What Are You All About?
It has been said that each individual's life boils down to a single question. Your life is the living of that question, the search for its answer and personal significance. Arriving at that ultimate question involves asking and answering numerous preliminary questions. Slowly, you begin to realize all the questions' interrelatedness, until at last you distill them down to one. You do this not by gaining information from empirical sources but by questioning yourself and unearthing knowledge you didn't know you possessed.
This answering of a question with a question that reveals a still greater truth is a fundamental part of many religious traditions, including Hebraic, Jesuitical, and Zen. It's in reaching the profound, seminal questions that the meaning is discovered and the questioning taken to the next level of understanding. The questions lead us to places unfamiliar and then make these places known to us.
An insightful psychotherapist once said to me, "You want answers to questions that only you could think to ask." At the time I thought he was validating my intellectual superiority. But I've come to realize that certain questions are so intricately tied to our individuality that the answers can come only from within ourselves. Often this is the last place we look.
The function of intuition is to lead us to these answers. The function of the mind and the heart is to formulate the questions.
This book will help you answer your questions by asking them back at you. Indeed, only you can answer the ultimate questions of your life. It always amazes me that we expect disciplines like philosophy and religion and intuition to answer questions such as What is the meaning of life? Yet we don't think that the individual "I" who generates these philosophies can answer something simple like Will the price of gold rise in February? or Where the heck did I leave my car keys? or, more seriously, How can I make my relationship more successful?
It's the little questions that make up life.Getting In Touch With Your Priorities
The following is a simple questionnaire that will help you pinpoint the information you need to best use the next chapter. This is also your first exercise in opening the door to intuition.Exercise 1
Getting In Touch With YourselfPart I
Record your first response to each of the following questions, even if it doesn't seem to make sense. Be honest. Don't try to be clever or to respond in a way you think will impress me or others. Be brief; sometimes a word will suffice. You will have the opportunity to give more reflective answers shortly.
Although this exercise calls for short responses, you may want to have a friend read off the questions and transcribe your answers. If not, use your tape recorder.
Remember, I want your immediate responses. OK? Here goes:
In this moment, what do you want?
In this moment, what do you need?
In this moment, what is your greatest fear?
In this moment, what is your dearest wish?
In this moment, what do you need to be happy?
In this moment, what is your ambition?
In this moment, what is your greatest talent?
In this moment, what is your most formidable obstacle?
In this moment, how are you your own worst enemy?
In this moment, with what part of your life are you most satisfied?
In this moment, what is missing in your life?
In this moment, in which area of your life would you most like to see change in the coming year?
What is your mission?Part II
Review your answers to the preceding questions. I would now like you to reflect on each question before responding. Your answers this time will be longer than those in Part I, but you should still try to be concise. If you get stuck, look back to your initial responses.
Upon reflection, what do you want?
Upon reflection, what do you need?
Upon reflection, what is your greatest fear?
Upon reflection, what is your dearest wish?
Upon reflection, what do you need to be happy?
Upon reflection, what is your ambition?
Upon reflection, what is your greatest talent?
Upon reflection, what is your most formidable obstacle?
Upon reflection, how are you your own worst enemy?
Upon reflection, with what part of your life are you most satisfied?
Upon reflection, what is missing in your life?
Upon reflection, in which area of your life would you most like to see change in the coming year?
Upon reflection, what is your mission?
Record your responses in your intuition notebook. If you used a tape recorder, transcribe your precise words.
Remember to label this Exercise 1 and note the date.The Point of This Exercise
This is a book about answering the important questions in your life. You've just begun the process of thinking about them. In the next chapter, I'll ask you to think about them more concretely.Granting You Three Wishes
Just Imagine, You Can Ask Anything . . .
I'd like you to imagine that you're about to be granted a special audience with an all-seeing individual. It's hard to believe, but this person can tell you anything you want to know about any person or event in the past, present, or even future.
Now, just like Aladdin's genie, this omniscient being has granted you a wonderful gift: the answers to any three questions of your choosing. Any three. What questions would you ask?
They wouldn't be trivial--you have been granted just three, after all. This would not be the appropriate time to focus on where you left your car keys or whether you should substitute chestnuts for walnuts in your mother's Thanksgiving recipe for turkey stuffing. You wouldn't want to waste this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
No, these questions would involve major life issues. Very likely they would concern your career or your relationships. Your questions might be about obstacles or opportunities you're likely to encounter in the coming months and how best to deal with them. Or perhaps there is a mystery from your past you'd like to solve once and for all.
Since you'll want to be able to use the information, you wouldn't ask about events decades from now. You'd ask about issues you could verify one way or another in the next six to twelve months, a few years at the outside. If you asked about the meaning of life, for example, you would not ever be able to verify whether the answer you were given was correct.Exercise 2
So, What Would You Ask?
Right now, get a pen and a piece of paper and come up with three questions. They can be about personal or business matters. They can be about yourself, someone you know, or someone who hasn't even come into your life yet.
Don't be shy, really let loose. No one is going to see these questions but you. Don't think any of your questions are silly. "Will my breasts ever grow?" would have been my main question in the years between childhood and adolescence!
These need not be yes/no questions. They should be varied and not overlapping, though they don't have to be in any particular order.
Again, ask questions you really want answered.
Don't worry about whether you've phrased your questions perfectly. In the next chapter you will be editing them.
If you have trouble narrowing your wish list down to three, brainstorm with as many questions as you'd like. Once you've completed your longer list, use process of elimination to select the three questions you would most
like answers to.
When you've finished writing them, label the list Exercise 2 and place it in your intuition notebook.Here's My Promise
By the time you've finished this book, you will have detailed answers to your three questions. You don't need to do research, ask an expert, or call the Psychic Hot Line (a psychic 900 number).
How, you ask? Well, do you remember that person I mentioned whom you can consult, that remarkable individual with access to answers about any question?
I was talking about you.
As you will discover shortly, you are already intuitive. You access your "sixth sense" unconsciously all the time. You simply aren't aware of your intuition, or haven't learned to recognize it. Trust me: You have the ability--right now--to get useful information instantly on any topic at any time, whether intellectually you know anything about it or not.
This book will help you develop your conscious control over this amazing faculty. Through the exercises you will answer each question not just once but over and over, from different perspectives and in different time frames. Incidentally, there is nothing preventing you from answering other questions on your own as you hone your intuitive ability. The limit to three is simply so I can walk you through the exercises in an organized way. I know this program works because over the past decade I've helped thousands of people tap their intuition. By the end of this book, you'll be using your intuitive powers like never before.
Remember, I'm not going to answer your three questions. You are.
That means you'll have to complete the exercises conscientiously. Since they're all about the major questions in your life, I'm sure they'll have your complete attention. Besides, they're brief and fun, and they'll give you instant feedback on your progress.If You Have Any Doubts
You may be skeptical that anyone, much less you, can answer these questions. I don't blame you. Many of my students begin as skeptics.
So I'm going to ask you to do something I ask of them. If you don't believe you can answer these questions, I'd like you to cultivate an attitude you may have forgotten since childhood. I'd like you to pretend.
Excerpted from Practical Intuition by Laura Day. . Excerpted by permission of Harmony, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.