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Who is the most powerful person in the world?

Who is the “most powerful person” in the world?
If the President of the United States comes to mind. I invite you to think again.

I’m so done with the old story. Over it.

The nonsense I was fed in 1965 said that women’s bodies aren’t enough to sustain a child, so I got chemicals in a bottle instead of mother’s milk.

I drank that along with the lie that money and fame and status equal POWER. The fiction that power is about profit and politics and that lies get you there, was dangerous stuff to grow up on, but that’s what was on the menu at the time.

Thankfully, the folks landing on the planet ahead of me had started to ask better questions and rattle the illusion. If you were one of those, I’m eternally grateful. I take it as a compliment when I get called a hippie, even though I was only toddling during the Summer of Love.

Maybe it’s the long hair. Or the preference for peace and the belief in a world that can work for everyone. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.

Over 50 years later, some people don’t think things have changed much, and there’s certainly proof of how horrific the abuse of “power” can be, but I see more than that. I see people waking up, one heart at a time, coming together, by the thousands and now finally…by the millions. Coming together in a tidal wave of change.

Apparently we needed a wake-up call. So, my friends.
This question is intended to help the waking up we’re ALL in the middle of.

I’m guessing you grew up with the same lies I did, so before you get to the question on the Inquiry Card below, try these first and just see if there’s a remnant or two of those old stories hanging around.


What is power?


How do I recognize power when I see it?

How do I recognize power when I feel it?


And now, the bigger question…


Say the question to yourself a few times,
then drop into silence and just listen.

That’s the way.

Pick another card here


Power without love is reckless and abusive
and love without power is sentimental and anemic.

– Martin Luther King Jr.


More power to you,


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The Cheapskate Question

Have you ever noticed that there’s a question behind most everything you do?
The decisions you make. The actions you take. Even the feelings you live with every day.
And you probably don’t even realize what those questions are.

Here’s an example of what I mean.

I realized a few months ago it was time to get a new computer. I’ve had the same little Mac laptop for about 6 years and not only was the hard drive completely full (as in I literally had to erase a file to save something else), but I’d also noticed that for the 8-10 hours a day I’m usually on the computer, I was leaning forward and down to be able to read that little screen, which is not so great for my body.
Those kinds of habits add up and probably explain the knots in my shoulders in my otherwise low-stress life.

So I started looking online for a new computer. What I didn’t realize was that my “guiding question,” the question underneath the action I was taking was “how little can I spend?”

Not a great question.

Sure price is one of the considerations, but if it’s the main question and I only succeed in spending the least possible, I miss a lot of other possibilities.



So, once I realized that my guiding question was pretty lame, I replaced it with questions like;

“what computer would support me in doing my best work?”
“what do I really want?”
“what’s my ideal budget?”
“is there such a thing as ‘too big’?”

And check this out. On the very same day I asked these questions, I found a gorgeous 27″ (yes, think movie screen) iMac, that was souped up with all kinds of extras for video and audio production (something I’ll be doing a lot of this year) for the same price I was ready to pay for a new computer.

Talk about a game changer!

I really don’t think I would have been open to this way better possibility and had the clarity to make a quick decision if I hadn’t asked my “better questions.”

I’m happy to say I no longer think there’s such a thing as a computer screen that’s too big. : )


ALL the Inquiry Cards in your deck have better questions that can be used in those moments when you feel like a cheapskate.

Give yourself the gift of a better question and draw an Inquiry Card

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Don’t let this question stop you in your tracks

Have you ever noticed that there’s a question behind most everything you do?
The decisions you make. The actions you take. Even the feelings you live with every day.
And you probably don’t even realize what those questions are because they’re running in the background and don’t quite make it to the light of day.

Here’s one that stops a lot of us in our tracks, but can be turned into a better question quite easily.

“What if I fail?”

Yes, it’s the question that goes with the dreaded fear of failure and it usually goes with answers like “my world will fall apart,” “no one will love me” or “I will die miserable, penniless  and alone.”

But let’s take a closer look.
We know we’re all human. We all make mistakes. We all fail. And we know that the most successful people are really good at failing. In fact, they’re friends with failure; they fail faster and more often than people who are unwilling or too afraid to take action (there are lots of books and success stories about these people. So if you want inspiration, it’s easy to find).


Try this.
Next time you’re facing something scary and you hear these frightened words inside your head, “what if I fail?” ask these questions instead:

SO WHAT if I fail?”
“What is the opportunity?”
“What if I wasn’t afraid?”
“What if I was willing to fail?”

These questions will lead to very different answers.
And remember, ALL the Inquiry Cards in your deck have better questions that can be used in those moments when you feel confused, discouraged, upset, frustrated or scared.

Give yourself the gift of a better question and draw an Inquiry Card

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One question to never ask yourself again

There is one question I recommend you never ask yourself again.

One question, made of 2 little words that together are so insidious, they can instantly put you into victim mode and keep you stuck there for as long as you keep asking it.

Chances are this little question has come into the corners of your mind when something challenging, disappointing or traumatic has happened and once it came sneaking in, it probably stayed a while and brought a load of pain with it.

Just two words and one question mark is all it takes.

“Why me?”

Now, I haven’t forgotten that the whole point of these articles is to develop a habit of asking better questions, and I promise we’ll get there, but for just a brief moment if you can  remember a time in your life that you actually did ask yourself the question “why me?” I think you’ll really get what I mean.

What event or situation led to you ask yourself “why me?”
How does your body feel even remembering that moment in your life?

When I recall asking that question at 13 years old as my dad was diagnosed with the illness he died of 9 months later, I instantly remember the sinking feeling in my belly, the heaviness, the hopelessness.

I didn’t know any better then, but I understand now that unlike a good question, “why me?” is not an opening at all. It’s a dead end. And that’s why I’m suggesting you drop it like kryptonite. It’s one of those questions (and there are more) that doesn’t have a real answer.

“Why me?” is a short road that leads right to shame and unworthiness. Even asking the question assumes there’s something inherently wrong with you, that you deserved that bad thing that happened. That you were somehow singled out for pain.


Once you notice yourself asking a less-than-great question, all it takes is replacing it with a better question and you can instantly access a new state of mind with new possibilities.

Try these questions instead:

Why not me?
What’s the gift in this experience?
What can I learn from this?
What do I want to create?

And remember, ALL the Inquiry Cards in your deck have better questions that can be used in those moments when you feel confused, discouraged, upset, frustrated or scared.

Give yourself the gift of a better question and draw an Inquiry Card

Posted on 18 Comments



Thanks to the amazing response from all of you, there are now hundreds of thousands of Inquiry Card cards in the world!

• How are YOU using your cards?
• What answers and insights have you gotten?
• What are your favorite questions so far?
• Where do you like to put your cards?

Please share so we can all be inspired!


marthabeckMy favorite gift this season is the Inquiry Cards by Sylvia Nibley, who is brilliant, compassionate, and highly intuitive, and happens to be my cousin. I seriously think that referring to these cards has changed my life. Buy some and see!
Martha Beck, bestselling author

dianedegiorgioOver the years, I’ve come to appreciate the value of a well-asked question. I know that oracle cards are popular but I like Inquiry Cards which encourage you to become your own oracle. Have I mentioned that the cards themselves are lovely (like little pieces of art)? These make the perfect gift for anyone (especially those hard-to-buy-for folks).
– Diane DeGiorgio, The Everything Yoga Blog

Something I deeply appreciate about the practice of spiritual direction is its penchant for asking meaningful questions. One excellent question may provide more stimuli for spiritual growth than many answers, tips, solutions, or advice. Inquiry Cards are therefore a perfect tool for spiritual directors…I highly recommend them.
– Rev. Monica McDowell, Presence Magazine

I love love love them. This will make a lovely GIFT for anyone in your life who loves self-discovery, journaling and inner growth.  It will also make a lovely GIFT for YOU!
– Anne Marie

Great Idea! We should ask ourselves questions everyday. Thank you for your thoughtful product
– Joe

I can’t wait to give one of these decks to my friend and keep one for myself! Very cooooool!
– Keisha

I am so excited about your these lovely, purposeful cards! Thank you for believing in your vision and having the courage to pursue it!
– Tracy

I love your cards. One day I got, “what needs attention?”. The card was up for weeks and couldn’t stop looking at it. One day I realized I spend too much energy on people who drain me of energy. It’s time to put that attention on me. Maybe it would give those people permission to shift their thinking. I bought a set of cards for one of them for Xmas. Every time she asks me a draining question I say, “that’s a great question for the cards.”
–  Wendy

These cards are truly channeled. So perfect, angelic. Thank you so much.
– Tami


Amazing Sylvia…..thank you for the extra beauty in the world!
– Lori

This looks fantastic! I’m a coach and will use them with clients, and send as gifts. Thank you for listening to your soul and creating these!
– Becky

I’m excited to receive my shipment and give these as gifts to my closest friends and family.
– Cindy

These are absolutely gorgeous!
– Kari

Every day we choose a card and talk about it.
– Kim

I can’t say enough about inquiry cards. I use my deck every day. If you’re trying to find the perfect gift for the thoughtful, insightful and fun people in your life who enjoy pulling runes, reading daily words, tarot, astrology, etc. this deck makes a great gift.
– Lila

Perfect. Already inspired me to instantly solve an issue with a project that has needed attention. It’ll help personally, professionally, and be more fun than my former approach. You continue to amaze and delight me!
– Beth

I love mine…use them all the time. I gave several as gifts and friends say they have profound, amazing and welcomed insights using theirs! Win-win-win!
– Darcy

These are so Beautiful!
– Laura

These will make sweet gifts. Thank you.
– Pat

These cards are gorgeous! Thank you for gestating them and finally finding a father to help birth them.
– Jennifer


This is fantastic!  You ARE a visionary.
– Suzanne

I look forward to everything you are, do and share.
– Wendy

These cards are beautiful. What a great idea. Thanks!
– Kathleen

Wow, these cards rock. One for my waiting room and one for a gift
– Matt

Thank you for these divine cards… brought to us through the divine expression of Sylvia
– Bonnie

These cards are downright INspired! Top of my gift list!
– Jane

Your creativity expressed through these powerful tools is such a gift to humanity.
– Susen

Love the idea of inner questioning rather than seeking outside oneself for Truth….thank you!
– Donna

These are wondrous in every way. Congratulations on a superb tool of beauty!
– Tay


Can’t wait to get these! Thank you!!
– Julie

Brilliant way to get at the heart of inner wisdom problem solving and decision making.
– Karen

Thank you so much! I use my cards and keep the current one on top of my printer facing me as I work on my computer…I re read it and stimulate the cascade of insights once again, perhaps a little deeper, perhaps a little different…Appreciate your work!
– Susann

I use mine all the time. When I do readings, consults, therapy and we’ve even used them in a group of friends. Awesome.
– Michelle

I would absolutely love to purchase several sets of your amazing inquiry cards as gifts. My eldest son absolutely loves them and uses them often on his own inspiration. So neat to see in action. Thank you for creating these.
– Lindsay

I know my friend will treasure these cards – such a fabulous idea!
– Rachel