Rockaway Beach on 9/25/16, displaying a gorgeous sunset. The water reflected the sky and was a translucent blue so beautiful that I thought I was back home in Hawaii.
Last week I shared that the Author Elizabeth Gilbert explores what it means to live a creative life in her book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. In an interview with On Being host Krista Tippett, she shared these thoughts on how our relationship with curiosity can help us:
ou think of curiosity as our friend that teaches us how to become ourselves. And, it's a very gentle friend. And a very forgiving friend. And a very constant one. Passion is not so constant, not so gentle, not so forgiving, and sometimes not so available. And so the we live in a world that has come to fetishize passion above all, there's a great deal of pressure around that.
These words hit home for me personally this week as I was working on a grant application that had many parts to it and a lot of technical challenges as well. Also, it had a deadline. As I approached doing it, I found myself experiencing fear and apprehension. I had thoughts like, would I get it done in time? Would I be able to answer each question? Would my answers be good enough? But, during the process, I also found myself saying, I wonder what I am going to learn with each step I take? I wonder what I am going to discover if I just show up and be present with each part to this? And as I remained curious, and open to the process, and willing to just let the doing be my best teacher, step-by-step, I finished the application and submitted in on time. Choosing the path of curiosity over the path of fear really helped me get through this process.
Truly, I felt the gentleness that being curious could bring. I felt how forgiving it could be too. I thought, so what if what I produce isn't perfect? I'll just learn something useful in the process and know that the next time it will be even better.
But most importantly in the process I felt I became more of myself. I became more and more clear about my own voice, and took pride in it's uniqueness.
Similarly, yoga and meditation are very gentle friends, and very forgiving friends too. Unlike so many things we do in our life that involve us setting goals, and that put pressure on us to produce outcomes by a certain time in the future and meet other people's expectations, yoga and meditation work in the opposite way. They don't really care whether we get fully enlightened in this lifetime or a future one. There is no deadline in yoga by which time we have to be able to do a headstand. Yoga and meditation really just want us to show up, do the doing, and be our own authentic selves. They clear the debris to help us find our own voice and to share that with the world.
We all have a voice. We all have a capacity to be creative. We all can witness how passion ebbs and flows as we continue down our path, then just choose to be curious to help us to keep going. In the end, we all can be our own best friends, and that would truly be a gift for the world.
As you practice returning over and over again to being curious, may your creative outcomes truly benefit all beings everywhere.
aloha, with metta,