Thursday, January 7, 2016

Curiosity: 2016 Word of the Year.

Every year, I pick a word of the year.  Something to guide, inspire or challenge me.  The words of the years past: 2015, Faith; 2014, Flow; 2013, Live; 2012, Strength; 2011, Trust; 2010, Freedom.  I've learned in surprising ways from each and every one.

I had a lot of other words under consideration for 2016: now, peace and joy. 

'Now' was the first word on my list. With my monkey mind swinging from the past tree to the future tree and back again all the time, I always need to remember to be in the now.  'Peace' seemed to follow naturally next, because if my monkey mind is busy swinging around, I'm not in a peaceful place.  'Joy' is something I always desire, aspire to and try to frame around my life but always seems just out of reach.

Then a quote in a Facebook post from my friend, Cindy changed everything.

This quote comes from the new book by Elizabeth Gilbert, "Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear." I have read several of Gilbert's books and always found something helpful, wise and soothing in her writing.  I also find her writing to be very true and telling the truth in our society is a huge risk that takes tremendous courage for anyone, especially for women.

As I was putting the quote up on my fridge, I looked up and saw a another quote.
Curious.  Isn't it?

Two quotes now on my fridge with one word in common: curiosity.

I don't consider myself an especially curious person but my family and friends disagree.  They see me constantly asking questions, wondering why and finding out how.  But when I ask all those questions, it's usually to solve a problem.

But maybe, it could be a really good way to relate to the world. Not try to fix it or analyze it or push it or pull it or like it or dislike it.  Just be curious about it.

Curiosity defined is:  a strong desire to know or learn something or a strange, or an unusual object or fact.  Synonyms:  interest, spirit of inquiry, inquisitiveness.  

Now, I see curiosity differently.  I see curiosity as a way to look at the world in an interested and non-defensive way.  A way to be in the world, now.  

This year, each day, I'm going to try to lead with curiosity.  Curiosity about...the sky, the bird outside my window, my dog, my breath, my feelings and yearnings and thoughts.  Not fight them, change them or avoid them.

But look at it all with curiosity.   I wonder how it will go from here?

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