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Asking is about getting clear on what it is we want. It is setting intentions. When education is working well, it opens the mind. A good teacher will invite questions and discussion to wake up the mind to possibilities. Asking questions clears the way for discovery.

Science begins and ends with a question. Can this be done? What is this? How does it work? What more can this do? Just think of the things we wouldn’t have if someone didn’t ask a question first. When an hypothesis is set, isn’t that really a what-if question?

Asking acknowledges that we can’t know everything. From this place, there is more room for learning to take place. The Buddhists talk about being in that place of “Beginner’s Mind.” Where you know you don’t know it all and the mind can be a-light with questions.

In one of the Gawain stories in the Arthurian and Celtic legends, Gawain finds himself in a strange castle where a warrior is laid out as if he’s dead, with a sword in his heart that continues to bleed. Later, Gawain is witness to the Grail which floats through the hall serving everyone present. Gawain, however, fails to ask about the Grail and instead asks after the warrior. (You kinda can’t blame him for that, being a warrior himself.) However, though the land began to heal, the king still suffered. It wasn’t until later, when Gawain saw the Grail for the second time, that he remembered to ask about it. And then, finally, all was healed. This story carries a side note to me that you get more than one chance to ask. But the key is always in the asking. You don’t have to know all the answers, you just have to ask.

Seems you don’t even always have to hang around for the answer. Ask the right question and things can start to change instantaneously. The answer comes in a holy instant. You might not need to do anything more about it. Including discovering what the answer was.

We might balk at times about putting our lives in God’s Hands. After all that work to figure out what we want! But when we ask for what we want, aren’t we in a way, giving it up? Handing it onto someone else? What if we ask ourselves if we could think of it as handing it over to God? Is there much more powerful a thing to do than that?

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I think it is a hoax to try to figure out what if.

That could be because there are so many millions of ways that things can come together, you can’t possibly know how it will turn out, whatever it is.  No matter how much you think you know.

Even with something as simple as a day.  I plan my day well.  I’m going to do this first and then this other thing, etc.  My plans don’t seem to mean much, as the day gets away from me.  A phone call, a request, an unexpected detour and my carefully laid plans are nothing more than a memory.

It’s important, I believe, to imagine some of the possibilities. That way you can be better prepared for the things that are “likely” to happen.  In the long run though, all guarantees are null and void.  Any preparations you make could well turn out for naught as life twists and turns around you.

What you can bank on is your own ability to handle whatever may come your way.  When you reach that point where What if turns into What is, only then can you see all the ins and outs of the situation.  Only from this time and place can you make the necessary calls about what to do.

Reinventing yourself doesn’t have to be a huge project filled with bold moves.  It’s much easier if you let life, with its warp and woof, shape you. You are reinvented every day, every moment by the choices you make.

Let’s say you’re a baker and that’s just not cutting it anymore.  You feel a need to reinvent yourself into a candle stick maker.  If you’re not careful, and move your hands from dough to wax, you could get burned.

If you’re knocking on one door and it’s not opening, look around for another that might be ajar.  You could find an opportunity to write about baking or teach eager students.  A way you hadn’t even considered.

It starts with small building blocks.  Knowing the essence of what you want.  That is a nice, broad statement which allows multiple ways for the Universe to deliver it to you.  Rather than say, I want to be a candlestick maker, you could rephrase it to, I want a career that can make good money and feels fulfilling to me. That opens the door to a lot more possibilities!

Then, you make decisions in the present moment, based on the lay of the land, guided by your essence.  What is the next best thing you can do?  You could try looking for what feels good and exciting and could move you closer to your goal.

It’s all in how you look at it.  You can sit around and feel sorry for yourself, reviewing all your failures.  Or could you can start to poke around for some ideas. Small steps are not only allowed, they are encouraged. This brings it down to human size. You are the only one who can decide which ones you’re willing to take. You can feel shitty and be afraid of disasters in the future or you can feel groovy about what it could be.  When you put your money in the slot a gum ball may come out, or you could get a plastic container with a toy inside!  If you can view life as an unexpected adventure, you’re going to have a much easier time of it.

One thing I know for sure: when you put out energy of any kind, something comes back. And it’s rarely what you thought it would be.  But based on what shows up in the moment (what your energy has caused), guided by your essences, you decide what feels best to do next. That’s all there is to it!  One action at a time.  Things will fall into place without having to strive and work hard.  As you watch what’s happening around you, see what shows up from following those groovy feelings.  More of the same maybe?  You could be creating a trend . . .

Curiosity is one of those magical things.  Anyone who has fairly normal brain function can use it.  It is available whenever and wherever you need it. As with all the spells of doing, the magic is activated simply by using your wand of choice.

Curiosity, fueled by imagination, can take you far.  It invites you to ask why, or how about, and what if. No matter where you are or what your situation, the questions posed from these can open wide vistas of possibilities.  Right before your eyes.

One can get onto the scent of curiosity, leading to all kinds of things. Good and bad.  There are no limits. Curiosity pulls you forward, your imagination tempting you with bigger and better.

Take a quick look around.  Everything you see started from someone’s curiosity.  Could I make something that would allow me to speak to someone outside of shouting range?  What if we could make a record of a musical performance so others could hear it?

Curiosity leads to solutions.  If I can’t do it this way, is there another way?  Add some imagination to see what could be.  Before you know it, the answer will be there.

Try pulling out Curiosity the next time you meet someone, have to start all over, or are making plans.  I promise, it will liven things up!  You never know where you can go.  Okay, it might not be Fiji, but maybe you can find something like it.

It’s always better to reach for the stars than to settle for what is in front of you.  Using Curiosity and Imagination you’ll see lots of shiny orbs to reach for.

Last week I was going on a day trip.  An hour or so from home, we would be there for several hours.  I planned carefully, imagining how it might go, and calculating what I needed – food, warmth and the like.  I also figured what I wanted to get done before we left and what I hoped to accomplish when I returned.  I knew when I wanted to leave.

With that knowledge, I went with the moment. Laying down in it, efforting only for awareness.  In this way I was able to enjoy whatever came up.

The best laid plans, of course.  I left at just the right time, but got home later than I planned – traffic happens.  And when I arrived, the situation was different than expected.  Because I had thought it through, I knew I’d have time the next day to catch up.  I got what I knew was important and let the rest go.  All was well.

Some lessons from this:  You begin by planning well.  Imagining and dreaming what you’d like to happen, what you expect to happen. Spend as much time as you can.  Paint it in living color.  Add the details, down to the shutters on the house or the trim on the car.  The more specific and concrete you can get, the better.

Then, you let it all go.  Open the shutters of disbelief and limited possibilities. Relax into the moment.  Look for the fun. See the lay of the land.  Observe, listen and stay open for guidance.

In the end, the shutters may turn out to be blue instead of green or no shutters at all.  If you’re willing to let go of what you imagined, you may be amazed at what you get instead.  Allowing the warp and woof of life to reshape your vision will make it so much better!  Co-creating, if you will, with life, with God.

I wanted to go to a concert a good distance from my home.  I could take the train to get there, but wasn’t keen on doing that at 11 or 12 at night. So, I needed a ride home.  A week before the show, a friend told me she’d be happy to give me a ride.  But the night before the show it was looking like it wasn’t going to happen.  Still, there was hope.  By the next morning, the ride had fallen through.  What was I going to do?  It would be hard to find another ride this late in the game.

At the very last minute, the perfect ride (there and back) materialized.  The weather, which was supposed to be cool and rainy, turned out sunny and 70. I even got to eat at one of my favorite restaurants!

It all came together, I believe through this process:

1)  Decide what you really want.  In other words, set an intention.  I could’ve stayed home, but I decided I really wanted to go this concert. If I had been too ambiguous about this, it might not have worked so well.  Sometimes I may say I want to do something, but I’m not fully clear on it.

2)  State the reasons why.  As I went over this, I saw what the important features were –eating at the restaurant, hearing the performance, seeing some friends and contacts.  It fueled me and solidified my desire.

3)  Imagine yourself having it, being with it.  Being able to see myself there, smiling at good friends, eating good food, enjoying the concert, made it more real for me.  If I could see it, maybe it could happen.  As in all attraction, it helps very much if you can generate a good, strong feeling around it.

4)  Expect a Miracle.  This means acting as if it will happen.  Through the morning of the concert, I did as planned just in case.  I set my sites on that miracle and was determined to be ready if the opportunity arose.

5)  Let it go.  This may be the hardest step.  After all that build up, you need to allow yourself to be okay if it doesn’t happen.  Make a plan B and be comfortable with it.  Find the benefits in doing the alternative.  I resigned myself to the fact that I might well be staying home and looked to see what I was going to do instead.  I thought about how it might be a better thing if I stayed home.  I could get some things done, rest, make phone calls . . .  The more you can let go of needing plan A to happen, the more you open to the possibility.

Can you imagine all the things you could do, how magical your life would seem if you did this all the time?  I’m going to try it next on healing a relationship which could surely use a miracle.

I believe in miracles!

Wishing is one of those magical tools we all carry with us all the time.  Thanks to our imagination, there is no limit to what we can wish for.

Wishing helps you to create an intention. When you can articulate what you wish, you’ve set in motion all kinds of possibilities. You’re now clear on what you want so you can be more open to look for it.

The hopin’ part is a little more tricky, however.  Wishes work best when they are accompanied by loose and happy feelings.  If you need it too much, if you add angst to the equation, you could block it from happening, keep yourself from spotting it.

The best way to be is open and willing. You might be able to recite the features: carbon fiber brakes, flappy paddle gear box, rear wheel drive, CD player, Sat Nav, etc.  If you’re too hung up on these things, you might miss a great opportunity to get the fast car you really want.  It’s helpful to know about the features you want, but even better to know what you want them for.  Discovering the essence of what you want; like a fast car.

Then, the toughest part (at least for me) is to be completely open to it.  To believe it’s possible for me to have the thing I’m wishing for.  As they say in “Creating Money,” you need to be ready to wear it.  Can you slip your arm into it and embrace it?

So many of us say we want something, but can’t actually imagine ourselves having it.  I run into that a lot.  I wish big and then I start to think, “But I never get things like that.  It’s too perfect.”

Balderdash!  I need to chase those thoughts away.  How will I get something perfect if I don’t believe I deserve it, that I can have it?

That open, willingness to embrace it, to really have it in your life is the magic spell, which attracts your wish right to you.

Be careful, though, not to stop the flow once it comes.  Sometimes wishes can come fast and furious. That’s when it’s a good idea to take a breath and open even wider.  Allow yourself to have even more, knowing you can take it all in.

I wish for lots of marvelous things to come to all of us.  And wide open arms to catch them all!

Curiosity may have killed the cat, but without it he never would’ve known how much fun he could have with a mouse!

Curiosity is one of those amazing things we all come equipped with.  You only need a little imagination to get it fired up. But passion is what really makes it move.  A desire to know more. To find out how, why, where?

It is, literally, turning on your mind. Opening it to the possibilities.  The switch is turned on by merely asking questions, by thirsting to know more.  It supports the theory that there are no stupid questions. It is only stupid not to ask, to think you know everything – which, of course, is impossible.

Curiosity keeps us expanding our horizons.  Reaching out for more. What would it be like if . . . ?  That gets us moving ever forward.  You can’t stay stuck long if you’re stretching for something else.

Curiosity sparks and feeds your imagination. The more you know, the more you can imagine. Curiosity opens the gates of imagination and possibility.

Want to try something?  Switch on your curiosity and it will carry you a long way to finding out and getting in motion toward it. These days, with a computer (or well-equipped phone) there isn’t much you can’t find out.  Maybe you don’t know how to search.  Turn it around with your curiosity and ask: How do I find out how to search? 

What do you want to know?

I wanted to write about the Solstice, so I thought I’d wait until I was under its influence.  I learned recently that solstice means the sun stilled. Every day, the sun moves a little bit across the sky through the astrological signs. But on the solstice, it is in the same place it was the day before, preparing for its journey back to the shortest day.

I’ve always felt it was a point of power. Where energy comes together. I use the solstice like New Year’s – a chance to re-evaluate and dream of where I wish to go next. What do I want to do for the summer? Setting those intentions can be fun and impactful.

The longest day feels good to me. In the winter, when it gets dark at 5, I feel the day is over. At 7, the sun is still going strong. And it’s just gotten dark enough to chase me in after 9. That’s a sign of possibilities!

It is said you should note the day – the rising and setting of the sun. Just note it. That’s a lovely, simple acknowledgment.

In some places it’s midsummer. But for us, here on the East Coast, it’s only just the beginning of summer. Most of the celebrations around the world contain some aspect of bonfire and revelry. It is a time of joy. Summer is my favorite time of the year. (Though I have been known to claim Fall as my fave.)

I love the lushness of summer and the longer days. The smells, the colors. Only in summer does the grocery store parking lot explode with color! The sun doesn’t dapple quite like it does in the cooling afternoons of summer. Someone gave us a book of photos called, Finding Summer. I was disappointed that it doesn’t show my pictures of summer. So, I’m on a quest this summer, to find My Summer. (I am but a novice at digital photography – I tried to shoot the last vestiges of daylight on this longest day of the year. I could only figure out how to turn it on!) I want to take pictures of the long days, the June bugs, the waves of flowers, the sunlight playing . . .

June is my month. It is my birthday, so there are presents to be had, but also good things to happen.

May you have a fun and prosperous summer and find ways to acknowledge its beauty.

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