Karen Horneffer-Ginter
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Setting Forth with a Question

Sometimes, as a way of enriching the day, I begin the morning by connecting with a question that I've been present with-- a question such as, "How can I bring more balance to my days?" or "What shifts are needing to happen in my work life?"

I plant my question in the back of my mind-- like a seed of sorts-- and as I move through the day, I try to notice if anything I encounter seems to offer a relevant insight or clue. Sometimes, as my attention is drawn to something in nature, or to an email I receive, or to something I overhear someone saying, I'll consider if it might have any relationship to the question I'm sitting with. Of course, there are days when I forget my question all too quickly as I'm rushing off to work, and other days, when nothing notable arrives in support of my quest for meaning. There are those times, however, when I'll cross paths with an image or phrase that feels almost magical in its way of illuminating my puzzlement.

I can recall sitting with the question of bringing more balance into my life on a rainy day. As I stared out the window, the droplets of water caused the streetlights to blur and blend, forming the shape of a cross with the vertical line being notably longer than the horizontal line. This struck me as a much needed metaphor about the importance of spending more time and energy "vertically," connecting spiritually, before extending myself, "horizontally," out into the world of demands and obligations, and people and things.

It's worth playing with such an exercise for yourself. Name a question and keep it with you throughout the day, and see if any clarity arrives in a subtle or not-so-subtle way.

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