Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Five Questions That Change Everything...

As I was saying in my first (Belatedly, Beginning...) blog, I attended the above titled workshop last weekend at the Kripalu Yoga Center. The title promised a lot and surprisingly, it delivered! Led by John Scherer and Lynnea Brinkerhoff, the workshop was structured around the Five Questions, also the title of John's book and website (see http://www.the5questions.com/)

If you're like me, you might want to know what those questions are straight away. I know I did. Not to keep you in suspense, I've cut and pasted them directly from John's website and here they are:

The Five Questions
1.What CONFRONTS me? What ‘tigers’ do I need to face?’

2.What am I BRINGING? What is my history with this situation? What am I saying to myself that makes it hard for me to face this ‘tiger’?

3.What RUNS me? Where am I ‘on autopilot’ and don’t realize it? How is that affecting what I do all day long-and in my life in general?

4.What CALLS me? What bone-deep gifts, talents or capabilities do I possess that call out to be expressed more fully in my life and work? What kind of difference would I like to think my life could make in the world?

5.What will UNLEASH me? What will it take for me to finally get out of my own way and BE fully who I am in the world?

Opening up even one of those questions could be daunting, but doing so within the nurturing ambience of support that John & Lynnea skillfully cultivated was energizing and provocative.  As a team, they masterfully balanced each other, providing structure while also mindful of process -  knowing when to teach content and when to let experience itself be the lesson and how to weave it all together into an integrated whole.  High praise, eh?  Yes, but it was well deserved.
For myself, the learning happened on different levels.  As a professional, I was curious about how they'd pull off the program's promise.  As a participant, I noticed my traditional critical stance, waiting for them to make errors, to stumble or even to fall.  As the program unfolded, I couldn't help but confront my own tendency to withhold my full engagement, to hold myself back in reserve.  As ready as I was to criticize and judge THEM, I noticed my tendency to preemptively protect myself from criticism and judgment.  
So, there you go.  I answered the first question.  In order to keep myself safe from critical judgment, I have been reluctant to face the tiger of expressing myself openly.   Taking the risk of expressing myself - in the blogosphere no less - is a huge stretch for me.  But, didn't I signed up for CHANGE?!!   Isn't that the promise I hold out to clients?  If it's going to work for them, it has to work for me.  So here I am - vulnerable & sharing, both scarey and refreshing.  There's more to come...


  1. Hi Laya, interested in your questions and love your facing the tiger of expressing yourself openly. So glad you are going to keep in touch this way! irene