Here’s a quick survey to assess your ability to ask questions. Get ready—it might not be quite what you’re expecting. The skill I’m talking about has nothing to do with conversing with others and everything to do with accessing the voice within you that is filled with wisdom—a direct line to your Divine source. Sometimes that voice is bigger than life and other times it’s barely audible. The volume is up to you.
Most of us recognize the importance of asking questions in our daily interactions with others. Effective communicators and problem solvers ask a lot of questions—not in a drilling, demanding way but in an interested, open way that suggests you really do want to hear what the other person has to say. It took me years of facilitating workplace conversations to figure out that effective communication on the job probably isn’t all that different from communication with our inner, spiritual selves. I discovered through numerous coaching situations, in both the workplace as well as one-on-one interactions of a more personal nature, that when people faced difficult decisions, more than likely, they had the answers within themselves. If we ask ourselves questions, we’re likely to get an answer. Sounds a bit crazy, right? But think about it—most of us talk to ourselves all the time, as in “Where did I leave my car keys?” In fact, we often joke that asking ourselves questions is okay; it’s when we start answering that we’re in trouble.
But if we can accept the premise that a voice of Divine wisdom and intelligence resides within each of us, and that wisdom and intelligence is longing to support us in our daily lives, well. . .a whole new way of experiencing the world opens up. We realize that asking ourselves questions is a most natural state of being, and that looking within for answers makes a lot more sense than strictly relying on external cues and guidance to direct our lives and decisions.
This isn’t just a theoretical exercise. Asking ourselves questions, especially those big, important ones is not only practical, but a critical step to authentically living our lives. “Is this the right job, person, relationship, college major for me?” is just the tip of the iceberg.
How many of us, in later years with far more wisdom, have asked ourselves, “Why didn’t I listen to my heart and do what I knew was right? What was I thinking? Who was I trying to please? What was I so afraid of?” Perhaps if we had been more willing to consciously go within and acknowledge, ask, and honor that inner voice, we might have made different choices.
In my own experience I have learned that as I sit in silence, walk in nature, drive my car, or even take a shower the answers to my questions are revealed. But I have to ask with sincerity and I have to remember that Divine timelines differ from human ones. And if I’m hearing something filled with anger, fear, resentment, or hatred, know that the source is not a Divine one. It just doesn’t work that way.
Life’s journey is still an act of faith with continual twists and turns along the way. We can’t do much about the past, but we sure can influence our future.