We’re half-way through 2009, and nearly everyone might agree shift has hit the fan. Significant change prompts significant questions.

These questions may have lingered beneath the surface of busyness (and cluttered thoughts) for a while; and just as some seeds in the forest need fire to release them from their encasements so they can take root and grow, so might we be urged by change.

Here are three areas many feel levels of confusion about in their lives which might benefit from different questions being asked.

Life reveals two types of people: those who are clear about what they want to do and those who aren’t, until they are. For too long, those in the not-clear group believed they were failures or lacked some important aspect. Thank goodness Barbara Sher discovered she is a Scanner (a person who thrives on doing more than one thing in life) and helps others like her live fulfilling lives.

People who are Scanners are not served by typical materials about goals as others might be, unless they understand that for them, it means they pick their next target and aim at it until they hit it (or discover it’s not right for them, but find a thread of what is right), then pick the next one. There’s a success model school-of-thought that says you have to pick one thing you enjoy doing (or for the money) and become expert at it. This serves those in the first group; but if you are a Scanner, the task of trying to pinpoint that one, all-encompassing thing you “should” do for the whole or rest of your life may overwhelm you and cause you to stop in your tracks, unable to move forward.

A question often used to help someone identify a goal or life purpose is, “What makes you feel alive?” Even that might be confusing for some. Maybe a better question is, “What makes you feel connected or plugged in?” There’s a difference between the two questions. Think about this for a moment and see if you can feel it.

Society at large says we don’t measure up unless we have lots of stuff, expensive stuff, or can get stuff. This doesn’t make those working through limiting beliefs feel good or empowered. A remedy for many is to turn to spirituality or metaphysics so they can feel better (though, there’s more reason than this to follow this path). Not intending to criticize the incredible people who offer beneficial spiritual/metaphysical materials and messages, it can’t help be noticed that even if the approach used is different, the effect of their messages, in many ways, seems the same as the one society promotes. (It’s mostly about being convinced marketing has to read a certain way.)

Stuff and money are great to have for obvious reasons; but are you clear on what and how much you really desire in your life to feel the way you want to feel . . . and why? If you let others’ opinions lead you (or mislead you), will you live your desired life, or one described or prescribed by others?

The health needs of my parents led to their choosing to share a room at a nursing home where they could get around-the-clock care needed. No Buddhist has it over them for releasing attachment to things. How many of us could let go of nearly every bit of stuff we strived to accumulate and embrace living our moments with as little as they kept? As my mother stated, “We discovered what we’re made of.”

All the great writings (and our inner sense of full expression) tell us abundance is our right and true nature; and this is imposed upon by a great deal of confusion from mixed messages flung at us from all directions. Enjoy as much stuff and money as you choose. Just remember we only borrow these things to enhance our experience while here; it’s who we are at our core and how we choose to experience moments of our lives that we carry with us always. The questions are: What is your motivation for having or desiring these things? Is it to live your own desired level of freedom and expression, or something else? If your path clears all or most of your stuff from your life, will you know who you are? Will you feel whole?

June 27, 2009, my father passed away; and the significant questions started to flow. There’s still a lot to process about this experience; but what he did with his life was revealed through his legacy.

Legacy was present by virtue of his children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and others coming together to experience a shared loss as well as celebrate a good man with a keen sense of humor. He’d loved his chosen career; and appreciation for his commitment to excellent service and how he believed he should live and treat others was evidenced by former employees and clients of his visiting us to pay tribute, a number driving in from a distance to let us know how much they’d valued him, his services, and his kindness and integrity.

There’s another legacy he left: From the time several illnesses began to alter the quality of his life and mind, beginning in 1992, he never complained. If he felt sorry for himself, he never demonstrated it; in fact, he demonstrated the opposite. The most basic bodily abilities disappeared, one by one; and even through the effects of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, who he was at his core, chose to embrace and make the most of every moment, until his last. Your legacy doesn’t have to be grand, but how do you wish to be remembered?

Though we tend to forget this, our days here are numbered; a fact brought home to my mother quite clearly. She noted her age (86) and how long her mother lived (91). My parents would have been married 68 years this November. For the first time in her life, she has only herself to look after. This is a radical change for her; and, she is also asking significant questions. It’s one thing to play with the question of what you would do if you imagined you had one year to live; it’s quite another to face a finite number.

If you find you’re in shift of any kind, open to right questions waiting to be asked. Is there anything buried under cluttered thoughts and beliefs ready to be released, take root, and grow?

Author's Bio: 

Joyce Shafer (jls1422@yahoo.com) is a Life Coach, author, and creator of Reinvent Yourself, a life and business coaching program. This program is NOT for individuals who buy into Struggle as a way of life. Details at freewebs.com/coach4lifebalance (free empowerment tools and newsletter). Her books and e-books are available at www.lulu.com and discounted at her Web Store.