Anxiety

Anxiety is distress prompted by abnormal worry or apprehension. It is usually accompani9ed by a feeling of loss of control.

Most of us experience it from time to time, but if allowed to get out of hand, the body becomes highly sensitised, with physical effects including headaches, ulcers, muscle tension and lack of energy.

Many things can trigger anxiety. When we stay within familiar territory (physical or psychological), we feel most comfortable; any new experience can trigger anxious feelings. The unconscious part of the mind likes us to stick to existing habits and, acting through the nervous system, makes us feel uneasy when we move out of our comfort zone.

Chronic anxiety is a long term condition recognised by the psychiatric profession as a mental illness. It is often treated with anti-depressant or anti-anxiety mediation. CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) is also widely used.

As an Aspergic, I know from painful experience that there are not always easy solutions for chronic anxiety. However clients past and present have found the following approached useful:

  1. Understand why you react this way. Identify the thoughts and beliefs that trigger the anxiety response and work on them using the I-T-I-A Formula.Keep active. A busy mind has less opportunity to focus on anxieties.
  2. Talk to a caring friend, relative or therapist, someone who’ll listen without judging you. Often when you talk things through, problems don’t seem quite so bad.
  3. When you have a problem, concentrate on finding solutions rather than focussing on the problem.
  4. You’ll never eliminate anxiety by avoiding the things that cause it. For instance, if driving in traffic brings on anxious feelings, drive on progressively busier and busier roads until you have de-sensitised yourself.This is the basis of the ‘extinction’ technique. Put yourself in anxiety provoking situation and (in theory at least) you eventually learn that there’s nothing to be worried about.
  5. Remind yourself of – and be grateful for – all the good things in your life. List them. Think about them. There are plenty! Remember, there is no anxiety in the world, just people thinking anxious thoughts.

And remember, see anxiety as another name for a challenge and you can accomplish miracles!

David Lawrence Preston, 25.5.2019

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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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Mind-Body Healing the Quimby Way

All illness has a psycho-somatic component. Often it’s hard to tell where the boundary lies between the mind and body. One great pioneering healer knew no bounds; his name was Phineas Parkhurst Quimby.

Quimby

He was born on February 16, 1802. He was a clock-maker in Belfast, Maine, where he lived most of his life. Although others called him ‘Doctor’ he had little formal education, and no medical training or qualifications. But he had a practical, enquiring mind.

As a young man, he became desperately ill with tuberculosis. His lungs were wasting away and doctors couldn’t help. He decided to try and help himself. Someone suggested horse-riding – the fresh air would do him good. But he was too weak to ride a horse, so be borrowed a horse and cart. One day the horse refused to pull the cart up a hill, so Quimby walked up the hill with the horse. When they got to the top, the horse suddenly started trotting. Quimby couldn’t get back on the cart and ran down the hill with the horse – which, strictly speaking, he shouldn’t have been able to.

When he got home, he realised he was breathing freely and the pain had gone. It never returned. He dedicated the rest of his life to understanding what brought this spontaneous healing about. He reasoned there must be something within us, that we’re not normally aware of, that can make us well.

He learned of the work of Anton Mesmer, the hypnotist, who had gained a reputation for remarkable healings in Europe. By 1840, Quimby was an expert hypnotist. He met a young man called Lucius who was an excellent hypnotic subject. Under hypnosis, Lucius could apparently diagnose patients’ illnesses and suggest a cure.

Later, Quimby realized that Lucius was tuning in to what the patient believed he had, not what he actually had. So after his early experiments, he gave up hypnotism. Instead, he focussed on curing disease through the mind (mental healing). His emphasis was on getting his patients to see causes for themselves. He wanted to help the patient see life in an entirely different way. About this time, his own clairvoyant faculties began to develop.

He dedicated himself to discovering the truth behind the New Testament healings. In the gospels, Jesus was said to heal first the mind, then the body. He removed the cause of the disease and the physical effect ceased. Quimby did not regard Jesus’ healings as miracles, but as scientific applications of Universal Law.

Many thought him a charlatan, but those he helped saw him as a pioneer, a mystic. He healed thousands of people of a wide range of illnesses. He also carried out distance healing. Most of his cases had not responded to conventional treatment. Some thought he was most successful among the credulous, but there’s no doubt he brought about many marvellous cures.

He died of over-work and self-neglect on January 16, 1866. It is said he saw over 10,000 patients in his last seven years. Later writers attributed his success to four main factors:

1.       He had a deep sympathy for human suffering.

2.       He was an authentic and original thinker. It took a great deal of courage to do what he did and teach what he taught in 19th Century New England.

3.       His approach was rigorously scientific. He demanded proof and did not trust opinions, only knowledge.

4.       He understood the harm that organised religion of his day had done to people and the need to reverse this thinking. He believed that the Church had abdicated its interest in healing and that his purpose was to resurrect it. His interest in the New Testament was mainly to understand the negative thinking of his patients – especially those who believed that ill health was normal or that they were ill because G_d was punishing them for some unpardonable sin.

Quimby’s Healing Method

Quimby believed that the healing power is present in the mind of the patient. He sat down with his patients and put himself in rapport with them. He addressed his comments to the ‘spirit within’. He held that the spirit within is at one with G_d and never sick.

He used his intuition to discover the real source of the problem. He visualised the person’s spirit form standing beside the body. The spirit form imparted to him the cause of the problem. Often he felt every symptom of the disease in his own body.

He described the cause of disease in his own words:

“The trouble is in the mind, for the body is only the house for the mind to dwell in. if your mind has been deceived by some invisible enemy into a belief, you have put it into the form of a disease, with or without your knowledge. By my theory or truth I come in contact with your enemy and restore you to health and happiness….

A sick man is like a criminal cast into prison for disobeying some law that man has set up. I plead his case, and if I get the verdict, the criminal is set at liberty. If I fail, I lose the case. His own judgment is his judge, his feelings are his evidence. If my explanation is satisfactory to the judge, you will give me the verdict. This ends the trial, and the patient is released.”

His son George (who acted as his secretary) described his father’s method of cure like this (I paraphrase):  ‘A patient comes to see Dr Quimby. He renders himself absent to everything but the impression of the person’s feelings. These are quickly imprinted on him. This mental picture contains the disease as it appears to the patient. Being confident that it is the shadow of a false idea, he is not afraid of it. Then his feelings in regard to health and strength are imprinted on the receptive plate of the patient. The patient sees the disease in a new light, gains confidence. This change is imprinted on the doctor again and he sees the change and continues. The shadow grows dim and finally disappears, the light takes its place, and there is nothing left of the disease.’

Sometimes barely a word was spoken – Quimby’s thoughts somehow impacted on the patient. Quimby’s highly developed intuition and powers of concentration were vital in his success. Today he would be called a medical intuitive, because he could ‘sense’ what the problem was and sometimes apply a remedy by telepathy.

He knew – predating Freud by half a century – that many of the patient’s unhelpful beliefs were located in the Unconscious Mind and must be brought into consciousness before they can be dealt with. The Unconscious is directly responsive to thought and embodies our fears, beliefs, hopes, errors, and joys. Thought, emotion and belief all impact on health, and these can be changed. Quimby found that the most harmful belief – which he encountered a great deal – was that G_d was punishing the person for their sins by making them ill.

Writings

Quimby left behind detailed journals which explained his philosophy and methods. In addition, some of his clients published their own books and devoted their lives to spreading awareness of his discoveries. The main one was Rev Warren Felt Evans. He wrote the definitive contemporary account in his book, ‘The Mental Cure’ (1869). His ideas also found their way into the writings of Mrs Mary Baker Eddy, whose most famous work, ‘Science and Health’, was published in 1875. (more on her later)

Quimby didn’t publish his writings. After his death, his son George held on to his manuscripts but refused to publish them until after Mrs Eddy’s death. Only in 1920 were edited excerpts published (by Horatio Dresser, son of Julius Dresser, a patient), but it was not until 1989 that Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: The Complete Writings were published, edited by Dr Ervin Seale, who devoted much of his life to this task.

Every New Thought thinker and writer has been influenced by Quimby, and so have many of the great psychologists and philosophers including the Louise Hay, Milton Erickson, Caroline Myss, Bandler and Grinder (NLP), Ernest Holmes, the Cognitive-Behavioural therapists and many others. Most acknowledge their debt.

Piano keys

Quimby was far ahead of his time. One of his most famous sayings is, ‘Take a piano. The same keys that produce discord will produce harmony.’ What did he mean? Simply that the same laws  of thought and belief that can produce discord and misery can also produce harmony and happiness.

At last people are waking up to the incredible contribution he made. Science is still catching up, and one day – hopefully before too long – it will.

©David Lawrence Preston, 2015

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In a nutshell – everything you need to know about the mind

Knowing how our own mind works is crucial for a truly happy and productive life. So what is the mind? Is it not just another word for ‘brain’?

No. The mind is not a physical thing like the brain. It is an activity which extends into every cell in the body and the energy field surrounding it. It contains the imprints that form your personality, including your habits, interests, memories, ideas and beliefs. It is shaped by your learning and the environment, and ultimately fashions the way you live.

The mind operates at many levels, some of which we are aware and others we are not. These levels of awareness include:

  • The conscious mind
  • The subconscious mind
  • The Collective Unconscious
  • The Superconscious

Each influences the others as information constantly flows between them. However, the deeper, subconscious levels are many times more powerful. The deeper we go into the mind, the closer we get to our spiritual core. It’s like peeling away the layers of an onion until we reveal the innate Intelligence that lies at the centre.

Understanding the mind how its various levels interact with each other is important because it enables us to become more effective in our daily lives.

The Conscious Mind

The mind has often been compared to an iceberg, with a small portion floating above the water level and a bulky mass hidden beneath. The conscious mind is the ‘visible’ part. It is the small fraction of mental activity of which we are aware in any moment, and includes the facility of reasoning also known as the intellect.

We know the conscious mind as an ongoing conversation in our heads, one thought following another, and another. When we pay repeated attention to a thought it filters through to the subconscious and produces record-like grooves which play over and over again until the thought becomes a habit.

The conscious mind has only a fraction of the capacity of the subconscious, but it plays a major role in our lives. We can consciously feed new patterns into the subconscious, creating new habits, weakening old habits and replacing them with new. Similarly, we can weaken old habits by withdrawing our attention from them until.

The intellect

The intellect is the reasoning part of the conscious mind. It gathers, sorts and uses information, calculates, decides, analyses and makes judgements.

The intellect is a powerful resource, but is greatly influenced by childhood programming and cultural conditioning. Thinking habits we learned as children do not always serve us well in adulthood. We must be careful: wisdom cannot always be deduced by logic.

The subconscious mind

A vast number of mental activities take place below our threshold of awareness. These include:

  • Regulating bodily functions such as body temperature, absorbing oxygen and nutrients into the bloodstream, waste disposal, the endocrine system (which monitors and controls the hormones), maintaining the immune system and healing. The subconscious normally acts separately from the conscious mind when carrying out these activities.
  • The subconscious has vast data storage and handling facilities which record everything we perceive, do, think, say and dream.
  • An instinctive goal-seeking apparatus, like a kind of automatic pilot which guides us in the direction of the predominant thoughts and mental images. This is the mechanism behind the so-called ‘Law’ of Attraction.

The subconscious prevents the conscious mind from suffocating in its own thoughts. Can you imagine continually being aware of every memory you ever had, or having to remind yourself to digest your food? Life would be intolerable, wouldn’t it?

All the material in the subconscious is capable of being brought into consciousness. For example, when we dream, the barriers between the conscious and subconscious open and subconscious material drifts into consciousness. It also opens up when we are daydreaming or in an altered state such as hypnosis.

The subconscious mind is responsive to the will of the conscious and has no capacity to think independently. Self-talk acts as a form of instruction to the subconscious, and like a faithful servant, it follows its instructions precisely.

The conditioned mind

The term ‘conditioned mind’ describes those mental activities, both conscious and subconscious, which are the result of previous learning, including the patterns which were programmed into us as children. If we allow the conditioned mind to dominate our thinking, we find it impossible to break away from old thinking patterns and behaviours.

Replacing harmful conditioning with new, positive thoughts is vital for personal growth. Once you know the technique, with practice you can eliminate any unwanted habit from your thinking and behaviour.

The Collective Unconscious

Individual minds appear to be part of a ‘group mind,’ a pool of knowledge and wisdom passed down the generations through our genes and cultural conditioning. This is the Collective Unconscious, a term coined by the great psychologist, Dr Carl Gustav Jung.

There is a great deal of circumstantial evidence for this. Throughout history, societies from around the globe who had no physical contact with each other made leaps of progress at about the same time. There is also evidence of this in the animal kingdom. Leading naturalists believe this is evidence of a psychic force connecting them.

There is little doubt that one mind is able to communicate with others. We don’t understand how this works, but it has been investigated and verified many times.

The Superconscious Mind

The Superconscious is the intuitive part of the mind. It taps into a source of knowing and inspiration beyond the world of the five senses. It is not restricted by logical thinking, nor is it subject to the same perceptual errors, nor is it bound by past experiences or cultural conditioning. No known limit can be placed on its activities.

******

How do all these levels of awareness related to each other and a better life?

  • Take charge of the conscious mind by being aware of your thoughts and deliberately changing negative to positive with intent.
  • Your empowering new thought patterns then permeate the subconscious mind, which reflects back in your conscious thinking and behaviour.
  • You’ll also be able to examine the impact of the conditioned mind and collective unconscious on you and use your intellect to accept or reject ideas you like or dislike.
  • You’ll also learn how to subdue or silence interference from the conscious and subconscious minds to allow the Superconscious to make itself known.

Big stuff! It takes practice, but once you’re mastered it your life will never be the same again!

©David Lawrence Preston, 2.11.2016

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Why Creative Imagery Has Such A Powerful Effect On The Unconscious

Why does creative imagery have such a powerful effect on the unconscious, and consequently your life? Imprinting a thought-form in your mind (words and/or pictures) is like planting a seed. It may take a while before you see the results, but every time you focus on that thought, the roots are burying deep. Eventually the fresh green shoots appear, and the more emotion and enthusiasm you put into it, the sooner it happens. Once an idea takes root at this deep level, it’s extremely difficult to shift.

Here are the main reasons:

1. The unconscious thinks mainly in pictures and feelings

The unconscious ‘thinks’ mainly in pictures. It also processes feelings. It is accessed mainly through the right side of the brain, which is more receptive to these than language (which is largely a left-brained function). For most people, the best way of impressing anything on the unconscious mind is to ‘show’ it a picture, and back it up with emotive words and feelings.

That’s why advertisers display their products against glamorous settings. The viewer unconsciously associates the product with drink with aspirational people. But if the advert said ‘Us this product and become one of the jet-set,’ you would dismiss it as a load of rubbish. Putting the message across VISUALLY and creating EMOTION circumvents the critical faculties of the conscious mind and impresses it on the unconscious.

2. The unconscious cannot distinguish between fact and fantasy

The unconscious is incapable of knowing whether the information it receives has come through your five senses or from your imagination. It responds exactly the same to all input.

Show your unconscious an image, and it accepts it as real. It stores the event in your memory as if it really happened, together with the emotions you were feeling at the time. Have you ever woken up at night in a sweat after a bad dream? You knew it was just a dream, but your unconscious didn’t. That’s why you reacted as if it was real. Have you ever cried at the cinema? You were watching artificial lights flickering on a screen and listening to recorded sound! You knew this all along, to why did they have such a powerful influence on you?

3. The unconscious cannot distinguish between good and bad

The unconscious does not question whatever you feed into it consciously or subconsciously. It has no way of knowing whether your instructions are good for you or bad for you. It simply does as it believes it has been directed.

4. The unconscious controls your automatic bodily responses

The unconscious also controls your bodily responses through your nervous system. If you are not convinced, try this exercise:

Sit comfortably, take a few deep breaths and relax. Pretend you have a mental screen, like a TV screen, inside your forehead, just above the level of your eyes. Imagine that a plank of wood is lying on the ground just in front of you, ten feet long and a foot wide. Now imagine that you’re walking along it. How do you feel? Almost everyone can do this easily. Now imagine that same plank twenty storeys high on a building site, suspended between two steel girders. Go on, walk across it. Now, how do you feel? ‘Nuff said?

5. Creative imagery is the most effective way of accessing unconscious material

It is also the most effective way of inputting new, empowering material into the unconscious. You can feed in positive thought forms – words, feelings and images – which programme the unconscious for whatever you desire.

Creative imagery is not some fanciful idea – it has been used successfully in business, sport, academia, psychotherapy, the entertainment industry and many other areas of life to change unhelpful patterns and improve performance. Now you know some of the reasons why.

 

©David Lawrence Preston, 30.7.2016

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How to find your life’s purpose

You are a unique gift to the world, so how are you going to make this gift as valuable as it can be?

Start by clarifying your life purpose. What’s your vision of the world and your part in it? What’s the Big Idea in your life, the theme that holds it all together?

We are all aware of our purpose at some level, although it may be hidden in the subconscious waiting to be discovered. Look within. The biggest clues are your talents and your interests. If you are not clear about what these are, there’s a third clue – what you were good at and most enjoyed as a child.

Let’s look at each of these in detail.

What are your talents?

You are endowed with certain talents. How are you going to make the most of them? Ask yourself:

  • What am I good at?
  • What do I do better than most of the people I know?
  • What do others most appreciate about me?

For example, are you a good communicator, a person who can bring peace to those around you? Do you get on well with the young, the elderly or the sick? Are you musical, sporting or artistic? Good with numbers? Are you strong and able to do physically demanding work? Are good at making or repairing things with your hands, taking them apart and making them work better? Do you have ‘green fingers’, and so on?

Don’t withhold your talents. Share them gladly and be grateful for the opportunity to make a contribution your own way.

Does your work express your life purpose?

 Most of us spend a significant proportion of our time at work. Does your work express your values and life purpose?

  • Do you love your work? Does it energise you?
  • Do work and leisure feel the same to you?
  • At times when you feel discouraged about a particular aspect of your work, do you still maintain a deep feeling that what you’re doing is ‘right’?
  • Is there something you’d rather be doing?

What do these answers tell you?

What are you enthusiastic about?

Your purpose will almost certainly have something to do with what you enjoy.

Is it practical to follow your bliss? Absolutely! You make your greatest contribution when you live authentically and put your heart and soul into what you’re doing.

What do you enjoy? Make a list, and then ask yourself:

  • What proportion of my time do I spend doing things I enjoy?
  • How could I do more of what I enjoy?
  • How could I increase the enjoyment I get from what I currently do?

What did you enjoy as a child?

What did you enjoy when you were young, before pressure was put on you to choose a career and making a living became imperative? This is a potent question. Children are more closely in touch with their natural selves. Their intellects have not yet developed to the point where they interfere with their intuitive guidance.

If you’re not sure, ask people who knew you as a child or look through old  diaries and photo albums.

If this doesn’t work, take time to sit or lie down comfortably, breathe deeply, close your eyes and relax. Imagine you are drifting back in time. ‘See’ yourself as a child in your imagination and silently ask your inner self, ‘Who am I, and what do I enjoy? Ask slowly, concentrate and be patient. You may need to do this several times before the answers come.

When you have some answers, ask yourself, ‘Am I currently doing these in my daily life?’ This can be very revealing.

The clearer your vision, the less you have to struggle

Spend time exploring how you would like your life to be. Let a vision form of how you wish to live and what you want to achieve. The truer you are to your purpose and values, the happier and more productive you become, and the more open you are to receive the love, wisdom and other great blessings that are your birthright.

You also find that you have less of a struggle making the right things happen, and coincidentally, more happens around you to support you.

©David Lawrence Preston, 14.5.2016

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Creating a wonderful life with Creative Imagery

We all have a goal-seeking mechanism housed in the unconscious which takes us where the unconscious believes we want to go.  It is best influenced by:

1. Repetition – continually and consciously focussing on positive thoughts and images – effective if you persist going long enough; and

2. Creative imagery – relaxing into Alpha State (deep relaxation) and feeding in positive pictures, words, sounds and sensations.

The techniques I’m about to share have been used by many people in all walks of life, and the results can be astounding. For instance, Clare was on the verge of a breakdown. She’d recently completed a lengthy training course, but had been unable to find suitable work. To make matters worse all the others on the course had found what they wanted. She was also desperate to resolve her accommodation problems. She shared a flat with an ex-boyfriend who was verbally abusive and occasionally violent. Above all she wanted to find a partner who would treat her well.

She learned to relax deeply every day and visualise herself doing the job she wanted and being well-paid for it; enjoying a caring and loving relationship; and sharing her flat with someone she liked. At first, she was sceptical, but after a couple of weeks she was getting the hang of it.

I didn’t hear from her for several weeks. Then I received a letter out of the blue. The ex-boyfriend had moved out, she’d found a well-paid job, joined a health club and made a new circle of friends. She had also struck up a good relationship with a man she’d met at the club. Things were definitely on the up.

I’ve taught these methods to people suffering from fear of flying, needles, dentists, lifts, reptiles and insects; people about to take examinations, driving tests or face difficult interviews; sportsmen and women keen to improve their performances; people with sexual problems or addictions of one sort or another, and many, many more.

1. Make Creative Imagery a habit

Find twenty minutes every day when you will be undisturbed. Go to a quiet place, switch off the mobile and put a ‘do not disturb’ sign on the door. Any time is good, but first thing in the morning and last thing at night are especially beneficial because the mind is naturally most receptive at these times. It is also a good idea to ‘visualise’ the way you would like your day to go when you’re waking up.

2. Be clear on what you’re trying to achieve

Plan each session in advance. Choose one or two goals at a time, or, better still, concentrate on one or two for a whole week.

If you find you have difficulty remembering your routine, record it onto a suitable device and listen while you’re relaxed.

3. Relax deeply

Use your favourite techniques to relax into Alpha Level.

4. Imagine a mental screen

Imagine that you have a screen inside your forehead, just above eye level, rather like a cinema screen. Practise making images until you are totally comfortable with it. In time, you’ll be able to use it at will.

5. Allow your chosen images etc. to materialise

Creative imagery is a passive process. The unconscious cannot be hurried. Be patient, don’t force it, and don’t get frustrated if results don’t come immediately.

6. Give them impact

If the images, sounds and feelings you create are to have impact on your unconscious, they must be as clear and vibrant as you can make them.

  • Create colour images and make them as bright as possible.
  • Visualise moving images rather than stills.
  • ‘See’ them in three dimensions.
  • Place them at the centre of your mental screen.
  • Use all five senses if possible. In most cases, you’ll be able to use at least three. For example, if you’re mentally rehearsing a tennis match, ‘see’ the court, the ball, your opponent, etc., ‘hear’ the strings striking the ball, ‘feel’ the racquet in your hand, the sun on your face and the sweat on your forehead (fill in as many details as you can). Project as much feeling as you can.

7. Reinforce with auto-suggestion

Reinforce creative imagery with auto-suggestion. One effective form of words is: ‘I’m so happy. Now I see myself with/doing…’ etc.

8. Imagine a perfect outcome

Imagine exactly what you want to impress on the unconscious –  choose thought-forms and images that symbolise success – the medal round your neck, the crowd applauding, signing the contract, enjoying your ideal relationship, breaking the winning tape, starting the job, etc.

9. See it through your own eyes

Even if you feel at this stage that you can’t achieve perfection, don’t let this deter you from imagining it. You wouldn’t programme a missile to strike somewhere near the target, would you? The fact that your desire is registered in your unconscious will guide you closer to the real thing.

When you ‘visualise’, you could either ‘watch’ yourself like a spectator, from a distance (‘second position’); or ‘picture’ or ‘experience’ the situation through your own eyes as if you were a participant (‘first position’).

For example, if you were mentally rehearsing yourself on stage, you could either watch yourself as if sat in the audience (this is ‘second position’), or you could imagine on-stage looking out into the auditorium, hearing the audience applauding, feeling the boards beneath your feet etc. ‘First position’ has a much more powerful effect on the unconscious.

If your aim is to acquire a material object, imagine yourself already in possession of it. E.g. if it’s a new car you want, imagine the view from driver’s seat rather than looking in at yourself behind the wheel.

10. Generate as much emotion as you can

Hold your goals in your mind until you can literally feel them coming true. Emotions attract and create energy. The more power and energy you put into your creative imagery, the more quickly your desires will manifest.

11. Practise

Practise every day, even if nothing seems to happen. The results cannot fail to materialise and your confidence in the technique will grow.

12. Take action

Creative imagery eases the way to success, but you still need to do whatever has to be done. So do something every day that takes you closer to your goal. Action also strengthens your self-confidence.

Creative imagery is like planting seeds. First clear the weeds (the doubts and fears), prepare the ground, sow the seeds, add fertiliser, water frequently – and wait. Your creative and intuitive powers will be awakened. It may take a while to take root and for the first shoots to appear, but if you trust in nature and keep up with the watering (lots of positive thought-forms and constructive action), your faith will be repaid every time.

 

© David Lawrence Preston, 12.5.2016

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Stragne but true!

Wehn I was at socohl, we wree cagitatsied for poor spleling,  but it semes that in smoe circumstances it’s not taht important. Adorccing to rsceearh at an Elisngsh uvinterisy, it dones’t mettar what odrer the leretts in a wrod are as long as the frist and lsat lteetrs are in the rihgt pclae. The rset can be in any oderr and popele can slitl raed it with no plobrem.

Tihs is bcauese we do not read erevy ltteer by itslef, but look at the wrod as a wlohe. The unsconoucis mnid maeks partetns and reganorises the ltteres so tehy make sesne.

Smoe say it’s coptleme bkollocs, but I don’t tnihk so? How aoubt you?

How using the right brain makes you more creative

In the past, intelligence was seen as something inherited in fixed amounts which couldn’t be altered. Some people were thought to be more creative than others because they were born with special talents.

Nowadays, we know that the brain has two parts, a left and right hemisphere, each with its own special functions. This discovery thirty years ago changed the entire foundation of psychology, neurology and education.

In broad terms, left brain activity is related to thinking (the ‘cognitive’ domain) and right brain activity to intuition, emotion and creativity (the ‘affective’ domain). To develop creativity, therefore, we must make more use and better use of the right brain. Then we tap into the same resource that great men and women down the ages used to fashion great works of art, music and sculpture and major scientific discoveries.

Most people have a tendency to favour one hemisphere or the other, but for many activities we rapidly alternate between the two.

Some activities are predominantly left brain based: reading, speaking, calculating, computer programming etc. Others mainly utilise the right brain, for example, drawing, playing music, dancing, and long-term memory. The creation of new ideas is a right brain function; evaluating and developing these ideas is a left brain task. Sometimes (e.g. creative writing) the use of left and right brain switches so quickly that it is impossible to tell which is being used.

When both sides are working together and contributing equally, the brain performs at its optimum level.

Are you more left brained or right brained?

Do you tend to prefer to think logically, take things one at a time, step by step, analyse, calculate and use words?

Or do you process things more emotionally, think in pictures, use colour, ‘feel’ and daydream?

Or both equally?

You can develop both sides of your brain

Long ago, Professor Robert Ornstein of the University of California discovered that people who had been educated to predominantly use one side of the brain had great difficulty in using the other. He also discovered that when the unused side of the brain was stimulated, the result was a vast increase in the overall ability of a person – in the region of five to ten times.

To improve your creative mind-power, therefore, first find out which side of your brain is under-used, then concentrate on developing that side.

For many of us the right is the weaker. This is because our schooling encourages us to make more use of the left brain. Politicians stress the importance of the ‘3 R’s’ – reading, writing and ‘rithmetic. We are encouraged to think about the world in words and numbers. Art, music, dance and more imaginative pursuits are pushed to the periphery.

The balanced use of left and right brain can help you to:

  • Become more creative
  • Learn more quickly
  • Improve your memory
  • Solve problems faster
  • Improve communication
  • Be more intuitive
  • Understand body language

Many of the great artists and inventors had the ability to utilise both sides equally. They appeared to tap into a source of inspiration beyond their contemporaries. What were they tuning in to? Some psychologists believe it is their own unconscious minds; others that it is the Collective Unconscious of all humankind; still others that it was some form of Universal Consciousness.

Whatever it was, it is something to which we all have access through the right brain. However, we usually receive only the germ of an idea from there and must use our more structured left to develop it. The right hemisphere is a rich source of inner wisdom but you have to trust it. It’s a quiet voice, a subtle feeling. Tune in. It’s like having a wise being inside you, always on hand to offer guidance and support.

Get started! If you are predominantly left-brained spend more time on activities which utilise the right brain. Try to avoid analytical or calculating thoughts. Allow yourself to daydream. After one month, review your progress. What difference has this made to your life?

©David Lawrence Preston, 7.4.2016

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A Walk in the Mountains

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A son and his father were walking in the mountains. Suddenly, the son falls, hurts himself and screams: “Aaahhhhhhhh!!!”

To his surprise, he hears the voice repeating, somewhere in the mountain: “Aaahhhhhhhh!!!”

Curious, he yells: “Who are you?”

He receives the answer: “Who are you?”

Angered at the response, he screams: “Coward!”

The answer comes back: “Coward!”

He looks to his father and asks: “What’s going on?”

The father smiles and says: “My son, pay attention.”

And then he screams to the mountain: “I admire you!”

The voice answers: “I admire you!”

Again the man screams: “You are a champion!”

The voice answers: “You are a champion!”

The boy is surprised, but does not understand.

Then the father explains: “People call this ECHO, but really this is LIFE.

It gives you back everything you say or do.

Our life is simply a reflection of our actions.

If you want more love in the world, create more love in your heart.

If you want more wisdom from others, increase your wisdom.

This relationship applies to everything, in all aspects of life;

Life will give you back everything you have given to it.”

YOUR LIFE IS NOT A COINCIDENCE. IT’S A REFLECTION OF YOU!

(Author Unknown)

Posted 26.3.2016

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