Curiosity

Curiosity

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.

  • 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.
  • 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.

Embracing Uncertainty

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” 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 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.

“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 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 and priorities.

Yet, isn’t it true that when we feel understood and accepted, the possibility for repair and moving forward together is more likely?

Authentic curiosity leads us on the journey to deeply and completely loving and accepting ourselves and those dearest to us.

Useful Questions

  • I wonder how I might be curious in this situation?
  • How might curiosity help me get unstuck in this situation?
  • If I were curious right now, what questions would I ask?
  • What if…?

Resources

Related Concepts

Heartistry, Emotional Freedom, Vitality, Beginner’s Mind, Practical Improvisation


Contributors: @Rick

We invite you to share your experiences and wisdom:

  • Life examples where this concept has played a role
  • Other useful questions
  • Links to audios, videos, books, and courses that add to our shared understanding of this concept
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However, as important as happiness and purpose are, we may be overlooking another important component: an openness to new and different experiences. In a recent paper published in the American Psychological Association’s journal Psychological Review, two psychologists make the argument that our conception of what a good life looks like should include a consideration of whether it is “psychologically rich,” which they define as being, “characterized by a variety of interesting and perspective-changing experiences.”

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So useful. I’m curious how this next adventure will evolve. Thanks, Rick

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