Questions guide us in all that we do. Some questions we ask to ourselves, some to others. We walk into a room and think or ask, “What’s going on here?” We hear the telephone ring and wonder, “Who’s that?” We see a friend and ask, usually quite automatically, “How are you?”

Not every question has a question mark at the end. For example, “I wonder if I’ll have trouble falling to sleep tonight.” Or, “Let’s see if there are any fresh vegetables that look good at the supermarket today.” These are examples of rather neutral questions, that is, those that are not empowering or empowering. They simply guide us in our observations.

Questions you ask naturally You may want to take a few moments to consider what questions lead you through a day. What do you ask when you wake up in the morning? When you see a friend? When you get into your car? When you hear the doorbell? When you pick up your mail? When you fall asleep at night?

As you become aware of your natural questions, you may find that they are helpful or unhelpful; empowering or not empowering; clear or confusing. Some may lead you to the responses or answers that you truly desire; some may evade the true issues.

Internal messages Questions and other internal messages guide our observations. Some of these messages may be easy to hear because they are audible and part of our conscious awareness. Others may be conscious but still inaudible. Still others may be inaudible

and unconscious.

Our questions and inner messages accumulate at various levels of our consciousness. Some are deeply embedded and insidious. Our internal messages have many possible sources. They can originate in childhood, first heard said by an adult. They can be embedded from a perception of an early experience, even a rather undramatic experience. Internal messages are beliefs we hold about the outer world, regardless of the original influence and ourselves.

The questions that we ask Individuals in pain or confusion often ask, “what have I done wrong?” Many years ago, I stepped into a trap by answering this question when a client asked me. Now I know that all that is wrong is the question!

The question “what have I done wrong?” returns disempowering responses. Even answering “nothing” is unsatisfactory. If you are tempted to ask this question, stop and ask another. If someone asks you this question, you can help the person more by suggesting an empowering question rather than answering this disempowering one. Alternative questions lead to more useful insights. One of the best ways to acquaint yourself with your internal messages is to explore them in a relaxed state. You can do this as part of a meditation or visualisation or journaling session. You will find the process that follows particularly revealing if you focus on a specific situation in your life so that you have a context for the messages. If your focus is on a difficult situation, it will be even more helpful.

Everyday empowering questions Here are some of my favourite empowering questions that can aid in transforming disempowering questions. You may want to select the ones that resonate for you and write them on a card for your wallet or mirror or car.

What excites me about today? What do I want? How can I share my gifts now? What

can I learn here? How can I realize more meaning in my life? What is worthy of my attention? Who can I connect with here? What can I contribute to this situation?

What can I give today? What’s funny about this? What am I grateful for? What brings me joy in that experience?

How did I make a difference today? Can I laugh now? What is my Truth about this issue? What’s next? What now? What is the question? How can I/we be empowered? Am I ready to receive the gifts of the Universe? How does God see this? Who am I?