This one question could dissolve your moment of suffering
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It may surprise you that I don't fully understand all of the metaphysical terms now thrown around like they were always the way we talked to each other. I mean, don't get me wrong, I am fully down with meditation, love, self-compassion, mantras, candles, so many of the things we used to call "New Age" when I was a young girl. And people now sometimes call me the "Gratitude Lady" so you might even call me "woo-woo" and I would happily take it. The truth is "woo-woo" keeps me fully alive and joyful! So, you might want some "woo-woo" yourself.

But start saying you want to "manifest" things and I get confused. And I remember the first time several years ago that someone told me, "Let's put out the intention..." and me wishing this conversation was the kind I could interrupt and say, "Exactly what do you mean by that?" No, instead I just stayed pleasantly confused, knowing that there was good juju's behind that but not sure what to do with it. So, it takes me a while to break down these words into language I can understand. Eventually, I do. In my own good time, I get the "aha" about the meaning and then hear myself saying these words.

So, that brings me to my latest "aha moment" with one of these words.

"Channeling." Yep, channeling. It doesn't mean an active version of using the remote control. It's much more cosmic than that but it evaded me for quite some time. Until...it happened to me. I swear, I channelled something the other day. I really, honest to God, did it. And what I mean is that flashes of wisdom came to me in a flurry, faster than I could write them down. They just kept coming. And it felt like it came from somewhere outside of myself. That's what channeling is apparently! If you really want to know, it means communicating with otherworldly beings and getting information or messages. And something out of this world as we know it definitely came to me in a burst of inspiration.

You see I teach people how to manage suffering, real heart-opening, body-numbing suffering. I use meditation. I use gratitude. I use acceptance and movement of emotions. I use deep, inner work of self-compassion. I use everything I can. And it works, don't get me wrong. But I forget when I meet people new to all of this, that it might be hard to digest any of that. (kind of like me and a new metaphysical term!) It might take them time.

And so, in this flurry of, let's call it divine channeling, I understood that sometimes we can access all of this juicy woo-woo goodness through real, down to earth questions. Yep, questions.

We can ask ourselves simple questions and transform the moment.

And so, I am writing them up into a book and it's going to be GOOD. I can feel it already. (Plus, if I declare it out loud here and you keep me honest about it, there's my accountability!) 

But today, because we don't have that much time together (we will get that when you sit down with my book!), I am just going to offer you one of the questions for you to ponder. And I would love to hear what you do with it!

This first question needs some background. It has to do with reversing a question we ask ourselves ALL the time! Trust me, you have said it before.

"Why me?!?"

Yep, Why me? The inevitable, how could this happen to ME? Or US? Or MY CHILD? And on and on. We ask it when something catastrophic happens. We ask it in simple, daily life. Come on, admit it, you have thought it or some version of it in traffic before? Why me, why am I stuck in this sea of other vehicles? We ask it constantly. And we don't just ask it. We often scream it. Or say it with the most righteous indignation we can. As if we are talking to the universe and saying, "How COULD you?" 

Now, just a disclaimer, it's a fair question. It's a question of suffering. It's a question that allows us to express our anger and utter shock. I get it because I'm human. And I ask it all the time. But one day my husband turned this question on its head for me and it was in the middle of one of the worst days of our life.

To put it in a nutshell, it was a sunny, warm day in September and we were on our porch. But that's where the serenity of the picture ends. Because I had just left work and met him there. Our heads were hung in utter despair. And we were faced with the news that our middle child had a diagnosis of the worst muscular dystrophy you can have. Out of all the 70+ kinds, he had the most severe, the most unrelenting and the one that had a 100% known outcome and it wasn't good. So there we were, our tears intermingling and I was saying "Why us?" out loud. "Why Zubin?" How could you, Universe, How could you? And even looking back, I know I had every right to utter those words. I needed to utter them.

But in that moment, my husband asked me a question back that changed everything. (OMG, I just realized he may have been channeling the question! See, now, that's going to be my favorite word!) 

"Why NOT me?"

"Why NOT us?"

"Why NOT Zubin?" 

Now, don't get me wrong, I wanted to slap him. 

But after I got my anger under control (meditation comes in handy), I felt his question in every cell of my body. 

Why Not Me? How was I so special or different than any other human, than any other mother who had suffered such devastation? How could I deny that vulnerability we all have to suffering? No, in fact, it may be the ONLY thing that connects us all. Our experience of deep pain in this life.

Alright, now you may not be with me yet. But what I will tell you is that this question is magic. What it does is take you from a state of indignation, anger, and RESISTANCE to a moment of softening and ACCEPTANCE. In all due time. It doesn't have to happen right there. It doesn't have to happen the next day. But if you keep asking the question, you will see how it can change everything.

When we ask this question, we move from a moment of putting up walls to a moment of CONNECTION with something larger than ourselves, the sea of humanity that suffers. 

With one simple question, we can move to a place of heart opening instead of shutting down and pushing away. Our body language changes. Our heart space widens. 

Ask this question to yourself in any situation, small or large. If it makes you more angry or want to slap me, you know you are heading in the right direction. Ask it, keep asking it. Ask yourself, ask loved ones. And let me know what happens! Please, please, I want to hear from you. 

Live (and ask) well,
Tanmeet