The following questions are part of a process I have use on occasion in seminars after the participants have an understanding of the key ideas I teach. But I figure if you have subscribed to this column for very long, you have that background. Ideally, I would put you into an altered state of consciousness before asking you the questions. Instead, you’ll have to breathe deeply, get quiet and trust the first thoughts that pop into your mind in response to each question.
1. Pick a problem in your life involving another person and clearly define it.
2. Have you acknowledged the problem as a reality that needs to be dealt with, or are you ignoring it, hoping it will go away or resolve itself?
3. Can you accept that on a karmic level, you are responsible for the problem? Yes or no? (You set up the problem as an opportunity to learn a needed lesson.)
4. Is there any kind of payoff in keeping the problem? By that I mean, are you somehow served in other ways by allowing the problem to continue? Yes or no? (As an example, dealing with the problem might complicate your life or cause you emotional pain.)
5. Do you sincerely desire to resolve this problem? Yes or no?
6. Do you need more information before you can act to resolve the problem? If so, how do you obtain the knowledge you require?
7. Can you reframe the situation? Don’t look at it as conflict between competing solutions. Instead, define it in terms of conflicting needs. What are your needs? What are the other person’s needs?
8. The only way to solve a problem involving others is to make it a win-win situation. Be creative. How can both of your needs be satisfied?
9. Are you assuming there are only a couple of solutions? If so, you’re arguing for your limitations. There are probably numerous ways to achieve the results you desire. Ask yourself the right questions. Forget about what other people think ... what society thinks. How else could you handle the situation?
10. Assuming you have various options to handle your problem, what are the prices and potential rewards of each option?
11. Are you willing to pay the price?
12. What do you really want to do? Not what is the best option, or the most realistic or sensible decision, but what do you really want to do?
13. What does that communicate to you?
14. You are creating your own reality with every thought that flows through your mind. Everything you think, say and do creates karma ... and that includes the motive, intent and desire behind everything you think, say and do. Knowing this, how are you going to handle the problem?
15. Take a few moments to visualize the situation as resolved, and experience how you feel about it.