Number one on my list of New Year goals for 2016 was:
Honor my intuition. Embrace trust.
Easy to write down, not so easy to figure out how to do, it turns out. Especially when you’re a perfectionist/closet control freak/me – operating on years of learned self-doubt, inferiority complexes, overthinking, and anxiety. When you’re in the process of breaking through these molds, questions like these arise: Intuition? What does that even sound like? How do I recognize my “inner voice” when I have about a thousand of those going off all at once at any given moment of my existence?
But learning to listen to my intuition has been a lot simpler than I thought it would be, especially once I realized that intuition is often synonymous with curiosity. In fact, let’s just, for a blog post’s moment, take the word intuition off the table entirely and replace it with curiosity.
Curiosity, I’m learning, is quite possibly the most powerful seed that we can water. When I feed my curiosity, all of the things that are most important to me bloom: Knowledge. Creativity. Compassion. Similarly, when I deny my curiosity, joy + illumination seem much farther away. My walls go up and my world gets smaller.
Choosing what to focus on cultivating within ourselves can be a tough process sometimes. I’m learning to always go where the curiosity goes, to give it water and sunlight and allow it to thrive. It’s something I can always trust to be there to guide me, should I ever get lost (and let’s be real, directions were never my strong suit).
If you feel led astray, I suggest following the curiosity. It wanders far and wide, and it knows the way back home.
Here are my recommendations:
- This animated video, narrated by one of my favorite mindfulness meditation teachers, Sharon Salzberg: Where Does Compassion Come From? (Spoiler alert: It’s curiosity.)
- Elizabeth Gilbert’s Super Soul Session on replacing passion with curiosity: Flight of the Hummingbird – The Curiosity Driven Life
- This episode of the podcast Good Life Project, also featuring Liz Gilbert (she’s one of my favorite human beings on the planet, by the way): The Creative Life
- This post by Steve Pavlina: Connecting the Dots