Curiosity – how to connect with your heart

Curiosity – how to connect with your heart

Curiosity – how to connect with your heart

“How do you explore? Hire the best guide you can find: your curiosity. Your curiosity is how your instincts get you to pay attention to what your heart really cares about.”

- Mel Robbins

Curiosity – the subject doesn’t get much media coverage, yet it’s how we learn much about our world. I was struck flying home to Colorado just recently how the younger children are all eagerly looking out of the windows, soaking up all the information that is heading their way. In contrast, the adults were focused instead on the inside of the cabin, and preparing to disembark. There is a world of difference, and another way in which we can learn much by watching the behavior of children, and animals! Human beings are unique among animals: we have a nervous system/brain that thrives on new information, or the opportunity to learn. Our responses to stimuli are not hard-wired in; like most animals’ are at birth; we have the choice to change, constantly. Yet we tend to follow the same patterns, day in, day out…

I love the quote from behavioral change expert Mel Robbins above, and check out her book, The 5 second rule on Amazon. Each time we put our curiosity on hold, we add another layer that says what our hearts want doesn’t matter, and we slowly kill our curiosity, and our passion. Our digital world has made it so easy for us to find the answer to many many things – where we used to seek answers, now we just find information. Don’t get me wrong, information can be really really useful – however instant information has taken away the joy of the quest, and I think it’s time to fight back, let’s claim curiosity as our right!

My great friend Melody Fairchild and I presented a talk on motivation a few years ago before the BOLDERBOULDER 10K race.  We wanted to come at things from a different angle than the traditional perspective on motivation, and included a section on curiosity. We encouraged the runners present to develop a commitment to curiosity  – this means approaching a run with a sense of adventure, rather than an expected outcome. When we make a prediction with our commitment, then it becomes an obligation. No-one likes to feel obliged; so not long after we’ve committed to a training program, if we are over-focused on the results, it feels like an obligation, and we can lose our sense of curiosity, and our motivation suffers.

Here is another great quote that I think helps to explain how our curiosity gets  tricked out of us: “When we are children, we always want to do what we shouldn’t. We are told that this is not a good thing; that it is bad to do that which we want to do. And what we don’t want to do, we are told we must, and are forced to do it. Eventually, by age three, we believe we are not a “good girl, or good boy,” and that we cannot rely on what we feel, because if we were “good,” we would want to do what we don’t want to do, and we would not want to do what we want to do. We become alienated from our true feelings and emotions and concentrate on what we should or should not do, to please the grown-ups and authorities in order to be told “yes, you ARE a good boy or a good girl.” Moshe Feldenkrais

So how can you rekindle your curiosity, and help keep your running fresh at the same time? Here are seven tips to help you reconnect with your curiosity, and your heart:

  1. Explore – When the daily run starts to feel boring and stale, choose to begin exploring. Go down that alley-way you’ve not been down, climb that hill, find a new trail. The tedium isn’t the signal to soldier-on; you’ve “mastered” that one, now is the time to expand your “frontier!”
  2. Gratitude – If you are Curious about what you are doing and your ability to do it, it is hard NOT to feel gratitude for the ability to do it and to be passionate about it, for the sense of adventure it brings to your being.
  3. Real learning – When we are overly focused on the result, we stop learning; we just get interested in “getting it over-with,” because we “know” the result. And, if it isn’t what we thought it should be, we are disappointed and dis-satisfied. What is truly satisfying to humans is Real Learning. Real learning happens when you discover something through your own trial and error.
  4. Get out and play – Learning also happens more readily when our range of focus is open and not restricted – play facilitates this – we love going out at times and just “playing” – no set time, no set pace; sing, shout, whoop, do crazy turns, dance from side to side – whatever allows you to feel free to express your inner self.
  5. Question your limits – We all place limits on ourselves, but are they valid? Explore your limits, they may well be an internalized expression of someone else’s fears and limits and not actually true about you. Repeated thoughts become beliefs, interrupt that process by exploring.
  6. Use the 5 second rule – use the Mel Robbins 5 second rule – the moment you feel yourself hesitate (when you know you should do something) start counting backwards 5-4-3-2-1, then GO. The rule is a proven form of metacognition. When you use it, you shift mental gears, interrupt your habit of overthinking and awaken your pre-frontal cortex, making charge easy. The rule acts as a “starting ritual” that breaks bad habits and triggers new positive behavior change.
  7. Run trails – running on trails is THE best place to rekindle your curiosity! There is so much to explore, and we tend to be more connected to our hearts in nature. Even the same trail can be different within a few days with rain, snow, animals, fellow runners, sky, clouds, wind…curious about trail running? Check out the trail running camps from active at altitude in Estes Park, CO.

We hope that you have fun exploring your curiosity, and that it brings you rewards beyond your wildest dreams!

Terry Chiplin, the visionary behind activacuity, provides positive coaching sessions for clients, working with athletes to enable a positive focus on their status and goals. He can also create personalized guided imagery sessions for clients, delivered as an mp3 audio file that you can listen to on multiple devices. activacuity provides a daily dose of positive guided imagery or visualization sessions. Find out what you can do when you make that mind-body connection – check out our subscription options here.

You can help raise funds for the American Cancer Society by becoming a subscriber to activacuity®. We are thrilled to announce that from February 1, 2017, we are a partner with the American Cancer Society.Use the code activacssupport2017 when you subscribe for an annual membership through our website, and $10 of your subscription goes to the American Cancer Society. We will also provide a free subscription for activacuity® to a cancer survivor for each paid annual subscription received. The Society will establish a list of cancer survivors that will benefit from the partnership, using the Patient Navigator Program.
Our goal is to raise $5000 for the Society over the partnership period.
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