As counsellor, mentor, speaker and writer, I am attracted to metaphors and questions because I like to find more meaning in what I and others think, feel, and do. They are effective forms of communication that have helped me understand myself better and have guided me through challenging times and with difficult people. I invite you to consider how they can also help you in your relationship with yourself, with your family and friends and in your larger community.

Metaphor is how I describe someone, something, or an action as if the person, the thing, or the action is “as if” something else. For me, the metaphor requires the listener or the reader to recognize a creative and soulful energy within the mind, body and heart that reveals a wisdom, an “inner knowing”. This experience seems to stimulate questions such as: “What does the mean? What would it be like if…”?

For example, when I write “YOU ARE AN EMBER OF THE UNIVERSAL BONFIRE”, the universe, the world as you know it, is not burning like the familiar summer bonfire at which you cook your hotdog on a stick. You do not walk around as a burning spark that bounces out from the bonfire. What happens though when you visualize the universe as you know it “as if” a burning fire that provides light, the light you need to direct you out of stress to peace? AND what would it be like to consider yourself as an ember from this fire that can also guide others on the same path ?

AH — the questions! Do you notice what happens when you ask them of yourself? Some of you may go to the left brain and look for logical, rational answers. Others will go to the right brain for creative, artistic answers. Will you accept questions as invitations to a new relationship with your body, your mind, and a heart yearning to open? Questions do exactly that. They open you to an experience that will reveal what was once unknown and that may even surprise the most intellectual brain. I know they keep me in wonder and awe as I explore with curiosity the people and the events of my day!

Do you ask yourself now: “How do metaphors and questions help me with a person or situation that is negatively affecting my work, relationships, health?” OR “Why waste time and energy with reflective questions — just get on with it!”

Or do you wonder what practical use is the metaphor “You are an ember of the Universal bonfire” when you feel worthless, stuck in dark days of pain and fear?

When you consider the world as warm and light and you as its spark, with your unique warmth and light, notice what happens. Does it seem as if a space opens in your mind, heart and body  to allow for options –  new thoughts, feelings and actions – to appear? Could it be that within these options are the possibilities, the hope, to transform the anxieties and the inferiorities to a healthy and useful energy?

I invite you to watch and listen for the metaphor and the question, to experiment with what is present and to create your own.

Honor your inner knowing as the creative, energy experience of soul present in your heart, mind and body. As you explore and reflect, your curious position recognizes that the metaphor and the question will energize and guide you to your desired intention.