Got problems? Do you like them? Does it give you something to chat about with your friends, a puzzle to solve? What if you didn't have problems? What could you enjoy using the time and energy you now pour into problem solving? If you'd like to find out, ask “What have I decided is a problem, which if I looked at it differently is something to be thankful for?” For example, rather than being upset that your boss is not hands on and doesn't want to hear about or get involved in your projects, be grateful you have the freedom to run them the way you like. So next time you find yourself complaining about something weighing you down, rather than trying to fix the problem (make it a better problem?), what if you looked at it differently and transformed it into something else?
How often have you shared your excitement about something with someone, only to have them pour cold water over you saying things like “Really? That was an odd thing to do!” or “You did what? Don't you know it's not going to work because of A, B C...Z?”, and even “OMG how stupid could you be???” How was that? Not much fun? What happened to your excitement and joy? Did you start doubting yourself, thinking that you really must be stupid? And definitely wrong? Just because someone else doesn't get it, doesn't mean you don't. What if you knew a whole lot more than most people? At least you know what's fun for you. How would anyone else know that? So when you are enjoying yourself or have a great new idea, remind yourself you know that you know. And say “Just for me, just for fun, never tell anyone.” And if you do share your joy with someone and they don't get it, smile and thank them for their “interesting point of view.”
What is your point of view about money, for example? That there isn't enough to go around? That it doesn't grow on trees? That you have to work long and hard to get enough? Whatever your points of view about money, is that more or less what is showing up for you? So your points of view are not wrong? And if something is working for you, there is no need to change your point of view about it. What about when something is NOT working for you? For example, if you'd really prefer more money in your life? In that case, play with this. Ask “What if I changed my point of view?” Then, every time you start to say something about money, STOP and say “Interesting I have that point of view. I wonder what else is possible, greater than I can imagine?” What else would you like to change? The people in your life, your health, you daily activities like work? What else could you change your point of view about that could create a whole new reality you can't yet imagine? Start to play?
Are you a parent, or thinking about growing some kids? Do you feel like a beach ball on the ocean being battered by waves in the middle of a storm of advice? People telling you what you must/must not do to be a successful parent? And if you don't, UH OH, your poor kids...Does this help you smile and enjoy being a parent, or potential parent? Or not so much? What if parenting wasn't what you thought it was? What if it could be whatever you chose it to be? What would that be? Try this on for size. Ask yourself “What if my job as a parent was to be joyful?” What would create more joy for you as a parent? Acknowledging everyone else's points of view as interesting, then asking “Does this work for me?” and creating your life based on your own awareness? What if the greatest gift you could offer your children was to show them the joy of life and living is whatever they choose it to be.
What do people around you talk about? Do they gossip and talk endlessly about the next installment of the trauma and drama in their or other people's lives? Do they usually focus on who did what bad thing to someone else? Do you enjoy it and join in? Does it make you feel uncomfortable or get you down? Or are you simply puzzled why people spend their time talking about things like this? If you're not enjoying the conversations around you ask “What do I enjoy talking about?” and notice what comes to mind. If you realize that what you enjoy doesn't match what people around you are talking about, simply acknowledge it with “interesting I don't enjoy this.” If you can't remove yourself from conversation, a smile, a nod and interesting point of view energy will take you out of resist and react. What if by not engaging in the talk, you changed the conversation? And you can always ask “What will it take for more fun people to come and play?” and find people who are more in your zone.
Do all sorts of magical creatures find you during the holidays, especially when you're offering cake and beer? Who are they in your circles? You know the ones, the Snakes who always bite you when you least expect it, because it's instinct? Or the Bring Downers, who simply get a kick out of making your life hell and bringing you down? Does it always shock, horrify, disappoint or upset you when they do it, again and again? What if you gave up expecting everyone to be nice like you, and instead played this game? First, recognise who the Snakes and Bring Downers are in your life. Then you can choose to stay out of their way. And, when they do enter your life, see them and acknowledge them for being great at what they do. How? When they start with the biting and the bringing down – without heat – say “Wow, you're really good at doing that!” When they ask “What's that?” reply “Whatever you're doing now. What is that?” Then listen with “interesting point of view” energy, or walk away.
How much of the holidays do you spend listening to people tell you directly, or indirectly how much rubbish you are? Is that fun? Is it true? If not and you'd like something different, play this game. Whenever you sense someone is looking to criticize, hurt, insult, or provoke you, smile, nod gently and – without heat – reply “interesting point of view”. You are acknowledging their viewpoint and allowing them to enjoy it. You're not agreeing they're right, and you're not being distracted by falling into an angry, emotional reaction, which is often what they really want so they can control you. If you need to pull the heat out of an intense onslaught, say “You're right. I'm wrong” three times. Our addiction to right and wrong, good and bad is one of the strongest we have. These two magic phrases will invite the energy of allowance into your holidays. Just think, if everyone were in allowance, could family feuds, neighboring conflicts, and even war, fall over like dominoes?
Do you encounter many angry people in your life? When people do anger, are they ever really interested in hearing your point of view? Or is their main focus getting a reaction out of you? Are they interested in you being free to say and do what you prefer? Or are they looking to control you? You know exact the moment your buttons are pushed and you become trapped in emotional reaction. Would you like to be free of that auto-response? If so, next time someone does anger at you, be Cute Not Bright. Stop and ask them “OK, what do you mean by that?” and listen. Keep asking the same question and listen until the anger has gone. Anger is a distractor people will use against you to see how you'll react, so they can find a way to gain control over you. Acknowledging the other person like this will take you out of reaction and into action to create the life you'd like.
Do you sometimes feel like you have no options? For example, you have NO CHOICE but to look after your elderly parents, make your kids do homework, stay late at the office, cancel your holiday, pay for dinner, host the family at Christmas, get married, get a job, buy a house, have kids...[enter your own disgruntlement here]. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with any of these things. It's simply your point of view if you don't like something. If your point of view is that you don't like it and you'd prefer something else, instead of defaulting to the No Choice version of life, ask “Who or what is limiting my choices?” Once you become clear about whether it's you, or someone or something else limiting your choices, you can more questions to create what you'd really like, for example “What else is possible?” or “What will it take for X to show up?” This is a free-will universe, remember? There is always choice. What if you stopped being your greatest limitation?
Are you having a rough time, facing something tough? Do people around you say or do things that just get up your nose? Does it seem like everything going to hell in a handbasket? Do you frown all day, walk around with stooped shoulders, and snap at everyone (if you can get out of bed, that is)? Would you like to change that? Even if you don't think it's possible and can't see a way out, ask “What if I just smiled all day today?” This requires no thinking. Just pull those lips back into a smile. No matter what happens, no matter who says or does what, smile and be interesting point of view. If you choose to stay in bed all day, smile at the ceiling. If you need to, pull a really big rubber band across your mouth and hook it up to both ears to keep you smiling. Believe it or not, science shows this actually works to change your mood. Are you ready to change?