It’s easy to access curiosity, for we are born with it. However, it's not so easy to answer the questions that naturally arise from curiosity. When I don’t immediately know the answers to my personal questions -- as opposed to question that come from external sources -- I have to go deep within myself. Sometimes it helps to develop techniques to help with this.
There are several methods I use to uncover answers. I say "uncover' because I believe all answers reside somewhere deep within us. For me, the most important vehicle is self-awareness. To achieve self-awareness, I must be still, quiet, and pay attention to what arises from my core self. Once I connect to my inner self via this meditative state, I can focus on the question at hand. (For more guidance on meditation, refer to http://imcw.org, Insight Meditation Community of Washington.) Then, once I have engaged my self-awareness, I need to be vigilant and watch for answers to arise from within me. From trial and error, I have learned that my answers show up as an inner voice or a creative vision. (For others it might be a physical response that guides them.)
Watching for answers takes patience. It also means I have to stop my compulsive, mental/physical racing around, which I am very prone to do. Constant motion is merely a way for me to avoid fear – fear that I won’t be able to find an answer. Once fear-driven anxiety takes hold it is much harder, if not impossible, for me to discover a creative answer. Believe me, fear has stopped me in my tracks many times.
Using meditation, I am sometimes able to access what Carl Jung called the “collective unconscious” – – that universal bank of knowledge shared by all beings of the same species. But then, even when answers do arise within me, I have to be careful to not doubt these answers, or label them as stupid or impossible. That would re-instill fear.
When meditative self-awareness doesn’t work, I play. Play is incredibly important, because it frees my brain from former rules and expectations. Playful openness, soulful spaciousness, welcomes inspiration.
Yesterday I hit a stuck-spot while writing this blog. Instead of trying to push through my stuckness, I picked up my camera and went for a photo-walk. I shifted focus and played with photography. That meant I didn’t worry about whether a particular shot was good or not. I merely took pictures of everything that interested me. I had fun. Then, when I returned to writing, my mind was more settled, clearer and open. Ideas came, and I could write this blog. The photo at the top of this blog is one result of my playful walk.
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