“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.” ― Rainer Maria Rilke
Next week, two new groups begin at LifeArt Studio, both focusing on the powerful questions that shape our lives and create conditions for creating. Poet Ranier Maria Rilke urges us to be patient with the uncertainties of this life, to live into the questions. And that is exactly what we’ll be exploring for ten weeks as we practice ways of seeing the questions that our lives present to us, and ways of living patiently with those questions, instead of trying to force a solution.
We all want answers to why things are the way they are. Why can’t I lose weight? Why can’t I find love? Why am I always at odds with people? Why do I procrastinate doing the very thing I say I want most desperately to do? And it’s so easy to get pushy about getting answers. We’re not very patient creatures. But patience—and self-awareness— will guide us eventually to answers, if we’re awake enough to recognize them.
Warren Berger, author of A More Beautiful Question, says the power of questioning can crack us open to a whole new way of thinking about what is possible for us, to whole new ways of approaching the deep yearning to create something new within ourselves. The series of questions we’ll explore in these group coaching sessions are designed to do just that. They help us set aside limiting thinking we might be holding around our possibilities, and then they guide us toward creating a map that will allow us to explore the possibilities that rise up as we ask and talk about these questions.
As we move through the five sessions in October and November, I’m going to share with our LifeArt Studio readers the big questions we’re posing, thinking about, sitting quietly with, and learning to hold in patience and equanimity. By doing this, I hope to give you a small glimpse into our process of living the questions.
So here is the first set of questions. See if they help you begin to examine your creative living.
1. What is going well for you these days with regard to a creative project that has your attention right now. Make an honest assessment of your attitude toward this project, the conditions under which you explore this project, and the level of inner and outer support that exists for this project.
2. What’s going not so well with this project or endeavor? Can you see some evidence as to why it’s not going so well?
3. What one thing could you do to support your creating more fully, more happily, or more productively? What are the costs/benefits of this “one thing”?
If you have a project or endeavor that you’re stalled on, you might want to join a new accountability group beginning in October. We’ll do lots of questioning there, but also examine some concrete strategies for getting back on track and holding yourself accountable. There’s room for you. Contact me and let’s talk about it.