I want to make one thing clear up front, and I invite you to sit up and absorb this with your whole being because this is important: curiosity did not kill the cat. Worry and sorrow killed the cat. Whether by intent or by chance, the original version of the saying morphed into what we have today, into something that helps to keep us in our box.
So put all that non-judgmental dogma to one side for a moment, and entertain the idea that curiosity is a good thing, something to be embraced. Curiosity brings fun and play into our lives. It leads to adventures in the playground of life. And growing your curiosity goes hand in hand with growing your awareness – curiosity is the table stakes for making your awareness real, for transforming your awareness into the creativity to conceive and manifest something new. In other words: without curiosity you ain’t going anywhere.
The physical practices of yoga – and odds on if you are reading this you may also practice yoga – are designed to get us curious. To get us curious about something very intimate to us – our own experience: our physical bodies, about the patterns of thought and emotion that we hold, about the energetic states we are drawn to, about the connections between all of these. And the most simple and effective way to grow curiosity is to cultivate an open mind, to start asking questions.
Questions like: what is the function of this pose, how does it feel in my body when I do this, and how can I manifest the pose in way that is both safe and functional for me now? What sort of emotional reaction do I experience when I do this pose, and what thoughts are behind that? What am I attracted to, and what am I avoiding? How can I both rise to the challenge of the pose and remain open energetically?
And dig deeper: entertain the idea that things may not be as they first appear to you. That there is more to life than meets the eye. That the things you know may not be so. Question everything: question your assumptions and beliefs about yourself, about the world around you, and about how you be and do. Question your teachers – your teachers at work, teachers of yoga and meditation, even question your knitting teacher. Above all question what I have just written and you have just read.
© David Dodd; July 2012
This is an abreviated version of an aticle first published on elephant journal
David is a Life and Business Coach based in Amsterdam (NL) and Bath (UK); for more information see www.awareness-and-change.com