The last seven posts were written to give me some material to answer these questions from Day 196:
- How can I move through life paying more attention to each moment, meeting each moment with greater curiosity and openness?
- What is it going to take so that I can finally do this more regularly?
What I have done the last few days is consider situations where I quite naturally move through experiences with openness and curiosity to see if I can learn how to practice curiosity more intentionally. Here goes with some kind of summary and analysis.
I wrote about wine-tasting, a song recital, a neighborhood festival, reading, writing, walking, and certain kinds of trips.
What is characteristic of these situations that supports a more curious approach? (listed in order of how often they were mentioned, from most to least frequent)
- A natural interest or enjoyment in the subject (Days 198, 199, 201, 202, 203, 204)
- No particular outcome or destination specified (Days 198, 199, 201, 202, 203, 204)
- New elements or the opportunity to learn something new (Days 198, 199, 201, 202, 204)
- Enough time so lack of time pressure (Days 198, 201, 202, 203)
- Engaging multiple senses (Days 198, 199, 203, 204)
- Feeling safe or feeling a certain level of comfort (Days 202, 203, 204)
- Being in love 😉 (Day 204)
What Day 200 showed me is that in addition the following things interfere with opening myself up and enjoying the journey:
- A lot of noise
- Total lack of direction or purpose (Why am I here???)
- No point of contact, no way in so to speak
How can I build more of what supports curiosity, openness, and enjoying the journey into my daily life?
Well, I’m glad being in love only came up once because that is something I really don’t feel I can make happen at will. 😉 Similarly, as someone who has the opportunity and desire to earn her own living, I don’t always have control over time and outcome elements. My clients do actually expect me to show up when I have said I will and to do what we have contracted. So much for points 2 and 4 above.
The good news is it seems I can use my natural tendency to desire-to-learn curiosity to pay more attention to each moment and meet each one with greater curiosity and openness. In fact, this stood me in very good stead when I worked as a business English trainer. I was able to get interested, for example, in everything from production processes for printed circuit boards to macroeconomics to forms of politeness on the telephone in very formal and hierarchical organizations.
In addition, I’m starting to see how engaging all my senses, rather than relying very heavily on the visual sense as I do, could have distinct curiosity benefits for me. That’s something that’s easy to put into action. And if I can make sure I feel safe in certain situations I think that will help, too.
My own personal action plan for paying more attention to each moment and meeting what comes with greater curiosity and openness:
- Appreciate more the contribution that my natural desire-to-learn curiosity makes
- Consciously engage all five senses where possible
- Assess safety and comfort in any given situation and see if it is possible to feel safer and more comfortable practicing curiosity
No matter what, I have learned one thing through this exercise: I feel a natural curiosity about emerging patterns and greatly enjoy analyzing something like this simply to see what comes out—provided I have enough time to do it without excessive pressure goes without saying!