish to create. In other words, you must do something.

As a first step, invest some emotional energy into the affirmations themselves. Say them out loud, enthusiastically. Mean what you say. A thought alone has little power, but when expressed with genuine feeling, it has real impact. Emphasise your words with passion, a strong tone of voice, movement and firm intent.

For maximum impact, also:

  • Write them out every day – this reinforces them in your unconscious.
  • Look at yourself in the mirror as you speak them.
  • Jot them down in your diary, list them on cards, programme them into your mobile phone, carry them with you and read throughout the day.
  • Record them onto a recording device and listen frequently.
  • Write them on sticky labels and place them anywhere you routinely look.
  • If your goal is something tangible, carry a reminder of it with you and affirm that it is yours every time you look at it.
  • You can increase the effectiveness of your affirmations by adding, ‘This, or something better, I accept for myself, for my greatest good and the greatest good of all’.

Keep at it

The unconscious loves repetition. The more you use self-suggestion, the more effective it is.

It takes about a month to change an old thinking pattern, so don’t give up. Affirm whenever you can, wherever you are, especially during those times when the mind is naturally most receptive. Last thing at night is a good time – give it something uplifting to work on while you are asleep. Another good time is first thing in the morning. If you can find a few moments during the day to relax and unwind – terrific!


© David Lawrence Preston, 23.11.2018

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Don’t be a ‘praying beggar’!

Many religious people believe that prayer is about pleading for miracles or flattering a supernatural being into taking pity on them. They assume that some higher power is able and willing to intervene directly in earthly affairs.

A more enlightened approach is to reject the notion that prayer is for acquiring things or having our problems solved for us by an outside force. Instead it is to help hasten our personal growth.

All change starts from within. We get inspiration not in the form of miraculous interventions, but ideas, ideas that bring motivation and solutions and guide us towards constructive actions that bring the right results.

Prayer changes the person who prays

When you pray, don’t ask for changes in your circumstances, but in yourself. Prayer brings about changes in the character of the person who prays:

  • Our perceptions The world becomes a more peaceful and loving place, reflecting back the changes taking place within us.
  • As we incorporate more of the higher qualities into ourselves, we are able to make a real difference to our own and other people’s lives.

Pray alone, in private

Spend regular quiet time in prayer and contemplation. Go to a quiet place, put a ‘do not disturb’ sign on the door and close it behind you. Focus on noble ideas, ideas of truth that come from the heart. Invite your Inner Power to guide you. You don’t have to pray to an outside ‘presence’ unless you want to – ask your inner self for ideas and for the means to actualize them.


©David Lawrence Preston, 21.6.2017

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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 remarkable healing of Myrtle Fillmore

Myrtle Fillmore was born in 1845. She was repeatedly told as a child that her health was poor and that she was prone to tuberculosis – believed fatal in those days. It wasn’t until her early forties when, having contracted tuberculosis, she attended a talk on healing by an influential teacher of the time. When she emerged from the hall, one thought repeated itself over and over in her mind:

‘I am a child of God and therefore I do not inherit sickness.’

Her belief that she was inherently fragile crumbled and within two years she was completely cured. The following year, at the age of 44, she gave birth to a third son. She wrote in her diary,  ‘Spirit spoke to me very clearly, saying, ‘You have looked among your faults; now look among your virtues.’ And I did; and there I found the cause of the deep-seated physical suffering and congestion.’

Energy and intelligence

Myrtle wrote the story of her healing. She told how she realized one day that life is a flow of energy guided by intelligence and that we can instruct the body to do as we require. She became attentive to her thoughts and prayed every hour for help. She asked for forgiveness for past mistakes and told her muscles and organs that they were drawing on an unlimited Source and were healthy and strong.

After the healing, others sought her help. She helped a crippled man to walk, cured a woman’s asthma, helped a boy blinded by cataracts to see, cured a boy of tonsillitis and another of croup. She told all who sought her help that it was God’s will that they be healthy and that the healing power of Spirit was within them.

Meanwhile her husband, Charles, a down to earth businessman with an inquiring, scientific mind, realised that something extraordinary had happened. He wanted to know the reason for the healing and found many conflicting explanations. He became convinced that there was a great power behind the healings. In the decades ahead he gave many talks and wrote many books about metaphysics.

Charles and Myrtle went on to found a prayer and healing ministry. She died in 1931, aged 86. Charles lived to be 94.

©David Lawrence Preston, 14.11.2016

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How to Become A Positive Thinker

How you think matters.

There is a direct connection between what you think and what you say and do, and what you get out of life. As long as you keep thinking as you’ve been thinking, you’ll keep feeling as you’ve been feeling, doing as you’ve been doing, and getting what you’ve been getting. So if you want something different, do something different; and if you want to do things differently, change your way of thinking. Your behaviour will follow suit. It’s the way we’re made.

Fortunately becoming a habitual positive thinker is no more difficult than learning to ride a bicycle!

The Cycle of Thoughts

You have approx. 50,000 thoughts a day, but where do they come from?  There are four main sources:

a)      Your unconscious. All the experiences you have ever had, whether real or imagined, are recorded in your unconscious mind. When any of this material floats to the surface, you register a thought. This is where the majority of your thoughts come from.

b)      Sometimes a thought is triggered by a feeling. A feeling of hunger, for instance, can trigger the thought I’m hungry, I want food.

c)      Your intuitive self, including your imagination.

d)      You can consciously, purposely and deliberately create them.

The Cycle of Thought goes as follows:


1. You have a thought

You cannot prevent a thought arising from the unconscious, but you do have the power to act on or ignore it, accept or reject it. You don’t have to be attached to any thought if you don’t want to.

2. You decide

Thoughts do not inevitably lead to action, although some people act and react without a great deal of conscious thought.

3. You act – or you don’t

You act. Or you don’t. You speak. Or you don’t. If you like what you get, you do it again. If not, eventually you try something different.

4. If repeated, a habit forms

Whenever you repeatedly place your attention on a thought pattern, you create a new habit or strengthen an existing one. And if you withdraw your attention from an unwanted habit, it will fade and die.

5. Habits direct your thoughts

Habits direct your thoughts – if you let them. But you can challenge them and change them if you want to and it you’re determined enough.

Becoming a positive thinker

How do you take charge of your thoughts?  Simple. By changing what you say to yourself. Remember, conscious thinking is really just talking to yourself.

Do this using the Four Step Method:

1.      Be mindful

2.      Interrupt self-defeating thoughts

3.      Feed in the positives

4.      Keep at it

Step One: Mindfulness

Mindfulness is paying attention to your thoughts – listening to your ‘internal dialogue’ or ‘self-talk’.

Try this: Every so often, pause. Break off from whatever you’re doing and be still. Withdraw your attention from everything around you and go inside. What are you thinking?  Is it  positive or negative? Where is it coming from? Why are you thinking that thought? Where is it taking you?

The more you do this, the better. It is the first step in initiating change – and it’s powerful.

Step Two: Thought stopping

You can only hold one conscious thought at a time, so if you become aware of a thought that serves no useful purpose interrupt it. Say something like ‘Stop!’, ‘Cancel!’, ‘Go away!’, or ‘Next!’. This breaks the pattern.

In addition, do something physical like clapping your hands, stamping a foot or banging a table.  You can also imagine closing a book, a symbolic gesture that that’s the end of it.

If you catch yourself thinking negatively, don’t be annoyed with yourself. This will only make you more likely to slip up again. Just let it go.

In time thought stopping becomes unnecessary. Negative thoughts don’t bother entering your head once they realise that they are going to be firmly dealt with!

Step Three: Feed in the positives

Having stopped the unwanted thought, immediately replace it. The simplest replacement for an unwanted thought is its direct opposite, e.g. replace ‘I can’t’ with ‘I can.’ Say it as if you really mean it.

Another option is to use an affirmation. Either make one up on the spur of the moment or use a favourite one such as ‘I like myself’, ‘I am strong and worthy’ or ‘I am cool, calm, and in control’.

If at first you feel you’re lying to yourself, don’t worry. It doesn’t matter if your new thought isn’t literally true (yet). This method is just a tool to help you change your way of thinking.

Make it your motto never to say or think anything that you don’t want to be true! You will be directing your unconscious mind to create the situations and behaviours you want.

Step Four: Keep at it!

Persistence is the key to success. It takes about a month to change an old thinking pattern.

Don’t let others put you off. Most people are unaware of how powerful their negative thinking is. Nor do they realise they have it within their power to change.

You can’t change others’ thoughts – only they can do that. But you can enlist their support by explaining what you’re doing. If all else fails, you may have to minimise your contact with negative people until your new thinking habits are firmly established.

These Four Steps are very powerful: in fact, properly used they can even help overcome debilitating fears and phobias.

Can you think of any reason why you can’t start applying these Four Steps right away?

And remember – merely reading through these materials without putting them into practice is like reading the label on the bottle without taking the medicine!


©David Lawrence Preston, 5.3.2016

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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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Affirmative Prayer

Affirmative prayer is not like the sort of prayers that many of us grew up with. It is not about pleading with a G_d to do something for us, but directing our self-talk to our inner selves in a positive and life-enhancing way.

We know there is an Intelligence in the universe that shapes energy into matter and responds when we direct our attention to it – in recent decades scientists (quantum physicists) have confirmed that this is so. We are an integral part of this Intelligence. We are each an individualized expression of the whole, like musical notes contributing to a complete composition. Our aim is to express more of the attributes of this Intelligence – life, love, joy, wholeness, harmony, freedom, abundance, peace and so on. But it does not come from ‘out there,’ but from ‘in here’.

Iris Murdoch called prayer, ‘the most essential of human activities.’ Why? As the Danish philosopher Kierkegaard said, Prayer does not change G_d, but it always changes the one who prays.’

Just as everything in the universe – including you – is energy in vibration, prayer is energy too. Prayer-energy is a form of higher vibration. So pray often, whenever you feel a need. Pray in silence and feel that inner peace. Pray in the morning, before your mind has turned to other things, to start the day in a centred, peaceful frame of mind. Pray in the evening, to wind down and go to sleep.

How to pray

Affirm and deny. There are two main mechanisms:

  • Denials – in this context, letting go: releasing the energy you have been putting into the appearance of spiritual lack.
  • Affirmations – establishing in your mind the attributes you wish to acquire and thinking, speaking and inwardly feeling them taking form.

Affirmations and denials can produce immediate changes in the mind, especially if the word ‘now’ is included.

Example of denials

Use the word ‘release’ in denials and ‘establish’ in affirmations as reminders of the changes you want. Identify and be clear on the mental and emotional conditions you want to release and those you wish to establish, and be conscious of what you are denying and affirming.

‘I now release from my life all negativity, all lack, all sickness, resentment, jealousy, fear…..’ and so on.

Examples of affirmations

‘I now establish in my life perfect health, forgiveness, courage, strength, prosperity, happiness, love and peace. I am whole and free, and I am grateful……’

‘The vitalising energy now floods my whole consciousness.’

‘I am now aware of the Presence in me that is whole and complete, that heals, and inspires and harmonises. It is the source of my Inner Power and my power to think, my power to achieve and the glory of all my accomplishments.  This is the Truth, and it is now done.

  1. Pray regularly

Set aside time every day for quiet prayer.

2. Pray in the silence

Enter the silence and mentally relax. Go to a place where you will be undisturbed and close the door. Quieten the mental chatter.

3. Pray to the Source

Address your prayers to the Source (however you envisage it) within. Realise that you have always been part of the Infinite Intelligence.

Remember, all visible things come from the invisible and are dependent on the unseen for their existence, and you have a part to play in this process. Prayer brings into play forces that change the character of every cell in your body.

  1. Do not become a ‘praying beggar’

Do not misunderstand the purpose and effects of prayer. It is not to get a ‘Higher Power’ to intervene in the world; this is not prayer is for; nor does it work. Instead, ask for strength, wisdom and guidance from within.

Don’t ask for solutions; ask for the wisdom to find them for yourself and the strength to put them into action.

5. Pray unceasingly

You can pray any time – indeed, every thought is a prayer in its own way. The more you pray, the more effective it is. Pray in the certain knowledge that your words will make a difference.

The words you use in affirmative prayer are like seeds planted in your mind. They bear fruit. They are prime causes that eventually create sought-after effects. Don’t take my word for it – try it for yourself!


©David Lawrence Preston, 29.6.2016

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Thoughts on Affirmations

What does ‘prayer’ suggest to you? A pointless ritual? A cleric recites from a prayer book while the congregation gives fixed ‘responses’ parrot-fashion? This is one form of prayer, but it is not the whole story.

As a child, I was taught to get down on my knees and plead with a supernatural being to take pity on me, give me what I wanted and solve my problems for me. I call this ‘begging prayer’. Needless to say, this kind of prayer hardly ever works. Nowadays I don’t believe that prayer is for acquiring things or having our problems solved by an outside force, but for hastening our personal growth.

Which brings us to a third type of ‘prayer’, one that does work. It’s called ‘affirmative prayer’. It is, in effect, concentrated positive thinking. It works directly on our consciousness, making us aware of limiting thought patterns and changing them so that new thought patterns manifest as life conditions. There’s no need to kneel or beg and you don’t have to pray to a G-d unless you want to. You can pray anytime, anywhere, and in your own words. It can be a one minute activity in which you pause, mentally switch off from your surroundings and take a few moments to centre yourself among the hustle and bustle of daily life.

Affirmative prayer has three main mechanisms – mindfulness, denials and affirmations. Denial is letting go of unwanted thoughts and limiting beliefs. The process is then completed by affirming the truth of positive thoughts and beliefs.


Mindfulness is simply going within and being aware of our thoughts and feelings and how we are responding to the world around us. It is taught in clinics, classes and counselling sessions all over the world as an effective psychological therapy.


Denials are akin to preparing the ground before planting seeds – first we dig up the weeds, clear the ground and prepare the soil. For example:

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

Allow yourself to feel the release happening as you interrupt the energy you have been giving to erroneous thoughts.


Follow each denial with affirmations. To affirm anything is to assert that it is so. It begins the process of making it so even if there is no visible evidence to support it. Use a form of words such as, ‘I now accept…..’ or ‘I now establish…..’ The word ‘now’ adds to their immediacy. For example:

  • 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 resolve to live, love and be happy, whatever happens around me, with 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. Write them on a card and carry them around with you. Use them often, both silently and aloud. You can adapt them any time to meet your own needs.

Intuitive ideas

We receive answers to affirmative prayers not in the form of miraculous interventions, but intuitive ideas. When they come, act on them. Keep your wits about you and let your inner self guide you.

 Don’t ask for changes in your circumstances, but in yourself. Affirmative prayer brings about changes in every cell in our bodies and in our energy field. And when we change, the world changes, reflecting back the changes taking place within us. Then, as we incorporate more of the higher qualities into ourselves, we are able to make a real difference to our own and other people’s lives.

Affirmative prayer has been shown to be effective in many scientific studies, and the explanation is not difficult to find. In quantum terms it aligns our thoughts with the highest vibrations of the universe.

Deep inside us, at our very core, is a place of absolute silence and stillness where we become aware of a peaceful Presence at the centre of our being. But first we have to clear away the foolish thoughts and emotional fog which obscure it. Thinking too much is like over-eating – it brings a kind of mental indigestion of anxiety and stress. That’s why every respectable spiritual tradition teaches stillness and silence to connect with one’s deepest self and strengthen our link with the Life Force, whatever we conceive it to be.

So put aside your negative preconceptions about prayer. Don’t be a praying beggar. Direct your thoughts positively, focus on the Power within you. Be inspired. When you’re calm, whole and centred on the inside, your life is complete on the outside too. That’s what the Buddha meant when he said, ‘Meditate and be mindful, and all else will follow.’

©David Lawrence Preston, 7.6.2018

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Self-Hypnosis Script for Calmness and Confidence

This self-hypnosis routine will help you to develop a deep sense of inner calmness and confidence so you feel more appreciative towards yourself, more capable and more in control.  The more you use it, the more you’ll create a deep inner feeling of peace and calmness and the better the results.


Make sure you have about twenty minutes to spare before you start, and never listen when you’re driving or operating machinery. And remember, no matter how deeply you relax, should anything happen which requires your attention, your eyes will open and you’ll instantly be fully alert.

You may amend this script if you wish to incorporate specific suggestions and creative imagery to help you with any aspect of your personal development.

Read it onto a recording device. Speak slowly and deliberately, in a monotonous tone of voice.

Make yourself very comfortable. Either sit or lie down in a comfortable position with your head and neck supported. Uncross your legs. Slacken any tight clothing or jewelry. Let your hands flop gently by your side or in your lap. Relax. Let go of all tension.

Now, without moving your head, focus your gaze on a spot on the ceiling. When your eyelids start to feel heavy, and you feel you want to shut your eyes, don’t resist, just let them close. Gently release all thoughts, cares and concerns. Allow yourself to be completely relaxed and comfortable.

Take your attention to your breath. Take a nice, deep breath. Breathe in slowly and deeply – completely fill your chest and lungs, right down to your stomach. Breathe out slowly and think of the word, ‘relax’. Let your breath flow in slowly – and out slowly. If your attention wanders, keep bringing it back to your breath.


As you breathe in, imagine you’re breathing in peace and calmness… and as you breathe out, let go of all tightness and tension. Every breath taking you deeper and deeper into relaxation. Notice all tension and discomfort dissolving away as you relax even more. Feel peace flowing down through your body, from the top of your head down to the tips of your toes.

Now close your eyes and let those tiny muscles around your eyes relax, your eyes so heavy, so drowsy, so tired, they just won’t open.

And imagine your whole body relaxing. Concentrate on each part of your body in turn. You’re growing more relaxed and more tired with every breath you’re taking. All your muscles are going soft and loose and floppy.

Let that drowsy, relaxed feeling spread out from your eyes, into your forehead. Let your scalp relax. Relax the back of your head. Relax the muscles in your neck. Become aware of the muscles in your face – your cheeks, your jaw, your lips – and relax those muscles until they’re all soft and limp, as if you’re very deeply asleep.

Allow the sensation of deep relaxation to flow down through your entire body, all the way down to your toes. Let that warm, heavy feeling of peace and calmness flow down into your shoulders. Release all tension. Then allow the feeling to flow down your arms, down into your elbows, down into your wrists, hands and fingers. Feel how heavy and warm are your arms. Heavy and relaxed. Relaxed and heavy.

Every breath taking you deeper and deeper into relaxation.

Now feel that warm, relaxed heaviness creeping down from your shoulders, down into your chest, down into your stomach. Soften and relax your stomach muscles and solar plexus. And let that relaxed, heavy feeling flow down your spine, into your hips, your buttocks, down into your legs. Beyond your knees into your shins, calves and ankles. Your legs, relaxed and heavy. Now your feet and toes are feeling heavy. Let your feet go heavy – heavy and relaxed, like heavy weights on the end of your legs. Heavy and relaxed.

You can continue to let go until you’ve reached the deepest level of complete relaxation.

And soon, you’re going to relax even more. In a moment I’ll say the word ‘relax’, and when you hear me say that word every muscle in your body will let go, and your entire body will sink down completely and utterly limp. This is such a pleasant, comfortable feeling, you may even forget about your body altogether and enter the deepest, most relaxed state you’ve ever known.


That’s it, let every single muscle relax, let all tension ebb away and a feeling of calmness flow down from your head, into your neck and shoulders, down your arms, down your abdomen, down into your legs and feet. Sinking further down into relaxation with every breath you’re taking, enjoying this feeling of peace and calmness.

And now I’m going to count down from ten to zero, and as I count down, think of yourself going down a flight of steps into complete calmness and tranquillity. Think of each number as a step down, deeper and deeper, so by the time you reach number one, you’ll be more relaxed than ever before.

And when you hear the word, ‘zero’, you’ll fall into a deep, deep sleep, the deepest, most relaxed state you’ve ever known, listening to my voice and enjoying this feeling of peace and calmness.

10   9    8    7    6    5    4    3    2    1    Zero

Imagine now you’re lying in a calm and peaceful place, beside a quiet lake, surrounded by trees shimmering in the warmth of a summer’s day. Above, a clear, blue sky and the bright yellow sun warming your body and making you feel safe and comfortable. The beauty of nature all around you – so quiet, so still, there isn’t even a ripple on the surface of the water.


The more you relax your body and move into this tranquil place, the more you’ll be in touch with your inner self.

And when this relaxation is over, these suggestions will remain so firmly embedded in your mind that they will continue to influence your thoughts, your feelings and your actions just as surely, just as strongly as if you were still relaxing. This inner feeling of calmness and confidence, peace and tranquillity will remain with you in everything you do.

In fact, as each day goes by you’ll feel yourself becoming more and more calm and relaxed. So whatever you’re doing, wherever you are or whomever is with you, you’ll feel a greater sense of personal well-being, more warm and loving towards yourself.

Every day, becoming calmer, more cheerful, more positive and more confident. More confident about what you’re doing. More confident and optimistic about the future. More and more confident about yourself, your capabilities and your relationships. You’ll find that things which used to worry and upset you will lose their power over you. You’ll find it easier to cope even under pressure. Cool, calm, confident and in control.


And now, you’re going to hear some positively phrased suggestions for your continuing calmness and confidence. Mentally repeating these affirmations to yourself will imprint them firmly on your unconscious.

  • I used to be less confident, but all that is changing. Now I am always cool, calm, confident and in control.
  • I deserve happiness, prosperity and success. No-one deserves them more than I.
  • I feel warm and loving towards myself. I like myself. I am a strong and worthy person.
  • Every day, I keep my thoughts positive, for I am the result of what I think.
  • Whatever my mind can conceive and believe, I can achieve.
  • Every day in every way, I feel better and better.

(Note: you can insert any affirmation or ‘visualisation’ here.)

As each day goes by, you’ll be calmer, more confident, more in control. You’ll cope with people and events much more easily. You’ll feel better and free to be yourself. Free to enjoy life more fully. Free to head confidently in the direction of your dreams.

Now if you’re listening at bedtime, ignore the next few sentences and drift off into a comfortable and satisfying sleep. You’ll awake at the appropriate time feeling re-energised, knowing that every time you listen to this relaxation you feel calmer, more confident and more positive.

But if you want to resume your activities, feel yourself becoming more alert now, waking up, feeling better than before. When I say ‘open your eyes’, you’ll be wide awake and ready to continue withyour activities, fully alert, more confident and more positive than ever before.

OK. Open your eyes now. Wide awake, feeling good.

Now smile, have a good stretch, get up slowly and resume your activities.

(If you have difficulty and need help relaxing, try this:  Helps calm and relax the body and promote healthy sleep by restoring its natural rhythms.)


Copyright David Lawrence Preston, 26.4.2016

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Autosuggestion is the use of positive suggestion when in a deeply relaxed state so the unconscious is much more receptive. Hence there is less chance of a suggestion being vetoed by the Critical Censor. If deep relaxation is hard for you, try the AcuPearl Chillout or G-Balance (see*).

Four of the rules for autosuggestion are the same as for affirmations:

  1. Personalise them.
  2. Make them positive.
  3. Say them as if you mean them.
  4. Keep going and be patient.

The fifth is slightly different.

  1. Use the present tense. Begin your autosuggestions with phrases such as ‘I am’, ‘I can’, ‘I have’, ‘I do’, ‘I always…’, ‘I accept for myself…’. ‘See’ your desires as already achieved. E.g. if a physical object, see it as already yours and in your possession. Say, ‘I own’ or ‘I have’ rather than ‘I will own’ or ‘I will have’. If you want to make some change to yourself, such as losing weight or becoming more courageous, say ‘I am slim’ rather than ‘I will be slim’, or ‘I am brave’ not ‘I will be brave’.

Autosuggestion requires you to suspend disbelief, especially if you are working on something that you don’t yet actually have physically. Think of autosuggestion as a tool for change, rather than statements of absolute fact.

In Alpha, the unconscious takes your words literally. For example, if you were to use the future tense the unconscious would assume that what you want isn’t an immediate priority and can wait.

Specify the exact nature of your desire; affirm your intention to acquire it and that it is already yours. When the suggestion takes hold, your unconscious will direct you towards it.

Affirmations and autosuggestion are empowering. They focus your mind on what you want, bringing the Laws of Cause and Effect and Attraction into play. Coupled with Creative Imagery they speed your progress towards whatever you desire. Future blogs will provide further guidance on how to use them for their maximum benefit.


©David Lawrence Preston, 1.4.2016

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