The Power of Great Questions
You know when you hit a tough phase of life and you struggle to ‘figure stuff out’ and you get lost in your head analysing everything desperately trying to find answers? You know when you are feeling really stressed, anxious, depressed and afraid and you don’t know which way to turn?
Well, I know these experiences very intimately. Part of living with bipolar disorder means experiencing challenging periods of intensified normal subjective thoughts and feelings, meaning, those subjective experiences stretch beyond the average stretch. At these times life becomes very dark, erratic and challenging, particularly when it’s depression and anxiety.
Stressful Questions We Ask Ourselves
One of the worse things about getting into a ‘state’ like this is that, although you’re travelling up into your mind for solutions, you can’t get out of it by ‘thinking your way out of it’. Often the questions we ask ourselves when deeply stressed, are stressed out questions in themselves and they don’t help life to flow
- “Why am I feeling like this?”
- “What am I doing to bring this upon myself?”
- “If I am creating my life then why the hell am I doing this to myself again?”
- “Why am I such a failure?” “Why am I so bad at life” etc.
My personal tendency when I hit depression is to have a period of complete mental torture. All my energy flies up into my brain in sheer desperation to find a way out of this all consuming terror. I forget all the methods and tools I’ve ever learned and I get lost, once again, in trying to ‘figure it all out’ with my mind. This is not a good place to get lost in when depressed. It’s all tight and messy up there.
Life Responds to Better Questions
Those stressful questions I shared above and other questions like them. Imagine or notice what happens within yourself when you ask yourself such questions in the midst of stress, depression or despair. Do they cause you to relax? Do they create any opening for you, anywhere? Do they allow any space for inspiration to show up? No! Of course they don’t. The very nature of those questions are violent, self judging and self attacking.
When we find ourselves in the midst of spiritual suffering it is hard to recognise that it is just life doing it’s thing. We take it personally, blame ourselves, assume we are doing something bad. All that self loathing and lack of worth comes up big time. This is life. Sometimes life is intense and strugglesome. It is happening through us. It is pulsing through us, stretching us, burning up what’s no longer needed. Life wants us to grow. We are still utterly wholesome. If we really feel the need to question where we are at then we really need to be asking some better questions.
Questions That Shift Us From Ego to Spiritual Essence
Back in 2011 I was doing an online course with visionary Barbara Marx Hubbard. The course was called Agents of Conscious Evolution Birth 2012, and ultimately was about shifting from Ego to Essence – deepening into the heart and soul of one’s self and conducting ones life from that space.
We were being taught how to come out of mind and into body so as to be able to see life despite the stress and problems of the mind. We were being guided with how always be moving in a heart and solution focused direction. Great questions can act as torches along the way.
When doing this course Barbara shared with us the questions that she asks herself when she is needing to find her way, questions that open up the space in front of her and beckon her forward. I would like to share these questions now.
The Best Spiritual Journal Questions
Instead of asking ourselves questions that close us off from the natural flow of life, questions that drive us more into the chaos of problems, we can ask ourselves questions that birth new directions of thought and possibility. Asking yourself the following questions when you are in the midst of a problem, or when you are suffering with something will help release some of the tightness in your mind and will drop some of the power back into your heart and body. As a result the mind can clear somewhat and open up to and travel in a newer, less stagnant, much fresher direction.
Write These Questions in Your Journal
I write these questions on the first page of each new journal I start, so that they are always there, easily accessible. I recommend you doing the same. Then, each time when you are journaling and processing through something these helpful questions will be close at hand.
I will put in bold the life enhancing questions and I will put in italics the life closing questions. So I will sharing examples of questions that shut you off from the flow of life and I will offer you an alternative, a question that can open up doors and space in your energy field.
Here’s the Process –
- Choose one of the questions
- Sit with it, feel into it, allow it to work it’s way through you
- Write out what comes as answers
1) Shutting you off – “Why is this happening to me?”
Opening you up – “What is seeking to breakthrough?”
2) Shutting you off – “I hate it when I feel like this. How can I get rid of this feeling?”
Opening you up – “What gift might this experience be offering me for the unfolding of my life purpose?” (How might this be helping me to transform into my greater self?)
3) Shutting – “I can’t handle this! Why am I struggling with this challenge again?”
Opening – “How is this challenge causing me to be more causal/creative?”
Opening – “How is this challenge pressing me towards more creativity and newness?”
4) Shutting – “This shouldn’t be happening to me! This is stopping me from loving my life! How am I ever going to be able to escape or let go of this struggle?”
Opening – “How do I feel when I see my current problem as an evolutionary driver, instead of a mistake? What is possible here?” (How is this pushing you to evolve, move beyond where you’re been?)
5) Shutting – “Why am I experiencing this?”
Opening – “What is emerging in me today?”
6) Shutting – “How can I get rid of this feeling?”
Opening – “What is different, new, alluring?”
7) Shutting – “Why am I feeling this way?”
Opening – “How am I feeling? What am I feeling? Where am I feeling it?”
8) Shutting – “Why am I such a mess?”
Opening – “Where am I putting my energies and why?”
9) Shutting – “Why am I so broken? Wrong? Cursed? Difficult?”
Opening – “How can I feel the blessings in my current situation?
I wish for these spiritual life questions to bring you clarity x They are certainly a good replacement for the default questions that may play out in your mind when in a patch of suffering. May they bring you ease and flow x
spiritual life questions