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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
When things don't work out the way you'd like, what do you do? Do you ask "What's right about this that I'm not getting?" What else is possible?" "Cute, not bright!" and "How does it get any better than this?"
Or do you try to find someone or something to blame? Do others blame you when things don't go right for them?
Blame means to find fault with, to hold responsible for, or to condemn as wrong.
Is blame real and true? Or is it an interesting point of view based on someone's view of right and wrong?
When you buy into the idea that "someone must take the blame" how much trauma and drama comes your way? How much energy do you spend excusing, defending or deflecting the blame? Is that fun?
If not, and you'd like to be free from the control of distractors like this, ask "Is this blame distracting me from creating the life I'd truly like?"
Do you ever get stuck on something that happened in your past, no matter if it was yesterday, last week, last year, or 50 years ago? Do you ever hear yourself saying "If only A, B, C hadn't happened, I'd have been X, Y, Z better off"?
Does that help you? When you have that conversation with yourself, do you feel lighter, or heavier?
Does regretting, blaming or shaming your past help you create the life you'd like now? And truth, can you ever change your past?
If you'd like to be free of the concrete shoes you've made for yourself, ask "What if there were nothing wrong with my past?"
What if everything you have ever been, done, said, worn, studied, worked, loved, hated has been exactly right to create the you you are now?
Then ask "Am I willing it let it go and ask what would I like to create as my life and living now?"
Then listen to yourself and ask "What action can I take?"
Not happy? Got problems?
Do you sometimes find problems with your life when everyone else seems to have them? Do you think if you didn't have problems you wouldn't be normal, you wouldn't fit in, and you certainly wouldn't have anything to talk about?
Misery loves company. What about you? Do you love company so much you create misery-filled problems?
Or have you bought the idea that being happy is somehow wrong?
What if being happy were OK? What if it were more than OK? Would you choose it and find new company?
So next time you think you have a problem, ask "Is this my way of fighting happiness?"
Would you be willing to choose how you'd really like to be, even if you have to smile on your own for a while until you infect others?
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?
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.
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 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.
How often have you shared your excitement with someone about something, only to have them pour cold water over you saying things like “Really? You do know that's crazy...?” or “You did WHAT? Don't you know it's not going to work because of A, B C...Z?”, and even“OMG how STUPID could you be???!!!”
How was that? Not much fun? What happened to your excitement and joy? Did you start doubting yourself, thinking that you really must be stupid? And definitely wrong?
Just because someone else doesn't get it, doesn't mean you don't. What if you knew a whole lot more than most people?
At least you know what's right and light for you. How would anyone else know that? So when you are enjoying yourself or have a great new idea, remind yourself you know that you know. And say “Just for me, just for fun, never tell anyone.”who-can-i-smile-at-today.html
And if you do share your joy with someone and they don't get it, smile and thank them for their interesting point of view.
Then return to your fun and excitement. What if that could change the world?
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.
How much of what you do everyday is driven by your desire to be acknowledged and validated?
Are you always seeking someone's approval, consciously or unconsciously?
Do you ever get it? Probably not as often as you'd like.
And how often to people shout or laugh at you, telling you you're wrong and a stupid idiot?
And what then? Do you try even harder to be seen?
If this is not fun and you find you're doing things you don't really enjoy, hoping to please someone else, ask“What if I didn't need to prove myself to anyone?”
What if you were absolutely awesome just as you are and did not need anyone else to approve you?
Would that make life easier and more fun?
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.
Are you bored, unexcited or simply uninspired with your study or work? Perhaps you've been doing something because you decided it was a good career choice, a noble cause, a higher purpose, or just because you've always done it? You'd be crazy to give it up; you'd let everyone down, right?
What about your relationships? Do you spend time with people simply because you work with, they've been friends forever, they're family, or you're worried they'll be upset if you don't?
And life in general, how's that going? If you've been feeling a little (or a lot) flat of late, start by asking “Who and what truly excites and inspires me?”
Then whatever comes to mind, choose that. See how it works out. Ask the question again. Repeat following the energy of whatever and whomever excites and inspires you.
In other words, rather than doing something begrudgingly because you think it is 'right' (for whom?) or expected (by whom?), what if you were excited and inspired by what you did everyday, and by everyone around you?
Would your life ever be tiresome or hard, even when sudden disruptions or restrictions are thrown in your way? And what amazing contribution could you be to the world, by doing wholeheartedly what you love, rather than half-heartedly what you think you should?
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 feeling scared? An emotional spiral of worry and panic, an out-of-sorts flood of tears, or you're simply not feeling yourself?
What if what you were feeling was not actually yours?
These days we take for granted the invisible transmission of information via WiFi and mobile phones.
What about us? Don't we also transmit information – thoughts, feelings and emotion – invisibly and soundlessly too? Like when you walk into a room and know exactly who's just had a fight, or who's having a secret affair?
So when you feel emotionally out-of-sorts, ask “Who does this belong to? Me or someone else?”
If the feeling lightens, you'll know it's not yours and you can “Return to sender with consciousness.”
And if you find it is yours, ask another question like “What's the value of hanging on to this?” or"What action can I take?" And then make a choice.
You can change anything if you choose.
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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