The Clarifying Question

images-1Two of the best self-reflection questions we can pose to ourselves are:

“What ideas, experiences, efforts, or expressions bring deep satisfaction to me?

What was I brought here to make, do, or express?”

You begin to answer such questions by noting any and all efforts (large or small) that bring you deep satisfaction. This is a feeling in your body, not a concept in your head. Ask yourself, “What just feels good to me? Where and when do I know I’ve had a good or meaningful experience?”

Think about experiences or activities that make you feel like you’ve done something good, made an offering, clarified something, or made something better. It might be when you have a good conversation with a friend and know that she felt better for having been heard. It might be after you’ve cleaned up your garden. Or maybe it’s when you complete a project at work and know that it will be of benefit to your professional community. In other words, where or when do you feel really good about the tiny offering you have made?

Example: When I write a good blog post, I feel happier and more satisfied about having done that than almost anything else I do. In my body, I feel solid, and grounded. I also feel somewhat liberated, like I’ve been released from something I’ve been carrying around. And then, when people comment on that writing, I feel valued, appreciated, and seen. I feel like I’ve done something worthwhile. Not necessarily “good,” but worthwhile to me or to another. Even though I know only a very tiny number of people read my posts, still, it’s my small way of saying what I think is important to my small part of the world.

Where do you feel best? Where do you feel really valued? When do you know you’ve given your highest to your piece of the world? Where do you make a situation or a condition more beautiful, more clear, more useful, more sane, more happy, more connected?

Why is the clarifying question important?

Gary Keller, author of The One Thing: the surprisingly simple truth behind extraordinary results, says, “Happiness happens on the way to fulfillment.” And of the variety of ways we strive to achieve happiness, Keller believes engagement and meaning are the most important. “Becoming more engaged in what we do by finding ways to make our life more meaningful is the surest way to finding lasting happiness. When our daily actions fulfill a bigger purpose, the most powerful and enduring happiness can happen.”

When we begin to recognize the areas of “engagement” in our life that actually make us feel good, we’re on our way to seeing why we are here. The body knows. The body cues us as to what is good and right for us; what is beneficial; what is creative, happy, satisfying beyond the acquisition of money, fame, or authority. It’s the accrual of those small, earnest expressions of our perceptions and offerings that truly cause us to feel engaged, connected, and purposeful. And those expressions lead to fulfillment, even to happiness.

The question now is, “How do I organize my day for allowing such feelings of engagement and satisfaction?”

If you would like assistance in exploring the clarifying question of your life, consider taking advantage of a no-cost Creative Momentum Session at LifeArt Studio. Begin right now making the highest expression of yourself your daily priority.  Contact me here for an appointment.