Our words give us power or take our power away.
And the questions we ask ourselves when trying to make sense of our lives – including the lines of thought they take us on – do the same thing.
How do you want to feel about your life?
Disappointed, insecure, questioning, always focused on how you could do it better to get more of what you want?
Or – centered, participating with eyes open, receiving the gifts, in dialogue and harmony with the greater intelligence, continually becoming a more mature and loving human, and enjoying the unfolding?
It’s a no brainer. Of course you want the latter feeling! Of course you want the empowering, connected, expansive experience of being in harmony with life. But you can’t have this kind of harmony if the dominant question you use to interpret your experiences is: Is this moment, person, or experience giving me what I want?
Experiences are messengers
If you want the elevated feeling that comes from evolution and growth, you have to receive the message life is bringing you here and now in the form of the experiences you are having, not just the ones you’d like to be having. Asking “Is this person or experience giving me what I want?” says you want life to meet you on your term. But life is a dance. A dynamic conversation between the greater intelligence and ourselves, where life is the leader, we’re the follower, and life knows better than we do what we truly need… so it brings us illuminating gifts in the form of experiences to help us become more aware, whole, and mature humans.
So toss whatever form of “Is this giving me what I want?” you’ve got going aside and instead start asking:
WHAT CAN I LEARN?
WHAT IS LIFE TRYING TO TEACH OR SHOW ME ABOUT MYSELF?
HOW DOES THIS MOMENT EXPRESS HOW LIFE IS FOR ME?
WHAT IS THE OPPORTUNITY HERE?
Doesn’t that feel so much more welcoming, gracious, and open? Isn’t this the sort of depthful, receptive, curious-minded person you’d like to have as your dance partner? Me too.
I won’t try to sell you that making this switch is easy. It isn’t. I’ve taken this into my life and my coaching practice and I whole-heartedly get that the default setting to go back to me, what I want, is this what I want, do I or don’t like this, how can I get more of what I want, yadda yadda is hypnotically strong. But the more I look at it, the more I see that these questions are not only disempowering but they keep us living in judgment and fear, with one foot in victim, feeling disconnected from the greater flow, and operating on the surface of our lives – none of which is where any of us want to be.
If you read my posts regularly, you might ask: So, Robin, last week you posted two awesome stories of people getting crystal clear they wanted to meet their life partners. Were they not going to all those dates filtering the people by is this person going to give me what I want?
Sure, on some days I’m sure it was a black and white, yes/no affair. But my better guess is that the several-month process they each went through taught them a ton about discerning their no from their yes, re-evaluating specifics of what they were looking for, confronting their fears and developing trust, commitment to keep showing up even when what they wanted wasn’t immediately showing up, vulnerability, communication skills, boundaries, staying centered, and grace. All of which are highly valuable skills for actually being in a healthy relationship. Yes? (If you want to read a little about my own experiments with this, click here and read number three.)
So try it on. With situations you’re currently brewing on. And moments that will arise later today.
WHAT CAN YOU LEARN?
WHAT IS LIFE TRYING TO TEACH OR SHOW YOU ABOUT YOURSELF?
HOW DOES THIS MOMENT EXPRESS HOW LIFE IS FOR YOU?
WHAT IS THE OPPORTUNITY HERE?