Lately I’ve been thinking about curiosity and its usefulness as a life skill. I must confess I’ve always been a naturally nosey and curious type of person. Google dictionary tells me curiosity is
“1. A strong desire to know or learn something, a spirit of inquiry, inquisitiveness. 2. a strange or unusual object or fact.”
I’ve been thinking and writing and sketching about curiosity as it relates to feeling blocked, to painful situations, to conflict and to creativity.
When I am feeling blocked and frustrated it’s hard to see options and to move beyond the frustration. When I am frustrated life feels like it lacks movement and energy. Perhaps you can relate to this. Adopting an attitude of curiosity helps me to get unblocked, to start moving forward.
In situations of conflict, curiosity can help to defuse an adversarial relationship. Becoming curious about a solution encourages me to invite a collaborative approach.
Even in situations of pain curiosity can help. In a painful situation if I am curious about what is my learning in this situation, it becomes less of a feeling of being a victim and moves me towards a deeper understanding of my soul’s purpose. This was my experience this winter as I struggled with debilitating vertigo. Being curious about what my body was telling me, what I was meant to learn by this involuntary slowing down was tremendously helpful and illuminating. It also helped to lessen my frustration with my situation.
I think curiosity is the basis of creativity. My approach to design is based in investigating and understanding the body feeling of a healing concept, and turning this feeling into an image or design.
Many of the journaling techniques that I use and that I teach in my books, keynote speaking and workshops have a basis in curiosity. Dreaming wildly with “What if?” and then trying to imagine the body sensation or how life would be if it came true is one of my favourite techniques for opening up creativity. My habit of writing lists of “These things I know and what do I need right now?” also lend a curious element to problem solving.
How does it feel to be curious?
I mentioned that I’ve been thinking, writing and sketching about curiosity lately. To me, being in a state of curiosity feels like being in a state of imagining, of wonder, amazement and joy. Curiosity feels open, expansive. It provides openings, release valves and new pathways. And of course my journal is filling up with sketches of pathways opening up. I have the feeling there may be a new mat coming soon called Curiosity. The mat below from my first One Loop at a Time book is the result of being curious about the meaning of breast cancer in my life and is one of my original seven healing mats.
What have you observed in your life about curiosity?
How would you sketch the body feeling of curiosity? I’d love to hear/see your thoughts and sketches about this important life skill.