Cultivating Curiosity

"Curiosity is one of the most powerful forms of love and respect you can show to another person. Truly wanting to know what their perspective is, where they are coming from, what they like and don't like and why is one of the most intimate communications you can convey."

In this quote from, "Mindful Motherhood," Cassandra Vieten illuminates a concept that can bring us greater love and respect for our children, partners and ourselves.

Curiosity with our children

Children are much more likely to trust in their parents when they feel they can tell them anything without fear of judgement or immediate harsh discipline. Yes, children do things that require discipline, however, we should seek first to understand and love and approach from a place of curiosity.

Curiosity with our partner

So many of our anxieties and worries come from the narratives we tell ourselves about what is happening, instead of focusing on the facts that are actually happening. For example, your partner forgets AGAIN that it's his turn to do the dishes. Your narrative may start down the path of, "I can't believe he forgot. He never remembers household chores. If he really cared about me, he would get things done. This marriage must not be important to him." If you can stop this narrative before it starts, and approach your partner with curiosity, you may simply ask why the dishes aren't done, instead of the anger of your narrative factoring into your approach.

Curiosity with ourselves

If you think you are quick to judge your partner or your children, you should also watch how quickly and intensely you judge yourself. You have an off day, are feeling blue, and don't accomplish your do-to list. Do you begin berating yourself with comparisons and thoughts of criticism? Approaching yourself with curiosity will help you not get trapped in a downward spiral. "Why am I feeling so blue lately?" "I notice I haven't felt motivated to exercise, I wonder why that is?" "I wonder why I am having such a hard time figuring this relationship problem out?" Approaching ourselves with curiosity will help us approach others with curiosity.