Tuesday, May 2, 2017

How Curious Are You?

You know those days that we all have, when you don't know what to do with yourself and you start feeling like you should be doing something, maybe something you really don't feel like doing? You might wonder if you're just bored. Maybe you make some muffins, play with the cat or feel guilty about what you think you should be doing? Or... maybe you decide to take time to reflect about this kind of day, realizing that your not bored, sad or lonely, but what you are experiencing is solitude, which in our distracted world, seems to be a lost art.

On this rainy, overcast Spring day I had an appointment that got postponed until tomorrow. The meeting was to discuss the above workshop I've posted that I'm really excited about attending next Saturday. The listed agenda sounds like a full day of curiosity, creativity and discovery.

And so because my meeting was cancelled today, this afternoon I'm taking time with, and for myself. I'm enthusiastic and excited to reflect and find out about the connection between curiosity and creativity. I'm taking advantage of my solitude to think deeply and discovery some new ideas, to learn more about myself and to connect with others.

Living in a society that encourages social behaviour, busyness and productivity, many of us become human doings, instead of human beings. But work and constantly doing, does not define us and can inhibit our creativity. I believe we need to know how to be, before we can do.

Taking time alone for solitude, for ourselves, is often ignored by society. It's often seen as anti-social and  must mean you're sad and lonely. In fact there are many benefits to solitude, like improving your concentration and your brain power. It provides and enables an opportunity for self-discovery and helps you to work through and resolve your problems. It also improves relationships with others.

Elizabeth Gilbert defines creativity as being curiosity and it's more important than following your passion. I completely agree with her conclusion, especially when I think about how children have a natural and innately, built-in curiosity instinct. Children thrive when they are fully engaged in this curiosity and are always making discoveries. As adults we need to learn to be the same, be vigilant, fearless, and enthusiastic about our curiosity.

Children possess an absence of fear of what they don't know. Unfortunately the older we get, this enthusiasm that ignites the senses is diminished, for a myriad of reasons. We observe less, explore less, ask fewer questions and are fearful of venturing into the unknown.

Curiosity helps us to make the connections that lead to discovery. We will become more observant. Exploration, asking questions and venturing into the unknown become a way of living a creative life.

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