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 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.
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 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 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.
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 have a business? Do you get caught up in all the things you think you have to do to be successful and help it grow?
Do you run out of steam and worry about what you should be doing when things don't seem to be going so well?
When that happens, pause and ask "Who or what can I be or do today that will contribute to my business?"
Whatever awareness you have, notice it. Even if it seems strange — for example, go and get a massage when you think you should be doing your accounts — check how light it feels.
If it's light, it's right remember?
You never know where your awareness will lead you, and who or what you may meet on the way.
Do you have lots of great ideas for business and life in general? Do you get enthusiastic and pour loads of energy into them, but nothing seems to happen?
Then to top it off, someone ELSE comes out with exactly the same idea a little later and it's a hit! Does that get you down?
What if you were just too quick for the rest of the world? What if you were having ideas that are perfect for one, five or even ten years in the future?
So when you get a great idea, ask "Now or in the future?" Then notice what feels light: now / in the future. Remember, if it's light, it's right for you.
If it's in the future, write down your idea in a Special Ideas Notebook and re-visit it from time to time.
This is a great way to nurture and contribute energy to your ideas when the time is right.
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 is missing from your life? Money? People? Health? Fun? Would you like to expand your possibilities?
Then leave this word behind: want.
Want originally means 'lack' and as such it contains an energetic limitation. When you say "I want money" you are actually saying "I lack money." In other words you are reinforcing both your point of view, and your reality, of not having money.
If what you'd actually like is more money, then instead ask a question, for example "What will it take for more money to show up in my life?"
Questions will always help you see how you can create the change you're looking for.
So every time you catch yourself in the act of saying "I want XXXX," stop, smile and ask yourself "What if I didn't want for anything?" and then "What questions could I ask here instead, that would help me create what I'd really like?"
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?
Have you been trying for some time to create the job, business, relationship, policy, organisational culture, societal change, or the life you'd like, but can't ever seem to make it happen?
If you've been stuck on something for a while and not achieved the result you'd like, you may have some deeply held, unconscious decisions that are limiting you.
For example, is there anything you believe can't be changed? Where you have to live, study or work, or what you have to do or be for someone else? That you are just one person, alone, too small, insignificant and powerless to effect any change on the world?
What if you could change anything? What would be possible for you then, and what would you choose?
If you'd like to move beyond the places that have been keeping you stuck, ask "What have I decided I can't change?" and notice what comes to mind.
When you start seeing where and how you've been keeping yourself stuck with unspoken decisions, then ask "What else is possible?" "Can I change this? If so how?" and "What action can I take?"
Always feeling down? Can't seem to shift the blues?
Perhaps there something about being sad that actually works for you?
It may help you fit in with others around you. It may deliver the attention you crave. Or it may simply fill in your emptiness and distract you from the rest of life.
This is not wrong and you are welcome to keep sadness if it truly works for you.
If it doesn't and you'd rather be happy, then know you can ask for it.
Until you ask a question you may simply not be aware that somewhere, somehow you value sadness, for whatever reason.
Are you ready for change? Then ask "What the value of being sad?"
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?
Are you feeling ill or exhausted? Do you have aches and pains that baffle the doctors? Baffle you?
Before you start on a carousel of drug-taking to see if you can alleviate the symptoms, ask “What am I sick and tired of?”
Maybe it's doom and gloom stories in the media? Not being able to visit or hug loved ones? Or being told what to do but your own questions and points of view are censored. Or something else like housework/home schooling/working from home/what else?
Whatever that is for you, when you think of it and groan and slump, worry and fear, or stress and sweat ask “What else is possible?” and “Can I change this? If so, how?”
Perhaps simply choose not to listen to/switch off/walk away from the stories? Or ask "What information do I need?" and "What action can I take?" - repeat - until you no longer feel sick and tired.
What if your body's discomfort was it screaming at you to change something and create a new life, greater than you could have imagined?
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?
Something not working in your life? Feeling unhappy or stuck? Do you see yourself as a victim and without hope? Do you think you're hard up and done over by someone?
Are these points of view limiting you, preventing you from creating the life you'd really like? Would you like to change that?
People stay in the role of the mournful victim all the time because it has some value for them. For example
On the other hand, some people simply don't realize they have the choice to change.
Was that you? Now you know you can choose, would you like to? If so ask “What's the value of hanging on to this?” If it has no value, you would hang on to it for what reason?
The reality is, you always have choice.
How often do you limit your choices, before you even consider them, by deciding you don't have the time or the money?
Time and money are two reasons (excuses) people will always give for not doing something. What if you took them out of the equation so you could see what you'd really like to choose?
To find out, ask “If time and money weren't the issue, what would I choose?”
Once you are clear on your true desire, you can ask other questions to make it happen, for example
Make sure you ask for more than you think you want, or can even imagine, without incurring hardship, by adding “...with ease, or something greater?”
Do you find you other people are always telling you what to do, things that you'd rather not do, and convince you to give up the things you prefer?
Other people will always try to get you to do things, using obligation and guilt to control you. Why? It makes their lives easier, and you usually do what they tell you to, so why not?
Listening to other people's points of view can be useful. You can learn a great deal. And did you know that when you don't feel light and wonderful about a request or demand, you don't have to do it?
Next time someone asks/tells you to do something, first ask yourself "Does this work for me?" If it light light and breezy, then go ahead and do it.
And if not, smile and with a light, joyful energy say “Thank you so much for thinking of me! Great idea! It doesn't work for me right now. What will it take for you to find someone to get it done?
Then smile again and change the subject. You are stating a fact about which no one can argue (it doesn't work for you right now). Don't offer a reason or excuse; these only allow the conversation to continue.
If people push you, smile again and say “I'm sorry, it doesn't work for me. It's an interesting idea and I'm sure other people will be keen." And if that still doesn't work, smile and walk away/hang up/delete/block/ whatever it takes until your lightness returns.
Do you like helping people? Is is important to you? What is it about helping people you enjoy? Do you feel worthy? Does it make you feel valued and valuable? Do you want to save them from something?
What don't you enjoy? Are you frustrated when you give your best to someone but they don't seem to want it or appreciate it? Are you shocked or saddened when friends and family get angry or upset at you when you're simply trying to help them?
Do you find that no matter how much you help people, some simply never seem to change?
There is nothing wrong with wanting to help people. It's awesome. Empowering people to know they can change anything in their lives is a gift.
Just know that even when you do your best, people will choose what they choose, and it's got nothing to do with you.
People choose what they do because somewhere, somehow, they like it.
If you'd like to get clear about why and how you can help people with greater ease ask “What's the value of helping people?”
What if rather than being distracted by trying to help people who simply don't want your help, you asked "What other action could I take to create the changes I'd like?"
How much do you put off doing? How much do you not do all because you think you won't succeed? How often do you end up doing something less than you'd like as a result?
What do hesitation and fear contribute to your life? Is there any value in having them?
Or are they simply distractions that keep you from creating what you'd truly like?
If you'd like to be free from their control to create the relationships, work, business, life and change you'd really like, ask “What would I do if I knew I couldn't fail?”
This will clear such distractions so you see what you'd really like to choose. Then ask "What action can I take?"
Are you willing to have that much freedom?
One of the greatest limitations in work, business and life in general is when you decide something is right, best or perfect.
The right subject to study, the right school, the right career, the right job, the right person for the job, the right product, the right strategy. The One.
Why? It stops you looking for anything greater and blinds you to other possibilities.
So even if you think your work, business, relationship, strategy or life is working very nicely right now, and you don't feel stuck or limited by anything, ask “If I didn't do it this way, what other ways could I do it?”
This is an invitation for greater awareness. Especially if you're in the business of change. Questioning the people and strategies you think are the answer, can make you an industry leader and innovator.
And if you do end up choosing to do things the same way as before with the same people, it will be because that is still the most generative option. Not because you were stuck in a rut or blinded.
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.
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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