Do you have someone sick or suffering in your life? Are you surrounded by well meaning family and friends, and highly trained medical professionals all telling you how it's going to get worse and worse?
What happens to plants when you direct negative thoughts, words and actions at them? Science shows us they wither and die. Are people any different?
What if rather than contributing like this to someone's deterioration by adding your voice to the throng, you asked the person suffering "What contribution could I be to you?" Then listen and honour the person by being that, even if it's just to hold their hand and smile.
You are not expecting a miracle recovery, even if it's possible and could occur. You are honouring the person and offering them energy, space, allowance, and possibility.
What different could you be by contributing that?
How many relationships do you have? Friends, colleagues, family, a partner?
How are they going? Are you suffering things you'd rather not because you think you have to maintain your relationships?
Will that help? Maybe. Maybe not. Is it fun to suffer? Or would you rather enjoy life with other fun people?
Are you committed to making your relationships work NO MATTER WHAT, because YOU CAN DO IT and to do otherwise would be to fail? Perhaps you have decided that he/she is The One and your rose-coloured glasses don't allow you to see things as they really are?
If you'd like to see you, the other person, and your relationship more clearly ask "What am I pretending not to know?"
You already know what will be the greatest contribution to your life; you're just pretending you don't.
What fixed points of view do you have about who and what you have to be/ do/ have/ think in life?
For example, I have to get married because my mother expects it. I can't take a year off school to travel because my father wouldn't like it. I have to get into that organisation because otherwise I'll be a failure. I have to cook dinner every night otherwise I'll be a bad parent. I can't be nice because the tough kids will make fun of me. I can't speak my mind because people will call me a "Karen." I have to believe everything other people tell me or I'll have no friends.
Do you spend all your energy, time and money on this hamster wheel? Is it fun? Does it create the happiness you'd like?
If not, ask "What could be possible if I changed my point of view?"
What if every "I have to" and "I can't" were just points of view that you could change? What point of view would you start with?
How many people do you have in your life you want to kill, or at least complain about endlessly? One or two? Or too many to count? When you think about these people do you smile, or frown?
When you see other people frowning, how do you feel? Do you feel happy and energetic, or not so much? What about when people smile at you? How do you feel?
Have you ever heard this children's song?
When someone smiles at me,
I feel like smiling too,
When I see someone who is happy,
I feel happy too.
Does this work? If you'd like to find out, ask "Who can I smile at today?" and start with one person. Then try another, and another, until you smile at everyone.
Yes, some of them may think you're insane. And do you really care what they think if you end up happier?
Are you happy with life? It's okay to say you are. But you probably can't, or won't admit it, right?
What is that? When did you decide that you couldn't be happy and had to be dissatisfied and complain about life?
Would you like to have more happiness in life? Will moaning and groaning create it? Or will choosing to be happy create it?
If you'd like to find out, ask "What can I smile about today?" and then SMILE and smile some more.
You may only find one thing to start with. A really great cup of coffee. A break in the traffic. A clear blue sky. So SMILE.
You can also smile at the not-so-great stuff. Illogically restrictive regulations. SMILE. Unable to see family or friends. SMILE. Lost your job. SMILE.
After a while, like magic, your sense of happiness will expand and you'll see more and more great stuff in life. Previously unthought of possibilities emerging like new grown weeds from a scorched earth.
You may even infect others with your choice to choose happiness, and would that be something to smile about?
They're up in the air of course. Or are they? If you're standing on your head, then wouldn't your feet be on your head?
How many things in your life are like this? Beliefs based on assumptions? You've heard it from your family, your friends, your government, your doctors, or saw it on TV, so of course it's true! Right?
What if some, many, or even all your assumptions about how the world functions were different to what you thought? What if everything was the opposite of what it appeared to be and nothing was the opposite of what it appeared to be?
So next time you'd like clarity about something you have assumed must be certain, ask "If I'm standing on my head, where are my feet?"
You may find they are indeed in the air. Or they may be on your head. Maybe you checked them into the cloakroom. Or perhaps you never had feet to begin with?
How often do you feel swept away by the stream of people's trauma and drama? Dragged over the rapids and smashed against the rocks?
Or perhaps you're the salmon diligently swimming upstream, against the flow?
What if instead, you were the rock in the stream, allowing the water to pass one way and the salmon to pass the other?
What if you could see it all, without being the effect of it, so that you could choose what worked for you?
This is allowance, and questions will enable you to be in that state.
Like to be the rock? Ask yourself "What if I be the question?"
Do you ever have those moments when your computer just won't work? It dies for no apparent reason? You're just about to buy something online, or give a presentation, or send an email and KAPUT.
It could be anything. The hardware, the software, the connection, the (non) service provider, or maybe you kicked the cord out of the wall?
What if there was nothing wrong with the sudden non-functioning of your electronics? What if the Gods in the Machinery were letting you know that doing something else would be more rewarding?
What if by not buying the item online now, you got a discount later? What if by not sticking to the Powerpoint slideshow your presentation was so much better? What if by not sending that email you go the result you actually desired?
So next time your electronics go CLUNK, ask "Computer, what are you trying to tell me?" and consider what else you might choose instead.
Got something going on? Feeling a little down? Do you turn to your family, friends, or insignificant other for comfort, kindness, and a listening ear? Or maybe you share your soul on The Socials?
What do they offer you? Do they tell you what you're doing wrong and how, if you lived you're life like them, everything would be great? Or do they sympathise and help you reinforce your victim status?
How is that for you? Does it make you feel better?
Are you really looking for answers? Or are you seeking something else? Maybe a hug, a smile, a space to be you?
Are you willing to create this for yourself, if no one else will? If so, ask "What will nurture me?" and be/ do/ have that. It could be anything. Blowing off the afternoon to do the thing you love to do to relax and makes you smile.
And remember, next time someone comes to YOU like this, ask them "What can I do for you?" then listen, smile, create space, ask more questions, and shut up.
Do you find that your work, business, relationships or life in general never quite get to where you'd like them to be? You're talented, diligent, smart, cute, funny, intelligent, well-read, hard-working, kind, understanding and more, but somehow it just isn't happening?
Do you like to do it all yourself, rather than have others help? When others do help, is there a limit to what you will accept? Do you think involving others will weaken your control? Or that if you take too much, someone else will get less?
Consider nature. Do plants keep a ledger of how much oxygen and food they gift us? No. They just keep giving. The planet is an infinitely abundant place and keeps creating magically.
What if you functioned from abundance, rather than scarcity? Would lifting the limit on what you were willing to receive help expand your work, business, relationships and life possibilities?
Like to find out? If so, ask "What if limits weren't real?"
Have you ever had a relationship which you knew could be amazing, but it never worked out the way you'd hoped?
You can see how great the other person is, how great you are together, and yet things just keep going haywire, no matter what you do? But you keep trying to make it work, because YOU CAN SEE all the wonderful possibilities?
Do you cut off an arm or a leg to fit in with that person? When you do that, do you find they've changed the ground rules, and you have to bend, fold and mutilate yourself in new ways to fit these new rules?
Is that fun? Does it work out?
If not, ask "What idea have I bought as real?" You may have bought as real the idea that someone is perfect for you. And if you have, will you see the reality, or your idea of the person?
Just because you can see the amazing potential of and with someone, doesn't mean they will choose it, even if you do.
Have you ever given your best doing something, checking it a hundred times, only to find that as soon as it "goes live" there is a glaring error?
I don't know, like writing a daily blog post only to find a super obvious typo the next day when it's sent out? Just as a random example.
What is that for you?
What do you do when this happens? Freak out? Blush with embarrassment? Make yourself wrong? Find someone to blame?
Or do you laugh and say to yourself "Cute, Not Bright" and ask "What's right about that this I'm not getting?"
What could be right? For example, when people tell you about the typo you can see that they are actually READING what you wrote. How wonderful! What an honour. Or perhaps you could invite your readers to make it into a "typo game" and promise to belly laugh out loud when they catch you out again? Laughing is good, yes?
So next time something "goes wrong" ask yourself "What's right about that this I'm not getting?" and keep asking it over and over, even if you don't believe it or feel it at first.
What if there was ALWAYS something right about a "bad" situation? What if you simple had to ask to see?
This is one of my favourite Qs, which I will repost from time to time.
What does your life feel like right now? Light? Heavy? Fun? Serious? Energetic? Lethargic? Joyous? Miserable? Frivolous? Exhausting? Add your own words, image or feelings to describe your life as it is now.
Got them? Sometimes it helps to close your eyes to do it.
Now ask yourself "Is this the life I truly desire?"
If your life is not exactly what you'd like, then do it again, first asking "If time, money and other people's points of view weren't real, what would I choose for my life, living and reality?"
Now get a sense of the energy of the life you'd truly like. Add words, images, smells, feelings, sensations too if that helps.
Are two images the same, or different?
What if you carried with you the energy of the life you'd truly like, and chose consciously people and things that matched it, regardless of your normal logical pros and cons?
Could that make it easier for you to create the life you'd truly like?
Do you know what you'd really like in life? What you truly desire?
Have you ever allowed yourself to consider it? Or have you always been/ done/ chosen what others have told you is The Right Thing?
If your life is not going quite how you'd like it, maybe you've been choosing for others, rather than for you?
So how do you know what you'd really like? Easy. Ask"What do I truly desire?" and see what comes to mind.
It might not be anything that you've ever acknowledged before. Or maybe you were told it would not be: appropriate/ realistic/ possible/ safe/ healthy/ normal/ sensible/ or any one of 1000s of words people like to use to control you.
Are you willing to look at what you'd really like now?
Once you can see your true desires, then you can invite them into your life. You just need to ask.
How often do you ask for what you'd really like? All the time? Sometimes? Almost never?
And how much of what you'd really like do you have in your life right now? A lot? A little? Almost nothing?
Do you see the connection? Don't ask, don't get.
What stops you from asking for what you'd like? Do you think that you're being selfish? That there's not enough to go around and you should give up your bit (whatever that is) for someone else? That you don't deserve it? That you don't need to ask for anything from anyone? That people should know what you want? Something else?
Are these true? Or are they interesting points of view that you may have bought from someone, sometime?
Have you ever heard the axiom: ask and you will receive? Have you ever asked?
So if you don't have the life you'd truly like, ask "What if I asked for the life I'd truly like?"
Then ask. And receive.
How often do you get angry? What makes you angry? How quickly does your anger come to the surface?
Do you think it's wrong? Does the anger envelope you in layers you can't escape? Does it distract you from creating the life you'd like?
Rather than considering the anger in itself wrong, what if you asked a question to get clear on what it truly is? For example
- Heated Anger can indicate where you are in judgement, rather than interesting point of view
- Explosive Anger can show you where you've been suppressing yourself, or
- Rising Anger may indicate someone is lying to you.
So next time you sense anger on its way, ask yourself "What is this anger?" Then notice what shows up and acknowledge it, breath and ask "What would I like to create?"
In doing so you'll be free to choose for you, rather than be in reaction.
Of course you can aways play with Potent Anger, which is where you choose to get your point across. Think of this anger as the power you use to stop people blindly walking across the road in front of a truck.
Have you been asking questions but things don't seem to be changing the way you'd hoped?
What sort of questions are you asking? Do they sound like this "What's it going to take for my red sports car/ young, blond, sexy date/ prestigious, highly regarded, well paying job to show up/ people to recognise me and what I'm doing?"
Are these really questions? Or are they conclusions with question marks attached? In other words, you've already decided what you want: a red sports car/ young, blond, sexy date/ prestigious, highly regarded, well paying job/ public recognition and appreciation.
So if you think you know how to ask a question, but you're not seeing the change you'd like, check your questions by asking "Am I asking a question, or a statement with a question mark attached?"
If you discover you're in conclusion, simply ask a real question.
Are you stuck in a rut with someone? Your insignificant other? A parent? Your boss? A co-worker? A celebrity or authority figure? Or even a friend?
Do you sense something is not quite right between you and them, and no matter what you do, you can't seem to make it work?
What have you decided this person means to you? Have you made them the answer to something?
For example, have you made your boy/girlfriend The One? Are your parents proof that you're The Good Child? Is your boss The Enemy around who you rally with your co-workers? Is a co-worker The Unfair Competition to excuse your own uninspired performance? Is the celebrity or authority figure The Hero Coming to Save the Day? Is your friend [__________ fill in their role and it's value here]?
If you'd like to be free from these limits and to see people for who they truly are — rather than what you've decided they are — ask "What have I made this person mean to me?"
Then acknowledge it, and say farewell (to the rut).
If you'd like to continue having that person in your life, ask another question.
Do you ever blame other people or circumstances for things that don't work out in your life?
Does it make you feel better and help you create the life you'd actually like? Or does it side-track you into an Alice-in-Wonderland like maze of distraction?
If you'd like to create the life you'd like, acknowledge your role as creator of everything that shows up in it.
How? For every good, bad, ugly, beautiful thing that shows up in it, ask "How did I create this?"
It'll be easy for the good, beautiful things. What about the bad, ugly things?
What if by taking ownership of everything in your life, you gained clarity over how you created it? Then, if it doesn't work for you (bad/ugly), you can see how to create it differently.
How? Ask questions.
Have you ever been stuck not knowing what to do? You've got two or more great (or not so great) options and you just don't know which one to go with?
Are you frozen by the idea that you might make the wrong choice? Have you made this choice the answer to your life? And if you get it wrong, people will say "there you go again, making no-good choices" and your life will be over?
Is that true? What if there were no wrong choices? What if no choice was the answer to your life? What if a choice was quite simply that: a choice. A choice that is good for 10 seconds, and then you get to choose again.
How does that feel? A bit lighter? Can you choose now?
So go on, remind yourself: a choice is just a choice and you can do it every 10 seconds. When you're stuck, ask "What if I just chose, dammit?"
Then choose. Repeat.
What's your point of view about magic? That it's voodoo and a lie? Or that it's a bit of a laugh for kids? (But wow...what if you really could do things like Harry Potter and X-men? Wouldn't that be fun!)
Do you ever have wonderful people or things show up in your life with ease and by surprise? Is that like magic?
Does it make you smile?
What if magic were simply things appearing from a source you couldn't see and didn't yet understand? What if magic was simply science you couldn't yet explain? Like if you now saw fire for the first time?
If you'd like to invite more magic into your life and create things you thought impossible, ask "What magic can I ask for today?"
And then ask.
Do you find you are often disappointed by the way things turn out? Are you ever let down by what people say or do?
Have you ever tried to explain to someone exactly what behaviour and words would make things work like magic between you? Did they hear you? How often has someone tried to convince you that their point of view is what you really desire?
Can you control what other people do in their lives, even in relation to you? No. People will always do exactly what works for them and pay no attention to your point of view.
The only thing you can change is you. So if you'd like to be free of feeling disappointed or let down by other people, ask "What expectations do I have here?"
When you are clear about your expectations, ask another question, like "If I had no expectations of anything or anyone, what could I change to create the result I'd truly like?"
What if creating what you'd like in life was as simple as changing your point of view?
How many times a day do you hear yourself saying "I'd like to be/ do/ have X but I can't/ shouldn't/ because of X? Once, 10, 100 times a day?
Sure you're clever. You've analyzed the thing from all angles and worked out exactly why you can't/ shouldn't. And you're not wrong. When you decide something is not possible, you're absolutely right. It's not.
Would you like more possibility in life? Would you like to be/ do/ have all those things you've decided are not possible?
If so, ask "What if I stopped being my greatest limitation and started living?"
Think of this as a gentle slap on the cheek to remind you all things are possible. Then ask another question, or six hundred, and create your life as you'd really like.
Do you ever find yourself talking about a particular topic to anyone who'll listen? Something you'd like people to notice and agree with you about? It could be about the state of the nation, the office, or people's houses, clothes or bodies? The Latest Crisis of the Week?
When you do that, notice your energy. Do you talk about it lightly as a question with an interesting point of view energy, and then get on with the fun of life?
Or do you sense a heaviness, a stickiness which distracts you from being joyful?
When you say interesting and get on with it, you are being aware and in allowance of it. When you get gummed up with its heaviness, you are the effect of it.
So if you'd like to have uninterrupted access to joy in life — no matter what is going on in the world — next time you notice yourself repeatedly thinking, saying or doing something, ask "Am I in allowance, or the effect of this?"
If you'd like to change something — not simply talk about it — ask more questions, like "What is this? Can I change it? If so how?" and "What action can I take"?
How do you shop for clothes? Are you a bargain hunter? Do you rely on a friend, shop assistant, or internet influencer to tell you what to buy?
Do you consider what other people will approve? For example, it's the latest fashion that your friends will admire, or its safe-conservative that your workplace will accept?
Do you ever ask your body?
How does your approach work for you? Is your wardrobe full of clothes you absolutely adore? Are your clothes a joy to wear and make you feel happy all over? Do they make you smile and strut your stuff?
Or do you shuffle through life feeling slightly uncomfortable and dressed not quite right?
For fun, next time you go shopping or open your wardrobe, ask "Body, what would you like to wear?" Notice what draws your hand or eyes. Touch it. Notice how your skin feels.
You'll know when your body wants to wear something. And if nothing draws you, keep on moving until you find something that does...even if that's nothing ;-)
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Why questions? A question will always empower you to see and create more. An answer will only limit you to what you have decided is right.
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