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Here is a taster of some Diana Luke articles which she presentd and produced for various airlines internationally. The idea for the programmes are to give the flyer a chance to look at some of their issues in a different light whilst having the comfort of getting away from the pressures of work and home life whilst in the comfort of their seat. These were audio programmes for the airlines but are now presented to you as script.
Stop Thinking the Worst – Author: © Diana Luke 2008
Hello and welcome to this part of the programme. I have a question for you. Are you someone that wants the best in life but tends to end up thinking of worse case scenarios, worrying endlessly about what may or may not happen, imagining that you know what someone else is thinking and if they are having an off day it is your fault?
For instance have you ever caught yourself saying – I called my friend but she hasn’t got back to me- why is she mad at me?
Or maybe you have said something like… the boss looked grumpy when I spoke to him today- does that mean I am going to get the sack?
Or maybe… my husband is not home yet and he should have been fifteen minutes ago- I bet he is having an affair.
Or I always mess things up.. or no one will ever love me… or I never get it right
Do you automatically imagine the worst thing will happen or expect bad things to happen to you? Is your glass half empty of half full?
Now don’t get me wrong, there are times that being prepared for a possible eventuality that may not be in your favour is a good thing but always expecting the worse case scenario is limiting your ability rather like a rabbit caught in the head lights – frozen still with fear. Expecting the worst actually has more to do with feelings than thinking. The negative emotion such as fear moulds and shapes your thoughts.
Emotional feelings like fear cause us to think in extremes. This is what I mean by the term catastrophising. It is a negative black or white way of thinking – no room to manoeuvre into anything in between – it is an all or nothing attitude.
Now if you do recognise aspects of yourself in what I am saying, then don’t despair. You may already be thinking yes that is typical of how I think so I am doomed to always think like this – once again catastrophising!
But help is at hand. By recognising what you expect from life relies heavily on the pictures you paint in your own mind, with your imagination means that you have the opportunity to change the picture.
How you see things panning out in your mind creates your reality.
When you imagine something …like my husband is late and he hasn’t rung so therefore he is in an ambulance being taken to hospital or I will put him in one when I find out he is having an affair…merely creates the worse case scenario strongly in your imagination and the picture starts to develop vividly in your mind. You actually can make physically make yourself feel anxious, worried, upset and other negative emotions by creating and embellishing that picture in your mind.
But the good news is that your powerful vivid imagination not only creates disaster scenes for you at will, but conversely can conjure up all kinds of wonderful positive possibilities that will make your future so much more optimistic, successful and enjoyable. Your imagination is such a wonderful and creative resource, when used correctly, but when you don’t discriminate between destructive and supportive thoughts, it can get the better of you.
Now some negative thinkers rationalise their negative thinking by saying – well if I imagine the worse case scenario then I won’t ever be disappointed. What a way to live! Always expecting the worst of life!
By recognising that by relaxing and calming yourself with your thoughts and feelings, your perceptions becomes more reasonable and words like always totally never ever are used less frequently. You’ll also then in turn begin to feel like using your imagination more positively when thinking of future eventualities.
Or you’ll find you can even decide not to use your imagination at all. So sometimes you don’t even need to expect the best you can just relax and leave a ‘meaning vacuum’ rather than desperately trying to ‘fill in a meaning’ for why something has or hasn’t happened before you really know. For example if someone doesn’t return your call you don’t actually know why that is-if you are calm you can just relax with not knowing until such time as you do find out. You don’t have to expect the worst or the best this is a much more comfortable way of living.
Some people use superstitious beliefs to justify their negative expectations. They think that if they expected things to go well it might be pushing their luck or even tempting fate in a superstitious kind of way – not the easiest way to deal effectively with what life throws at you! Too often we don’t realize how negative thought hinders our success in life.
Thinking negatively all the time can make you feel depressed not surprisingly and it then snowballs by creating even more negative emotions and pessimistic thinking.
When you expect the best and the most realistic outcome to any given situation, you not only will feel better but in turn you become much more optimistic.
When you use your imagination to create happier healthier more successful outcomes, chances are you will use those pictures in your mind as the foundation to a much more positive future. Not only that but you feel better in yourself, feel less stressed from negative internal dialogue and in turn your immune system is less challenged so you are healthier as well.
Also by using your imagination to create positive outcomes, you have greater courage to start new projects, accept new challenges. Those who imagine the worst case scenario see no point in starting an new initiative and even if they do will be more likely to quit or pull out as they just don’t see the point as their imagination suggests it will only go pear shaped in time anyhow.
By using your imagination creatively and positively, even if things don’t go to plan, which inevitably will happen from time to time, you will be able to deal with the situation much more calmly and rationally.
So the next time someone doesn’t return your call, stay calm and busy yourself with something else. More than likely you will find that they have also been busy and simply forgot. Or if your boss is grumpy when you speak with him, realise he like every other person can have had a challenging day and still be caught up in it when you spoke to him. It doesn’t mean you are getting the sack. And if your significant other is late from work, call them or ask calmly when they do get home that next time you would appreciate a call just to say they would be late so you don’t worry.
Ways to Awaken Your Spirit – Author: © Diana Luke 2003
I think it is a fair comment to say that sometimes we all get so caught up in the doing of life that we forget about the being.
A perfect example is how we ask a newcomer to our circle, and what do you do? We aren’t usually referring to their being a loving partner, a true friend, a wonderful confidante or someone who enjoys solitary moments and early awakenings to appreciate the sunrise. No, what we are usually referring to is how they make their living or what their job is. The doing part of our material lives.
But just for the moment I would like for you to think about your life and imagine that you were to introduce yourself to someone else as a human being, without any reference to your job status.
Doing plays such an important role in our lives normally that sometimes we forget about our being- ness. This exercise is designed to reawaken your spirit that lies within your being.
So take this moment initially to ponder your being.
What music inspires you, lifts your spirit and touches you with its melody? It may be a song that when heard brings back a poignant personal moment for you. It may be a piece of music that brings tears to your eyes with its evocative rhythm or the beauty of a particular voice. It may be the music of a child’s spontaneous laugh or the gurgle of a stream as ducks paddle along chattering to each other.
What sounds lift your spirit?
What sights make you feel alive? The hug of long lost relatives, the beginnings of a flower arising from the soil after a long winter, first meeting your grandchild only hours old, a gathering of people unified with their purpose. What sights make you feel alive?
When did you last help someone out voluntarily? Offer to baby-sit for a single Mom, chat to a lonely person in a senior citizen’s home, to listen without interrupting to a friend who just needed to be heard, to have given a present spontaneously. Did not these moments of giving feel so very good, reawaken your joie vivre?
What actions have made you feel alive?
And when did you last take the phone off the ringer, turn off the mobile and the TV and take time out to be alone with yourself, to enjoy the quiet moment, to still your mind from external doings and just be? Do you not also then feel more awakened to your real spirit?
When is the last time you walked through a woods, lay in a field and looked up dreamily at the clouds, walked barefoot in the grass or swam with the fish? Connecting with the wonders of nature, pure and simple can reawaken your spirit, reconnect you with your being.
Have you read any inspirational literature of late? The news can be very depressing as the focus is usually leaning towards disasters and catastrophes. Read a book like Chicken Soup for the Soul, about the kindness of the unsung heroes of our lives, or of survivors who are not full of bitterness but of hope. Be inspired by them. Does that not awaken your spirit?
And learn to make a habit of seeing the good things in life, all the blessings that we too often take for granted. Acknowledge the love of your friends, the beautiful day, the meal you shared, the warmth our your home, the money in your pocket, your mobility, your many senses like sight, touch and hearing that give you so much pleasure- the simple blessings that we have each and every day that we sometimes forget to see when we are so busy doing.
Sometimes we spend so much time focussing on the things in our lives that we feel aren’t good enough or not working for us, that we miss out on the pure and simple enjoyment of recognising we are a one off , this is our only time to be and celebrating our uniqueness. Give to yourself as you would your best friend. Look yourself in the eye and smile. Treat yourself to some good times. Learn to enjoy being you.
Take a moment now to breathe in deeply as you close your eyes and then allow yourself a wonderfully contented sigh as you think about and respect the uniqueness of you.
And as you incorporate this new way of thinking and being more and more into your life, you will notice a marked enjoyment of life, an awakening of the true spirit of you.
The next time someone asks you what you do, you may well find yourself smiling enigmatically as you think of the joy of being you.
I wish you great joy on your coming home to you.
Count Your Blessings – Author: © Diana Luke 2001
Hello and welcome if you’ve just joined me. I’m Diana Luke and I am a qualified Therapist and Personal Development Trainer.
I’d like to ask you a few questions- do you ever suffer from the Monday morning blues?
Do you wake up resenting the job you have, perhaps wish your house was bigger or in a better location, maybe desire a faster car, more money, a more harmonious relationship with your partner, children, colleagues, boss?
In other words, in some way do you feel that it would be good to have more than you already have? Does the grass look greener on your neighbour’s front? Do you envy the success of others?
Don’t worry. You are not alone with any of these thoughts. We have all had them from time to time.
But let me ask you another question- how do these thoughts benefit you when you are thinking them?
Do you feel better, happier, more energised, more contented- or is it quite the reverse- do you feel miserable, perhaps angry, dissatisfied, bitter or depressed?
In fact, statistics reveal that many of us feel so bad getting up on a Monday morning to do things we feel we ought to do, but don’t really want to do- that there are more heart attacks at 7 o’clock on a Monday morning than on any other day.
The point that I am making, is that as you continue to look at what you haven’t got and what you think others have, you are missing a very valuable life- affirming learning experience. It’s quite simple. Its called counting your blessings.
Best selling author Anthony Robbins coined a great phrase “ Attitude of Gratitude”. He believes that this attitude of gratitude is one of the most basic principles of leading a fulfilling life.
We are all unique individuals- there is not another person who is the same as you anywhere. We all have different needs, wants, desires and each of us possesses an inner voice that guides us to what we feel is most fulfilling to us – our dream. We all have one – a dream – and it is possible to make our dreams come true. So instead of thinking about some one else’s success or envying what someone else has- what is it that you really want? What is your dream?
One way of finding out is to ask yourself what is that you love doing?
When you do something you love you have more energy. Have you ever noticed how on a dreary day, you may feel low and lethargic but then you get a phone call from a friend to go out and your spirit lifts immediately and the feelings of fatigue evaporate.
Have you noticed how you can do three times as much of something that you love than what you don’t? Our thoughts affect our body.
Recall the last time that you enjoyed doing something so much that you never even noticed the time.
You have many things to be grateful for now in your life. Look around you with new eyes. If possible get a little notebook and jot down things that bring you joy in your life as the days go by.
The smile in a friend’s eyes, the first tulip in the garden, the smell of a cedar tree after a rain, the softness of the fabric of your clothes on your body, the strength of your legs as you run in the wind, the praise from your boss, the luxury of a hot aromatic bath, a good night’s sleep, the cuddle with your lover, the sensory delights of the meal you just had.
Focus on all the wonderful things that you do have in your life. And a little magic will begin to happen then. Soon, you will find that you no longer think others have so much more than you do. It is just different from you. Instead you will find that as you learn to love what you do, the more you will be able to do what you love. Your energy will improve. A smile will replace the frown.
It is like the glass with water in it. Is it half full or half empty? Are you looking at what you have or what you haven’t?
Our perception of our reality becomes our reality. By focusing on the plusses of our life, by counting our blessings, we attract more of the same.
As the quotation goes- “many of us spend half of our time wishing for things that we could have if we didn’t spend half our time wishing.”
When we give our energy and focus to our fears, we become like a magnet and attract it. What we focus on expands.
Focus on counting your blessings from today and see how your life changes for the better- physically, mentally and spiritually.
Until the next time- I’m Diana Luke and remember – as Eric Fromm stated “there is no meaning to life except the meaning man gives his life by the unfolding of his powers, by living productively.”