shine day 24: spark your self-acceptance with three small questions

When I lead workshops, I often give participants a series of prompts that I call Three Small Questions.  The catch is that they aren’t small questions at all.  They are often big questions but what I want from them is short, simple, one sentence, very direct answers.

I ask the questions, and my students have about 30 seconds to furiously write each answer.

Then, I tell them, they must ask themselves these three same questions everyday for the next week.

Why?  They ask.

And here is what I tell them.

These questions are a simple crucible for you.  If what is challenging you on Day 1 that you ask is still the thing that is challenging you on Day 7 and it is controllable, addressable in one day or a series of days then the question becomes why are you letting this challenge still defeat you?  It’s the same thing for “What do I need right now more than anything else.”  If you answer sleep on day one and then still the answer is sleep on day 6, then the question becomes why aren’t you addressing a need that you really can meet right now, why aren’t you giving yourself what you’ve asked for and would you ever deny that need to someone else in your life?

 

Today:  I want to challenge you to answer these three small questions for yourself.  Then ask yourself these questions everyday for the next week.  You can do them on paper or you can ask yourself these questions while you are in the shower, driving to work, during savasana in yoga class, while you drink your coffee.  The key is to delight yourself with your surprises and to increase your mindfulness and self-awareness.

What surprised you today?

What challenged you today?

What do you need right now more than anything else?

Some guidance:

Do not take more than 30 seconds to write each answer.

These questions are a crucible for you.  Answering the same questions several days in a row will reveal depth in your exploration.

Do not take them too seriously.   The key is to delight yourself with your surprises and to increase your mindfulness and self-awareness.

Do not believe that your answers need to be the same everyday.  They don’t.  Whatever answer you receive is the answer you are meant to have for that day.  Every day is different and your answers might be different, too.

1.  What were your answers to the questions today?

2.  What do those answers reveal to you?

3.  Can you see these questions being useful to you beyond today?

Remember your comment noting your participation gets you an entry in the great giveaways!

Excited about this journey?  Want more?  Pick up Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance for a year long plan and guidance.

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16 responses to “shine day 24: spark your self-acceptance with three small questions”

  1. Cecile

    My answers for today:

    1) What surprised you today?
    I had a lovely speak with the father-in-law of my neighbour. I’ve discovered that he is a Francophile and a supporter of Europe as it brings people of diverse nationalities together, so it reinforces peace. That’s exactly the way I feel too, and it was a wonderful surprise to speak about it with somebody I just knew by sight.
    What this reveals about me? I’ve found my place as a “foreigner”, and I don’t expect people to know how it feels – however, and because of my knowledge as foreigner, I love to attack related prejudices and engross people’s thoughts on the topic.

    2) What challenged you today?
    The storm this night, that provoked Delight to wake up and not sleep in again – at least for a while.
    What this reveals about me: I was proud to see that I’ve managed it by my own – “normal” for a mother, but hey, I love to celebrate the “normal” positive little things of life!

    3) What do you need right now more than anything else?
    Sleep! After 2 weird nights, I guess it does not reveal that much. But you can be sure I’ll get this sleep during the week-end, even if I have to take a nap!

    These questions are really a good way to reflect on my day, and to identify issues I would maybe not see consciously. I knew the exercize from Beautiful You, and it already helped a lot, but until today I did not considered to use it again. Come to think of it, I should make a short list of some such exercizes, in order for me to check my state regularly (and countersteer if needed) during the coming challenging time after Baby’s birth… It would be a great gift of love to myself.

    Rosie, see, your great help has a long-lasting impact! Thanks so much that you chose to engage on these issues!

  2. Marissa

    What surprised you today?
    I felt more social today than usual. I was drawn into conversations with strangers and neighbors where I’d normally go back into my home, continue with my dog walk, etc. I think I felt a need to connect because my mood has been better and I’m feeling optimistic.

    What challenged you today?
    I feel challenged by the fact that today is my last day of nannying. I am glad that it’s the last day, but I know that the lack of structure will be hard. I was also challenged this morning by my eating disorder but feel I made the right choice by taking a shorter walk with the dogs and not running.

    What do you need right now more than anything else?
    I need to feel secure in my decision about going back to school soon. I also need my dogs to stop barking at the men doing work next door!
    Marissa recently posted..What’s Wrong with Grass-Fed, Local and Organic Meats?

  3. Ann Becker-Schutte

    1. What were your answers to the questions today?
    What surprised you today?
    How much I wanted to move. I have been getting more active, but today I craved a walk and yoga.

    What challenged you today?
    Being on top of my email and other “paperwork” kinds of management. Some days I just want to focus on my therapy practice, but I need the reminder that these other types of work support my ability to do that practice.

    What do you need right now more than anything else?
    Rest. With back-to-school, an injury to my partner, work, and a couple of birthday parties thrown in the last week, I am feeling tapped out.

    2. What do those answers reveal to you?
    That I am feeling a tension between lots of small tasks and my desire to keep a focus on my own health and well-being.

    3. Can you see these questions being useful to you beyond today?
    Oh yes–they were a fun self-study.
    Ann Becker-Schutte recently posted..Creating Space: An Inside Peek

  4. Mary

    1)What surprised me today was how I felt when a rude man on a cellphone in noontime,Friday traffic cut me off and yelled at me “Pay Attention!” Usually I would have yelled right back.I didn’t,then as we ended up side by side on the Ave.I called out God bless,be safe.I stayed cool on a hot day,in traffic,when my usual action would have been at least as hot tempered and rude.

  5. Valerie

    What surprised me today was the mail…I won one of the prizes here! I’ve never won anything in my life, and I was so excited!! I won Beautiful You, and am so excited to have a copy of my very own!

    My challenge today was too many hours alone. I was off work, and my husband worked a long day shift; this means that I was home alone with my thoughts for almost 8 hours. Some of these days are better than others. I used to love alone time, and while I still enjoy it, I also enjoy spending time with my husband and my kids.

    Right now, what I need more than anything else is sleep.

  6. Missy

    What surprised you today?

    I was surprised that I actually got through the day. I was transferred to a different hospital yesterday afterrnoon which specializes in eating disorders..and I actually was able to get through each meal and do what I needed to do to ensure I move in the right direction. One meal I wasn’t able to finish and I supplemented it so that it still was adequate. I’m surprised that I haven’t “lost” it… I have coped… And I have got through Day 1!

    What challenged you today?
    I felt challenged today with the feelings of being. “punished”.. That There is a lack of nurturing support at the treatment place and that it all feels like punishment. I’ve had to really try hard at pushing through these thoughts and feelings.

    What do you need right now more than anything else?
    Rest and rejuvenation. My body is tired, in a state of shock and it needs to rest and continue to heal. It needs adequate nutrition and fluid so that it can begin to heal the damage and be able to move forwards in gaining back health and wellness.

    Wow! These answers are like talking to my “inner self”. It’s almost as if you are able to bypass straight to what matters. The rambling thoughts aren’t able to get in the way..it’s straight pure honesty…from ones inner being.

    I definitely am going to use this in the future – and am going to share this on my blog. Thank you Rosie for helping me find a technique that I know will help me continue to connect with my inner self.
    Missy recently posted..What would you say to someone just starting to develop an eating disorder?

  7. Jenn

    What surprised me: I was able to maintain a relative feeling of detachment at work – not all day but more than most days.

    What challenged me: Maintaining a relative feeling of detachment at work

    What do i need right now: alone time.

  8. Susannah

    Some guidance:
    Do not take more than 30 seconds to write each answer.

    These questions are a crucible for you. Answering the same questions several days in a row will reveal depth in your exploration.

    Do not take them too seriously. The key is to delight yourself with your surprises and to increase your mindfulness and self-awareness.

    Do not believe that your answers need to be the same everyday. They don’t. Whatever answer you receive is the answer you are meant to have for that day. Every day is different and your answers might be different, too.

    1. What were your answers to the questions today?

    - What surprised you today? A colleague of mine said she loves my photo blog, which was surprising because I didn’t think anybody ever looked at it.
    - What challenged you today? Tidying my house. I am a messy person, but the mess upsets me, and makes me messier. Today, I tidied the whole lot.
    - What do you need right now more than anything else? Some time for myself and a soak in the bath.

    2. What do those answers reveal to you?

    That I need to book some time in for me, and that I should make sure my house doesn’t get too messy, because it paralyses me, whereas I love my home when it’s tidy.

    3. Can you see these questions being useful to you beyond today?

    Yes. I just downloaded an app to help me with the mess issues in my house, so I will take care of that.

    1. Susannah

      Oh sorry, I pasted too much of the original post…

  9. Marie

    Oops.. I missed so many “shine days” (spending time in Nice, French Riviera with my sons). So…
    1- What surprised you today?
    The wind. Very strong this afternoon, and so refreshing after 3 weeks of heat!
    2- What challenged you today?
    To plan my next week (Back to school!!)
    3- What do you need right now more than anything else ?
    A hug from my son ;-)

  10. Jamie

    I did (with these exact questions) for several months last year….then I took a break from it.
    1. what surprised me today was some “extra” quiet time that I was able to spend just reading!
    2. what challenged me today was waking up tired….I hate that feeling :(
    3. what I need right now more than anything is some down time where I rest in some form (maybe a nap, maybe not) so I can shake the tired feeling!

  11. Chibi Jeebs

    1. What were your answers to the questions today?
    They were specific to events that occurred, relating to shame on my part and stress about money.

    2. What do those answers reveal to you?
    That I have some work to do, both on why I feel shame and how to react to it in a more constructive manner, and in the financial management department.

    3. Can you see these questions being useful to you beyond today?
    Absolutely!

  12. Cassie Virgin

    What surprised me today?
    My ability to completely misinterpret my husband’s quiet, tired mood as him somehow being disappointed in me; when logically I know it’s wrong of me to feel so much shame regarding other people’s moods. My tummy growled the other night and I punched myself really hard in the stomach because I was scared the growling noise would wake him up.

    What challenged me today?
    Reading articles about self-compassion and loving kindness towards myself…no one in my life disparages me or tries to make me feel inferior…I somehow do it to myself and I’m trying to figure out why. What on earth do I have to prove?

    What do I need right now more than anything else?
    An entire hour without some self-hating thought creeping in…peaceful haven far from my strange self loathing.

  13. safi

    5/9/2012
    What surprised you today?

    An email surprised me,an email i never expected,although i had envisaged and hoped for it. Quite funny how surprises truly are such, because you really do not expect them to come even when you many want them too,the element of surprise reveals an inner doubt.<<< note to self.
    I love surprises,today.

    What challenged you today?

    A process of thought,a few hours wasted piling idea upon idea,swishing them and mushing them, not far from abandoning them.That was until i realized my answer for the next question.

    What do you need right now more than anything else?

    One word,oh its a little blurred.Sleep.sheep,sheep,SleeP.

  14. Learn Self-Acceptance By Asking Yourself Three Questions - Mamiverse

    [...] Read the full post on Rosie Molinary’s Blog [...]

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