Wednesday, December 12, 2012

From Why to What to How

Why am I sad? Why am I angry? Why is he/she so impatient? Why am I so impatient? Why is he/she not doing it the 'right' way? Why is he/she behaving that way? Why is he/she soo judgmental/rude/jealous/mad/sad? Why did he/she say those words? Why am I not getting that? Why don't I have that? Why am I not happy? Why do I look like this? Why? Why? Why? Why?

Each of these Why's arise because we are thinking of something that has either happened in the past, or  we are feverish, doubtful, anxious about the future.
Further if you notice, most of those Whys do not lead us anywhere. They just leave us with more Whys?

Do we question the good things? Why am I so nice? Why am I so kind? Why am I so happy? Why am I so loving? Why am I so patient? Why is he so nice? Why is she so kind? (On the other hand, we sometimes doubt someone's niceness, kindness), Why don't we question/doubt our goodnesses?

Because when we are happy, in love, acting out of love, happiness, we are totally in that moment, our mind doesn't even realize it and so doesn't even question it.
And when we count our blessings, we only feel grateful and there is a smile on our face. And when we are grateful, we can feel that expansion within us, we smile even more, we feel even more joyful.

So the next time we ask ourselves a Why, let's be mindful of the question. Realize if it's taking us into the past or the future. As soon as this awareness happens, try to simply reframe the question from Why to What.

For e.g.
Why am I not happy? - What is it that I need to become happy?
Why is he so judgmental/irrational/rude? - What is the reason behind him being judgmental/irrational/rude?
Why is she not listening to me, Why is she not understanding me? - What else is on her mind?

Just this first step from Why to What is a big evolution. It takes us from the clueless, confused, restless, irritated, frustrated, sad, and most of all helpless state to a more alert, aware, directed, actionable state.

This comes with awareness and practice as most of the times we are so caught up in the moment, that either we don't realize or our anger or ego takes over us. When caught up in the spur of the moment, try old tried and tested techniques like drink a glass of water, count 1-10, slowly repeat a sacred chant, go for a walk close to nature.

With a calm and clear mind, we are more aware of our thoughts arising in our mind and are capable of screening them and changing the Why into a What.

If you can get from the Why to the What state (there are many times when I fail to do so), give yourself a pat.

The next step is to drop the judgement we build about the other person and/or ourself and frame the What to How.

Why am I not happy? - What is it that I need to become happy? - How can I work towards becoming happy
Why is he so judgmental/irrational/rude? - What is the reason behind him being judgmental/irrational/rude? - How can I stop judging him and help him?
Why is she not listening to me, Why is she not understanding me? - What else is on her mind? - How can I word it or act so she understands?

Now pick a Why on your mind, and just go through this exercise of re-framing it to a What and gradually to a How?

Do you  notice, how the negative connotation that arises with the Why changes into a mindful, directed, actionable thought using the What, and into a more controllable and actionable situation through the How?

With a clear mind comes awareness and with awareness comes conscious action. Twice a day meditations helps me to empty the clutter and chatter in my mind and help me slowly nudge the Whys into Whats.

Only with Love and Compassion, the What changes into How.

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