This idea of staying curious is one I’ve been meditating on since the start of the new year. (You can read more about how I stumbled across this idea here.) I happened to ring in the new year with a head cold, so being under the weather forced me to rest and be still in a way that allowed me space to just sit and think. It’s not often any of us have this leisure. There is always that next thing we need to be thinking about or working on. Endless responsibilities are screaming (maybe literally) for our attention. It’s nearly impossible to “unplug” for any length of time. Being sick allowed me to do just that though. At the time I was seriously annoyed because I had so many wonderful plans for being productive in my personal and business life over my “break”. Now I find I’m glad that being incapacitated gave me the space to think about this new area of focus.
I have to be honest and say that January and February are my least favorite times of year. In the northeast United States it’s typically cold and snowy and for a girl who loves gardening, sunshine and fresh air, this is torture after a while. The long, dark days sap my energy and leave me feeling lethargic and desperate for springtime. But this year, I really want to shift my perspective. Instead of waiting for this “next thing” that I believe will bring me happiness, how can I remove the perceived limits of my current season so I’ll be able to feel fully alive and enjoy where I am? I believe the key lies in practicing the art of staying curious.
In my current season I need to embrace exploration, discovery and expect to find wonder in unexpected places. What does this look like in a practical sense? I brainstormed a bit and here are 10 simple ways I decided I can engage my curiosity this winter and discover wonder—because in doing so, I am always inspired to be living my best life.
1 - Try snowshoeing so I can still “hike” when it snows.
2 - Visit the Art Museum in Philadelphia
3 - Experiment with embroidery on something other than fabric
4 - Learn to identify a few different bird calls by ear
5 - Spend more time praying and journaling and less time on my phone
6 - Try 3 new recipes
7 - See what happens when I try to dye paper or fabric with tea
8 - Watch director commentaries for 3 award-winning films and be inspired by their creative processes
9 - Visit the Orchid Extravaganza at Longwood Gardens
10 - Read 2 new art books & 2 art magazines from cover to cover
Why bother with any of this? Well, I believe as I choose to practice this lifestyle, I find joy and inspiration in the present and this is of benefit to both me and the many people around me who I encounter day-to-day. Plus I hate the idea of stagnation. Life is but a brief whisper and I want to make the most of mine, taking risks where needed, living life abundantly and inspiring others to desire the same. Are you ready to take up this challenge? Here is a little worksheet you can download and brainstorm 10 ways you can stay curious this season. Most of all, don’t just make a list for the sake of making a list, act on it! I’d love to hear even one thing that you are going to do to feed your curiosity in the days and weeks ahead!