Do you remember the last time you were blindsided, when your words or actions or those of others caught you by surprise and threw you off-balance? Maybe it was at home, or maybe it was at work. Maybe it was in a special relationship or in your role as leader. Like a troll springing suddenly from under the bridge of our routines, it can happen anytime or any place, usually when we’re least expecting it.

It happened to me this week in a very mundane set of interactions. The details are less important than the fact that the episode triggered a response from my darker energies. The shadow followed me around most of the day…until a familiar question seeped into my funk: “What wants to happen here?”

It is an excellent coaching question that I first encountered several years ago in a workshop facilitated by Alan Seale. Through his teaching and coaching Alan encourages us to tap into the energy of our feelings in order to discover the potential that waits. Seeing and honoring the potential provides a powerful antithesis to the apparent negative block of the moment.

The question acknowledges at least two things. First, whatever we are doing or feeling isn’t working for us, probably because our ego has taken over. Second, maybe things are not working for us because there is a greater potential waiting to be released. Alan characterizes that greater potential as our soul and its mission, which may be 180 degrees from our current impasse.

The next time you’re stuck or surprised by your troll, it might help to ask yourself, “What wants to happen here?” Seeking the answers may open a whole new horizon.