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Questions for a Learner Holiday

December 23, 20203 min read

The holidays are fully upon us with their own 2020 twist! And they can be both wonderful and challenging – a recipe with ingredients of joy mixed with stress – new stresses and old stresses.  

With our families—or even old friends– have you ever marveled that no matter how much progress you’ve made in your life, old patterns tend to mysteriously resurface during the holidays (even on Zoom)? This happens even with our best intentions to behave differently!

What can we do to transform our experiences of the holidays so they really are wonderful and full of good spirit? A little preparation can make a difference, so why not prepare to have a Learner Mindset holiday? Use the following tips and questions to help you from falling into the Judger pit and Switch to the Learner path.

1. At any moment, especially on the Zoom call when the conversation might be heading in the wrong direction, remember that we have a tool called The Choice Map. Moment-by-moment, you can identify where you are on The Choice Map and where you might want to be. Click here for a refresher on using The Choice Map. During any interaction you can picture the Choice Map and wonder:

  • Am I on the Learner mindset path or the Judger mindset path right now with this person or situation?

  • Where would I like to be, both for myself and for the other person(s)?

  • How can I get there—and make this good for all of us?

  • Am I listening with Learner ears or Judger ears?

  • What Switching questions would help?

  • What humor and good will can I bring to this interaction?

  • Who do I choose to be—moment by moment—with this person or situation?

2. Ask yourself some of these questions to help you prepare and experience with family or work a positive and fulfilling holiday:

  • What do I need to be doing to take care of myself? (one that I have been using a lot these past months)

  • What would the most wonderful holiday experience with my family and/or friends look like and feel like? What specific experiences and interactions would make me the happiest?

  • How can I make the holidays a time of genuine gratitude and connection?

  • What old patterns do I want to change that would be good for me and others too?

  • What might family members or friends say or do that would trigger my Judger mindset?

  • What Switching questions can I ask myself to keep returning to Learner mindset?

  • For each person who might trigger my Judger mindset: What do I appreciate most about him/her? What compassion can I bring to them and to myself?

  • Whom do I want to acknowledge, forgive, or just authentically share more of myself with?

  • What relationships do I want to deepen and strengthen? How can I summon the courage and willingness to do this? What rich rewards can this bring to us all?

  • What kind of support do I need to fulfill these kinds of intentions?

Since you know yourself and the people in your life better than anyone, what questions can you add here that could make the most difference for you personally? Use the questions above to make your own list of specific questions to put you on the path of having a Learner Holiday. You might even discover that a few of these questions could actually turn out to be transformational for you and those around you.

As we bid 2020 good-bye and the many challenges and surprises this holiday season brings with it, I invite you to bring your Learner intentions, questions, and awarenesses along with your Choice Map to have the most wonderful holiday and New Year

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Marilee Adams

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2023 Inquiry Institute

2023 Inquiry Institute