Lately, I have been thinking about the questions we can ask ourselves. Not random questions arising out of a quandry, need or doubt of the moment, but a set of questions to work with in a weekly or monthly practice. The questions will remain the same, but the answers will vary. These questions and their changing responses will give you a very revealing image of yourself.
This practice of the 7 questions can be done alone with your journal. It can be done with a close friend. It can be done with your family.
By yourself…Doing it alone and writing in your journal will record your life and offer a way to discover patterns. You will be able to review your year during Inner Advent which is a huge benefit on many levels. Your life, your choices, your self-attention take on new meaning.
With another person…Doing it with a good friend or your life partner is a wonderful way to honor your caring for each other. You can ask each other the questions and the warmth of your relationship will encourage you to respond with more freedom and thoroughness. You might want to do both the reflections on your own and the reflections with a friend and see how different they are. The social process can be very enriching for the relationship. You can also use these with your coach or therapist.
With your family…Doing it with your children is a way to nurture a self-reflection, trust, confidence, and intimacy in the purpose of sharing life and growing up. This work will transform your family life. I wish I had thought of this when my kids were young, especially after their father and I divorced. Make it part of your family on a weekly basis…a family ritual after Sunday Brunch or Wednesday dinner. It may be a challenge to begin, but once it lives in the family design everyone will love it.
Working with the same questions everytime is the magic of this practice. The more you ask the questions the more they come to live in your consciousness as inspiration for a richer, deeper, wiser choices, observations, and behaviors.
Here are the Seven Questions I recommend.
1. What conversation did I have this week that my angel or their angel took interest in and listened to?
Angels only listen to conversations that strive for truth, ring with beauty, and do no harm. Usually these are conversations asking you, the person(s) you are conversing with or both of you to be new, free, compassionate, courageous or wise. (This could also be a conversation you have had with yourself.)
2. What did I experience in nature or the arts that took my breath away?
This is the experience of beauty and creation. Nature and the arts are incredibly healing, ennobling, humbling, warming…all good and necessary for your soul.
3. What concern or question lived deeply in me?
Did I find any insights? Do I see something I need? Need to ask for? Need to change? Need to celebrate?
4. What memory was recalled and understood in a new way, for the first time, or is still confusing?
This question might allow you to resolve some karma, heal some wound, smile at some kindness or ask for some help.
5. What goal did I work on?
What did I achieve? Why was it important? What new goal was set? What obstacle got in the way or was overcome?
6. What regrets do I have?
None of us are angels or saints or perfect and neither is life. One of the greatest capacities of the human soul is the moral feeling of regret. Regret instigates forgiveness, amends and change. Regret teaches us about harm and selfishness. But regret is not about being bad, sinful or depressed. Regret brings sunlight and fresh air into to the musty dungeons of thoughts, and words, and deeds that need to be redeemed. Remember regret is different from guilt.
7. How did I connect with my body and my other places?
Our body is our first home and the place we dwell in from conception to death. There are other places we dwell in for various times: our home, our car, our workplace. We need to hold our places with caring and responsible reverence. We need to be aware of them and bring thought, attention, and gratitude to them. You will be surprised at how this question will brighten and strengthen your sense of self.
If you would like my guidance and my listening, email me.