May 29, 2024 2:32 pm

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Mindful Monday: Cultivating Curiosity

When we practice Mindfulness, we can intentionally cultivate foundational attitudes or postures of being. Today we’ll explore the posture of Curiosity.

Cultivating Curiosity

Celestial Curiosity

In August of 2012 our beloved roving robot named Curiosity landed on the planet Mars. For more than 10 years it has been puttering around 3-mile-high Mount Sharp inside Gale Crater. Recently its peregrinations yielded the discovery of some opals which is super exciting to people who know that the presence of opals means the presence, at some point in time, of water. 

Curiosity’s curiosity is ours of course. What I love about this robot, and others, is that they seem programed for curiosity without judgement. They seek and assess. All day. When they need to recharge, they rest. Then they’re back at it.

They pause a lot and say, “huh. What’s this?”

Amy

I watched a program the other night that featured comedian and actress, Amy Schumer.  She spoke about her husband, Chris Fischer, who they discovered has Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of Autism Spectrum Disorder.  For him, Aspergers can show up as awkward social skills.

Amy described a time when they were out for a walk and she tripped and fell to the ground. While most, if not all, people would say, ‘Oh my gosh, are you okay?” and come rushing to aide her, her husband did nothing. He stood and stared with his mouth opening and closing like a lighthouse beacon, as she put it.

Instead of getting angry or annoyed with his response she simply noticed that something was definitely “off”.

“Huh” she uttered as she laid on the ground looking up at her husband. 

Huh. 

Amy mindfully observed. She noticed without judgment. She assessed what was going on without overextending her own ego into the situation. 

I found it humorous, endearing, and reassuring that even in the midst of a small calamity like falling on the sidewalk, we have the capacity to summon the awareness to just be with what is, in the mess of it. To be both empathetic and compassionate, and then curiously ask, “huh.” 

Maybe somewhere along the way we will find our own opals. 

Reflection Question

What gems do I hope to find as I scan new territory with a driving sense of curiosity? Could there be opportunities in my day where less reactivity and more mindful observation may better serve a situation? 

References to Peruse: Curiosity searches for water on Mars


Lisa Wellington
Lisa Wellington

Lisa Wellington is a Certified Mindfulness Teacher who writes about integrative practices that downshift stress, increase insight, and jumpstart joy.

She is best known for her work with law enforcement professionals as well as those challenged by housing instability and addiction. Trained in the Fine Arts at Washington State University, she specializes in group training that engages participants’ inherent creativity.

If she is not under a stack of books about psychology and spirituality, she can be found at a Puget Sound beach or nearby trail, always searching for the absurd, which is her superpower. 

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