Thursday, 14 April 2011

Finding Curiosity

The message I got from my brain yesterday was as follows:

Replace worry.

To which I said, huh?

And then I got this:

Replace worry with curiosity.


I like this so much!

Normally when people say things like “just stop worrying about it” or “don’t worry so much”, I feel frustrated.

Because it’s not that simple. Definitely not for me. I can’t do it. I don’t know how. And it generally seems kind of violent.

Because the traditional ways of “DON’T WORRY!” tend to involve repressing or delegitimising all the internal stuff that comes together to create anxiety.

It’s like fighting your MONSTERS......not recommended.

But when I bring in curiosity, I still get to interact with my small, scared, anxious parts. In fact, I get to interact with them even more.

Only now it’s in a way that’s receptive, non-judgmental, inquisitive, and caring. I’m not pushing the worry away. Just extracting its essence.

And the main point.

This is not about not worrying. Some things in life are worrisome. They just are.

We still get to give legitimacy to everything that’s hard. We’re totally allowed to have worry. It’s part of being human.

And we get to be curious about what help us get a little breathing room. Moving from tension into possibility.

We get to be curious about perspective — where we’re standing in relation to the worry.

So useful.

"Curiosity is the very basis of education and if you tell me that curiosity killed the cat, I say only the cat died nobly."
~~ Arnold Edinborough

Wilson - my beautiful, relaxed cat - March 2010.

Ellie - my pretty girl who loves to wake me up in the wee hours - September 2009.


Christine said...

Your cats are beautiful.

So being curious will ease our worry? I'll buy that.

Chapter Forty said...

Hey I like how your brain gives you messages. That has only happened to me when I mediate. Are you meditating to get brain messages? Or have you got some other communication channel?

I also feel frustrated when people recommend I worry less. Not easy to do.

I will try your approach and become curious, I may become curiously worried which should open up possibilities. I like the notion of possibilities, its got positivity around it.

miruspeg said...

Thanks Christine! Being curious is certainly helping me keep the 'worry monster' in its place.

CF I wish I did meditate more because I do appreciate how meditation can alter the way we think. But my inspiration comes from music. When singer-songwriters carve significant trails in my psyche they take me to a wonderful peaceful place with endless possibilities.

Roban said...

Coming from a worrier extraordinaire, I have to thank you for this post. You definitely gave me a new way of looking at worry ... And mine is a "worry monster."

Cameron said...

Your message comes at just the right does your brain know what I need? Haha!

So much to ponder...and it seems very feasible....just a little scary instead of "Whoa...tell me when it's over so I can open my eyes!" scary :D

Hugs to you!

miruspeg said...

Roban - It is funny because I don't perceive you as a worrier....try and let your "inner child" come out to play more often....I do!
When I feel I am in my awfully serious mode, I call upon my inner child to relax me, because usually the situation is never as dramatic as I am perceiving it.

Cameron - I love your description of the scary monster, it is so true. We often make mountains out of molehills.
I think one reason why we worry too much is because we try to control too much.

I found another quote that tickled my fancy!
"Worry is like a rocking chair–it gives you something to do but it doesn’t get you anywhere."

Anonymous said...

I don't understand how the curiosity bit works to stop the worrying. I know, I'm dumb! Do you mean you ask yourself 'why am I worrying?" or "where did this worry come from" or "I wonder how it will all work out?" I think that acceptance is the antidote for worry (and, curiously, a kind of opposite to curiosity). Acceptance means there is no point in worrying because what will be will be. But I agree - there is no real 'cure' and sometimes we just worry.

miruspeg said...

Stoneweaver trust you to "throw a spanner into the works". But you are definitely not dumb my friend!

The more I think about curiosity I feel it means exploring something new, something completely unrelated to our worry as it can be a calming diversion.

Take writing, for example, if we find we have no passion for writing when we know we have the ability but no fire in the belly, we can explore something new, some completely unrelated creative endeavour - something interesting but with much lower emotional stakes.

Following mere curosity, at the very least, it will keep us pleasantly distracted while life sorts itself out. At the very most, our curiosity may surprise us and it may have lead us safely all the way home.

Zz... said...

you sound like me, just in an even more convoluted and confusing manner, well at least to my weary head today! :)

Relyn said...

I love this thought. It's fabulous. Thanks so much for sharing it.

miruspeg said...

Macs (Zz) - It must be the horrible cold wet day today that is making you weary. Hope you find some curiosity tomorrow. I am heading up to the Central Coast to visit a friend and explore.

Relyn - Glad this post had positive effect on you sweet friend. :D)

Marja said...

What a great finding. When you are curious to what live brings, to whatever comes excitement wil replace anxiety. What a wonderful look on live!! Love the cats Especially the last picture is so beautiful. Arohanui

Mike Smith said...

Wise words as always, Peggy. I'm a born worrier. My grand-daughter Ava has been sick for a few days so my anxiety levels have increased. Sometimes you just can't help but worry. Hope you had a braw weekend!

miruspeg said...

Marja - I love your take on this post! Life can be so full of worries, if we can change directions and take another path, even if it is just for a short while, we might be able to find something to smile about.

Mike - I did have a braw weekend thanks. Sorry to hear your granddaughter is ill, hope she bounces back to good health very soon.
As for you being a born you really believe worrying is part of your genetic make-up?

Mike Smith said...

It's possible Peggy. My mother's a worrier and her father was one too. In fact my mother worries when she has nothing to worry about! Thanks for your kind wishes.

Anonymous said...

I get what you mean now - though not ptactising it very well myself.

Evil Shannanigans said...

I love your kitties, so pretty

Mine is nibbling on my fingers while I type as a subtle reminder she needs petting

Curiosity is awesome, and as long as you are careful, it need not kill anyone...or your cat

Lilly said...

Ellie and Wilson are adorable.

I agree, I hate all those platitudes of stop worrying, pull yourself together, other people have it worse off than you and on and on. If there is one thing I ahve learnt after going through hard times is to acknowledge what other people are feeling. It's real for them whether we think so or not. The other thing I have learnt is that we are all wired so differently that what one person might worry about another person couldnt give a toss. I have also learnt to feel what you feel and dont try and bury it.

I really like the curiosity angle.

I am trying very hard not to worry as much as I used to because invariably most things do not come to pass that I worried about. And I now think that nothing could be worse than I have already gone through. If I coped with that then I can cope with anything else thrown at me.

Life is damn tough but so wonderful too.

miruspeg said...

Lilly I am pretty sure whatever life throws at you from now on you will have the resilience to cope and bounce back.

We have both hit rock bottom and survived and now have the skills, strengths and resources to live through difficult times and learn from them.

Also enjoying the good times is an art as well.

Keep shining mate.
Big heart hugs xxxxxxx