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. Waterfalls of fear around you. SMILE. Unable to see family or friends. SMILE. Lost your job. SMILE. Feeling depressed. 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?
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 ever been told you're too loud, too active, too energetic, too happy, too full of life and could you TURN IT DOWN or PUT A LID ON IT?
Do you feel bad about it? Do you feel wrong?
What if there were nothing wrong with you?
What if some people simply don't get your energy, your exuberant expression of life?
What if your energy and exuberance is an amazing capacity, a phenomenal talent? A gift the world needs?
If you'd like to remind yourself that your energy and exuberance is not wrong, and that some people will simply not get you and become angry or annoyed, ask yourself "How many people can I wake up with my exuberance today?"
Then smile and dance on.
How often do you get stuck in life? A lot, a little or not at all? Do you ever get into a cranky pants rage or spiral into a frenzy of anxiety? Is that fun for you?
If not, and you'd prefer to have total freedom to see and walk around such roadblocks — to be able to change anything that's not working for you in life — start by asking one of these questions.
1. What if I had infinite, free choice?
2. What if everything were just an interesting point of view?
3. If I had 10 second to choose the rest of my life, what would I choose?
4. What question could I ask?
5. What if form and structure had no significance?
6. Am I in judgement?
7. What does this add to my life?
8. What's the value of competition?
9. What if I didn't buy the story?
10. What am I excluding here?
The reality is, you always have choice.
Is someone giving you hell? No matter what you do or say, you're always wrong? Perhaps you really did do something less than bright, and they're coming down on you hard?
How do you respond? Do you try to justify your actions and prove that you're not wrong and are doing your best?
Does that work? Even if you really did nothing wrong, do people believe you and make your life easy?
If you'd like to vacuum up all the bad feelings and start again, do this: first acknowledge the other person's point of view. Say "You're right. I'm wrong" three times, naturally in various ways.
Then ask "What can I do to make up for the damage I've done?" Check your energy matches thewords. Sarcastic or angry energy won't work. The magic is in the energy of allowance and vulnerability.
When you are willing to give up your points of view about being right, then you are free to create new possibilities.
At the very least, this will difficult people them off your back, so you can get on with the fun of living.
Yes. I know this is not a question. Sometimes no question will make it stop. So try this instead.
Some people love to fight. Do you?
Some will fight to the death to prove the rightness of their point of view. Some just like to fight for the fun of it. In either case, will anything you say or do change their mind and resolve the fight?
Do you ever see the insanity of an argument and try to stop it or change it with well considered and logical arguments? Does it ever work? Or do you get more frustrated, tangled and drawn into the fight?
If you don't enjoy arguing and would like to move beyond the with to new possibilities, smile and say "You're right. I'm wrong" three times.
You're not agreeing the other person is right. You're acknowledging their right to their point of view, and you are being in allowance of them not seeing yours.
The words are easy. The energy behind the words might take practice. Saying these words sarcastically or angrily will not work. Your energy must be of complete allowance.
Will they work? Next time someone wants a fight, use them and find out.
Feeling down? Got a long list of reasons why the world sucks and your life is no good?
Sure, it's easy to get that way. No work. No money. No freedom. Stress levels are high. This is how much of the world is functioning on default to fear and worry.
Would you like to default differently?
Then choose to be happy.
What if it really were that simple?
Ask “What if happiness were just a choice?” and smile.
What can you do when things go 'wrong'? Ask another question like “What's right about this that I'm not getting” or even better "What's funny about this that I'm not getting?" and smile again.
What if your smile alone invited others to a different default?
Suffering? In pain? Frustrated? Someone doing you wrong? Rather than going into the no good, wrong, trauma and drama default, ask “What's funny about this I'm not getting?”
For example, have you ever tried to tell someone something SO AMAZING that you had just found out and that had changed your life, and you just wanted to tell everyone because you knew it would change their lives too? Did they call you a looney and laugh at you? Did you try every-which-way to explain, again and again, until you started doubting yourself?
What if instead of making yourself wrong, you laughed at yourself being hung out to dry like a rubber chicken? What's funny? Um rubber chicken...I mean a rubber chicken says nothing and makes people laugh.
Or maybe you're in a relationship that's on a wash cycle of wring-your-heart-dry? What's funny about that? Gotta be something. Even if it's to laugh at yourself for pushing the same old wring-me-out-now button and expecting a different result.
Cute, Not Bright.
What's great about laughing? It boosts your oxygen and feel-good body bits and kicks you out of the self-pity spiral. And did you know that joy and happiness can be *infectious*?
Then when you've done, or while you're still laughing, you get to make another choice. Are you willing to see more of life's funny side and choose for you?
Are you frustrated or upset by anyone in your life? Is someone driving you crazy? Are they too loud, too bossy, too flaky, too up-down-turn-around, too...add your pet peeve here.
Would you like more ease in your life when you're around them, assuming you have to, or would like to be around them?
If so, ask “What am I grateful to them for?” and acknowledge them for that.
There will always be at least one thing, if not more. Parents who drive you nuts, and are always there to help you with your kids. A friend who is predictably unpredictable, and has shown you people function differently. A lover who picks insane fights, and is great at....um....other things.
When you acknowledge someone for who they are, and are grateful for their great bits, you are free and empowered to make the most of the great bits, without being at the effect of the rest.
Do you know people who sometimes say or do not-nice things. Maybe you have some in your social media comments feed right now?
Does this upset you and leave you scratching your head, wondering why they would do or say that? Does it distract you from what you'd rather be doing?
Are they an ELF or a rattlesnake? An ELF is an evil little freak (or other word starting with F) who simply enjoys being mean for fun. While nature has designed rattlesnakes to bite you whenever they feel threatened. That's just what they are.
When you make them wrong and get sucked into the trauma and drama of what they do, they are controlling your life.
As long as you see them for what they are, in total allowance, you are empowered. Total allowance means you appreciate them as an ELF or rattlesnake. That's just who they are. Then if you like, you are free to enjoy their great parts.
So when people like this show up in your life, ask yourself “Truth, is this an ELF or a rattlesnake?”
This will remind you that no matter what they say or do, it has nothing to do with you, and you don't need to buy it as real.
And remember, you when you recognise them, you can also choose to smile and walk away/hang up/delete/remove them from your life.
Got problems? Do you like them? Does it give you something to chat about with your friends, a puzzle to solve?
What if you didn't have problems?
What could you enjoy using the time and energy you now pour into problem solving?
If you'd like to find out, ask “What have I decided is a problem, which if I looked at it differently is something to be thankful for?”
For example, rather than being upset that you have to work from home, be grateful you're getting paid to work in your PJs. Rather than be frustrated about home schooling your kids, be grateful you can create a special time together before they grow up and never want to see you again. Rather than be angered that someone is limiting your choices, be grateful for the chance to find out what really matters to you. Rather than wallowing in victimhood, be grateful that you still have choices and can create the world you'd like if you choose.
So next time you find yourself complaining about something weighing you down, rather than trying to fix the problem (make it a better problem?), what if you looked at it differently and transformed it into something else?
How? Next question: "What action can I take?"
Has someone been angry with you recently? Called you names for something you said or did?
How did you react? Did you start thinking you were stupid or wrong? Or perhaps you responded with your own anger?
Did any of that work out for you? If not, ask "What about this anger am I grateful for?"
There is always something. For example, what was their anger was trying to do? Control you? Distract you from something? Shut you down? Or maybe it was a mechanism for distracting them from something going on in their world and really had nothing to do with you?
Once you become aware of someone's anger, you can choose to keep it in your life or not. If you'd like them in your life you can say "This anger doesn't work for me. Does it work for you? Would you like to change it?"
If they say yes, great, there is an invitation for change. If not, then at least you know and you get to choose for you. If you prefer not to have them in your life, genuinely thank them for their interesting point of view, smile and walk away/hang up/delete/remove them from your contact list.
This question will help you step out of the autopilot of reacting to anger, which will only serve to distract you from creating the life you'd really like.
Do you find yourself behaving in way that is, well, not quite you?
Like getting really cranky, crying like a madwoman, throwing a floor-fist-banging tantrum, being distracted by a pointless fight with some faceless idiot online, or otherwise doing something you know is crazy and not you, but you can't seem to help it?
What if it wasn't you? To find out, ask “Who am I being now?”
We pick up all sorts of stuff from those around us, from our parents, teachers, friends and pretty much everyone. This question is designed to remind you that maybe it really isn't you.
Then you can ask “If I were me, who would I be?”
If you're a parent, try it with your kids. Are they mad as hell or being a drama queen?
Ask them gently without heat “Who are you being now?” Don't be surprised if they reply “YOU!!”
Then ask “If you were you, who would you be?” and listen. At the very least it might crinkle their universe and stop the drama spiral for a second or two. At best, their whole life might change.
Are you addicted to organising everything around you, designing the perfect system, keeping the perfect house, sticking to the ultimate schedule, or something else?
Do you get irritated - even downright cranky - when the ducks don't line up and the kittens don't herd? Does your blood pressure rise when something flies in from out of the blue and destroys your carefully constructed order?
If so, and you'd prefer to avoid bursting a blood vessel, ask yourself "What if I created my life from chaos?"
Consider nature, where the most highly functional and efficient systems exist in apparent chaos. Like flowers and bees. In nature, do flowers grow in neatly ordered rows? No. Myriads of flowers flourish randomly wherever they can. And yet bees easily find the kind that suits them (bees are not all the same you know), pollinate them, and contribute elegantly and powerfully to the cycle of life.
This is not to suggest you create random, artificial chaos. Simply that even if things appear messy, you need not be the effect of them if you can see where to collect the pollen.
Are you willing to be aware of the flowers regardless of any apparent chaos that comes your way?
Are you stuck in a non-productive cycle of right/wrong/right/wrong or true/fake/true/fake with someone?
Can you see the precise disconnect between you and the other person, and how the situation could improve so simply and easily if you both considered the other's interesting point of view?
Truth, can you ever change anyone else?
No. The only thing you can change is YOU.
YOU are the only one that can cut your mobius strip of conflict.
Are you willing to stop hanging on to your point of view that you can change someone? Sometimes change is possible only when you let things go.
So if you'd like to extract yourself from a cycle of struggle, ask “What could I be doing differently that would contribute to the change I desire?”
Do you have days/weeks/months when things are just not working the way you'd like to?
When people tell you “No!”, “You can't do that!” and “That's not how things are done now!” You've got great ideas, lots of energy, and a desire to contribute, but everyone around you is saying "NO!"
Does this frustrate, upset or disappoint you? Do you find yourself stuck inside, sitting on your couch despondent and dispirited, reacting to all the trauma and drama around you?
If so, next time your you hear someone say “No” say to yourself “OK. Got it. That doesn't work right now. I wonder what else is possible?” Then pay attention and see what comes to mind. You might surprise yourself with different point of view about what action to take.
Even just asking a question is taking action, and of course you can ask "What action can I take?" Taking action is you creating your life, rather than suffering it as a reaction to everything around you.
Do you get cranky pants with people? Are you frustrated when people make choices, which from your standpoint seem harmful?
Anger can indicate all sorts of things. Rising anger may indicate someone is lying to you. Explosive anger can show you where you've been suppressing yourself. While heated anger can be a sign that you are in judgement, rather than interesting point of view.
When you sense any heated irritation, ask yourself "Has my awareness outstripped my allowance?"
If so, repeat "Interesting point of view I have that point of view" until your allowance expands infinitely, creating space for infinite awareness.
Remember, choice creates awareness. So what's right about people's 'harmful' choices that you're not getting yet?
If you're brand new, then you might also like to start from Q1 here and work your through to now? Or search for the topic of your choice above. What would you like to ask about? A relationship? Money? Work? Body? Health? Or life in general? Enter your keyword below and see what shows up!
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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