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The Value of Asking
How many times were you instructed as a child to remember to say please when you asked for something? The action of asking was often the perfect opportunity for parents, relatives and teachers to instruct us in the delicate art of demonstrating polite manners.
Many years ago, I attended a business conference, which was taking place in Toronto, Canada. The hotel was quite cozy and accommodating with a bright, sociable lobby complete with a cart offering fresh coffee and delectable morning goodies. For a brief time every morning, this decorated thruway united large numbers of diverse travelers brought to the hotel for equally diverse reasons.
The intoxicating aroma of steaming, fresh brewed coffee enveloped my senses as I stepped off the elevator, enticing me to relax with a cup in the lobby and absorb the ambience. The only disappointment was the stack of paper cups I saw next to the pots of coffee. I have long enjoyed a cup of coffee or tea in the morning, regardless of which I am drinking; I prefer to hold a nice warm mug in my hands rather than a to-go cup.
As I surveyed the lobby, I noticed everyone was drinking out of paper cups and there were no ceramic mugs in sight. For a moment, I thought about settling for the paper cup and taking a few minutes to enjoy my coffee while reading the paper, when I heard my inner voice tell me to simply ask for what I really want. Why wouldn't I at least attempt to have the experience I would prefer? Why wouldn't I ask to find out if what I wanted was possible? Do you ever feel angst in asking for what you desire? Do you have a variety of rules in your mental files, which you use to cross-reference your potential requests in order to determine their validity?
That morning in Toronto, I asked myself the same questions, which prompted me to find the restaurant. Within moments, I was walking back to the lobby, mug in hand ready to enjoy a steaming hot cup of coffee. I found a big, poofy high back chair to get comfy in and began to read the paper when I heard an older woman's voice ask me in a somewhat agitated manner, why I was drinking out of a mug. As I lowered my newspaper below my eyes, I saw her seated directly across from me, staring at me a bit tensely. Once we had mutual eye contact, she asked, "How did you get that mug?"
I was amused and surprised by the interrogating nature of her question. Like a strict schoolteacher who had caught me during a lesson with a prohibited item, she indignantly asked again, "What makes you so special that they gave you and only you a mug." I simply replied, "I asked for it." I'll never forget the look on her face upon hearing and consequently digesting my response as we looked at each other unwaveringly.
If she received a lesson about the simplicity of asking for what one wants, I received the same message as I heard my own words flow succinctly out of my mouth. Asking is the most direct way to express what you desire, establish your intention/interest in fulfilling it and determine whether you can get it at that moment. So why are so many people hesitant to ask for what they want?
Do you remember the first time you asked for something? Was your request well received or denied?
I vaguely recall the extraordinary moment when everything the world could offer seemed to open up, displayed before me in beautiful brown wicker picnic basket. It was all suddenly at my fingertips after being instructed how to ask for what I desire properly and politely. I also recollect the moment it all changed.
Upon entering a neighbor's house with my mother, I spotted a clear, glistening candy dish overflowing with colorfully distinct, delectable goodies. My cheeks responded as though they were already engaged in a delicious volley of candy treats from one side of my mouth to the other, immediately causing me to salivate with anticipation.
I was clear about my desire to enjoy a piece of candy, set my intention and consulted my rulebook file in order to ask correctly. Like the sound of a loud record scratch that interrupts the music, my mother's hand made contact with my shoulder in a move that was designed to hold back my action. Before the words could tumble out of my mouth, my mother called a fumble and during the time out period, she rewrote the rules! She told me not to ask!
In an instant, the infinite free flowing universe was no longer at my fingertips because I could only ask for I wanted sometimes. No matter how often I sought help in differentiating between the two instances, I couldn't get clear on how to identify the distinction. From then on, I harbored an unconscious tendency toward not asking. I even went as far as to work harder thus being more pleasing to incite others to offer me what I desired rather than ask for it. You can imagine how successful that plan of action was.
As you set your goals, define your desires and identify the value within them, are you comfortable with asking for them? One of the most valuable questions you can answer for yourself is, how you feel about asking for what you want. Do you ask with ease or experience a lot of difficulty?
There are so many reasons why many of us have difficulty asking for what we want. The value is in recognizing its relevance to manifesting what you desire in your life. If asking makes you feel guilty, you may need to find out if the idea of receiving what you desire in fact makes you feel guilty. Maybe you feel if you have to ask for it, then you aren't supposed to have it.
Is your inability to ask coming from a lack of self worth or a question about what you deserve? Asking for a coffee mug may seem like an insignificant action; however, the action of asking was fueled by a desire to have a more pleasing experience. If I didn't allow myself to place value on my desired experience, I would not have asked for the mug. How does this translate into manifesting what you desire? My desire to drink coffee out of a mug is relative to everything else I desire to experience my life.
Sometimes we may be asking another person for what we want, while at other times we simply need to ask it of life. Bear in mind, that asking for you want can also mean expressing yourself when asked what you want, without being afraid of your potential source being lost. Not asking for what you desire will rarely yield the outcome you want faster than asking for it.
Asking or expressing our desires challenges our situations and relationships, giving us more information about our situation. Sometimes we are afraid to ask because there is great potential that the truth we will discover is something we don't want to know.
Dating is a great example of what happens when people are afraid to ask for what they desire or be honest in expressing what they desire from a potential partner. Many of my clients have told me that they could not honestly answer when asked by a date what they desire in a relationship, out of fear that they will scare the person away. If you desire to manifest a supportive relationship but are unable to express what you desire to give and receive from your potential partner, how successful will you be in manifesting the type of relationship you seek?
Why would you want to prolong a relationship that is not what you envision? You can also be in a wonderful relationship that does not fulfill you because you don't ask for what you desire from your partner. If someone asks you what you desire in your life, your career or in a relationship, can you answer the question?
Our childhood experiences, rules within the home, and latter conditioning, can all lead to fairly complicated inner rationale for asking or not asking. Whether you'd like to explore the roots of it or not, I encourage you to determine whether you are able to ask for what you desire. Check in with yourself, take another look at your goals and don't be afraid to ask for what you want from life. You may discover that part of the reason you've had difficulty in manifesting the life you desire is because you are reluctant to ask for it.
Don't be afraid to answer when others ask you what you want. Remember the saying "It never hurts to ask." In the spirit of manifesting what you desire, ask and sometimes you shall receive!
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Copyright © 2017, Charly Emery. This article is available for export only by permission. Email Charly Emery, www.charlyemery.com.