Do you have someone sick or suffering in your life? Are you surrounded by well meaning family and friends, and highly trained medical professionals all telling you how it's going to get worse and worse?
What happens to plants when you direct negative thoughts, words and actions at them? Science shows us they wither and die. Are people any different?
What if rather than contributing like this to someone's deterioration by adding your voice to the throng, you asked the person suffering "What contribution could I be to you?" Then listen and honour the person by being that, even if it's just to hold their hand and smile.
You are not expecting a miracle recovery, even if it's possible and could occur. You are honouring the person and offering them energy, space, allowance, and possibility.
What different could you be by contributing that?
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.
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 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?"
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.
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"?
Do you have hideous amounts of money? Or just as much as you need to enjoy life? Perhaps you have none at all?
What have you decided money is? Dirty? A necessity? The root of all evil? The answer to your life?
Are any of these true? Or does money simply have the meaning you give it?
How much have you decided is okay to have? How did you decide? And have you defined the things you can enjoy to fit within its limits?
If you would like to change your money flows, start by clearing all the definitions you have about money, and ask "What have I decided money is?"
What if instead, you considered money a fun, fabulous tool to enable you to do all, and more, of the things you enjoy in life, including contributing to you, your friends, family and communities?
Would that be an invitation for more to come and play?
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.
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.
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.
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?"
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"
Got a pain? Feeling sick?
Have you put your body in the hands of a 100+ doctors and other experts and still don't know what's wrong?
Have you asked your body?
What if it knew more than anyone? What if pain was simply your body screaming at you to listen?
It might start out as a slight twinge or ache: your body saying "Excuse me, I need something," which if you ignore becomes a nagging discomfort "Helloooooo! I REALLY need something!" Until finally your body screams in pain "HEY YOU!!!!! I NEED SOME ATTENTION NOW...OR ELSE!!!!!"
So before that happens ask "Body, what are you telling me?"
Once you start listening to your body, keep asking questions like "What information do I need?" and "Who do I need to talk to?" until you discover what your body is asking for.
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?
How aware are you of the words you use everyday? Listen to yourself today and notice the number of times you use these words: why, try, need, but, never, because.
Where do why questions go? Around in circles? Nowhere? Listen to kids: "Why is it cold? It's winter. Why is it winter? That's the seasons? Why do we have seasons?...." and so on.
Need, try, but, and never are all lies.
Do you really need anything? No. The world is an abundant place; need is the lie that it isn't.
Can you really try to pick up a glass of water? No. You either do or you don't.
But negates everything you just said:"Your work is good, but..."
Never is the lie that you can't create time to suit you, when you could if you liked.
Because tells you all the spurious reasons and justifications you give yourself for not doing something, when you really could if you chose.
If you'd like to expand your possibilities ask yourself "What words can I leave behind?" then eliminate these words, and their energy, from your conversations and thoughts.
And then ask "What else is possible?"
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?
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.
Yes. I know this is not a question. Sometimes no question will make it stop. So try this instead.
Some people love to fight. Do you?
Some will fight to the death to prove the rightness of their point of view. Some just like to fight for the fun of it. In either case, will anything you say or do change their mind and resolve the fight?
Do you ever see the insanity of an argument and try to stop it or change it with well considered and logical arguments? Does it ever work? Or do you get more frustrated, tangled and drawn into the fight?
If you don't enjoy arguing and would like to move beyond the with to new possibilities, smile and say "You're right. I'm wrong" three times.
You're not agreeing the other person is right. You're acknowledging their right to their point of view, and you are being in allowance of them not seeing yours.
The words are easy. The energy behind the words might take practice. Saying these words sarcastically or angrily will not work. Your energy must be of complete allowance.
Will they work? Next time someone wants a fight, use them and find out.
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.
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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