Curiosity activates within us pleasurable possibilities, surprising insights, intuitive leaps, and profound presence. When we let our mind and body come alive with curiosity, we can think and feel and explore all at the same time.
- Curiosity can bring relief from anxiety, boredom, and feelings of stagnation or hopelessness.
- When we're curious, we hold "what we know" more lightly, allowing space for nuance and re-perceiving.
- Curiosity activates co-creative parts of our body and mind while regulating parts that might be scared or triggered into fight, flight, or freeze.
- Faced with obstacles and uncertainties, curiosity helps us explore from a place of resilient calm confidence and be open to novel approaches.
- Curiosity helps us live with the truth that we don't know all the answers… and that can be enlivening!
- Engaging with curiosity ignites a sense of joy and wonder in our discoveries, whether monumental or mundane.
- When we're curious, we naturally are seeking to understand. People pick up on that and are more likely to feel safe, respected, and free.
- Curiosity about others' thoughts, feelings, and experiences can deepen empathy and understanding, leading to more deeply meaningful and connected relationships.
Life IS uncertain. Yet, dang, we humans sure put a lot of energy into trying to be certain and make certain.
We can honor the drive to be "certain" that we will have enough to eat, be protected from the elements, and have sufficient companionship to survive.
It's also useful to discern when we're trying too hard for certainty — when certainty isn't what it's about!
"I need to be certain they will never leave me!" Sorry, love doesn't work that way. And we humans die.
Curiosity can be a way to not just "live with" uncertainty but thrive in it.
"I'm curious how we might grow, deepen, and delight in our relationship today?"
"I wonder how this hard situation might bring us to a place of resilience together… and even clearer and deeper devotion?"
Perhaps you've already felt the difference between demanding certainty that someone will never leave and being curious about how each and every day brings an opportunity to explore… and even be surprised in a delightful way.
With practice, we can even "react" to challenges with curiosity.
Consider the tightness in your chest when you crave certainty. Does it feel rigid and constrictive? Now, imagine replacing that with the breath of curiosity — a feeling of expansion, where the heart opens to possibilities, and the mind is alight with the potential of 'what could be.'
"Will we get through this?!?" can become "I'm curious how we'll get through this… maybe even with surprising grace."
Uncertainty is an essential ingredient in a thriving life. Embracing it rouses our heartistry in any situation.
Upgrade from Interrogation and Judgment
Imagine someone asking a dozen questions. With each answer, it is obvious their preconceived notions are being confirmed. In the end, they pass their Final Judgment. STUPID! or SMART!
So many of us as kids got the harsh end of such interrogations. Our parents and teachers asked, "Why did you do that?!?" or "How could you do that?!?" without a whiff of true curiosity.
We have noted that most people act to get their needs met — consciously or unconsciously. Accidents happen. Humans can check out, daydream, dissociate, and more. We can be scared and hurt someone, or we can be so enthusiastic we don't notice and hurt ourselves or others.
After decades of work around trauma and emotional freedom, we can honestly assert that curiosity is a massive upgrade over traditional ways of demanding answers… especially answers we've already decided.
This isn't easy. To be curious, authentically curious, demands that we be open to knowing another human being's unmet needs, their coping strategies, and their differing values, priorities, and wiring.
When we feel the urge to judge or interrogate, take a Powerful Pause. In this pause, ask, 'What might I not know about their experience?' or 'What could possibly be driving their actions that I haven’t considered?'
This simple shift to a curiosity-driven mindset can open doors to understanding, acceptance, and the possibility of repair and moving forward together.
Authentic curiosity leads us on the journey to deeply and completely loving and accepting ourselves and those dearest to us.
- I wonder how I might be curious in this situation?
- How might curiosity help me get unstuck here?
- If I were curious right now, what questions would I ask?
- What if…?
- What am I willing to consider that I haven't before?
- In what ways could a fresh perspective change my understanding here?
- What assumptions am I making that are shutting down my curiosity?
- How might my past traumas or reactions be narrowing my choices?
- Can I find something intriguing about this that I haven't noticed yet?
- How might a savvy, confident, and curious person approach this with curiosity?
- Curiosity & Play: Energy for a Thriving Life - Article
- Practical Improv: Spontaneous Play for Survival and Success - Workshop
Acceptance, Adapting, Choices, Heartistry, Emotional Freedom, Limiting Beliefs, Powerful Pause, Resilience, Vitality, Beginner's Mind, Improvisation