Toddler Tactics & Mind Gymnastics

I love to be asked a good question, don’t you?

Have you ever been in the proximity of a 3 or 4-year-old child whose every sentence or thought was a question? Or how about this? Have you ever been in a meeting or with a group of people discussing ideas or problems, and to your surprise noticed the most obvious question(s) were left unasked?

Here’s the deal, from my perspective, it seems that living a meaningful life begs us to question…everything! Socrates said, “The unexamined life isn’t worth living.” Those are strong words, but they may be worth considering when life feels like its ‘off course’.

Honestly, the longer I live the more I realize how much I don’t know about anything. And yes, I realize that some things in life are meant to remain as mystery to us. But as long as my thinking processes are in tact, I will question, question, question.

“To the question of your life you are the answer, and to the problems of your life you are the solution.” ~ Joe Cordare

Sometimes I think the reason we struggle to live peacefully with ourselves and others is that we fail to question the constructs of our own status quo. I wonder if we could eliminate some stress and unfulfillment from our lives if we practiced asking ourselves (and appropriate others when necessary) the right questions on a regular basis.

“Questioning is the ability to organize our thinking around what we don’t know.”  ~The Right Question Institue

I wonder if we could help ourselves learn to question more readily if we gave ourself permission to think like a toddler and, “Question everything!” What might we discover about ourselves and life in general if we lived like life ran on questions and not answers?

“If I  had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes dertiming the proper question to ask for once I know the propert question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes. The important thing is to not stop questioning.”
~Albert Einstein

Here’s a list of five questions I came across in my readings from a couple years ago. They are meant to help us ‘examin’ our life on a regular basis. These are merely beginning points of inquiry which could quickly lead to many more meaningful questions.

Q1: What is my intention today?
Q2: Why am I doing this?
Q3: Why am I eating this?
Q4: What am I sharing?
Q5: What am I proud of?

“What have I always wished I’d done that I might try in some way now?”
~Dr. Phil McGraw

How will you know if you’re asking the right question? Perhaps when you run out of questions. Or perhaps if you don’t like the answers you’re getting. This may seem like circular thinking to you, spend some time with toddlers or pre-schoolers. This age group can teach us all how to practice this fine art of mental gymnastics. Now what would you like to know?

 

Don’t Ever Stop

It’s what I’m always saying…show up for your life every day; don’t ever stop striving towards your calling…

 If we don’t exercise our bodies, then our muscles begin to constrict. And if we don’t exercise our minds, then our attitudes begin to constrict. Nothing constricts our life experiences like the constriction of our thoughts. It limits our possibilities, and it limits our joy. Marianne Williamson

What is your calling? Perhaps you think you have no special talent or passion or drive to do anything extra-ordinary. Such thinking does not release you from showing up. If you have breath and are vertical, then you have purpose. If you aren’t sure what your purpose is, then you may want to consider keeping a journal of all the things you do in a day or want to do in a day.

Movement is a medicine for creating change in a person’s physical, emotional and mental states. Carol Welch

Living your life on purpose, with purpose, simply requires a willingness to embrace each day with our eyes, ears, arms and heart wide open to the unfurling adventure of TODAY!

If you don’t ever stop singing, your voice stays in shape. It’s like the marathon runner. You’ve got to run, run, run to stay in shape. Sammy Hagar

Always a Learner

I have been away from my writing life this first quarter of 2016. I am slowly working towards re-engaging into this pleasure as the busyness of these past few months starts to settle into its own routine. Last night I was able to read the ‘Running with Wolves’ book from where I had left off at the end of 2015; I discovered (again) a delightful hour of reading the many tidbits of truth wonderfully woven from the myths and stories of Ms. Clarissa’s book. The following quote resonates strongly with me still this morning:

Those who are not delighted by learning, those who cannot be enticed into new ideas or experiences, cannot develop past the road post they rest at now. If there is but one force which feeds the root of pain, it is the refusal to learn beyond this moment. Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D. Women Who Run With the Wolves

Note to self: Always embrace the lessons present in each new day…it is one of the best ways to grow in grace, wisdom, knowledge and stature.

Your Attention Please!

PAY ATTENTION to your DREAMS for they are your LETTERS FROM GOD
~ Jewish Proverb

When you ‘pay’ attention to something, you ‘buy’ that experience. Be selective in your focus because your attention feeds the energy of it and keeps it alive. ~ Emily Maroutian

All you have to do is pay attention; lessons always arrive when you are ready.
~ Paul Coelho

What we pay attention to expands. What we pay attention to we become.
~ Brenda Shoshanna

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” Matthew 7:3 NIV

Watch your thoughts, they become words; watch your words, they become actions; watch your actions, they become habits; watch your habits, they become character; watch your character, for it becomes your destiny. ~ Frank Outlaw

Quote

Of Music and Paradox

Paradoxically, it’s the emptiness of things that lets us glimpse their full capacity. Most musical instruments are hollowed out, because if they weren’t, there would be no music. Guitars are hollowed out. String instruments are hollowed out. Drums are hollowed out. Reed instruments are hollowed out. This is a great example of the necessity of emptiness in order to make music. It’s true with our lives. Each of us is an instrument that experience hollows out in order to have our souls release their song.
(The Endless Practice ~ Mark Nepo)