Embracing Curiosity on the Spiritual Journey

Submitted by Fiona Reilly on Wed, 08/09/2017 - 07:21

Recently I have been valuing the simplicity of being curious. By being curious I mean actively engaging with our innate enthusiasm for wonder, discovery and learning. It includes seeing and appreciating the magic and miracles that continually surround us. Just consider how a young child engages with their surroundings and how absorbed they are in life and discovering more about themselves and the world in which they find themselves. Curiosity is a process of inquiry and a continuous exploration...

The Invitation to be curious

Curiosity requires self awareness and noticing what is happening in any given moment. It involves letting go of fixed ideas and opening up to new possibilities and understandings about ones self and the nature of existence. It is relatively easy to be curious about the aspects of life that inspire us, bring us joy and ignite our passions. The invitation is also to be curious about that which causes us pain, discomfort and apparent suffering. For instance if I feel angry, can I notice what happens in my body, what are my triggers, is there a root cause underlying the angry feelings? and so on. Our views of the world can become quite static. The perspectives we hold are influenced by a variety of filters that we see through, these develop over time, as a result of social conditioning and previous experiences. It's awesome when we can recognise these filters and see things from a new perspective. Let me give you an example of someone whose father left when they were young and now they (usually subconsciously) expect that all men will leave and abandon them. This may be a real experience for them though it is not necessarily true. Curiosity invites us to think outside of the box and challenge our habitual ways of thinking. It is a driving force for learning, development and change. When we become curious about something it encourages us to let go of any certainty and absolutes we may hold and be open to new alternatives. In the example above of the person who expected to be abandoned by men, becoming curious opens to the possibility that perhaps some men do stay and even if they do leave, that's okay. She can look for alternatives to her currently held beliefs and open to new opportunities. Perhaps she can uncover the root cause of her belief system and heal aspects of the trauma that she experienced as a child.

“Enjoy every step you take. If you're curious, there is always something new to be discovered in the backdrop of your daily life.” Roy T. Bennett

Using curiosity to gain insight

We create what we expect in the world, so by letting go of expectations and becoming more open, we allow new possibilities to emerge. The Universal life energy, God, Source or whatever you may like to call it, is profoundly intelligent and we can attune to this energy in our daily lives. It is infinitely wiser than our limited minds, yet we can use our minds to tap into this intelligence. We can ask the Universe to "Show us" in relation to a question we might hold and remain curious about the signs and messages we receive in the world around us in response to our question. We can also observe how we react internally to what we notice and experience. Being curious about the situations we find ourselves in helps to remove any extra energy from a situation. It means we no longer need to change it or fix it or blame something or someone. From this perspective there are no mistakes, just opportunities to learn and grow. It enables us to accept things exactly as they are and explore why we may have drawn these circumstances into our lives. It encourages acceptance, though not blind acceptance of anything goes. Rather an acceptance that this is how things are, along with a curiosity as to what are the next steps to take, where do we go from here? From the place of curiosity and wonder we may gain insight into why we feel as we do and find ways to move forward.

Continual Process of Inquiry

There is immense value in asking questions and finding our own truths. Do you consider what ingredients are in your food or where it has come from? What about how you feel after you have participated in a particular activity, maybe watching tv or going for a walk in nature? Which people enhance your life and who do you want to spend time with? Such inquiries can help us find a more aligned way of living and being. They can assist us in breaking free of old ways of behaving that no longer serve us and in finding new enriching and empowering ways of being. A continual process of inquiry encourages us to live our truth and find increasing joy and freedom in our lives. Open of Openhand uses the phrase "constant conscious choice" in relation to how we meet situations and choices that arise in our lives. Making constant conscious choices encourages us to remain aware and watchful of the choices that present to us and choose from the most aligned place.

“What a large volume of adventures may be grasped within the span of his little life by him who interests his heart in everything.” Laurence Sterne

Wonder and magic

Another gift of curiosity is that it invites us to see the beauty and magic that is all around us. Have you ever become curious about a blade of grass or the clouds in the sky? Such considerations fill one with wonder and delight at the miraculous nature of life. It fills our hearts with lightness, gratitude and joy to recognize the miracles that abound in our world.

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery each day." Albert Einstein

Thanks for your curiosity and taking the time to read this article, if you continue to engage with your curiosity, you change your world.

With love and blessings,

Fiona

Fiona is an Openhand Facilitator and the Openhand Community Manager (see about us at: Openhandweb). She is also a reflexologist and experienced doula. She is passionate about living true to her heart and soul and empowering others to do the same. Her website is... http://www.fionareilly.co.uk

That's a very insightful and beautiful reflection Fiona. It also feels to me to be an embodied inquiry of some very important Dharma principles of living a more awakened and content life.

Feeling very inspired before the working day starts! Thank you :)

With love x

Hi Aspasia,

Thank you for the early morning comments (f) I don't know much about the Dharma principles, so nice to hear that they reflect a similar inquiry for a more awakened and content life - lovely!

With love to you, Fiona

Great article Fiona!

Isn't curiosity amazing. Thanks for dedicating this space to that energy. It's caused me to reflect areas in my life when I'm curious and not. I think all in all, I actually have quite a strong curious nature. However, I have noticed that being with kids sometimes has the opposite effect. When they are radiating SO much curiosity that they are not aware of traffic in the road for example. Or when they stop every 5 meters to pick up something from the floor while we're walking the 1/4 mile to kindergarten. Very much feeling into my impatience in this situation! Thanks for pointing out that we can be curious about this sort of thing (impatience) too.

With love,

Rich

Fiona, the Dharma principles are everywhere, found in all spiritual traditions, or at least aspects of it, and most importantly in our hearts, bodies and minds. The Dharma is already there, nowhere to go, nowhere to search. So, your embodiment of what I perceived as the Dharma in your article is totally organic and natural!

Very much appreciated the inspiration. Thank you again.

Much love x

Excellent article Fiona - loved it so much . It brings me back to so many life explorations through the years , and in various places on the planet . Without curiosity , i seriously wonder what humans can truly find in life that it fully worth investigating . When we are intuned with our inner child , curiosity never cease to amaze , surprise , inspire and offers a unique sense of aliveness . I also feel it is the best friend of the free wheeling life practice .
Keep on with those very well written articles , they are greatly inspiring .
Aloha , Jean

Fiona!

Lovely article. Thank you! I'm with you and Alice in Wonderland on this and grow "curiouser and curiouser" as my consciousness expands into multiple dimensions. As a highly inquisitive Gemini with a jacked-up, empathic nervous system who loves to learn and explore, it's really challenging for me to calm my bodymind and center myself! Taking regular breaks away from it all helps.

x Cathy

Hi Rich,

Thanks for the feedback :) Yep, curiosity is pretty awesome!

After writing this article I was reading some of Brene Browns work and she mentions curiosity quite a bit. One of the things that stood out to me was her describing "disengagement" as the opposite to curiosity. I see a continuum with curiosity and enthusiasm at one end and withdrawal, apathy and disengagement at the other.

I love how children are so curious (that's my curious niece Eden in the photo!), though as you say somewhat of a challenge if you're feeling the need to get somewhere or get something done. Thanks for sharing your patience experiences, it is a lovely reminder for me to recognise what is truly important in any moment, sometimes it's the focus to get to an appointment on time and sometimes it's to stop and smell the roses along the way. (f)

With love,

Fiona

Hi Jean Michel,

Thanks for the positive feedback, glad you are inspired by the article :)

For sure, free wheeling is wonderful, magic and fun too :bravo: It may be time to take myself off on an adventure...

Aloha, Fiona

Hi Cathy,

I love how you describe yourself "as a highly inquisitive Gemini with a jacked-up, empathic nervous system who loves to learn and explore"- brilliant! Yep, taking time out definitely helps. I'm blessed to be living close to a stunning glen at the moment and have wonderful walks there. There's no end of things to be curions about... the trees, birds (falcons, swallows and even the occasional kingfisher), plants, clouds... etc I do feel ever so blessed!

With love to you,

Fiona

In reply to by Fiona Reilly

Thanks for inspiring me to get out into nature more, Fiona. I live in the heart of the city on a busy street with cars, buses, and trucks rattling by at all hours. I'm surrounded by condos and apartment buildings and in the summer we constantly hear the roaring buzz of saws from landscapers trimming hedges, trees etc. Arrrgggg! My choice to be here, I know. Your locale sounds so peaceful! Sigh! I feel a move to a more peaceful setting might be feasible in future, but for now I know my place is here for a variety of reasons. All the more reason to get out and immerse myself in nature whenever I can!

x Cathy

Hi Cathy,

I too work in the city quite a bit, so am really grateful to be able to escape to the woods and river regularly. There's quite a contrast and being in nature is sooo healing and restorative <3

With love, Fiona