The most important and most difficult relationship you’ll ever have is you.
My friend Craig asked me that question last night because his friend Bryan asked him the same question.
Craig said he and Bryan talked back and forth for a couple of hours on what heaven was for each of them, and Craig and I did the same for about an hour. But that’s the kind of question that if Craig and I had the time last night, we could have gone on and on for 5+ hours. We’ve done that before.
Craig is a master at asking questions. And they’re never throwaway questions. They’re always questions that cause you to both to dig deep into your life, and into what is real or not. Craig asks the kind of questions that cause you to start clearing out the thoughts that might have you stuck. They’re questions that help you start to awaken and live a much more fulfilled life. Yeah, that’s the kinds of questions Craig asks. Contemplative, powerful, life-affirming questions that will keep coming up to the surface for days and often weeks.
So this morning when I woke up, it was no surprise his question came back in my mind: “What’s Your Heaven?”
There’s a distinction I want to discuss regarding the nature of Craig’s questions. This has helped shape how I ask questions of others now. I’d like to ask you to consider thinking about the kinds of questions you ask and the way you are asking those questions to others as well.
For example, the question “What’s Your Heaven?” didn’t originate from Craig. But when Craig takes on a question that moves him and decides to share it with others, he offers it up in a way that causes you to ponder it from a 360 degree view.
Craig’s question and his questioning process in a conversation reminds me so much of a book I read years ago. It has stayed with me even though I also gave the book to someone years ago. (I really need to get another copy, because I keep referring to it in my conversations.)
The book is called QBQ “The Question Behind The Question” by John G. Miller
John’s book is a very quick read, but it’s the kind of book that stays with you a lifetime. This is because he very quickly coaches you, using questions, on how to own your most important and most difficult relationship you’ll ever have: you.
John’s work is about asking the right questions in all areas of your life, so you take personal accountability to create, and live a life you love.
A life of no excuses, no blame, and especially no delay in living it today, now!
And what John really keys you in to isn’t the just question asked, but “What’s the question behind the question?”
And it’s not a quick surface answer, but a deeper dive into what’s really behind the question, with thinking and inquiry that will really make a difference in your life, and in the lives of others.
And those are the kinds of questions Craig asks and is committed to keeping asking people he cares about in every conversation.
So, “What’s My Heaven?”
Well, for me, it’s now. It’s what I’m doing in this very moment: creating, writing and sharing.
My heaven is the sheer terror (what will I say, will it be worth it, will people care, and so on) and the elation (hmmmm this feels right, I think I’ve got something to share, hey this is pretty good) of opening up a blank piece of paper (yeah, I know this isn’t paper) and sharing what I’m touched, moved and inspired about. It’s also about commitment to being a life long listener, reader and student of learning from the great sages of the past and the present.
For me, heaven is creation, freedom, exploration, adventure, travel, a great book, a “Crazy Delicious” meal, a fire in my fireplace, and a fire outside in the fire pit that I built with my son Matt.
Yes, yes, yes! Heaven is my amazing kids, Jennifer and Matt, and Kim, their amazing mom and my wife of 35+ years. They’ve been my heaven, and they are my heaven because they are without a doubt the people I love the most in my life. They are the people I want to spend the most time with while I’m on this earth.
Like I said, for me, heaven is now. As I look outside the window of my cozy home office at 5:55 AM this morning, looking at an amazing sunrise over Manhattan, sharing this very moment with you, I’m in heaven. Some of you I might know, many of you I don’t know, but knowing that there is no barrier between what I can share with you and what you can share with me through the magic of a NEW POST and a COMMENT below is heaven. #tagyoureit
How heavenly is it that I can type, I can publish, and these words and thoughts can be opened anywhere, at anytime, in the world.
And yes, I believe that there is a heaven after we move on (not a big fan of the idea of “pass on”, sounds uninspired, done and over.)
Why wouldn’t I want to believe that there is a heaven after earth?
But since I’ve never seen it, until I do, I’m going to savor and soak up every piece of heaven that awaits me each day.
That’s my heaven.