Continued from Why? The question why can be as innocent as it is pesky, indicting, really. Asking why once, usually only gets us to a surface reason. *Asking why, five times, letting each answer inform the next why question, offers further insight into our intentions.

Anyone who listens, professionally, knows that what a person leads with, barely taps the root. Though spiritual direction is not about fixing, but rather discovering invitations, we can consider patterns as signposts, directing our journeys.

Remaining focused on the current situation, may offer hints, but it can also shield the recurring nature of a problem. Much of the time, we cannot change our outer circumstances. We can; however, alter the way we move through them, occasionally, finding our callings there.

When we mine our motives, we may discover that our initial perceptions were deceiving. They were more internal than we thought. Could that be our primary rationale for avoiding the work?

Invite your sense of humor, while also taking responsibility.

In his book, Let Your Life Speak, Parker J. Palmer tells of his struggle with a job opportunity. In short, he assembled a Clearness Committee to ask him questions that would clarify his decision.

The group asked motive-mining questions until Palmer got to the reason he was tempted to take a job that was not well suited for him. In the end, the reason he considered the job seemed laughable.

Asking why repeatedly, letting each answer inform the next why question, is more apt to break through misconceptions, revealing underlying motives. With patient perseverance, authenticity finally begs us away from our shortsightedness.

As we live whole-heartedly, defenses and manipulations (other people’s and our own) begin dropping away. We are more empowered, present and compassionate, because we are living from Sacred within.

Though pains, of a flawed world, are still very real, the light inside of us is more welcoming. We can be honest about our anger, fear or etc. and convert any part that is a stumbling block, into giftedness.

Imagine Owl persisting in asking why, five times. Did the Wise One offer insight into any personal deception? Longings? Extraordinary gifts?

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Sacred Ruminations*

Name a personal challenge. Find a trusted other to assist you, or ask yourself why five times, letting each answer inform the next why question.

Imagine Spirit in your current situation. How is Infinite Love communicating with you? Practically – Do you recognize any patterns, in your life? Mystically – Do you see images? Do you hear words? Do you have a sense of something?

*Origin of the “5 Whys?”

Sakichi Toyoda, founder of Toyota Industries, developed the technique in the 1930’s during the evolution of its manufacturing methodologies. His method became popular in the 1970’s, and Toyota Motor Corporation still uses it today as a critical component of its approach to problem solving. The technique has seen widespread use beyond Toyota because of its simplicity and effectiveness in determining a problem’s root cause and developing counter measures to prevent the problem from recurring.