Exciting Questions Create Exciting Lives

exciting questions

The quality of your life is based on the questions you are asking.

If you meet someone that is discontent with their life, ask them what their biggest fears are. Ask them what they dislike about life. Ask them where they feel stuck. Discover what their concerns & questions are regarding what they have the most trouble with. Chances are they’ve been struggling with the same questions for years. The same questions played out over and over again, years apart, with different people and different situations — yet resulting in the same outcome.

If you meet someone with an exciting & joyful life, find out what they are most curious about. Take note of what they dedicate their time and life to. Ask what their beliefs are about the world. Find out what they live for. More than likely they are inquisitive, and like to think creatively, as well as optimistically. They are the kind of person that relishes difficult tasks, and bases their life on realizing spiritual insights and/or personal growth. They are grateful for challenges, and look forward to the excitement & unique opportunity each one brings. People like this love learning & experimenting, they are eager to see what each day brings.

I wrote a blog post about this theory in 2014 titled, The Question Shaping Your Life. If you haven’t read it, go back and read that post before reading this one. It will help to give you a better understanding of what I am trying to say and work with. Another blog post that might bring clarity on this topic is Your Biggest Obstacle Doesn’t Exist. It’s helpful in the same way, but approaches the issue from a different angle.

In the last few weeks, I’ve felt some sort of renewed enthusiasm to take life by the horns and ride it like a rodeo bull. So many things I haven’t felt excited about (in years!) seem like fun adventures again. This is all great, and I have so much in the works, but I notice creepy old fears and concerns seeping to the surface. The same uncreative, uninspiring, unyieldingly dogmatic questions are rising to the forefront. I know all too well what they will lead to — more of the same, of course. More of what I already experienced. More of what I haven’t fully woken up to or learned whole heartedly. More of what I don’t want.

Let me give you two examples of how this type of thinking and questioning works.

Example #1 – Should I get together with my ex-boyfriend?

Example #2 – Do I really want to start a new career/business?

Typical questions for the above examples…

Should I get together with my ex-boyfriend?
What if it’s a bad idea? What if we end up breaking up again? What if we just repeat all the mistakes we made in the past? What if we love each other, yet simply aren’t compatible? What if we go through all the trouble of getting back together, then realize it was a foolish idea? What if this decision leads to more disappointment and turmoil? What if we think we are happiest together, when in actuality we are better off apart?

Do I really want to start an entirely new career/business?
How do I know which one of my ideas is the best to pursue? When is the best time to start it? What if I get tired of it and change my mind? What if it’s more work than it’s worth? What if it fails miserably? What if the start-up cost is more than I anticipated or can afford? What if it doesn’t make a livable profit or enough to grow the business? What if the new business gets bad reviews? What if it’s not my life purpose, and I am only wasting time?

Atypical questions for the above examples…

Should I get together with my ex-boyfriend?
Would a planned duration of close friendship help us grow, understand each other better and test our newfound commitment, before creating a partnership again?  What didn’t we try in the past that would be great to implement now? What past mistakes can we use as insights into learning what does & doesn’t work for us? How can we use each other’s strengths and best traits to build a strong bond, as well as a fulfilling & fun relationship for us? How could we bring something new & exciting to the relationship, and make it an ongoing habit? What was left unsaid that we can say now? How has the time apart given us greater insights about what we need individually, as well as what we love most about each other? What challenges can we get creative with and turn into exciting games or stepping stones that take us to the next level? What types of relationships/partnerships do we admire, that we could emulate and learn from? What is happening in our relationship when things are going really well? Can those things be implemented on a regular bases? In what ways do we make each other happy, can we write them down and keep them as an ongoing practice? How could getting back to getting back together be the best choice we could ever make? What excites us about getting together again? What are the best ways to keep that enthusiasm going & growing? What would be our ultimate relationship/partnership and life together? How could we create that as a team?

Do I really want to start an entirely new business?
Which business idea do I feel most passionately drawn to? What type of work would I do for free, simply because I love the practice/process? What am I itching to try? Who’s work/business am I inspired by (or jealous of), and what about it inspires me most? How is it profitable for them, and what type of structure makes it a successful business? How could I make those key principles work for me and my work? What type of work do I never lose enthusiasm for? What type of work have I been involved in that was the most fun and the most profitable? How can I do more of it? What if I hired a career coach that could advise me and hold me accountable to my most creative & courageous self? What can I learn from businesses that had very low start-up costs, yet made enough profits to develop the business quickly? What have I learned from my past business ventures that failed? What made them unsuccessful or undesirable for me? How can I use those insights to develop a new business that not only thrives, but suits me better? How can I use any bad reviews or negative feedback I receive, to guide my business into greatness and a better understanding of my customer/business? Who do I know (or can reach out to) that is in a similar industry or situation as me? Can we root each other on and share findings/resources? What is the special way in which I contribute to people or the planet? Can I make a business of it? What do people usually request of me? How am I most helpful to them? What do I consider my best work? What type of work would I love to be remembered for after I die? What is my contribution to making the world a better & brighter place? How could I be of service to others, while living a life I love? How can I make it my business and number one goal?

Okay, if you made it this far into blog — take a moment to feel it. Notice the feelings you had while reading the Typical Questions versus reading the Atypical Questions. Did the Atypical questions not give you a feeling of lightness? Did they not inspire you? They gave you energy, right? They filled you with possibility and numerous options, right? Now think about the Typical Questions. Did they not leave you heavy and pessimistic? Did they not feel hopeless? Do you think they would lead to more of the same? Can you see how they might be a vicious cycle of ‘what you resist persists’?

Often I remind myself, of the quote “where your attention goes, it grows.” If I focus on unwanted outcomes, that’s what I will get! If I dwell on the negative and unproductive aspects of life, that’s what I will experience.

There is a Timothy Leary saying that I often repeat. It gets right to the point: “We don’t have a problem, we need a plan.” It’s approaching a challenge with action and optimism.

The problem is never the problem, it’s our thinking that’s the problem. It’s our thinking that we need to fix. The rest will fall into place as a result of our mindful processing of important matters and insightful actions. Like they say, everything happens from the top down.

Here are a few helpful keys to asking more exciting questions. I’m going to give you questions to ask your questions. :) How does that sound?

7 key questions that lead to better (& more exciting) questions:
1. Is my question based on imagined worries or possible solutions?
2. Is my question creative and open-minded or resigned and limited?
3. Is my question full of infinite possibilities or does it leave me very few options?
4. Is my question making me powerless or responsible for the outcome?
5. Is my question providing a plan of action or leaving me with no choice?
6. Is my question stating what I want or what I don’t want?
7. Is my question giving me a fresh perspective or repeating what I’ve tried/seen before?

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Tim Ferriss Picks Josh Waitzkin’s Brain


Tim Ferriss & Josh Waitzkin discuss the art of learning (and unlearning), as well as what it means to be at the top of your game.

Tim Ferriss is the author of the mega best-selling book, The 4-Hour Workweek. He is also the host of his own TV show, as well as his own podcast series.

Josh Waitzkin was and probably still is, the most famous master chess player in the world. He has now gone on to master other things; Chinese Tai-Chi and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, to name a few.

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Do Something Different

something new

I have a homework assignment for you. Today, on this very day that you are reading this blog post; try something new. Challenge yourself to reach out of your comfort zone. Do something different. Don’t weasel out of it! Make it happen. Go on — do it.

why nottry quotechallenge yourselfdo something newbest is yet to comedo something differentfirst-time-quote

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Our 3 Month Adventure

3 month adventure 90 day challenge

The title says ‘our,’ because I’m talking about me & you! But first let me explain (by telling you something about me.)

In the past, (more intensely from 1997 – 2011), I would regularly set-up challenges for myself. Examples of challenges are the following:

  • Hiking in the Himalayas to a glacier. (Wearing a pair of dilapidated shoes that were 4 sizes to big for me — it’s a long story, and an event that I would never-ever care to repeat. I would hike again in the Himalayas, but not in that way!)
  • Running a full 26.2 marathon — with a super-hilly course. (I was 35lbs. overweight and ill at the time, I had a golfball sized growth that needed to be removed in my left ovary — ovaries should be the size of almonds, not golfballs.)
  • Participating in several 10 day silent (Buddhist meditation based) retreats. (By far the easiest of all my challenges, it wasn’t challenging at all — but I did relish & enjoy the silence, as well as the break from technology. )
  • Attaining beginners/intermediate and advanced yoga teacher diplomas. (By far one of the greatest choices I ever made. Not because I continued to teach or practice yoga asanas, but because yogic philosophy and meditation would continue to stay with me and help me through daily life.)
  • Shaving my head. (Cutting off my long hair to see what life is like without it! I’m glad I tried it, but would never do it again. I have a horrible shaped head, with more scars and bald spots than I was aware of. It was not a good look for me — at all. But that wasn’t the point of doing it.)
  • Creating big commissioned works of art for the public. (I did this on several occasions. Some of the projects I enjoyed, others I disliked for numerous reasons, and prayed for the day it would be complete and over with.)
  • Fasting for 18 days on water only. (One of my more insightful and pleasant challenges, ironically it was effortless and I could have easily gone on for another week or two.)
  • Going through intense meditation & yogic practices led by swamis. (Some were a bit traumatic! But also great, and I was grateful for the experience.)
  • And there are many others… I think I bored you with enough details… but I’ll tell you one more… Another example was making a list of fears to conquer (in the late 90’s), and crossing them off one-by-one. The list was filled with activities that I felt ashamed to learn as a grown adult (like learning how to ride a bicycle), or activities I kept dodging in my life (like mending a long-time strained relationship), or things that I was utterly terrified of. Learning how to swim was a huge one for me. Mostly because I almost drowned as a child. (I was pulled out of a lake and dragged onto land.) In time, I was able to cross that fear off my list. (I took swimming lessons and later traveled to Fire Island with my swimming instructor, to swim in ocean/bay waters.) Learning how to swim was by far the most challenging, most impactful, as well as the most memorable thing I have ever done (due to the fact that I had a life-changing epiphany while in the water).

At the time I was doing all of these things, I was often encouraged (sometimes in miraculous ways), but also discouraged. People thought I should be focusing on more important things; like secure work (with a company I could retire with), or making as much money as possible, or pursuing higher education. They also had the impression I was some sort of unhappy seeker that needed to fix herself, or someone that was a masochist (which is what my father said, in a loving & humorous manner), or someone that was addicted to fear-based thrills. None of it was correct. What I was, was someone that believed life (more so, I) had more to offer than what I was currently experiencing. I knew that behind the unremarkable aspects of life, behind the mundane mask of who I thought I was — there was something spectacular, something revelatory. And once something is known, once it is experienced or revealed to oneself, that one will never be the same. And I wasn’t.

After that stretch of activities, a bunch of things happened, and life dramatically changed course (several times). And like most things, it has now come full circle, or full spiral. I find myself wanting to push boundaries and experience the unknown again. Only catch is, I have a little senior special-needs dog, that is pretty much glued to my hip. So whatever I do, she has to be with me (for the most part), and it will have to be activities that are local and close to home.

So, my idea is to greatly challenge my daily routine. I want to go for what I know I want, and what I feel curious about — and what feels slightly out of my reach (do to fears or plain ol’ laziness). I want to set up a 3 month challenge (92 days), from November 1st to February 1st. The goal is to create powerful habits — daily rituals that bring surprising results. I want to create days that knock my socks off. Not because anything super-exciting happened, but because I am extremely present to the joy of practice: the practice of creating the most spectacular day. The practice of unwavering dedication to 7 key habits that inspire me.

I will create a daily to-do list, as well as measurable results of success (for long-term accumulated benefits of my daily practice). I will also create a daily blog, to hold me accountable. Each blog post will be numbered for each of the 92 days the program is running. At the end of the 3 months, you will have been able to see the journey, as well as the magic that unfolded along the way, and the final result of all the work put in.

Here is where you come in… :)

If you have something you want to achieve or experience in 3 months (92 days). Email directly and team up with me. Contact me via this Link. We can hold each other accountable online throughout the challenge..

If you are indecisive, or have to start late in the program — contact me anyway, and jump in!

And if you don’t want to take on a challenge, but want to watch or root me on — that would be wonderful! Simply follow my daily blog updates (92 days worth!) via this Link. (I will not be posting daily updates on Sunday Is For Lovers, they will only be on my daily blog set-up for this challenge.)

Happy November 1st! I’m excited to see how life unfolds into the new year. I hope you are too!


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Fear, Authenticity & Big Magic

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Friends + Family = Yay!

friends and family illustration

I gave up my usual writing day to hang with friends & family this weekend. I have visitors and we are having a FABULOUS time in Southern Oregon! It’s such a joy to have them with me, and I’ll be sad to see them go. Luckily we have a few more days together (yay!), so I will enjoy every minute of it.

Wishing everyone a fantastic Sunday, full of family & friends (or whatever makes you happy). See you next week for Sunday blog posts as usual. I’ll have a new post up! (Thank you for your patience. :) Xx.)


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Tiny Desk Concerts

martha wainwright
Martha Wainwright

adele 2015


rufus wainwright
Rufus Wainwright

Lianne LaHavas
Lianne LaHavas

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