Posts Tagged: Juicy Questions

The Daylight Bloom of Night’s Dreams

I’m a dreamer, and I respect (and sometimes remember) my dreams, in all their vivid and jumbled details. I made it a hobby more than thirty years ago to study them, at one time logging three or four dreams a night for several months. This has offered a window into the subtle realms of healing. From time to time, I delve deeply into the symbols and the details. This is great entertainment, but often there’s way much TMI to decode or recall. Over time I’ve found reason to trust the process, which is beneath and beyond what my conscious mind can grasp.

Dipping Deeply Into the New Year

It’s pretty darned hard to miss the flashing ads and headlines that remind me, and all of us, that this is the time for resolve, discipline, will power. My own natural desire to get more in touch with my healthy body through diet and exercise at this time of year always finds plenty of support from the culture around me. I don’t mind riding that wave. But anybody at my gym will tell you that the new spurt of activity lasts about six weeks.

What makes it stick is when I dip deeply to discover what’s been in the way of change. I’ve discovered for myself that any resolutions for the new year just don’t take unless I spend some time thinking about where I’ve been, getting my bearings for what’s ahead.

Because the unquestioned past seems to have a way of becoming in the future.

Peace Beyond Belief

I’m about to head off for a 5-day retreat at my favorite hot springs. (Here in Oregon at this time of year, hot springs are perfect because we’re still in our long spring season). I’m preparing the materials, going to the Farmer’s Market for local flowers, flowing from here in the valley to there in the mountains.
Peaceful. As long as I remember to notice when beliefs would pull me out of the flow.

When am I a tap-dancing clown?

I saw the new year in again this year with Byron Katie and friends at an annual event called the Cleanse. I think of it as a thought cleanse, and I’ve been “cleaning” thoughts ever since. I have so many opportunities, I notice, as I watch my knickers get all twisted and do a little research to find what I’m believing, always a lie.

One of the biggest fibs that continues to cause stress in my world is that I need everyone’s approval. Not just some people. Everyone. And if I don’t get it….let’s just say I’m not listening to my inner voice when I believe I should. I try harder to entertain, to make nice, and I lose my most precious inner self in the process.

Katie used an image that struck me when she asked when we turn into tap-dancing clowns for approval. I could easily see all the times in my life that I abandon myself and become a caricature of myself so that “they” will approve.

Nowadays it’s more subtle than it was when I was younger, but it’s still there. It’s a subtle kind of ruthlessness. I’m so curious to notice when the tap dancer shows up and find out what else is more true than my act. I have a hunch it will be much kinder to myself than my tap-dancing routine.

Is it true?

This is the 24 carat question. It’s truly astounding to me how often I don’t stop to ask it, even after more than five years of inquiry where this is the first question (The Work of Byron Katie).  The more mindful of my choices I become, the more assumptions I notice I have about the world.  This is the source of all my personal restriction.

Sometimes it’s hard to catch the belief (see my blog on Thought Catching).  Often this comes after I notice a habitual pattern of acting that keeps me stuck.  I notice I frequently don’t allow enough time to get places, to be restfully present when I arrive. I notice the stress that comes into my life. 

Oh my gosh.  I’ve been believing two things my whole life: that I have to rush.  That I don’t have enough time. Is it true? that I don’t have enough time?  That I have to rush? Be honest with yourself.  No. But by the way I act you’d never know it.

There are other profound and powerful questions in this process.  But sometimes asking just this one takes me right out of a old, robotic way of living and brings me to the present moment, where I can create something different.

Try it out for yourself.  Ask this one question and notice what other wisdom emerges.

As for me, I’m going to take my time packing for my morning exercise routine right now, testing out whether it’s indeed true that I needed to rush.

Juicy Question Collection Project

A couple of weeks ago I started a personal inquiry process to begin “living the questions,”  I began with the question Who am I right now? Since then I’ve brought the question out of my pocket at least a dozen times.  I mean that literally.  I wrote it on a little sticky and carried it in my pocket.  It continues to bring me back to the present, to a deeper sense of authenticity as I live it. I noticed I want to share the process with others, so I’m calling it the Juicy Question Collection Project and inviting everyone to chime in. I’ll keep posting my question and yours and we’ll see what we learn together.

Juicy Question Two: What am I believing right now? To get the best traction, I’m going to a place where I feel stuck.  I have a couple (or more) areas I can find more than a little stuckness, but the one that shows up as a guide multiple times a day is mindless eating.  What am I believing when I reach out to food to reduce the feeling of stress? As I work with myself, just as I do with clients, I notice that finding these beliefs takes practice, but then it’s easier. I have a top ten list of beliefs that cause me to leave the moment and reach out for “comfort.” Here’s number one: There’s not enough (time, not enough of me, you name it). Read More>>

Living the Questions

Many years ago I came across these words by Rainier Maria Rilke, in his Letter to a Young Poet:

“Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”

I’ve been compiling a list of questions that I love to ask myself and others ever since. When I’m feeling confusion or stress, it’s usually because I haven’t taken the time to ask myself some good questions.  I notice this is true for my clients, too.  With that in mind, I’m sharing some of my favorite questions in the next few blog entries.

Here’s the one that shows up today: Who am I now? I’ll be carrying it in my pocket today to find out, as the day progresses, as I live with it.  Here’s what I notice this moment.  I’m finding my way back to my center after the last month’s whirlwind of activities. I’m noticing I’ve been missing me when I’m responding to everyone else.   Read More>>