1. What delights you and brings you alive?2. What breaks your heart? 3. What does healing look like? 4. What one life-affirming action will you do beautifully and consistently, with love?
These four questions, conceived by my Real Speaking teacher Gail Larsen, capture the process of life coaching and personal transformation. They go to the heart of our own truth, and call us to look with clear eyes at what is etched in our souls.
For most of us, there is at least one of these questions we've been avoiding for most of our lives. It could be any one of them. Perhaps we have not allowed ourselves to want what we want, to feel the joy of being fully alive. Or maybe we have masked ourselves with a facade of "perkiness" and images of "happiness" which belie the deep caverns of unexpressed pain in our hearts. Even if we have done the work of facing our deepest truths, we can get lost there if we never look beyond these current realities into a vision of what our lives could be. And finally, all the dreaming and scheming in the world is no substitute for taking actions which are aligned with the truths we have uncovered and pointed in the direction of our brightest visions.
All of these four questions, taken together, outline a process of uncovering what is true for you, and becoming the most compassionate, loving witness of yourself that you will ever find. Until you fall deeply in love with all aspects of who you are, you will remain a stranger to the love that is already waiting patiently and silently to envelope you when you finally open to it.
It takes courage to ask these four questions, and answering them for yourself may seem difficult. In the words of the poet Rilke, "We must be unafraid of what is difficult. For all living things in nature must unfold in their particular way and become themselves at any cost and despite all opposition."
Like the salmon journeying home against the racing currents, or the butterfly emerging from its cocoon, or the roots of a grapevine tunneling through layers of dry earth to tap the deepest source of nourishment, we each have a necessary process in which we build our muscles and find our flow. Trusting this process we will discover the beauty we call life.