“I would love to live like a river flows, carried by the surprise of its own unfolding.” – John O’Donohue
Ten years ago my brother Marky turned 25 years old. It was his last birthday on earth before he passed.
His death — no, his life — taught me many things.
For one, he taught me that life comes in moments and each moment matters. How you approach what feels challenging, how you treat others, and how fully you embrace the time you have — it speaks of what you carry in your heart.
If he carried anything, he carried the light. His heart was that big.
How he lived his life in the short time he was here will guide how I live the rest of my own life. In a sense, he is my lighthouse.
In honor of Mark, I try to be an advocate for how we each of us care for our lives.
Over the last decade I've learned that asking yourself the right questions can be a powerful way to get to know what you really want (and need) in life.
The right questions can help you confront your wounds with curiosity and tell your story with dignity. You grow a greater sense of self-trust and resiliency by answering those questions consistently.
This is a mindfulness practice, a way to show up for your life with intent and heart.
When it comes to your own self-healing, it's critical that you identify what feels supportive, what you should let go of, when you need help, and what you want to carry forward with you.
These questions are daily reminders to put your heart into the smaller moments of your life, to fill your life with attention, to offer yourself what you need to heal.
They might bring out the need for forgiveness, or the need to put something down that you've been carrying for far too long.
They might bring up old memories that need mending in the present moment.
They might bring forth new ideas and new ways to navigate life after — life after loss, life after rock bottom, life after a life of coldness.
Write your questions down on paper, ask your reflection in the mirror, meditate on them, or just think about them throughout the day. They're simple enough to remember but essential enough to cause an unfolding in you.
Self-reflection and inquiry can be beautiful, and it can also be challenging.
In all your questions and all your answers, I wish space for your heart to beat and your lungs to breathe. May deep breaths carry you through. This and every day, may you find a certain truth in all the crevices of your life: you are valuable.
7 Essential Questions to Ask Yourself (On the Daily) for Self-Healing
1. How is my heart today?
2. How can I help you today? Or, What do I need to feel supported today?
(Book suggestion: How Can I Help? by Ram Dass & Paul Gorman)
3. In what minuscule way can I be a better version of myself today?
(FYI, sometimes being "better" is actually about being truer.)
4. Who might I be if I knew everything would be alright?
5. Where could I notice beauty today?
6. What do I want to pay attention to today? Or, What matters to me today?
7. How can I love today? Or, How have I loved today?
. . .
Tell me, friend, if you can:
Which of your answers to which of these prompts did you need to get out in the open?
Tell me in the comments. What you share here might turn out to be exactly the thing someone else needs to see.
Remember: the simplest thing might be exactly the thing you need.
P.S. Grab your own copy of my book Morning Affirmations to help you start each day with an open, curious heart.