Inquiry: An essential life skill

Text notes on spiral ruled paper.
“Inquiry Notes” by William M Ferriter | CC BY-NC 2.0

What Inquiry can do for you

Prologue: We’ve been talking about the great transformation that’s taking place in human consciousness. We want to be on board that train. We don’t want to be left behind with a life that is dull and unfulfilling. We want to learn how to continually refresh our view, define ourselves anew, expand our consciousness. In this way, we can learn to handle the chaos that takes place both inside us and outside us. We can live a life of expansion, joy, and abundance. This is where the skill of inquiry comes in.

What does it mean to inquire?

Inquiry is a skill of deep inner exploration. It’s not hard to do. It just takes some curiosity, openness, and willingness to follow whatever comes up. I like to call inquiry “body talk” because we just pay attention, feel into what’s happening, and listen to what our body is trying to tell us—without judgment.

Who cares if old memories or weird images come into view? Who cares if parts of us start to talk with other parts of us? Who cares if flashes of insight or deep knowings occur? We just stay and watch as things come and go. If we get stuck on something, we just watch and see where it leads us. We allow our thoughts, insights, memories, and emotions to blow in like the wind. We find that whatever does arise will morph and lead us in yet another direction. That’s the fascinating part. We just have to be willing to follow whatever shows up. Inquiry is a process that will lead us to our highest and best self.

Inquiry can be both simple and profound. It can go up and down and swirl around. I learned inquiry as a student in the Diamond Approach many years ago. This amazing process of discovery has proven to be invaluable. It’s an inside tool that I use on a daily basis to stay current and alive in my process. Following are a few personal examples.

Inquiry example 1: A flash of insight while brushing my teeth

For weeks, I’d been waking up feeling down, heavy, and wondering why. Then one morning, as I was brushing my teeth, the answer came in like a flash; that heavy feeling was simply a remnant of my old ego shell. And, poof, the feeling disappeared.

Inquiry example 2: Triggered while eating

I was totally enjoying a Snickers bar. My husband walked in and asked, “Are you going to eat that whole thing?” Anger exploded within! Was he kidding? This was only a teensy-tiny candy bar, not a whole box of blinking chocolates. Once I calmed down, I started to wonder why I had been so triggered. So, I sat down and inquired, just following whatever came up in my body. Then it hit me. As a young child, the only time I could really look forward to not being criticized was when I was eating! There was my answer — yet another example of how childhood programming affects adult behavior.

Inquiry example 3: A memory from my family history

Inquiry can also be profound, leading us around like a child lost in the woods. This example comes from a personal journal entry. I chose this inquiry because it demonstrates how the inquiry process can weave all around the mulberry bush as it unfolds. This is the way our body explores, comes up with insights, and unpacks old wounds. Are you ready? Here we go:

I’m feeling hollow inside; there’s a dull ache. A childhood memory pops into view. I’m at my grandma’s house. She makes me eggs for breakfast instead of her usual crepes with jam. I start crying. I’m so disappointed. Grandma doesn’t know what to do. All of a sudden memories of my mother’s ancestral lineage flood in. People are hard at work in the fields of Austria, wearing babushkas (headscarves tied under the chin).

Next, I remember my aunt telling me, “There was not an ounce of affection in your mother’s family.” (My mother did not like the way this aunt and uncle showed affection. My mother dismissed it by saying, “All those silly, lovey-dovey comments in their photograph albums. Ugh.” )

Then, I remember a healer once telling me about the lack of affection often shown in immigrant families. She said this was because they had to give up their families of origin, struggle to survive in a new country, and had no time for affection. Now, a sense of being hopeless and hobbled drifts in. There is weakness inside, a dull ache. I allow this sensation to happen. I feel into it.

Whoa, like magic, my energy begins to shift. I’m becoming a joyous receiver! I’m empowered! I can do this. I’m bringing in love, nourishment, and compassion from on high. I’m pulling my own internal levers, healing old wounds. I have the power to send love to this inner wound. It wants to rock me, so I rock.

Wait. Now I see a spark of light in the central channel of my body, right above my pubic bone. I hold these two things together, the spark of light and the dull ache of the wound. They come together, side by side. Now I realize the light is “on,” and it wants to talk. The dullness is also active, morphing. It whispers to me, “I’m struggling. I don’t know what to do; I’m too young. I can’t handle this pain.”

The light responds, “It’s OK; I’m here for you. I’m patient. I’ll wait. Take your time; you don’t have to know what to do. We can gently work on this wound over time. It’s just energy that wants to be released.”

The wound responds, “ Thank you. I’m just starting to wake up. I didn’t know that there was love available. I am so relieved not to be rushed.”

At this point, I do some breathing to release the stress. I tell myself, “It’s safe to fully relax in this moment. I am safe. I am empowered. I am deeply held within this magical, revealing moment.” Now, I can more clearly see the wound. It’s in my right hip. It appears as a large mass, porous, the consistency of mush. It’s yellow and feels heavy. I realize I’ve been carrying this mess around with me for years. Morphing again…Now, I’m feeling focused, empowered, compassionate, gentle. I let the mass do whatever it wants. I send it love and comfort.

I realize there are no expectations here, or even the need for resolution. I inform the wound, “I love and accept you as part of me. Rest. Relax. You are safe and loved for whatever you turn out to be. There is no need to change.” Wow, now real acceptance is flooding in. Total inclusion. Love is here. Present. Alive. Peaceful. It’s all blending together in a gentle harmony. I think I’ll go get some breakfast.

What’s up next

In upcoming blog posts, we will be using the skill of inquiry to dive into, and dampen, the pain of Six Core Wounds that have been baked into the DNA of our bodies, even before we were even born. We can do this! We can explore what’s really going on inside us. We can release some old limiting energies. We can upgrade our energetic frequency and move on.