“Pathmaker, your footsteps are the path and nothing more;
Pathmaker, there is no path, you make the path by walking.”
~ Antonio Machado (1875-1939), Great poet of the Spanish Civil War
I woke up this morning to curiosity, inspired by my latest observations as I interact with myself and with others. These relational moments can be clumsy and awkward at times. Other times, it can be quite skillful. Curiosity can be quite inspiring and useful in these moments of relating to one’s self and with others.
I have found that whenever I infuse curiosity in the mix, something lightens up. The energy can shift quite instantly.
I remember a potent and inspiring experience where I was pretty triggered by something a loved one had said. This person was not in a resourced space. Needless to say, it was a pretty tense moment where I could feel myself regressing to being a four year old, feeling small and powerless. At the same time, I seemed to have had enough in me to recall my coach’s lesson on curiosity. At that moment, I shifted the dynamics by saying out loud “Hmmmm?” to evoke this quality of curiosity. That bought me some time to pull myself together and to get my body to relax a little more. Within the next few seconds, I was able to articulate something meaningful and authentic that brought us both back to more spaciousness. The other person’s tone of voice changed from attacking to receiving. My tone also shifted to mirror hers. I could put myself in the other person’s shoes and see what might have come up for her from her lens. Wow!
Some questions to consider if you want to deepen your relationship with curiosity:
What can you be curious about today? Ask yourself this on a daily basis as you start your morning. At the end of the day, reflect on how you fared with your relationship to curiosity.
When you are in a state of curiosity, what physical sensations come up? Being aware of your body helps with building presence and mindfulness.
What are some sources of inspiration that embody this quality of curiosity for you? Think about ways in which you could use these resources to fuel you to have more curiosity in your life.
What would your life look like if you were to drink from a deeper source?
What would it be like to start a conversation with yourself that your future self would thank you for?
It’s not easy for me to be curious when I have an outcome that I’m attached to. Being present and intentional about curiosity comes in handy especially in difficult conversations with characters in my life that I know are just challenging to be with. It’s also an opportunity for me to deepen my relationship with myself and with those whom I care about.
I find myself inviting my clients to have more curiosity on their path, especially when they feel stuck. Oftentimes they are all so very anxious to get to the destination. What’s the urgency with the rush? What if we can give ourselves the permission to be curious about the journey knowing that in time we will eventually get to the destination? What would shift internally? What new inner conversations can we begin? What possibilities and new interior frontiers can we expand into?
“Be taught now, among the trees and rocks, how the discarded is woven into shelter,
learn the way things hidden and unspoken slowly proclaim their voice in the world.
Find that far inward symmetry to all outward appearances,
apprentice yourself to yourself,
begin to welcome back all you sent away,
be a new annunciation,
make yourself a door through which to be hospitable,
even to the stranger in you.”
– David Whyte