[Again, for my Dreamers & Schemers]

The practice of keeping a question journal has transformed my approach to life in so many ways. Not only does it strengthen my ability to open to receive, but at its very root, this work supports my intention of approaching life as eternal inquiry.

I used to think it was a terrible thing that I was full of questions, because to me having lots of questions about my life meant I lived in confusion, lack of knowledge, and disconnection. But now I see what I have always known in my academic/professional life: It isn’t about having the right answers, but knowing how to ask productive questions.

I’m well aware of the dangers of labeling something “productive,” because the very word can get under our skin, push against our self-worth and insecurities, and activate self-judgment and its attendant neurotic tendencies. But it is the word I used when I was teaching the art of critical inquiry to undergraduates, and by “productive” I meant questions that spurred engaging conversations and yielded rich insights because they cut right to the heart of a juicy issue. Go deep, is what I meant.

In my question journaling I noticed that when I was most confused about a matter, I would generate a lot of narrowly focused questions: Why isn’t X working out? How can I improve Y? What should I do about Z? The questions had a frantic quality about them, and certainly an attachment to specific outcomes. I can now recognize that frenetic energy and choose not to identify with it. If the waters are turbulent on the surface, a take a deep breath and dive deeper. What is the real question here? Because underlying all my fear and expectation is ultimately a curiosity about the direction of my life, and that is what I’m really trying to get at.

I’ve found that stepping away from the specifics and moving to bigger, more general questions opens me to the possibility of receiving that which I had never even considered before. This is the art of asking an earnest question: asking not so I can get the answer I hope for, but for being gifted with knowing I never even conceived of and opening to possibilities beyond my wildest dreams.

In The Power of Coincidence David Richo shares a question set for a journaling practice that I have found to be quite powerful. I share them here with you:

  • What fear am I not fully conscious of and how can I address it?
  • What is chaotic in my life? How can I allow it? How can I bring harmony to it?
  • What am I ready to let go?
  • What am I ready to welcome into my life?
  • What am I holding at a distance that wants to come in or happen?
  • What are the conditions of my life now and how am I facing them?
  • What are love’s best chances in all of this? (Richo 133)

Interestingly enough, when I brought these questions to an Akashic Record reading in place of the fraught questions I had originally jotted down and was uninspired to ask, I was surprised that the answers I received spoke directly to my initial set of concerns. But I am convinced that my Records responded much more profoundly because I was willing to go much deeper into myself.

That said, none of this is meant to be prescriptive. I don’t believe there are any “wrong” questions to ask in your question journal or in an Akashic Record reading. Your questions are your questions. But with practice I am certain you will begin developing a sense of whether the questions you’re asking are motivated by fear, or truly inspired by a deep curiosity about your place in the world.

And remember, there is always room for the completely mundane. “Why has my car stopped running?” is a completely valid question to ask. Just remember to remain open to all reasons on all possible levels. You may be surprised, and that is a good thing!


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