Albert Einstein once said, “If we have an hour to solve a problem and our lives depended on the solution, we should spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask, because once we know that we can usually solve the problem in less than five minutes.”
1:05 – A regular practice for asking deeper questions of yourself
4:08 – The purpose and benefits of asking inner questions
9:00 – A practical example of how to do it
11:00 – How to know if you’re getting a quality answer
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This is EP 71 – ARE YOU LISTENING TO WHAT THE UNIVERSE IS ASKING OF YOU? Albert Einstein once said, “If we have an hour to solve a problem and our lives depended on the solution, we should spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask, because once we know that we can usually solve the problem in less than five minutes.” Hi, I’m Carla Rieger, and this is the MindStory Speaker Podcast.
So I believe that the universe is always talking to us and if we’re listening, it is asking us questions more than it’s giving us answers. It’s like a Socratic dialogue whereby if we explore the question, we more easily get what we are supposed to be learning as we move through this life. And so this dialogue that we have with our inner wisdom, or you can also call that the soul or, or God or spirit or the universe, whatever works for you, is essential and questions are how we access deeper and deeper wisdom. So having some kind of practice which helps you listen for the questions that life is asking of you is very powerful. I’ve had a practice of doing that for over a decade now. I ask my inner wisdom “what is a question I need to be asking myself right now?” Invariably, if I’m in the right state of mind, I get a brilliant question that I know came from a place far wiser place than my everyday self.
And the powerful aspect of doing that is that it triggers the emotions of curiosity and wonder which pulls you out of the survival brain trigger cycle and into the Neo-Cortex where your wisdom, problem solving, inspiration and insight resides. It’s such an important quality to maintain throughout our lives so that we’re constantly engaging at the best level that we can be with our journey.
So high quality questions, lead to high quality answers. Some differences between a high quality question and a low quality question is this. High quality questions are more open ended. They’re questions that look beyond kind of the superficial answers. Like “How do I need to change so I better navigate the chaos in the world right now?” That would be an open question. A closed question would be “Should I hire a virtual assistant?” It’s a yes or no or maybe answer. So, open questions opens up a door for a greater insight to happen. Also quality questions give the opportunity to be reflective and to be expansive in your answer.
There’s a great book called, “Spark Change” by Jenny Lee, where she offers a number of Questions for Spiritual Evolution. She says that people tend to really enjoy interactions with people where they ask those big, open questions, questions that really stop you in your tracks and makes you go, Hmm, and I don’t immediately have the answer. As opposed to interactions where someone just wants you to buy into their agenda. They ask a closed type of question or if it’s open, it’s to trap you into teaching you a lesson. They aren’t really open to hearing your point of view. It’s the same with how you interact with yourself. Do you try to talk yourself into something that isn’t quite right just to be liked, stay comfortable, or quell fears? Or beat yourself up over a mistake or interaction that went wrong? Or, do you really want to know what’s going on deep inside? The deeper self loves the process of being reflective and thinking beyond what might be your current awareness.
So, the purpose of these introspective questions are to evolve spiritually, especially in times of great challenge in your personal life or in our global lives as a collective, evolution comes from discovering the gift in challenges. But that only happens when we are truly willing to look for the gift, for what is there to help us grow. And once you’re willing, once you stop resisting, once you integrate the new learning, often the challenge goes away or morphs into something new.
That attitude takes you into a place of inner peace, even if part of you agitated, if you can find a place that is calm in the middle of the storm, at least for a few minutes a day…you know you’re evolving. Because of course human life is filled with dualities – you’re happy one moment and unhappy the next. Things are going well, and then things not going well. And so we ride this roller coaster of duality. So, I’d say you know you’re evolving spiritually, when you’re becoming more and more even minded. Because of course we will forever be on the roller coaster the rest of our human lives, so you might as well go hands free and enjoy the ride.
I’ll give you an example. I was having several sleepless nights especially when the pandemic hit and I was in the middle of a move, and it didn’t make sense to move, and it didn’t make sense to stay where I was. I was looping around and around trying to figure it out. So, I often do a journaling process where I open a blank Word document and attach my headset mic to the computer and launch voice recognition software. That’s where I ask questions of my inner self, higher self, whatever you want to call it. Then I relax and let the answer come and I speak it. It comes out on the Word doc. I do that because I have very messy handwriting, and so typing on computer is best. Also, sometimes I don’t understand the answer at first, so I can go back and read it later and finally get it. Also I can search all my journal pages to see if I’ve asked and answered the same question before, which often happens. And I see the same answer, or a more nuanced answer.
So, during this time, I asked “What’s the best question for me to ask right now?” So, then I hear myself saying, “How can I descend into the flow of life rather than try to thrash against the current?” Now, I know that comes from a higher self, because my everyday self never uses those kinds of words or images. So the computer types that question onto a page, then I close my eyes and get quiet, focusing on the question. I often get an image, a scene or a metaphor when I ask those kinds of open questions of myself. Here’s the answer that came.
You are fighting with reality a lot. Here’s visualization but also ensure you feel the experience kinesthetically. Imagine that you are in a rushing river, you’ve fallen overboard and are holding onto a rock and the current is pulling you. Let go of the rock and let the current pull you through the Whitewater and down a waterfall. Just breathe and let it take you. Trust the water, trust the flow, trust life. It’s all good. It’s all taking you to a brilliant destination if you let it. Yes there will be a destruction of the old, and there will be accompanying grief with that, but it’s all okay. You are okay. You are well and happy and it’s safe to let go, and go with the flow. Landing in this place of being inbetween worlds is all meant to be, this is all good, this is all being orchestrated by Life and will be a rich learning experience if you let it. It’s all on track, it’s all purpose. You are getting ready for a new era in your life, and new way of being, a new environment, and the newness is good. You will feel renewed, rejuvenated and fulfilled in an entirely new way.
Those are the kinds of answers I often get, but only if I asked the right question. In this case, the answer brought be back to a state of peace, letting go and relaxation. The metaphor of letting go of the rock and flowing with the river was good, because I’ve done a lot of river rafting and know that feeling of not resisting the whitewater. That shift in state of mind, of course, changed my mindset so that I could see a solution I hadn’t thought of before, and new opportunities just magically appeared as well.
Now you don’t need to do it like that, you could just use a journal. But the process of getting it out of your head and onto paper can help you better integrate the wisdom.
Now the trick is acting on the wisdom you get. If you listen, and then go back to the old way, I find the answers don’t come as readily. It’s like building a relationship with a trusted advisor or a mentor or coach. You take the time and energy and resources to work with them, ask them for advice and then don’t follow it, after a while that person will fire you. It’s not enjoyable for them to work with you. Do you have to follow all the guidance? Of course not. It has to feel right for you. But if it does feel right, then take action, that completes the loop and invites deeper and wiser feedback.
As a warning, asking questions like this put us often in a place of humility because the ego self, or the everyday self would prefer to cast the blame outwardly towards another person, a situation or just the world in general. That part of us wants to feel victimized by it, because then we don’t have to change internally. You will never get your victimization reinforced doing this process, and if you do, you’re not talking to a wise inner self, or higher self. So be careful with that, as your conversations with Life can get hijacked.
Usually answers are about holding you accountable to change the way you’re seeing the world, the way you’re being. That can feel very hard at time, but I believe that’s the game we signed up for. So use your intuition when you get an answer. There’s this feeling that you know its right, even if it’s something difficult. Like I had to give difficult feedback to someone that I really cared about this week. It was about setting a personal boundary, and I knew that I had to, I thought about not doing it all. That would have been more comfortable.
I sensed that needed to explain calmly and clearly my position, with as much kindness as I can, without any blame. And I knew that wasn’t going to be easy, and I knew there was a chance it would not be received as intended, but the sense of peacefulness that I felt within after getting that answer was how I knew it was right. So if I, on the other hand, hear something internally as an answer, that’s not necessarily soul guidance. It might be a little staticky. It might be this one moment, but then something else. It’s not consistent, it’s not peaceful.
One of the best questions I’ve asked myself is how might I be blocking a potential learning experience here? What’s a new meaning I could give to it? That can really unblock things.
That’s, of course, a big part of the AVARA Process that’s in our book MindStory Inner Coach. You just bring any issue, about anything and take yourself through the 5 part process, and it creates huge insights, huge breakthroughs, by triggering your own inner wisdom. You can see how to get the book using the link in the shownotes below. Or, just go to MindStoryAcademy.com and you’ll see it there on the home page. Its free to get the PDF download, or you’ll also see how to buy it on Amazon.
Along with the book, you also get two free guided audios that are examples of what we do at MindStory Coaching Academy, that are called neuro-blueprints. They are form of mental rehearsal that helps you access your inner wisdom.
One is called how to end self sabotage, it’s one you would use at night. The other is called your hero’s journey, which is about reframing the challenges of your life in terms of a mythic adventure and how those challenges have forged you in the fire of wisdom to now help others. Sometimes that’s hard to see until you do a process like this. And this is a version you would do in the morning. These take chapters 2 and 10 of the book to a much deeper level. All together, the audios and the book come to $94 but you can get them free right now.
Also if you’d like to learn how to install our whole MindStory Method into your coaching business see the link below for more details. We help business coaches increase their income by 10K or more within 90 days by installing a 5 step system to supercharge all aspects of their business, from getting coaching results that stick to marketing your business in a way that magnetizes ideal people, to reconstructing your sense of power and purpose, to creating a business model that lets you live the lifestyle you love. See the MindStory Method link for Business Coaches, in the shownotes.
That’s it for today, I hope it was useful. Do hit subscribe if you want to hear about other episodes coming up, which you can do on our website MindStoryAcademy.com\podcast. and you’ll see all the ways to subscribe or, if you’re listening on YouTube, just subscribe to our channel. Until next time, I’m Carla Rieger. Thank you for listening.