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The Whys are Wise

How to get the most from asking Why!

There are empowering questions and then there are disempowering questions. The questions we ask contain assumptions, so carefully attending to what questions you are asking yourself and how you phrase your questions

is vital to getting answers that will benefit you.

For example, if we ask, “Why did this happen to me?” that question assumes the energy of victimhood—of powerlessness.

However, if we ask, “Why NOT me?” that question assumes we are active agents in the events that happen to us and around us. It assumes agency. Therefore, it assumes we have gifts, abilities, and insights that will move us and/or our society forward when we choose and act on the options available to us after reflecting on this question.

With one question, you’re doomed and stuck with the situation. With another question, you’re propelled forward into new possibilities.

There are other ways to use Why questions as well. A Japanese business model from Toyoda, the founder of Toyota, uses “5 Whys” to examine their processes to create better workflow and improve efficiency. For example, if they continue to have a product or a system break down, they’ll ask 1 Why. Why did this happen? Then once they’ve discovered the answer, they’ll ask another “And why did that happen?” and so forth until they’ve gotten to the root of the issue and solved it once and for all. They’ve found that 5 Whys are the most that’s needed to get to the root of an issue and solve it there.

I’ve discovered this 5 Whys useful for spiritual and energy work. If I look at an energy issue in somebody’s biofield that doesn’t want to clear, I’ll ask why. Then I’ll ask another why, “Why is it there?” and then I’ll ask again, “And why did that happen?” and so forth, until I’ve found all the layers that are the root of how this energy pattern started.

The same is true for any inner process work. Here’s something I might have a conversation with myself with 5 whys:

I might ask, “Why am I sad?”

I realize I’ve heard some news that impacted me emotionally—the death of a friend.

Then my 2nd why, “Why is that causing me sadness?”

Because I will miss her.

My 3rd why, “Why will I miss her?”

Because she brought a lot of kindness into my life at a time when I really needed it and has been a true friend since then.

My 4th why, “Why am I grieving these gifts she brought me?

I’m afraid of the loss of my connection to her and these gifts.

And finally, my 5th why, “Why do I fear this loss?”

Oh, I see, the fear is not truly true. I am still connected to her in Spirit, always will be, and am always connected to universal kindness. I have lost only my physical connection to her. I can bless her soul’s journey, and remain connected to her in a new way, while I grieve the loss of my physical connection.

It is important to ask these 5 whys gently and from a place of curiosity, rather than harsh investigation. Gentle curiosity opens the energies up to reveal their source.

Play with empowering why questions and ask curious 5 Why questions to see if you can find the roots of any place where you’re stuck. Let me know how it goes!


copyright © Monica McDowell 2022

If you are so moved and are able, please consider supporting my writing by making a donation (PayPal Donate button on bottom of every page) or buying one of my books. Thank you!

Monica McDowell is a dynamic speaker, author, and practitioner in alternative wellness and spirituality. Find her on Thought Catalog here. She is the author of The Oracle of Devor, The Girl with a Gift, Confessions of a Mystic Soccer Mom, You are Light (internationally published by 6th Books in over 14 countries) and My Karma Ran Over My Dogma, and has the distinction of being the first ordained minister in America granted civil rights by a federal ruling. She lives in Seattle, Washington, USA, and can be reached at

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