as you know, questions have a special place in my heart (see this post on encouraging questions, for example.)
as i was preparing for a little workshop i facilitated today on solution focused coaching and counselling, i realized that my first discovery of the power of questions was not back in 1999, when i first really learned about the various delightful forms of brief therapy (solution focused brief therapy being one of them) but back in 1991, when i was studying to become a TRAGER® practitioner. TRAGER® is a form of bodywork that, among other things, asks gentle, curious, open questions about delightful possibilities we carry in our minds, hearts and bodies.
we gently shake out our hands, feel the weight, and ask: what could be lighter?
we let our arms hang down loosely and ask our shoulder joints: what could be freer?
we let our legs dangle from a massage table, allowing the calf muscles to relax and ask: what could be softer?
this shows that meaningful questions can be useful not only in one-on-one therapy, with the therapist posing the questions. they can have an important place even if we ask them of ourselves. in fact, questions like these are designed to bring us joy simply by asking them, without regard to what the reply might be.
other example of such happy questions are
- what puts a smile on my face?
- what feels good on my fingertips?
- what’s the beauty in this?
- what opens my heart?
- how does this delight me?
- what’s the song that makes my heart dance?
- what feels silky/cool/warm [whatever your favourite sensation is]?
- where in my body do i feel god/the creator/the universe right now?
- who do i love with all my heart?
- what does happiness look like?
what happy questions do you have?
(post script on october 19 – there is a fabulous companion post about this topic on joanna young’s blog – coaching questions of the season)