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6 Questions That Will Make You Feel Peaceful and Complete

“The best place to find a helping hand is at the end of your own arm.” ~Swedish Proverb

When I was in my mid-twenties an unhealthy relationship with an unhealthy guy sent me packing off to the corner of New Mexico to find myself. In a new age, self-discovery kind of world—a hubbub of a town filled with people in transition—I was graced to meet many powerful healers, gurus, shamans, and teachers.

I became a workshop junkie. I went on Shamanic power journeys to spiritual centers around the world, chanted with Indian gurus, and became a certified yoga instructor and Reiki master.

I got rolfed, (and got more intense body-work by thick-boned Maoris) and rebirthed with conscious breath work. I studied parapsychology and quantum dynamics, did past-life regressions, memorized mantras, unraveled koans, and collected crystals and tarot cards.

I went on vision quests in the desert, called leading psychics, mapped my astrological chart, figured out my Enneagram number, dreamed lucidly for nights in an upright chair, and drew down the moon in Wiccan circles.

I had psychic surgeries, soft-tissue chiropractic work, drank herbal tinctures and elixirs, bought every kind of healing essential oil, collected a library of self-help books, and did inner-child work, gestalt dialogues, and did loads of homework with several life coaches.

I know. It’s crazy, huh?

I was a perpetual seeker. Because of an innate sense that there was something wrong with me and a belief I picked up as a child that I was “bad,” I constantly looked outside of myself to find respite, feel loved, and to know my worth.

Even though my unhealthy relationship was dysfunctional, that man gave me a gift that I wouldn’t discover for years. There was something he always said to me that would have saved me from grasping to know myself for so many years, if only I could have really heard it and made it my own.

Whether he meant it or not, he would say: What’s not to love about you?

If I could only for one minute stop and realize this truth, I could have found my peace, and not from a man or spiritual teacher or seminar. I would have been freed from a need to find something outside of me. I would have come to know my own heart.

Today, there are so many tools and practices—psychological, creative, and spiritual—that can guide us to come to know ourselves more. There is nothing wrong with these modalities.

What is wrong is how we hold onto them for dear life, along with the conditioned belief for why we need them.

Here are some key questions to ask yourself to discover your true inner-nature, all on your own, from deep within you and realize everything you need is already here:

1. What if there was nothing I needed to fix in me? What if there was nothing I needed to change?  What if I was perfect just the way I am now?

Yes, there is inner work to be done. Growth, change, self-awareness, and healing are all important. So many people avoid doing the inner work that is necessary to learn and grow.

But the mechanism that drives us to fix, perfect, and change is, in its own way, an expression of a wound.

We get trapped by the belief that there is something inherently wrong with us, that we are not enough, and that there is something we need to do to become a better person.

This mechanism drives us to look outside of ourselves to avoid having to accept ourselves, who we are right now, in this moment as enough, worthy, and good.

2. What if I didn’t have to punish myself to get the lesson?

We have been taught that if we do something “wrong” or “bad” we have to punish ourselves. After all, that’s what our parents did when we were scolded for pulling our sister’s hair or our teacher gave us a “time-out.”

So ask yourself: What if I learned the lesson with love and kindness instead? If I became aware of a mistake I made with self-compassion and gentleness rather than pull out a stick and bash my head?

3. What if I didn’t have to apologize?

Sure, saying we are sorry to a person for causing harm is respectful and necessary. We surrender the ego for a moment and admit to our faults. We take responsibility for our actions.

But when we incessantly apologize for who we are, we are buying into the belief that there is something unacceptable within us.

As humans we make mistakes. This is how we learn.

So what if we asked: Can I receive the lesson, embrace it, and not walk around ashamed, saying “I’m sorry” all of the time?

4. What if what I need is already here?

What if it already exists inside of me? What if it lives within my heart and is present now without having to get it out there—without having to be told by an astrologist my life plans; without seeking love and approval from an enlightened one outside of me?

What if my enlightenment is already here? What if I dropped this need to seek it out, find it, discover it—could it possibly reveal itself to me?

The Buddha implied that the antidote to the unwholesome expressed inside us is our connection to heart. Whether you realize it or not, your heart is full, alive, and radiant.

So ask: What if whatever lives and breathes inside my heart is more than enough?

Return to your heart to discover what you need. Place the pain, the anxiety, the doubt, as well as the love, compassion, and appreciative joy for others right in the center of your chest.

What you need is already beating loudly inside of you.

5. What if I didn’t have to figure it all out?

What if I didn’t have to know what it all means? Or make sense of it all?

What if I didn’t have to understand, analyze, process, therapize, talk about it all the time, search, seek, and find answers?

What if I stepped into the spaciousness of the unknown and allowed life to guide me?

What if I waited patiently for the fruits of my endeavors to ripen and fall off the tree?

When we listen to our innate sense of intuition and trust our unfolding path, we are led. We make choices based on what feels right and true in the moment.

We let go of the measured mind and step into personal freedom.

6. What if exactly what I need is happening already?

What if it’s happening right now and I can’t see it? Could it be bigger than what my limited perception can understand at this moment?

Perhaps, in the future when you look back, the pieces of the puzzle that made up your life’s path will all come together and make sense.

You may ask: What if it never makes sense, and I am simply a puzzle that takes new forms, changes and morphs all of the time, de-layering and uncovering, coming closer and closer to the absolute me?

What if I didn’t need to push, force, rush, coerce, control, or produce to feel safe?

What if I am OK in this moment exactly how I am, going exactly where I need to, and remembering, without fail, that I always have the choice to create my dreams?

One final question: Isn’t it a relief to feel these questions, deep inside?

Photo by davyenin

Avatar of Lynn Newman

About Lynn Newman

Lynn Newman’s (aka Lynn Zavaro) published two games, The Game of You™- An Interactive Way To Know Yourself, Create The Life You Want and the board game version called The Game of Insight. Both offer a powerful, profound and FUN experience of self-discovery and transformation. She has currently finished her memoir. Visit her at lynnnewman.com.

Announcement: Wish you could change your past? Learn to let go and create a life you love with the Tiny Buddha course!
  • http://big-zen.blogspot.com/ Big Zen

    “The best place to find a helping hand is at the end of your own arm.”  – Such a great quote, thanks for posting.

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  • http://livingmindfulgrace.wordpress.com/ Grace

    Lynn, thank you so much for sharing this.  These are messages that everyone needs to hear and that I certainly needed to hear.  I will without a doubt be printing this out and rereading it often so that the full depth and meaning of it can sink in.  Thank you!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/aurora.d.f Aurora Díaz Fernández

    Much wisdom is your words. Thanks!

  • Lynn Zavaro

    Love this Grace – thank you!

  • Trixie

    Beautiful.  How nice to read it first thing in the morning.  Love the pic because I grew up in Colorado, visited Santa Fe/Taos many times, and it brings up fond memories.

  • Mon J Gamil

    I feel you. Very simple and yet profound. It is here inside of us, where It is supposed to be. Thanks. Namaste!

  • Jennifer_oviedo87

    This is beautiful…. I Just finish reading it and I feel I can breathe better

  • Laura

    Master class in one easy to read and absorb post. definitely printing this one out for further reflection. I love the part about stepping into the spaciousness of the unknown….a very evocative image. Thank you.

  • Lynn Zavaro

    Love this! Yes and thank you!

  • Kit19

    Very inspiring! Thanks Lynn Zavaro for sharing this! All the best!

  • http://the100percentyou.com/ John Sherry

    You’ve challenged us to the hilt here Lynn and I accept. In fact I alllow myself just to be me thanks to your cracking post. All the love and happiness and contentment exists when we stop the fight with life and simply allow. Allow ourselves to naturally be the person we are. The unique, one-of-a-kind, incomparable ‘me’. A person free to be! 

  • Fayrah

    I feel light :) 

  • Hagvisse

     Best one yet here, brilliant.

  • Anon.

    Thank you! You are a blessing to this world and yourself.

    Namaste

  • Lynn Zavaro

    How kind of you – thank you:) Namaste!

  • Lynn Zavaro

    woo hoo!!!

  • Lynn Zavaro

    Love this: “A person free to be” Woot Woot!

  • Sarah T

    Great great post! Being kind to ourselves and accepting (and actually seeing) what is already there is essential. I love: “What if whatever lives and breathes inside my heart is more than enough?” Yes yes yes.

    Once this acceptance of oneself and self directed loving kindness is there…then we can truly do the work that needs to be done.

  • http://livelovework.wordpress.com/ Chrysta Bairre

    Great article!

    When I stop struggling against life I discover opportunities and blessings I didn’t realize I already had. For me this happens most often when I am focused on a result and I try so hard to achieve the result I want that I close my heart and mind to any other possibility. When I tire of struggling, let go of the result, and accept what is, it turns out things are working out just fine.

  • http://honeybtemple2.blogspot.com/ Melissa

    I love this! I got around to thinking this way over the last couple of weeks, and I’m amazing at how much more relaxing it is to think this way. Talk about taking a lot of pressure off! Thanks for these tips.

  • Lynn Zavaro

    Yes Sarah! A very wise person taught this to me. Now, I remember to continuously return to my heart:)

  • Lynn Zavaro

    Exactly! It’s that grasping, that need that keeps us in suffering. Great point!

  • Lynn Zavaro

    Yay!

  • http://www.exploremetaphors.com Cara

    Wow. So much truth in this. Thank you for this excellent post!

  • Adele Uddo

    As a fellow compulsive seeker who’s spent much of my life trying to “fix” myself, I sincerely appreciate the wisdom in this post. There is so much relief in these questions, so much potential freedom. Thank you for the wonderful reminders Lynn!

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  • Lynn Zavaro

    You are welcome:) Thank YOU!

  • Lynn Zavaro

    Happy you liked it – thank you!

  • Lynn Zavaro

    And the best to you…

  • Lynn Zavaro

    I agree Laura. The more I reflect on being in the spaciousness of the unknown the more I experience in life. Thank you!

  • Lynn Zavaro

    Thank YOU!!

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  • Blog

    Great blog, loved it. Thank you!

  • Blog

    Great blog, loved it. Thank you!

  • Jamie C.

    This is exactly what I needed today. Many Thanks

  • Louisprofeta

    The Universe is inside our body, it was always there, at birth we are pure then in the world scales attached to our minds and they can be removed with the belief they can.The Universe is absolute, it gets defiled in the ways of the world, not our fault, purity can return in belief. A simple cure we choose to overlook as being simple but the Ocean is simple too and so deep. 

  • Lynn Smith

    Awesome post… I’ve been looking for myself… in all the WRONG places.  Thanks again!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1264377906 John Green

    Great Post

  • Sasalool

    i loved your post, it’s so true. I just can’t stop searching for answers, answers that i know deep down i’m not gonna find, it will come to me. i just habe to wait sometimes, let the uncertainaity go by, and just enjoy the moment.

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  • Lynn Zavaro

    How wonderful! Yes!!! Happy you enjoyed:)

  • Lynn Zavaro

    You are welcome!!

  • Lynn Zavaro

    Awesome! Thank you!

  • Sally

    Namaste :)

  • Salvatore

    Wonderful. Thanks much for posting this.

    Salvatore

  • Lynn Zavaro

    My pleasure! Thank you:)

  • Anonymous

    Thank you.

  • Mike St.George

    Sounds good on the surface. But some of us need to be more self critical.

    We as humans harbor so many stupid beliefs that need changing. Granted Buddhism offers a way to detach ourselves from day to day concerns and pointless self criticism but there are real problems that need solving. Global warming, nuclear proliferation, the collapse of ecosystems, commercial warfare and its collateral damage.

    If we just let go and stop worrying as if there is some higher purpose guiding things aren’t we walking into a hungry lion’s den with a blindfold on?

  • Joanlou

    So true, I received a similar message after many years of lamenting my parenting skills. Did I do well, should I have…? When one early morning voice said to me “How would you feel if I told  you you did everything just right?” Relief flooded my being, and later that day I got the paradox message: It’s the right and wrong theory that got me so worried in the first place. Needless to say, I have smiles through your entire post and will read it often, Thanks.

  • Lynn Zavaro

    Thank you for sharing this story! xoxoxo Lynn

  • Lynn Zavaro

    I think I understand your question. One way I could respond to your point is that with emptiness there is form and with form there is emptiness. This article address only a part of the whole equation…. Thank you for your comment. xoxoxo Lynn

  • http://www.facebook.com/joan.bourque Joan Bourque

    Can’t remember if I sent this but well worth repeating … please read.

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  • Jordan B.

    I really love this, especially as a psychology major and a seeker of spiritual awareness and growth. I sometimes feel lost and unsure even though these concepts are supposed to be the very things that I choose to study and understand. Sometimes seeing what’s in front of you without trying so hard to do it is exactly the kind of advice we all need. Breathe in, breathe out. Trust yourself. Feel the moment and relish in the truth and uncertainty of it all- the decisions will come to you as you let your intuition do its job, and the guilt of being shameful or indecisive will no longer exist.

  • Lynn Zavaro

    Thank you for sharing this Jordan. We put such expectations on ourselves when we commit to our growth and choose to become practitioners. We are all on this path together, humbling accepting our humanness and imperfection. xoxoxo Lynn

  • Guest

    So much of the comments here are saccharin sweet and mutually congratulatory; the author and owner of this site is just too young and pretty to carry weight and conviction; but I guess she knows her target population and its tastes in new age products. Might make more sales though if a bit more gritty and a lot less glossy.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Hi there,

    I am actually the founder of this site, though not the author of this post. It seems like something (beyond this post) might be on your mind. Is there anything I can help you with? You can feel free to email me at email(AT)tinybuddha(DOT)com if you’d like. (And thank you for the compliment, though I am likely older than you think!)

    Much love,
    Lori

  • Lynn Zavaro

    Hello,

    I am the author of this post and the responses here are my comments. I appreciate the compliment that I look young and pretty however I am not sure how age and looks equate with weight and conviction. (I am proud to admit that I am a 42 year old woman and my husband would say sometimes too weighty and convicted at times). I agree with you that this particular article leans toward the new age which is not my preferred angle, yet I think the points made in the article have a nice balance between our relative nature and the absolute. I am open to your feedback in regards to how in your opinion my writing/comments could be more gritty and less glossy. In other words, what are you looking for specifically as a reader?

    Thank you for your comment.
    Lynn

  • Gonechopin

    As a compulsive outer-seeker, and a bookshelf to prove it, I read this post with a large lump in my throat. All of what we need is already here. Of course it is! I just have to have the wisdom to see it. Thank you. This post is perhaps the one of the greatest gifts I have ever received!

  • Lynn Zavaro

    How extraordinary! Thank you for your comment. Lynn

  • srk7

    I look at your questions and realize that was how I was
    conditioned by my mother and
    other significant people in my growing years – treated like I was flawed, that some parts in me
    need to be fixed, punished so I would get the lesson, forced to apologize if who I was didn’t conform to the others’
    ideas, like who or what I was was never enough – never fat enough or thin or tall or fair or smart or
    sensible or obedient or reliable or kind or
    selfless or lovable enough, never good enough for love,
    appreciation.

    My journey to heal over the years has been
    to strip these limiting beliefs away from my being. Every time I have
    released another one of them and invited and received an empowering
    belief about myself, I have found another hidden part of my
    essence, bringing me one step closer to myself, to the joy within, the
    love within, the approval within, the health within.

    8 years ago, if someone were to say to me there is nothing I need to fix in me, I’m perfect just the way I am, I would not have believed them. 4 years ago, I’d say I kinda get it, but can’t feel it. 2 years ago, I’d have burst into tears because I was starting to mourn that as an innocent, trusting child I had been given all these disempowering belief systems to live my life with.

    I’m still healing. Not because I don’t believe I am perfect. Because I still have old tapes to remove from my being that were put there by a society that largely doesn’t believe this statement about themselves.

    My intent is to pass on a more empowering belief system to the next generations.

  • http://www.adaptivetherapy.com Mike

    Hi Lynn,

       When I ask people “what if you are perfect already?” they either looked confused or laugh. I am a therapist & hypnotherapist and I explain to people who see me that I do not want to hypnotize them, I want to unhypnotize them. Babies are not born feeling worthless or not good enough. We are hypnotized by the damaging words of wounded others and then come to repeat those words in our own heads. Our original state of perfection becomes overwritten by neural pathways of pain and self recrimination. Recreating that original state means accepting our own perfection “just because” and developing a deep compassion for ourselves and others. Any thoughts or beliefs which might block that process must be rejected the moment they are noticed.

       Thank you for the gift of your words and ideas. I have already recommended this page to others.

  • Lynn Zavaro

    Hi Mike, Thank you very much for your post. I like your point of view and find it very interesting within the use of hypnotism. Thank you for recommending this page. Best, Lynn

  • Lynn Zavaro

    Thank you for this heartfelt and well written post. I appreciate you and all you shared. xoxox Lynn

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  • Brr3

    What a relief! Thanks for sharing….may 2012 be filled with self compassion and acceptance!

  • Greg Krakow

    Very good stuff. Thanks for the post!

    Several years ago I gave up on much of my alternative spiritual seeking. I still use much of what I learned, but I am doing it on my own and not so much goal oriented any more.

    When I meditate, I try not to think about how I am improving myself by meditating. I focus my attention on the breath I am breathing. Nothing to accomplish. Only this one breath. Then the next breath the same. If my mind wanders, I note this and then focus on my current breath. No goals even in meditation, just focus on the breath as best I can in  the present moment.

    Doing this in meditation helps me carry this mindset into the rest of my life. I still have plans and goals and accomplish things. It’s just that there is much more emphasis on the present, on just me as I am. I also make an effort to smile when I do all of this. Smiling is very simple. It can be done in almost any moment without a goal to do it in the future.

  • Sean1011

    Did you do this journey by yourself?

  • http://www.adaptivetherapy.com/SelfEsteem.html Mike

    Hi Lynn,

       If you have an interest, I wrote a newsletter called “A Visual Guide to Self Esteem” where I go into more detail about the difference between core self esteem and conditional self esteem

    Best, Mike

  • Guest

    Hi Lynn, thank you for the empowering post. But I have a question. Isn’t believing you are perfect just the way you are more dangerous to your self -esteem? After all, humans are not perfect. If you believe you are perfect, then the only pathway you’ll find yourself walking is ‘inadequacy’ right? Ifyou keep believing you are perfect when YOU ARE NOT! that’s not good….

  • Isha

    Hi, My name is Isha and I am a social-scientists by academic training and a social activists for the equal treatment of all people despite skin color, age, sex, social class, personal choices, etc. etc.  This sounds like a narrow-minded way to say we are good enough all-ready, don’t bother trying to change anything cause it is pointless and well make you stressed and unhappy.  As an active analysts, processor, and understander of social truths I can say it is not easy work, but when i look back and see all the people I have helped the nit-picky search for truth and understanding seems well worth it.  Am I misinterpreting what you are saying?  Is it possible for someone like me to find happiness using your method (theory?)? Why do you propose nothingness and self-acceptance as being more important then hard-work, intelligence, and perseverance?    

  • Danishh

    thankyou for this beautiful, self awakning post. Xoxo

  • http://www.phyfun.com/Games/6-4320-Formula-Racer.aspx Formula Racer

    Nothing in your heart. Put down everything confuse you, then you get peace. 

  • Michael

    I stopped searching when I understood this http://www.ndsu.edu/counseling/self_help/assertiveness_skills/

  • http://roma.xincontriadulti.it/ Bakeca Roma

     Very interesting tutorial.Thank you!

  • Fatherskyemotherearth

    Thank you Thank you Thank you

  • Bardhameta

    So you have a moon in virgo?

  • sdfafnjklh

    These are 6 the same questions, they all suggest that you always need something which can be improved of yourself/your life. Else you wouldn’t have anything to live for. But this thought makes you feel peacefull indeed!

  • rosati.sarah@gmail.com

    In 59 lines she discribed my life,my doubts, my fears, my sorrows…and my hopes. I’m thankfull for this poste.

  • Stiffy

    What do you mean “swedish proverb”? That proverb is about as swedish as Rupaul.

  • thanks

    that was helpful

  • FariHG

    Thank you Lynn Newman

  • jeff

    crap, crap, double crap…nothing in those questions have anything to do with actual life

  • Kaushik

    The way I see it now, life is a journey from fear to love.

    Sounds like you’re pointing out that there is a great deal of angst in the spiritual quest. Most of the time I agree with that sentiment and tell people that, but at other times I recognize that everyone’s journey is their own, and if some people are caught up in seeking–well, perhaps that’s what they exactly need.
    Kaushik

  • colourmegreen

    I know my comment will be buried, but the comment that the most recent person made about being too young and pretty to carry weight and conviction should really have a little bit of decency. Age, looks or anything should never define how much hardship a person goes through or even carries. My boyfriend at the sweet age of 7 or 8 was already being told to suck it up and be man, how to fight and stand up for himself. He is the most genuine and real person I have ever met, as well as realistic when it comes to being street smart, love wise, family wise etc. He has a hard time being positive and has been through all the trials and tribulations of life since a child, but he will never ever put someone down based on their hardships no matter what their age or looks are. Anyone could learn a thing or too from him.

  • http://www.lynnnewman.com Lynn Newman

    Kaushik, I only just saw this post, but wanted to respond even if late. For certain, there is nothing wrong with the path of seeking – no judgment here! Seeking is also a part of the path, if not the Buddha would never had left his palace. It was after years of seeking that I came to this personal realization that fit that moment in my life. Thank you for reading! Lynn