I would like you to take a few minutes to answer the following questions. Sit down somewhere comfortable, take a deep breath and write down the first answers that come to your mind. Try not to over analyze.
- In order to find yourself, are you willing to lose yourself?
- If you think life is hard right now, what are you comparing it to?
- What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?
- How would you introduce yourself to God?
- Do you let yesterday use up too much of today?
- What is the one thing you think about that always makes you smile?
- Who are “they” that hold so much power over you?
- If you had 5 minutes to live, who would you call and why are you waiting?
- When was the last time you did something for the first time?
- What would you pack to pursue a dream and what would you leave behind?
~Questions taken from “Ever Wonder,” by Kobi Yamada
I have always lived my life by the philosophy of having nothing on my “Unwilling To Do” list. That may sound crazy and yes, I have been accused of insanity more than once in my life, but think about that statement for a moment. When you think about your life, your dreams and your aspirations…better yet, when you think about how you pray, what do you think and say? Do you say, “God, I need more money but please don’t take away the job I have now.” Or “God, please help my daughter make the best choices for her life but protect her from pain.” Most of us pray and dream with exceptions. “I want this, but please don’t take away that” is the flavor of most of our prayers. We are afraid of the unknown and afraid of the answer to the question, “what if?”
Byron Katie, an amazing author and speaker, has a process called “The Work.” In “The Work” you are taught to question your thoughts. She has a line she says over and over again that I just love…”If you want pain and suffering, get a future!” The idea of “The Work” is to question the stories you tell yourself (your thoughts) with a series of 4 questions and then turn it around. The questions are as follows:
- Is it true? (yes or no, if no move to #3)
- Can you absolutely know that is true? (yes or no)
- How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
- Who would you be without the thought?
Then, you turn the whole thing around.
“Your Inner Awakening,” by Byron Katie
For example, if you have a thought of “Steve should not lie to me,” you ask yourself the 4 questions. Don’t worry about the answer. There is no right or wrong answer here. You are allowed to say yes. So let’s say you say yes to #1. Then ask yourself #2. Can you really know if Steve lied? Can you absolutely know what is in Steve’s best interest? Maybe it is part of his life lesson to act the way he does. Now, #3…how do you feel when you allow yourself to believe Steve lies? Angry, stressed, frustrated. How do you treat Steve when he lies? Do you try to change him? #4…Picture yourself standing in front of Steve, close your eyes and look at Steve without that thought. What do you see? What would your life look like if you eliminated that thought? Now, turn the statement around. “Steve should not lie to me” turns into “I should not lie to myself.”
(You can get more detail and an actual worksheet to do “The Work” by clicking here.)
What this does is cause you to question your thinking. 80% of what you think is a lie. Pay attention to your feelings today. If you start feeling any one of a number of bad feelings, stop and see what you were just thinking about. Question it. Is it true? What if it wasn’t true? Choose to feel good. Choose your thoughts every day so they are ones that fit how you want to feel. Stay present. The only time you feel any pain or bad feelings is when you allow your mind to wander into the past or into the future. You are always perfect and exactly where you need to be in the present. There are no mistakes. Everything, even if you may label it as “bad,” is meant to be and is for your highest good. The answers will come. I promise…
Maybe I should start this blog over from scratch? Where is scratch? 😉
Chris Sopa is founder and owner of Chris Sopa International, Inc. You can learn more about her at www.ChrisSopa.com. Find her at Facebook.com/ChrisSopaInternational, Twitter @ChrisSopa, LinkedIn, and Google+.