A memorable line from one of my most influential yoga teachers. In fact one of the most influential practices I’ve gained from the mat, that resounds like Big Ben at the top of the hour every time I feel my insensitivity start ticking. A melodious reminder of how much time and energy criticism can squander, and a wake-up call to start again: find your breath, observe rather than condemn, and with awareness move on.
As Walt Whitman said, “Be curious, not judgmental.”
Curiosity is defined as a strong desire to know or to learn something. It has the cosmic powers to convert calloused insensitivity into mindful vigilance. It’s curiosity that inspires us to cultivate a deeper understanding of our own behavior and habits while judgement often becomes a barrier enabling our habitual self-defeating behaviors.
Whether it be losing focus in meditation, striking a match with my partner, neglecting the exercise routine [again...], I’ve learned to grow curious. Through this commitment meditation has become a more sustainable practice, relationships have become humbling teachers, and I’ve discovered that there are a slew of other physical activities more engaging for me than running in place on an endless belt.
How would your day-to-day differ if you too committed to being curious?
The next time you find your self hung up on shortcomings and throttled by self-defeat, without judgement, start again: find your breath, observe, and begin to reshape your debilitating cycles into spirals of continued growth and expansion. Start small, start today, and if for some reason you don’t…
It works every time.