These are the sorts of questions I ask people when I am coaching them or prepping for shamanic journeying and the like.
I normally choose a handful of questions and give people lots of time to explore each question – allowing it to percolate and letting the answer arise and unravel through conversation; I normally ask more questions that continue to dig deeper into people’s perceptions and emotions.
Deep listening is an art form. People can tell when you are really listening to them, it’s a huge gift to offer someone, and it’s wonderful when people feel safe enough to share some of their inner world with you.
If you are using these questions for yourself you can bear that in mind too – how can you make space to really listen to your own inner world?
Journalling, dropping a question into your meditation practice, finding some music that helps you explore the depths of a question for you, using them as a conversation starter with others and listening deeply to other people’s responses are all good ways of opening up.
- Tell me about love in your life
- Tell me about loss in your life
- What makes you angry?
- How do you express boundaries?
- How do you most enjoy giving to others?
- What do you most enjoy receiving?
- Describe yourself through the eyes of a friend.
- Describe your biggest challenge in life and how that makes you feel.
- What is something dark or absurd that you take pleasure in?
- What sort of landscape is your inner world currently?
- What archetype or animal do you feel that you are in this landscape?
- What is the biggest benefit you’ve had from practice?
- What is your biggest challenge in your practice?
- If you could ask anyone one question – who and what would it be? How would you answer this yourself?
- If you are the Universe experiencing itself, what are you most annoyed at the Universe for burdening you with?
- What are you most grateful to the Universe for gifting you with?
- What would you feel more free to enjoy if there were less expectations or pressure on you?
- What do you feel proud of?
- What is one thing in life you wish you were allowed to feel, be or do?
- What is something that you long for?
- When do you think you will feel you have arrived? What will that look like?
- Who is someone you perceive as having ‘arrived’? What does that look like? Do you think they still feel insecure or like a kid on the inside?
- What is something that you don’t want to compromise on?
- When do you feel most authentically yourself?
- What helps you feel less self-conscious?
- What would you most like to be forgiven for?
- What would you most like to forgive in someone else?
- What would you most like to forgive the world for?
- What is at risk for you if you were able to forgive these things?
- When do you feel most vulnerable?
- When do you feel most safe?
- What emotions are you feeling right now?
- Describe a close friend’s biggest anxiety in life.
- Describe your biggest anxiety through the eyes of a close friend.
- How anxious would you guess the average person is? How depressed?
- What would make the experience of life unequivocally worthwhile for you?
- How do you most enjoy contributing to the world?
- How could you cut yourself some slack?
- What would it feel like to have a day where you could do whatever the hell you want?
- What would you most like others to recognise or see?
- What traits do you think others most appreciate in you?
- What traits do you most appreciate in others?
- What ‘bad’ traits do you revel in, in yourself or others?
- How sincerely do you feel you are able to answer these questions to yourself?
- What self judgements are there that get in the way of you being sincere with yourself?
- How does this level of sincerity compare to how sincere you able to be around others? What creates the gap?
- If you could have one aspect of yourself accepted by the people around you, what would it be?
- Bring someone to mind who’s presence you appreciate. Who are you allowed to be in their company? Who are they allowed to be in your company?
- Choose three words from this list that you feel most drawn to in life. Describe what each one means to you. Give an example of when you’ve felt it in your life.
- Explore how you could cultivate more of these things in your life, as a gift to yourself.