Ora Nadrich encourages the art of questioning

Ora Nadrich is the author of Says Who? Portrait by Denise Malone. Styled by Keirstin Selvage


“Yoga is difficult for one whose mind is not subdued.” Bhagavad Gita

To quiet the mind is to know our soul. Yet, how can we do this when we have approximately 40-70 thousand thoughts going through our mind daily, and we tend to listen more to our mental chatter than the subtle whispers of our inner being?

Meditation and yoga are two of the best ways to clear the mind. As Yogi Bhajan says, “By cleansing your mind your soul will shine through.” In my book, Says Who? How One Simple Question Can Change The Way You Think Forever, I’ve also created a method for cleansing the mind by systematically questioning and challenging our thoughts, especially those that are negative and fear-based.

Through mindful inquiry, we can know our thoughts better, and once we do, we can train our thoughts to quiet down and serve our well-being.

The thinking mind requires discipline to reach both self-discovery and self-mastery, as does yoga. Without teaching it to focus and think clearly, and how to discern useful and productive thoughts from those that are not, we cannot experience either mastery or a precise sense of purpose.

When you are in the driver’s seat of your mind, you know what you want to manifest. Then you live your life as the creator and master of your internal dialogue, which creates your reality.

Buddha said, “What we think we become.” We can create thoughts that inspire and motivate us to be anything we want to be, but it takes a daily discipline, a mental yoga to achieve this.

By asking yourself a series of seven questions (from the Says Who? Method) to find out if your thought is positive and real or if it is negative (which means it is a distorted belief or perception you have, most often of yourself), you can know with certainty the intention of your thoughts, and what your thoughts want of you. Our thoughts have important messages for us, and if we listen to them as an observer instead of reacting to them, we can help transform them to be constructive and reliable instead of negative and fear-based.

The power of a thought can set you on a path that can change your life as well as the lives of millions of others. Some of the greatest thinkers have held an idea in their mind’s eye, which began with a single thought that grew into something brilliant. For example, Einstein’s Theory of Relativity or Tesla’s Dynamic Theory of Gravity gestated in their minds first. The extraordinary compositions of Mozart or Beethoven were first heard in their imaginations and were then translated into musical notes. We must remember that the most important scientific discoveries, and the greatest inventions, as well as the finest music, art, and literature, all began with just one thought and then grew from there, often changing the course of history.

Each of us has the potential to bring a seed of an idea to fruition, but we must first empty our minds of the thoughts that interfere with that seed growing into something that has the potential to be great. This is said succinctly by physicist and philosopher Pascal, “Man’s greatness lies in his power of thought.”

When you clear the mind of thoughts that interfere with a natural flow of consciousness, you make way for ones that can be the gems of illumination and can lead you to a remarkable destiny. Your most valuable thoughts want to rise to the surface of your mind, but you must help them reach the foreground of your psyche by removing thoughts that are like weeds instead of flowers.

Garden your mind with wholesome thinking, and see your thoughts flourish daily. If a thought does not support growing your mental garden, or cultivating an idea that has the potential for greatness, or even one that wants to rest quietly in your mind like a serene river, you as the gardener can decide which thoughts stay and which must go. Only you have the power to do that by questioning the thoughts’ presence in your mind.

Own your thoughts. Each and every one of them. When you claim them as yours and acknowledge yourself as the sole thinker, you can decide to banish any thought that is a freeloader in your mind, wanting to mooch off your good energy, and keep only ones that are worthy of your intelligence.

Don’t be mistaken by how counterintuitive or even destructive your thoughts can be. They can lead you down a winding road that diminishes and exhausts you. Before you know it, you have succumbed to a lower thinking mind that has dulled your brightness and robbed you of your reasoning and better judgment. That’s how insidious thoughts gone rogue can be, which is why it is vital to direct your thoughts to a higher ground where dreamers and leaders live in their minds. This process takes discipline; it is a mental yoga.

The Says Who? Method keeps you on a clear-cut and consistent path of cleansing and transforming your thoughts. Each of the seven questions in this process allows you to examine every thought that crosses your mind closely. When you do this, you make sure that not a single thought is allowed to remain in your mind unless it absolutely belongs there. It is a privilege for a thought to be part of your inner conversation.

Until we deem our thoughts as having a significant influence on our well-being, we will continue to think ones that can actually harm us, and even make us sick.

Thoughts are not meant to harass or torment us, and yet that is how we can let them make us feel, not taking into consideration that we are the ones that are thinking them up. Thoughts should be our cheering squad, not our hecklers.

The clear thinking mind allows us to move through life with agility and non-resistance, and as a result we are more alert, sharp, and open. This is when we are able to have mastery over our lives.

The 7 questions in the Says Who? Method:

1. Says Who? Whenever a negative thought pops into your head, ask it: Says Who? The question exposes a negative thought for exactly what it is; a doubt that can disrupt your life and damage your sense of well-being.

2. Have I heard someone say this thought before? So many of the voices in our head are actually echoes. They’re old words we heard someone else say to us, such as a parent, spouse, or boss. By identifying the originator of the thought, you can find out if it really belongs to you. Many times, it doesn’t. Why keep thinking a thought that isn’t yours?

3. Do I like this thought? It’s important to know if your thought is desirable or appealing. If not, ask yourself why are you thinking it? If you don’t like what you’re hearing, you don’t have to listen.

4. Does this thought make me feel better? Negative thoughts tear us down instead of build us up, and can seep into our psyches, wreaking havoc. A thought either makes you feel better or worse about yourself. If it doesn’t enhance your self-esteem in any way, why are you thinking it?

5. Does this thought work for me? Is this thought useful or productive for you? By asking yourself this, you can take a look at whether or not a thought supports your desires or goals. If not, why are you thinking it?

6. Am I in control of this thought? Does this thought have any kind of hold or power over you? Are you in control of it? If not, ask yourself why you would let a thought have power to control you. Remember, you are the creator and master of your own thoughts, not the other way around.

7. Do I want to keep this thought or let it go? With this final question, you’re finding out if you want to hold onto a thought that serves no useful purpose for your well-being. If it’s not doing you any good, it’s probably doing you harm, and clearly time to let it go.

This method is intended for you to be fully present with your thoughts, moment by moment, and help you know your mind as well as you possibly can.

Aspire to raise your consciousness by the thoughts you think. Know that each one creates a vibration, either positive or negative that emanates from you, which others can sense and feel. What do you want that vibration to be? What reality do you wish to manifest?

Here is a meditation to clear your mind for pure thoughts:
1. Close your eyes.
2. Take a few deep breaths in and out.
3. Ask yourself inwardly, “Who is thinking?”
4. Say inwardly, “I am.”
5. Ask yourself inwardly, “What do I want to create?”
6. Ask yourself inwardly, “What do I want to manifest?”
7. Say inwardly, “I am the creator.”
8. Say inwardly, “I am the master.”
9. Say inwardly, “I am ready to manifest my reality with clear intentions.”

Open your eyes and sit quietly with yourself for a few minutes.

You have the power to create the life you dream of.
Choose your thoughts wisely and begin manifesting it now.