Explore – Curiosity As A Bridge To Aliveness
In my first and second blog posts I described the process of setting a contract. Once we do that, the next step is to begin to explore together. Our tool for exploration is curiosity.
Curiosity means a desire to learn and to know, a sense of inquisitiveness. For me curiosity brings an opening, a sense of possibility, of discovering the unexpected. I love being curious. There’s a lightness and joy to it.
Give It A Try
When I was out in the wood pile recently, a particular area of wood chips caught my eye. I was captivated. I took a few moments to look at both the uniformity and variety in the size of the small chips in this particular area. Then I noticed the variety of colors in the chips. I felt my heart begin to open while experiencing nature’s magnificence.
Go outside where you live or work and look around for something that draws you in. It doesn’t matter why. See if you can set aside the mind that wants to know. Just look and fully experience the looking. When you find that certain something, take a few moments and look closely at it. Describe to yourself what you see. Now, take it deeper. Go inside and notice what sensations and emotions you’re feeling and if there are any images that arise in your mind’s eye. Spend a few moments in raw curiosity about this experience you’ve created.
One of my teachers, Dr. Laurence Heller, says that curiosity and judgment cannot co-exist. Think about it for a minute. They are vastly different experiences. Curiosity feels open and spacious while judgment feels narrow and rigid, a declaration that something or someone (often ourselves) is a certain way. Take a minute and notice the difference in your body and your heart. Close your eyes and say “curiosity” to yourself and notice what happens.
What do you experience? Check out your breath, your shoulders, your thoughts. Now try the same thing while say “judgment” to yourself. Notice a difference? I feel a sense of aliveness in my heart when I say “curiosity.”
Curiosity As A Bridge To Aliveness
What if we use curiosity as a bridge to move from judgment to aliveness? The next time you notice yourself judging yourself or someone else, take a pause and get curious. What’s going on for you? Do you need something you’re not getting? Are you physically uncomfortable? Bring wonder to the experience without judgment and with the intention of being surprised by what you find.
When I work with my clients, we are constantly curious as a way of exploring what’s really going on. They are often surprised by what they discover, leading to a new way of seeing an old issue which opens up new possibilities. I invite you to get curious about what’s in the way of you being fully alive.