Gently reaping the spiritual fruit of business breakdowns

by | Nov 6, 2011

This week’s ezine is brought to you in four parts: a guest Dharma Doodle and video from my friend Eric Klein, a short, short video from yours truly, and a brief article on asking the right questions. Oh, and a link to download the wonderful session Intuitive Strategist Hiro Boga did for the recent Self Employment Telesummit. It’s all connected! Click here.
The Good Why & the Bad Why
When you walk through life with eyes closed (who doesn’t do this to some degree?) it’s natural to find yourself in the mud-muck-mire.
And then to ask “Why?”
But there’s a good-why and there’s a bad-why. One opens your eyes wider leading you towards wisdom, insight, and a more creative future. The other closes your eyes and leads you . . . after a short time . . . back into the mud-muck-mire.
So what’s the difference between the good-why and the bad-why?
The bad-why casts you in the victim role and positions you as a bug underneath the foot of Life.
The good-why puts you in the learner role and positions you as a disciple sitting at the feet of Life.
Here’s a short video that explores this distinction: CLICK HERE.
For more of Eric’s work sign up for his amazing freebie, “50 Ways to Leave Your Karma,” a book of Dharma Doodles and insights guaranteed to wake up your sense of humor and your insight.

Video: It’s always something!

Ever say to yourself, “It’s always something!” Life happens, and it’s easy to feel like you’re getting the short end of the stick. But really, it’s not about you. (Click here for a 2 minute video)

Gently reaping the spiritual fruit of business breakdowns

Argh. Ack! Ick. however you spell it, sometimes working for yourself feels crummy. You get up on the wrong side of bed. Your computer freezes. A client decides it’s time to stop working with you.
Sometimes all three on the same day.
And well you may wonder, “What’s the message? What am I not getting here?”
Good questions.

Pay attention to the question under the question

Jeanne’s computer keeps breaking down. After declaring (with some reason) that it’s always something, she asks, “What’s the message here?”
The quality of the answer she gets depends on the question under the question.
“What’s the message? (What’s wrong with me?)”
“What’s the message? (Why can’t I have what I want?)”
“What’s the message? (What’s happening here? What can I notice?)”

What’s wrong with me? is an answer not a question

Julio Olalla, founder of The Newfield Network, once remarked in a workshop, “‘What’s wrong with me?’ is an answer, not a question.”
I like that. “What’s wrong with me?” is really a declaration that there *is* something wrong. Because it isn’t an open question, the shape of the answer is predetermined.
And it’s not likely to be good news.

What’s wrong with this/them? doesn’t work either

The “What’s wrong?” question doesn’t work much better projected outward. It’s of limited value whenever you decide in advance where the answer is going to come from.
It’s me.
It’s this.
It’s them.
None of those options leaves much room for discovering something new. For learning.

Now that you’re asking

Asking the right questions (and cleaning up the subtext) is critical. But once you have those questions, it’s important to ask carefully.
With compassionate persistence.
Because the mind goes skittering off so quickly, especially when it’s faced with a deep inquiry. It’s easy to settle for the quick fix, the first answer to rise to the top.
And that’s fine when you’re looking for someone to hook up your new printer or balance your accounts.
It doesn’t work so well when you’re trying to discern the deeper questions:
“What do I do, really?”
“Whom do I help?”
Even, “How should I market this program?”
To get quality answers to those questions, you may need some structure to keep yourself in the conversation.
Explore your questions and answers in writing, longhand.
Go for a walk with one question in mind.
Ask yourself a question before going to sleep.

It’s subtle work

Reaping the fruit of business breakdowns is subtle work. That can be hard to remember when your nervous system is ramped up from frustration or anxiety.
So be gentle. But don’t stop. Because when you ask the right questions, things get interesting.
Photo by Steve Webel via Flickr
Photo by Eric Klein Darmadoodle