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?
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?
They're up in the air of course. Or are they? If you're standing on your head, then wouldn't your feet be on your head?
How many things in your life are like this? Beliefs based on assumptions? You've heard it from your family, your friends, your government, your doctors, or saw it on TV, so of course it's true! Right?
What if some, many, or even all your assumptions about how the world functions were different to what you thought? What if everything was the opposite of what it appeared to be and nothing was the opposite of what it appeared to be?
So next time you'd like clarity about something you have assumed must be certain, ask "If I'm standing on my head, where are my feet?"
You may find they are indeed in the air. Or they may be on your head. Maybe you checked them into the cloakroom. Or perhaps you never had feet to begin with?
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 given your best doing something, checking it a hundred times, only to find that as soon as it "goes live" there is a glaring error? Like writing a daily blog post only to find a super obvious typo the next day when it's sent out? Just as a random example.
What is that for you?
What do you do when this happens? Freak out? Blush with embarrassment? Make yourself wrong? Find someone to blame?
Or do you laugh and say to yourself Cute, Not Bright and ask "What's right about that this I'm not getting?"
What could be right? For example, when people tell you about the typo you can see that they are actually READING what you wrote. How wonderful! What an honour. Or perhaps you could invite your readers to make it into a 'typo game' and promise to belly laugh out loud when they catch you out again? Laughing is good, yes?
So next time something 'goes wrong' ask yourself "What's right about that this I'm not getting?" and keep asking it over and over, even if you don't believe it or feel it at first.
What if there was ALWAYS something right about a 'bad' situation? What if you simple had to ask to see?
This is one of my favourite Qs, which I will repost from time to time.
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 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.
What's your point of view about magic? That it's voodoo and a lie? Or that it's a bit of a laugh for kids? And wow...what if you really could do things like Harry Potter and X-men? Wouldn't that be fun!
Do you ever have wonderful people or things show up in your life with ease and by surprise? Is that like magic?
Does it make you smile?
What if magic were simply things appearing from a source you couldn't see and didn't yet understand? What if magic was simply science you couldn't yet explain? Like if only just now you saw fire for the first time?
If you'd like to invite more magic into your life and create things you thought impossible, ask "What magic can I ask for today?"
And then 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.
Do you ever find yourself talking about a particular topic to anyone who'll listen? Something you'd like people to notice and agree with you about? It could be about the state of the nation, the office, or people's houses, clothes or bodies? The Latest Crisis of the Week?
When you do that, notice your energy. Do you talk about it lightly as a question with an interesting point of view energy, and then get on with the fun of life?
Or do you sense a heaviness, a stickiness which distracts you from being joyful?
When you say interesting and get on with it, you are being aware and in allowance of it. When you get gummed up with its heaviness, you are the effect of it.
So if you'd like to have uninterrupted access to joy in life -- no matter what is going on in the world -- next time you notice yourself repeatedly thinking, saying or doing something, ask "Am I in allowance, or the effect of this?"
If you'd like to change something -- not simply talk about it -- ask more questions, like "What is this? Can I change it? If so how?" and "What action can I take"?
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.
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?
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?"
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"
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?
What have you made the answer to your life?
Relationship? "When I find The One I'll be happy"
Money? "When I have $XXX in the bank I'll be secure"
Work? "When I get that job my parents will see I'm successful"
Happiness? "When people admire my work I'll feel respected"
Will these things in themselves make you feel happy, secure, validated or successful? Or does your point of view create your reality?
If you didn't have the point of view you lacked something, would you feel dissatisfied and unhappy?
So when you're feeling less than, or dissatisfied with your life as it is, and you hear yourself repeating "When I have X, I'll be Y" or "If only I had X, I'd be Y" ask "What am I making having X about?"
Then notice what the real target of your desire (Y) is and ask "What will it take to be Y now?"
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.
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?"
Would you like to create the life you'd truly like? If so, step out of judgement and into awareness.
What's the difference? Judgement, discrimination and discernment are fixed points of view. You will often feel emotional heat and even be willing to die to prove your points of view are right. Awareness, on the other hand, is simply an interesting point of view, that you can change with ease.
Judgements — regardless of whether they're good or bad — will serve only to control and limit you. Awareness gives you access to infinite possibilities.
So if you'd like to be free of limitation, whenever you find yourself coming to a conclusion, ask yourself "Am I in judgement?"
Then, if you find you are in judgement, repeat as many times as required "Everything, even my/their strongest option, is just an interesting point of view."
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?
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.
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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