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Get Curious!

Da Vinci's Flying Machine

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Healthy minds grow from curiosity more than knowledge.

When we’re curious, we become child-like. Notice I say “child-like” not “childish.” We see the world with wonder, openness. We become less self-conscious and welcome what Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi called “flow.”  What a wonderful place to be! Flow. Like going down to the river and swimming with the current.

In the river, we are “in process.” We are experiencing, living, doing, and being versus being “done” or “finished.” In other words, we’re present. Because we are in the now, we can relax without agendas, to-do lists, or ceaseless thoughts about our past experiences.

The Dam

Sometimes we create dams in our lives, places where we block the natural flow of life. Dams get built for many reasons – avoidance of pain being near the top of the list. Fear of vulnerability is another. We fear exposure which we cover up by insisting on formal knowledge to back up our observations and opinions. We don’t give ourselves permission to offer a solution unless we have the letters “Ph.D.” after our name.

The cost of the dam is hard to measure. Holding it up and plugging the holes takes effort. It takes energy away from living a fuller life – a life fully loved – by focusing on “dam maintenance” as opposed to diving into the river.

Knowledge

Knowledge plays an important role in life. We need to share commonly accepted facts about the world in which we live if we want humankind to thrive. The earth is round. The sky is blue. 2 + 2 = 4. My point?

Curiosity drives knowledge.

It’s Leonardo da Vinci asking, “How can I fly like a bird?” before drawing his Flying Machine in 1490, centuries before we actually took flight in modern airplanes. It’s Carl Jung asking, “What unites us as humans?” and concluding it’s the collective unconscious. Curiosity is the question that leads to knowledge.

Growth

Eventually we learn growth isn’t always linear. It’s circular and tangential. It involves leaps of faith, meaning involvement of the heart and soul, not just the mind. Curiosity is the bridge to taking that leap of faith. Growth happens organically when we unplug our fingers from the holes in our dam. When we let the river wash over us. So, the question is, How do we remove the dam?

Graphic showing the linkage between curiosity, knowledge, and growth

In Process

Removing the dam starts with getting present. I’ve provided a few ways to get present in my blogs. Click here for more on this topic and here for an exercise to get present. As discussed earlier, approaching new situations in a child-like way helps too.

Another way is movement. Getting out of your head and into your body is a great way to get in the moment. After 24 years of yoga, I am finally (!) learning that the whole point of yoga is relax my body so I can relax my restless mind so I can focus on the here-and-now. Savasana is not about creating to-do lists to complete after class – I am 100% sure you know exactly what I mean – but about emptying my mind of thought. Focusing on a key word like “peace” and drawing it in the mind’s eye helps when my mind wanders.

River photo by Jairo Gallegos on Unsplash, Dam photo by Monjur Hasan on Unsplash

How can you use curiosity this week to get present? I’m curious so let me know.

You have to be open minded in order to grow. The coaching that Laura gave me opened my eyes to what and how I was doing things and allowed me to see the bigger picture. I am not done yet but I already see the changes in my everyday life.

MM

I think coaching is a great way to help you clear your mind when you get stuck with overwhelming situations or when stepping into changes in your life.

MO

Coaching is life changing. It pushes you outside your comfort zone and challenges your perspectives.  It is highly motivating and the exercises and techniques used are both fun and informative.  I think the main benefits of coaching are to see yourself, others and the world more clearly.  I think coaching is valuable to anyone regardless of where you are in your life or career.

LE

I honestly never thought I’d need a coach. I thought coaching was for CEOs and industry VIPs. I didn’t think it was for the “little guys” (i.e. me). Now, I’m of the belief that everyone – yes, EVERYONE – needs a coach. Coaching has really benefitted me and I’m so grateful to have had that time with Laura. It’s changed my life!

VB

Laura is very patient. She took the time to understand what was causing me to be stuck where I am today and help me build a better vision so I can continue to grow.

MM

I think Laura’s coaching was what I had been waiting for. Laura was so approachable, kind, and open. Her willingness to help and support made a difference for me. I found in her coaching new strategies, ideas, and perspectives that I could incorporate into my goals and objectives that I didn’t see before.

MO

Laura is an incredibly intuitive, positive and caring coach. Her techniques helped me recognize both my strengths and areas I might want to explore as I embark on the next chapter of my career. The exercises she employed were instrumental in providing self perspective and challenging my frames of reference.

LE

Laura is a natural coach. Her probing and compassionate questions helped me learn about myself: my value system, interests, goals and strengths.

LM

Coaching sessions with Laura gave me new perspectives on how to process specific feelings and situations in life.  She showed me how to sit with my emotions, acknowledge them, and then use visualization strategies to move through them.  I now feel more confident and in control of how I choose to walk through life.

CP

From the beginning, Laura put me at ease, creating a safe, open space for me to talk and share freely without fear of judgement. I loved the variety of approaches she used depending on the topic we were working on and it was fun being able to try out things I wouldn’t have considered before! With Laura’s coaching, I substantially grew my confidence in the workplace, overcame fears, dealt with issues I’d been carrying around for many years and, most importantly, learned to value myself and define a path forward into the future.

AG

Laura’s coaching was a breath of fresh air and EXACTLY what I needed at that point of my life. I didn’t realize how impactful coaching was going to be, but by the end of the sessions together, I left feeling refreshed, inspired and genuinely curious about what my future held for me. Because of Laura and her coaching, I believe I became a better person – someone who is more open-minded, someone with a clearer focus, and someone who is willing to explore opportunities and possibilities far more than I ever did before.

VB

I engaged Laura for coaching as I took on an expanded role leading an asset management company in Canada. As a female, I knew I would be a role model and had high expectations of myself. I was feeling overwhelmed and anxious.

In our first few coaching sessions we worked through exercises that allowed me to reflect on my purpose, leadership style and what mattered most to me. I continue to be grounded by the clarity I achieve in my coaching sessions – allowing me to be resilient and confident when challenges came my way.

OS