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?
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 that 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.
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.
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?
Got clutter in your life? Are some things - work tasks, relationships, or actual stuff in the corner - piling up and weighing you down?
How often do you have on to habits, people and things, that you know deep down you'd really rather let go?
How much of your must-hang-onto-this comes from what you think other people will say? Obligations you imagine you have that may not be true?
What if you delegated the task? What if you created space in your life for people who made you smile? What if you reintroduced yourself to the corners of your house? What could you create as your life if you no longer cluing to things that you don't truly desire?
If you'd like to de-clutter and create more space, ask "I am hanging on to this for what reason?"
If it feels light to let it go, thank it and send it off on a new adventure with consciousness.
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?
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?"
Is work usually hard for you and not much fun? Do you think that's just the way it has to be? That it's wrong to show that you enjoy your job, or that doing things elegantly – getting the best results for the least effort – is somehow cheating?
When you were young, did your parents frown and complain about their day at work? Do you do that now?
Would you like to enjoy work more and get better results more easily? If so, start by giving up all the fixed points of view you have about work. Then ask "What if work were easy and fun?"
Are you willing to enjoy every moment of your work life, and get the best results, and make money?
It is possible. Many people create good income from doing things they enjoy all the time. How? They choose to do things they enjoy well, rather than suffer and do badly things they don't.
Happiness is just a choice and a smile is very good for business.
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?
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 feel your life is too full, too busy? Are you overwhelmed with all the things you have to do? Or perhaps it bores you?
Do you assume that to make life easier you need to eliminate something? How often do you start by cutting out the things you enjoy, to do something for someone else?
Rather than assume you need to do more with less, that you can't afford something, that no one will help you, and you certainly shouldn't enjoy yourself when 'things need to be done,' start by asking “What else could I add to my life?”
For example, what if you added a partner, assistant, cleaner, driver, advisor, or asked your spouse, children, parents, friends, employees, boss, technology to do more (or something!)?
Perhaps you've started a new project, or have a new target you'd like to reach, or surpass?. What information/joy/playfulness/support/else could you add to your life to help generate this with ease, or something greater?
What if simply sprinkling a smile here and there throughout your day created more than you could possibly imagine?
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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