Curiosity with ME
YES, it is time for the next topic! Curiosity has begun, Week 17 is already complete and I am excited to share the beginnings of this fascinating topic!
Curiosity is going to be fun….it has a bit of a baa-aad reputation though, so my goal in the next 4 weeks, is to dispel any darker sides of curiosity, and find a bright, dazzling upside, that could be a crucial ingredient to igniting my heart with joy and hope. After all, curiosity suggests a beginning of something, and if that be the case, I am the one left to decide what that ‘something’ could be.
Here is what has been tickling my imagination for a few days, while I have been focussing on Being Curious with ME:
Did curiosity kill the cat?
Does curiosity lead to trouble??
Can we blame curiosity for all immoral activity???
These were ideas suggested by the bubbling content googleable….a word I am trying to coin into the English dictionary, along with a few others…when I searched for curiosity quotes. There were plenty from Albert Einstein, inspiring and fun, not only for his wit , but also his simple brilliance. There were alarming quotes from sources which I assume were created from ultra-fundamentalist Christian type points of view, where curiosity is equalled to many evils in this world, but not quite the vibe I am yearning for in my exploration of what true curiosity can mean.
Why is Curiosity even a topic worth exploring deeply, in order to increase its presence in my life? That is a very curious question…..
When I was choosing characteristics I wanted to exude daily and be known for when people describe who I am/was, there were a plethora of options that had to be scrutinized and considered before making the final cut. These topics had to audition their merit within wide panels of my mind, rattle through endless canals of my soul, before ringing clear and true within my settled heart. These were things I believe I cannot live, breathe, or exist well, without.
Having said that, I initially did not realize the richness some of these topics would contain, making them even more pivotal to my quest to fully live them out in my daily actions.
My icon for the week was a theatrical mask mum bought for me once she conceded that my drama and performance dream was not diminishing. This pretty mask hung on my college apartment wall for a few years, as a reminder of lessons learned through adopting character traits from a mask during drama class. It seems fitting to use it in this topic, as the skill of ‘mask work’ in theatre, is truly grounded in being curious. Anyone can wear a mask, or it can make a statement on its own.
I have enjoyed this first week of Curiosity. It makes me feel smart. Perhaps because when I find an answer to something I am curious about, it is a victory for my mind; like fitting a final puzzle piece into place to see wholly, a picture originally obscured by gaps. By no means do I have a scientific mind, meaning I can leave vast secrets of our mysterious universe to people who are very curious, and concentrate on more intimate questions like:
Who do I want to be when I grow up….supposing that may still happen sometime in my 5th decade….and what do I want to accomplish with my life?
One might concede, Curiosity could have been the sole reason I started down a 52 Week path toward answering the above question, potentially nominating it as the core of why Finding 52 exists. Curiosity is important, indeed.
The thing that struck me most profoundly in this week, was the ease in which being curious with my thoughts and actions, led to less judgments, less internal strife, more acceptance of where I was in the present, and more enjoyment in that place.
Asking myself to stay as neutral as possible while I ask, why do I talk, think, or act in a particular way, instead of nagging inside about what I should have done, said, or thought, has boosted my self-esteem. I feel more brave and calm. Here is a small example from my brain….
Thought: Shoot! Forgot to start supper before going to work. Poor hubby has to come home and make it after he is done his long day!
AJ: Why did I forget to start supper? What happened instead?
Thought: I went for a run, packed my lunch, got ready for work, drove 30 minutes to take a single mom with a baby out for lunch before going to work, then drove 60 minutes to get to work. Is that everything? Oh yes, had a conversation with teenager who was home from school today and would spend the rest of her day alone.
AJ: Wow! I was busy, no wonder supper did not get started.
Thought: Call hubby and prepare him for eating a few minutes later than usual.
Hubby’s response: Roger that.
AJ: All is well!
Typically, that would have sounded more like several personally harsh judgements; a failure, for sure, to not have finished an expectation I not only intended, but also verbalized the day before, as I planned out my morning. I would have agonized over letting down people who count on me the most, by not following through on something I said I would do.
Please do not misunderstand; I feel it is important to fulfill my commitments and be responsible to the ones I love in a manner that does not sacrifice their needs continually over my needs or everyone else’s. Finding a formula to successfully navigate those needs, lies in achieving a viable balance, of my physical, mental and spiritual abilities. These are pillars in my strategy to determine if I can support any needs that come under my scope of care.
But those pillars cannot bear the brunt of constant ‘beat downs’ of negatively reinforced motivations. I cannot deliver my best energy when I feel awful about myself. I do not rise to any occasions by flogging myself for copious defects. No….I simply get pounded further into heart-hardening turf, slammed into a quagmire of self-defeat, stuck deep in a historical abyss of ‘you are never good enough’, with no bottom to be found.
This must change. Stuck, is not a place to live. It is a trap, defined by the very thing that invents it, grows it, and dwells on it without challenging whether it is real.
Stepping up for that challenge, is Curiosity. It does not quiver in the presence of regular fears, because it is not focussing on that. Instead, it looks beyond what seems real, to discover another dimension, another reality. A place where quagmires are turned into beautiful gardens of endless possibility, simply by asking a different question.
Curiosity blasts criticism out of my emotional existence when I become an explorer of my motivations, actions and beliefs. I am lighter for it. I am more free. I am exactly who I was before the question….yet, I feel stronger…..because I asked why.
Fill your heart with awestruck wonder for yourself this week. Explore it all!