SomaNews March-April 2018

Why Cultivate Curiosity?


Curiosity flourishes, grows and gives us much more choice when we live in our bodies.

If we put our arms around curiosity, it can support us in everyday life as we move through challenging issues or work with a chronic illness.

To be curious, an absolute necessity is the ability to live in your body. When we can relax our physical body, bring our attention to sensations in the body, then we can be curious about what is happening in that moment.

Being curious is a powerful quality. We are born with this ability, but as we mature, a “right or wrong” flag becomes tacked on that makes it an obstacle.

When life gives us a jolt, we sometimes move into a type of judgment — either about ourselves or another human being. A mistake in judgment is not fatal, of course, but it can lead to anxiety if we see the judgment as final.

Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness or unease, often bringing on a good dose of fear. But by bringing curiosity to the forefront, we have an opening that did not exist before.

How to cultivate curiosity

To cultivate curiosity, we must:

  1. See the adventure of life
  2. Create an aliveness in the body that gives us choice
  3. Understand that there is not always an answer
  4. Remember we don’t know it all and we can learn
  5. Rewrite our old stories

Let’s say you have a doctor’s appointment because you’ve had a pain in your knee that just won’t go away.

As you move toward the appointment, your body begins to contract, your breath becomes short, your neck and shoulders get tight, and an old story presents itself. What have I done to make this happen? Could it be something worse?

First, there is a fear of the unknown. If we lock ourselves into that fear, we move into anxiety, which can turn to judgment. Then there is no path to curiosity.

How can we create that path? I offer these steps to foster curiosity.

  1. Notice where you are contracted in your body and where your breath is.
  2. Listen to the story that is running.
  3. Begin to deepen your breath and let the contraction open to the best of your ability.
  4. Feel your feet on the ground, breathe in possibilities. Feel the expansion of your body, more sensation giving space where there wasn’t any or relaxation where there was tightness.
  5. Create a new story.

Eyes wide open
Ears tuned to truly listen
Turning up the curiosity volume

I watch the big black Raven
Calling out, wings ruffling - kraa, kraa, kraa!
She is watching back

I cock my head in curiosity
She cocks her head in curiosity

With curiosity, we encounter

Let's Explore

As a somatic coach with deep experience in somatic bodywork, I help clients increase their ability to observe themselves and listen to the story their body is telling. We work together to cultivate curiosity and create new stories.

I work with clients at my home office in Petaluma, California, as well as internationally via Skype. I offer a free introductory session to see if we’re a good fit. I invite you to contact me to explore working together.