Burning Questions

“Those with busy lives, but bereft of the inner images based on the soul’s desires, have empty larders, and no fire in the hearth; they will starve if they are not fed something more nourishing.

David Whyte

In his poem ‘Sometimes’ David Whyte talks about the ‘questions that can make or unmake a life … questions that have no right to go away.’ When a question of this nature becomes known to us, we simply can’t ‘unknow’ it.

I call these burning questions – and they are the key active ingredient in the practice of self-fidelity.

Burning questions have the power to:

Ignite new ways of being

Burn what no longer serves us

Illuminate new thinking

Generate energy to rise.

By finding the courage to uncover the most truthful answer to a burning question, we illuminate our next best action to move towards greater presence, acceptance, belonging and freedom.

The act of asking ourselves the right burning question at the right time will lead us to insights that may feel both familiar and surprising. This is the goosebump territory we are aiming for when we contemplate burning questions.

The idea of burning what no longer serves us may sound scary and feel disorienting, but it is part of an essential and natural process of regeneration. To create something new for ourselves, we must let go of what no longer serves us. As we release ourselves from ways of thinking and working that are no longer truly serving us, we usher in the possibility of something better – something that feels truer to us.

I still remember the exact moment when my most powerful burning question to date entered my mind in my mid-thirties. I was walking alone along a beach when the question came to me: Why did I knowingly commit to a relationship with a violent man and why did I stay in the relationship for so long?

If I had never asked this question of myself and found the courage to answer it, I would not be able to do the work I do today. While this question related to my personal life, the answers it uncovered affected every facet of my existence and led me on a journey of self-worth building that continues to this day.

The practice of Self-Fidelity is an invitation to ask and begin to find answers to burning questions that have ‘no right to go away’. These questions propel us forward. When we muster the courage to answer them truthfully, they burn redundant ways of being and thinking to the ground so that we can create something new and better.

All burning questions share the same intent – to create within us a desire to take inspired action in a spirit of playful discovery. They guide us to enquire about every single layer of our life.

We may even muster up the courage to reflect on a key central question: Who do I choose to be? Discovering an answer to this burning question may feel like our final destination but is actually our starting point.

When someone sincerely asks me ‘what can we do?’ my humble answer is ‘first, find out what you can be.’ Action is extremely necessary at this time. This is not a time just to talk about it. And still this action needs to be born from a place in ourselves that has real talent, real intelligence, real power and real connection.

Arkan Lushwala

Self-Fidelity Practice To Play With This Week

The self-fidelity practice I invite you to experience this week is to get quiet for a few moments, ask yourself this Burning Question and stay open to what emerges:

What is the one question I have been too afraid to ask myself, until now?

If you need some support to find the courage to ask and answer questions ‘that have no right to go away’ reach out to chat about my one-on-one and group coaching packages.

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