Several months ago, I took the picture above and shared it on Instagram with the caption: “This sunflower has a mind of its own and seems to be facing the wrong direction.” A non-conformist flower. Fun. At the same time, I had the nagging suspicion that there was something unnatural, something not-quite-right about that sunflower.
Sunflowers are heliotropic, meaning that they move and grow in the direction of the sun. There is a theory that people are heliotropic too and that our natural tendency is to turn toward the light. We are drawn like a magnet toward positive energy. Except, sometimes we’re not. Sometimes, like our little sunflower friend, we turn our faces away from the light. We are lonely and confused.
Our focus determines the direction we grow. The path of our focus becomes the path of our future. One of the many ways we can shift our focus is through the questions we ask. By being mindful of the questions we ask of our selves and others, we can gently guide our attention in a more positive direction. Questions are seldom neutral. The questions themselves influence our thinking and feeling about our responses. You can use questions to build from your strengths rather than your weaknesses. Why questions? Questions show that we are curious, open, and willing to learn. Sometimes we need more questions and fewer answers.
Think about the difference between asking, “What’s going to go wrong today?” and “What am I excited about today?” or “What can I learn today?” Where are the sparks, the glimmers of light that dance through our day?
At the end of the day, try asking your family (or yourself):
- What was the best thing about your day?
- What was funny or surprising today?
- What was something exciting that happened today?
- What did you learn today?
- What made you happy today?
Try harvesting your day for its blessings and see if that changes anything. See if it makes you a little more heliotropic. xx Tara