Kaizen Principle Week 2: We Make Plans and the Universe Giggles

Part 2: “Ask Small Questions”

So here I am on my “Accessing My Inner Vixen” rampage, noticing some unconscious eating, but totally grooving to the beat of hip hop and belly dancing.  I’m getting more sleep and becoming more connected to my body and essence. Then. Slam! A combination of insufficient stretching, high heels and too much walking results in a strained tendon on the tibialis anterior muscle, in plain language, the top of my right foot. My podiatrist informed me that for the quickest recovery, I should get “No exercise,” and precious little walking for two weeks. Holy physical and emotional setback! Exercise has always been my Prozac, regulating my moods and being a big contributor to my zest for life.

After hearing my podiatrist’s diagnosis, I was amazed at my reaction, a surprising sense of peace and gratitude. I was just happy there were no broken bones but also aware of that voice guiding me. Like my own personal Zen-Master saying, “Time to slow down and stay put for a while.” It’s so easy to be angry when parts of our body or life breakdown, like they’re “out to get us.”  I saw my foot as a sacred messenger rather than an enemy.  The next morning I awoke with lots of small questions.

“What is my foot trying to tell me?” “What purpose can slowing down serve me right now?” “What can I learn from this experience?” The list goes on. Am I delighted and jumping for joy that life’s luscious lessons have landed at my door (and my right foot), not exactly! Do I know that by embracing the small questions in life, the larger ones seem to resolve themselves or become less urgent, yes!

So I ask you, as you move towards your Completion Initiative, “What small questions can YOU ask yourself?” When my clients come to me and say, “When I ask myself what’s next I go blank!” I say, ‘No wonder, that’s an awfully big question.’ But small questions do open up insights and provide guidance.

Guess what, there’s actual science behind it as well, as cited by Dr. Robert Maurer, in “The Kaizen Way,” When you ask big questions you elicit the fight/flight response, in the amygdala, the “Warning-warning, danger approaching,” part of our brain. In contrast, when you ask small questions you engage the hippocampus, the part of your brain that LOVES figuring these out; it has a field day.

What small question(s) can you ask yourself this week to support your chosen Completion Initiative? Here’s a few to start with:

What could be a more enjoyable way to approach this task or goal?

What FOG (fabulous opportunity for growth) could this small action bring my way?

What’s the worst result this move could produce?

What’s the best thing that could happen?

And the list goes on…

I welcome your feedback and your comments. Thanks to all who responded last week.

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