Utilize Inquiry during these Uncertain Times

Our culture is addicted to the values of knowing, clarity, and having a plan. In these uncertain times, many of us are experiencing waves of anxiety and fear. One antidote is to allow yourself to be in a space of inquiry. Allow yourself to revel in the unknown. Doing so is  an opportunity to explore different parts of yourself and your comfort zone. 

In reality,  much of life is uncertain, and  this pandemic heightens the unknown in life.  As someone who coaches women in transition in work and life, I know the waters of the unknown well. It can be a powerful time to embrace our emotions. 

I love this quote by David Whyte:

Some things cannot be spoken or discovered until we have been stuck, incapacitated, or blown off course for awhile. Plain sailing is pleasant, but you are not going to explore many unknown realms that way.

This pandemic has certainly blown us all off course. Now is a prime opportunity to strengthen your connection within. Whether you are deepening that connection with yourself or are just starting to build that muscle, this is a great time to practice. 

Inquiry is a powerful tool to help you open up to the next chapter in your life. You can create inquiry about many things, such as your relationship with money, work, your family, partnership, and friends. 

One way to create inquiry is to become a feeling observer of your emotional life. For many of us, uncertainty isn’t what’s unbearable; rather, what is so challenging to deal with are the  FEELINGS that arise due to the uncertainty. If you become a witness and observer of your feelings you can then become curious and allow the feeling energy to move through you. You simply “be with” the experience rather than trying to push it away. 

If you are feeling stuck, frozen or scared, allow yourself to observe the experience rather than push it away. It is in observing and witnessing that the inquiry becomes alive. Some questions to ask yourself might be: What is this experience teaching me? What needs tending in my heart? What next step do I need to take today? 

Here is a 5 step process you can utilize today. 

Breathe and relax

Take 5 deep breaths into your nose and out your mouth. While breathing in, say the words, “I welcome calm” and while exhaling, say the words” I am  letting go of anxiety.”

Set your intention

It could simply be, “May I hear what my heart and soul have to say.”

Ask your question

What would you like to know? Ask open-ended questions,  guided by the “why,” “how,” and “what” of life. For example, “What is this pandemic preparing me for?”

Pay attention to the signs

The signs may come to you as you sit or you may find the signs in nature or through people. Be open to how the signs show up. 

Trust your Intuition

If you think you have received a sign, pause, check in with yourself to confirm that is the right answer for you. 

Inquiry is something you can control.  Many areas of life may feel uncertain right now but inquiry–witnessing and being an observer–is a place you have control and freedom. 

Another great quote I love is by Viktor Frankl, a psychiatrist and holocaust surviver. 

“Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation.”