What sort of people do you see everyday? Family? Friends? Coworkers? Students? Clients? Shop assistants?
How many of them are fun for you? Do they make you smile and feel great about your day? How many do you let drag you down by listening to their tales of woe?
Would you like more fun, light people in your life? If so, ask "What will it take for more fun people to come and play?"
When you ask, what comes to mind? Do you think you need to go somewhere else to meet new people?
What if all you needed was for YOU to be the difference? What if it were as easy as smiling, listening, and offering a kind word and a giggle here and there?
Just because someone was not fun 10 seconds ago, doesn't mean they can't choose it now. Are you willing to show them how easy it can be?
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 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?"
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.
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 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 three hundred, and create your life as you'd really like.
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 it's your birthday suit...
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.
Is your life full of ease, joy and abundance?
Not so much? No surprise given how many people seem to enjoy telling you that life must be hard, no fun, and a knock-down-drag-out fight to the death for scarce and dwindling resources. Not to mention the Fear and Terror of The Plague.
What if that were not true? If you'd like to find out what else is possible, add this daily mantra to your wake-up routine.
"All of life comes to me with ease and joy and glory."
Saying this will remind you that how you function in life is your choice. And, if you choose, you can function from ease and joy and glory (exuberant expression and abundance) no matter what is going on.
Even when 'things go wrong' you can experience them with ease and create any change you desire.
It's ALL of life: the good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly. Everything is included and nothing as to be a difficulty.
The reality is, you always have a choice.
Do you feel that you're not enough? You don't fit in? That you must strive to become something that your parents, teachers, friends, bosses, media, governments or others have told you that you should be?
Certainly you couldn't possibly be enough just as you are! You need to be something better, right?
What if there was nothing wrong with you? What if being you -- just as you are -- was exactly right?
What if it were more than OK? What if the world actually needs the full range of your talents and abilities that you've been told your whole life were wrong?
What would that be like? Do you know? If you'd like to find out, ask "What if being me could change the world?"
If you're not clear on who you are, ask "If I were me, who would I be?" and "What's right about me that I'm not getting?"
What if you could be you and change the world?
What have you decided you don't want in your life? People who lie, cheat and steal? Unreliable and flakey people? Bossy and know-it-all people? What else?
How much energy do you spend judging others in an effort to keep certain people out of your life? Does it ever work? Is it fun for you? Does it expand your life in ways you'd like?
If not, rather than judging and excluding, be in allowance and inclusive.
When you exclude, you define the limits of what you are willing to receive and shut off your access to infinite possibilities.
So when you notice you're trying to avoid someone, ask "What am I excluding here, that if I were to be in allowance of would contribute to my life in ways I can't yet imagine?"
Will this put you at the mercy of other people? No. When you are aware and inclusive, you will see what's going on and how to choose the bits that work for you.
Be aware that they may end up excluding you from their lives. Why? Some people are only interested in you so long as you're under their control.
What title have you decided you must have to be valued? Girlfriend/ boyfriend? Husband/ wife? Mother/ father? Community leader? Volunteer? Best friend? Executive? Director? CEO? Master chef? Business person of the year? Dux? No. 1? Sir? Ma'am? Professor? Cool dude? What other title do you value?
Will a title make you into the person you'd like to be? Does not having it make you less? Or do you create you, regardless -- and often in spite of -- your title and other people's opinions?
When someone gives you a title do you automatically become that? Have you ever had a boss/ friend/ partner who wasn't that? Did their titles automatically make them what you desired?
And what if by accepting a title you limited yourself to what other people decided was right/ wrong good/ bad for that role, which may not work for you?
What if even without any title, you were an amazing gift to the world? So ask "What title am I limiting myself to, that if I didn't, would allow me to see and create the life I truly desire?"
What gift could you be if you chose for you, beyond the limits of any title?
Are you in a relationship? How's it going? Perhaps you're looking to change an existing one, or create a new one?
Start by getting clear on your definition. What words do you use to describe your preferred one? Honour, trust, vulnerability, gratitude, allowance, gift/receive, communion, contribution, generative, generosity of spirit, joy, fun, freedom?
Words like serious, promise, love, commitment, respect, responsibility, give/take, protect, maintain, keep, right/wrong, meaningful, obligation, security, compromise? Or perhaps others?
Which words feel light? Which feel heavy? There is no correct answer, just an awareness of your preferences.
If you don't have the relationship you'd like now, you may be using a definition that doesn't match what you truly desire.
So get clear and create what you'd like, rather than what others tell you is right, ask "What does relationship mean to me"
How much of the world is focused on brain power? What did you study? Where you studied? What are your qualifications?
Do you feel inadequate, that you're not smart enough, quick enough, or that you don't have enough information packed into your little grey cells? Have you decided you need to spend all day/week/year/rest of your life in the library or on the internet sucking up more?
Does your brain hold the answers to your life? Or is your brain just one part of you?
Does what you're seeking lie somewhere else?
Have you considered that if your brain really had the power to figure out your life, wouldn't it have done so already?
If so, and you'd like to access more of what you already know, ask "If I didn’t think, what would I know?"
What do you already know? What if a brain was a wonderful thing to waste?
Are you compelled to always try your hardest to win, be right, better than, or different to anyone else? Or at least not to appear to lose or to be wrong?
How's that working for you? Is it fun?
Or do you feel trapped in a race for which you don't seem equipped and are never enough? Are you frozen by the fear of failure? Do you become depressed when you don't meet other people's standards or expectations?
Are you the same as anyone else? No. So how can an apple and a nightingale compete? Only by both becoming something else that they're not.
So if you feel limited, frustrated, frozen or depressed by the rules of a race that doesn't exist ask "What's the value of competition?"
Then ask "What is the greatest contribution I can be to my life, family, business and communities?" That's the generative kind of competition, which is all about being more of you.
Do you get how amazing you are?
Do you think you're at best, just not good enough, and at worst, a hopeless, lost, good-for-nothing pile of rubbish?
Is that your point of view or someone else's?
If you're not clear, ask "When did I buy the point of view that I was no good?"
Then return that point of view to sender -- to your mum? your dad? a teacher? the school bully? a friend? -- with consciousness.
When if there were nothing wrong with you? What's right about you that you're not getting?
What if you were just different and amazing in ways that other people simply don't yet get?
Did you grow up with 'the best' always kept in the cupboard? Were you made to justify why you should be allowed to wear your 'best clothes,' eat from the 'special dinner set,' or sit in the 'good room'? Did you live in terror that if you in fact used 'the best,' something bad might happen?
What happened when you grew up and bought something special for yourself?
This is what I* did. Some years ago, I ordered a high quality hand-made penny whistle. It cost me $350; it had great tone and was a pleasure to play. But, for the nine years after I bought my special whistle, I never used it. Whenever I played with music groups, I usually took my $15 whistle. On special occasions I took my $40 whistle.
I never took my 'good whistle.' It stayed in its case in the cupboard. I was afraid that if I took it to play at a concert or dance, something might happen to it. Sound familiar?
Then last year — 2020 — I started playing Scottish and Irish airs on my neighbourhood street corners in the evening. I took a folding chair, walked from block to block, stopped to play a couple of tunes, and then moved on to the next corner.
It was nothing special. I was playing for whomever wanted to come outdoors, or stand on the porch and listen. What was different? I simply made the choice to play my best for everyone, and so I brought out my "best whistle" for the first time.
It was then I realised that I had never played my best; I had hidden it away for nine years, afraid something bad would happen. Then I wondered what other great bits of me I had been hiding.
What have you been hiding? If you'd like to find out ask “What am I saving my best for?"
What if you didn't need anyone's permission, or a special occasion? What if you could simply open the cupboard and share your best? What contribution would that be?
*Thanks to John C for this question and anecodote. Do you have a question or a situation? Send them in to share.
What does success mean to you? Getting into that school? Getting that job? Or that person? Or that house? Having a cool sports car? Or a millions dollars in the bank? Or a beach view apartment? Or an impressive title?
Nothing wrong with having a clear idea about what would be fun for you. The question is, did you select these things because they would be fun for you?
Or did you select these things because you decided - or someone else told you - that they would show other people you were successful? And that until you had those things, you must work long and hard, and make sacrifices, including not doing the things you really enjoy?
If you're not enjoying life right now, ask "How have I defined success?" and get clear on what is driving you.
What if you drove yourself and defined success in ways that worked for you? For example, "What will it take for me to bounce out of bed every morning, smiling and inspired by everything I do and everyone I meet?"
You can of course add "...with some fun, cool wheels to get me around, or something greater?"
Do you sometimes feel like you're not being who you really are? That you're being all sorts of things for other people, and nothing for you?
Do any of these roles sound familiar? Super mum/ breadwinner dad/ hardest working employee/ best boss/ A-grades daughter/ sports champion son/ dutiful child/ sacrificial parent/ host-with-the-most/ community hero/ volunteer star/ best friend to all/ any combination of the above/ [fill in your own identities here _____________].
Do they weigh you down?
Do you feel lost under the layers of masks you wear to try and make other people happy, but don't quite feel like you?
Would you like to rediscover who you really are?
If so, ask "If I were me, who would I be?"
What if being you was more than just fine? What if it was wonderful and exactly what your family, home, office, communities, and the world needs?
Has someone, sometime, somewhere sold you the idea you can't be something?
Did they tell you that you're not clever/ pretty/ thin/ tall/ strong/ handsome/ rich/ creative/ healthy/ hardworking/ tenacious/ talented/ [fill in your own limitation here ______________] enough to do what you'd like to do?
What if it weren't true?
Just because something says something about you, does that make it true? Only if you agree.
So if you're feeling limited, ask "What have I decided I can't be?" This will help you see and unlock the doors to anything you have decided it is not possible to be.
What if there was nothing wrong with you? What's right about you that you're not getting?
What decisions have you made about who or what you must be? A doctor, lawyer, public servant, part of the family business, father/mother, a good child, what else? Have you decided that to be anything else is to be less than?
Were they your ideas? Or someone else's?
Whatever reasons you may have given yourself, decisions with only limit you. You've decided, so you can't change it, even if it's no longer working for you.
Questions on the other hand will help you see possibilities you might not have been willing or able to see before. Questions will empower you to choose consciously what you'd really like.
So if you'd like to create the life you'd really enjoy, the world you'd prefer to live in, ask "What have I decided I must be?" followed by "If I could choose anything, who and what would I be?" and then "What action can I take?"
You may choose exactly the same as you are now. Or you may not.
In either case, the choice will be consciously yours, so how will you feel about it? The same or different?
How often do you feel tired at study, work, or home simply because you're 'tired of it'? You've had enough.
Think of 3 o'clock on Friday afternoon and you're winding down at work. Do you start to feel tired?
What happens then at 5 o'clock when you meet your friends for drinks, dinner, chatting, dancing or watching sport?
Do you still feel tired? Or do you come to life and have boundless energy?
What is that? Is it the fun factor? Could fun be enough to keep you energised?
So when you start to feel tired ask "Am I tired or bored?"
Then ask "What could I add to my study/ work/ business/ relationship/ life that would make it more fun?" and add that.
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.
How do you function in life? From the give and take, mustn't be selfish, must-be-responsible / do-my-duties / fulfill-my-obligations / do-what-I'm-told standard operating procedure of this reality?
Is that fun? And do you really give it your best? Or do you engage half-heartedly and do the least you can get away with?
Would you prefer to enjoy wholeheartedly every interaction you have with the world?
If so, start here. Ask yourself, are you willing to nurture and care for you? Are you willing to let go of everything you think you have to be or do that other people tell you is real and important?
Are you willing to see your talents and abilities? Are you willing to gift and receive freely, with no expectation of what it means? Are you willing to be the contribution you are by being you?
Then ask “What contribution could I be?”
What if by choosing for you and freeing yourself from the confines of other's must be/ do/ haves, you were able to be and contribute all and more of you.
Is that being selfish?
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