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Don't Ask "What's Wrong?"
I am currently reading, Wake Up! The Powerful Guide to Changing Your Mind About What It Means to Really Live by Lindsey Teague Moreno. It's about enacting meaningful change in your life, and I highly recommend it. Early on in the book, Moreno dropped this little nugget of wisdom:
Don't ask, "What's wrong?". Instead, ask, "What's possible?"
Asking this way takes your focus off the negative or the problem and gets you thinking about the solution. Because, as we all know, for every problem, there IS a solution.
This question opens up your right brain where creativity lies. You think outside the box and come up with… well, you guessed it. What's possible.
I'll give you a couple of examples.
We are nearing the end of a kitchen renovation. Yesterday, my plumber turned to me and said, "I don't think this is going to work," referring to installing a garbage disposal. I didn't even get to ask, "What's wrong?".
Instead, he launched into all the reasons why NOT and that this is not an issue in newer construction. I then asked him the magic question. "What's possible?" , knowing full well that there are older homes equipped with garbage disposals.
He talked about redoing the pipes and having to go through the family room wall, which, OF COURSE, we recently had painted. Today, we have a garbage disposal (and yes, a hole in the wall, but we'll deal with that later).
This advice works on more than just plumbers!
I have a parent who is in a nursing home. I learned that asking, "How are you?" rarely ends well. It is as if I have asked, "What's wrong?".
I needed to come up with a better question and not become a repository for complaints.
So today, I asked, "What's possible?" and thoroughly confused him. So I repeated it, explaining that I wondered what he thought could be possible today. He needed further clarification, so I offered:
I didn't hear complaints. In fact, he followed up with, "What's new with the kids?" instead of, "Is everything ok with the kids?"
Hear the difference?
It amazes me that this simple question can turn a roadblock into a creative solution, a negative mindset into a curious and optimistic one, and a dead-end conversation into an open-ended one.
Do you know what else it brings? Clarity.
When you are mired in a problem, that's all you see. You lack the clarity to see possibilities because you are essentially looking through a window that hasn't seen a squeegee in decades. All you see is dirt, dust, and pollen.
When you are open to what's possible, it's like wiping away years of grime off that glass. Then, slowly but surely, you see the view on the other side of that window pane instead of the grime.
If seeing beyond your current circumstances is challenging, you are not alone.
"What's wrong" can leave you feeling disempowered and limited.
In our upcoming Writing for Clarity workshop on Sunday, March 26th, we teach you how to take the existing contrast in your life, turn it on its head, and use it to invite in those creative possibilities.
The Power of Mirror Work
Happy International Women’s day! Now is the perfect time to honor the achievements of the strong, supportive, and amazing women in your life.
Can we ask one favor though? We want you to start with the #1, single most important woman in your life. Give her a shout out. Throw her some love. Acknowledge her one-of-a kind ways that makes her so special, loved, and appreciated. Do you know who that woman is?
Here’s a hint. Take a look in the mirror.
Now you can’t start celebrating all the other superwomen in your life until you recognize that YOU are pretty damn special too. Self-love is a critical muscle to develop and flex! It’s like putting the oxygen mask on yourself first, charging yourself up, and then you have more love to share.
Celebrating yourself may feel weird but it is empowering. And you are setting the example for other women and future generations that it’s ok to openly acknowledge how special you are. If you’ve never done mirror work before, it can feel super weird. As a symbol of truth and clarity, mirrors are one of the simplest and most direct way to self actualization. So grab a mirror, look into those gorgeous peepers of yours, and say:
“ What I love about myself is…..”
If this is too weird for you, you can also use your cell phone in selfie mode. And if you start to pick yourself apart, tell your inner judge to take a hike. Your response could reflect a physical trait or otherwise. Better yet, it can be both! The key is to lock eyes with yourself and mean what you say. For example: I love that I’m a good listener and have great skin!
Need more inspiration? Check out these awesome kids in this inspiring Upworthy Reel.
When you can fully love and accept yourself AS IS, your love and acceptance of others know no bounds.
And the more you do this, the less weird it feels, and the more loving, accepting, and confident you become. I guess there is some truth to fairy tales because mirrors are truly magical!
Lots of love,
Time for a Breakthrough
How are you doing with your Word Of The Year (WOTY)?
I’ll be honest; I only finalized mine just last week. It came to me during a meditation. My eyes were closed, and I was trying to quiet my busy mind when a pinhole of light appeared. And then, it became a crack allowing light to filter through.
The word came to me in that instant. Breakthrough.
A breakthrough changes the course of your life going forward, ensuring that things will never again be the same. While the word indicates some kind of sudden realization, it’s more like having reached the tipping point.
I have spent the past 10+ years working on myself, so my journey to a breakthrough has been very incremental. Everything I’ve done till now has led me to its front door.
Do I dare open it?
I recently started a coaching course I will share more with you later, but it exposes and labels distinct parts of the ego as various saboteurs. They usually show up in childhood and serve as survival mechanisms.
I’m starting to recognize them and how they derail me regularly. This, too, is part of my breakthrough.
While my saboteurs have led me to where I am (which isn’t at all terrible!), they want to keep me here, playing it safe and staying small. I’m learning to see through their guises and familiar ways so that I can chart a different path for myself.
With their help, I’ve built a safe facade around myself. But that’s all it is. A facade; made of the stories I’ve told myself over the years, the limitations I’ve placed on myself, and the beliefs that had taken hold in my mind as truths.
But they are lies.
The peephole and crack of light showed me there IS something beyond this facade I’d built.
I recently came across the following passage which really resonated with me.
"A breakthrough entails facing the absolute reality of my past – and how it is still impacting my present, without judgment and then decide how you want to create your future. Your reality is not just a matter of where you stand today or where you want to be tomorrow. It is made up of everything that has ever happened to you, everyone you have ever met, anything you have ever done, and any feeling you have ever felt – or denied."
So this is my year of facing my absolute reality and not burying my head in the sand or beating myself up over it. It is what it is, and I am where I am. But I am not staying here.
As I mentioned, my breakthrough is incremental so I’m taking small but consistent steps.
Instead of just crossing singular to-do’s off my list (keeping busy on the stuff that doesn’t matter), I am chipping away at the scarier stuff. An honest email here, a difficult conversation there, and a full-on come-to-Jesus confession to trusted souls when I drop the ball on these steps (like today).
And then I quickly jump back to the easy stuff. Balance, Cher! Remember, breakthroughs don’t happen overnight.
If you can relate at all, think you are on the verge of a breakthrough or want to be, ask yourself the following:
I ask myself those questions a lot lately. And if I’m honest in my answers, well, that keeps me going too.
Thanks for giving me the space to share this stuff.
May 2023 be a magical transformation for us both!