Did you, by chance, read the book Women Who Run With The Wolves at some point in the past. Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes Ph.D. is the author, and I’m sharing a quote from her work today.
“Asking the proper questions is the central action of transformation. Questions are the key that causes the secret doors of the psyche to swing open.”
I picked up the book in college and yet come back to it again and again for distilled wisdom. If you have not read it, please hop online and listen to a podcast and intersect with her material in some way. It will change your life.
I have observed that there is always a desire and draw towards transformation when people come for help- be it on a physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual level—a release of what has existed to allow for something new and different. And yet, also a resistance. Often coming from things unseen and below the surface of our awareness.
When there is resistance, I believe there is always room for a shift with the right questions. I have found that the best “aha moments” for people come from sincere questions. I want to note that this type of work is different from providing an essential medical opinion derived from wisdom.
This work falls more into true behavior change, a big part of Lifestyle and Integrative Medicine. Motivational interviewing documentation is a great resource to explore this in-depth.
One of my favorite “tough but fair” questions my friends ask me is: “Is this working for you?”.
That one always presses for a deeper look at what I am afraid to open up to/
Here are some other questions that could be used:
Where will this lead?
How will you specifically know that you have achieved your goal?
How connected do you feel to the people around you?
And from my Ayurveda training, questions that lead us to explore the body:
What do your senses pick up?
Where are you feeling that?
How creative are you feeling?
Is compassion easy for you?
A simple statement can be helpful too. Such as:
Tell me more…
And what else?
What are some questions you like to ask?