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CURIOSITY TRANSFORMED THE CAT: PART 1

Updated: Jun 29, 2023

The Power of Self-Curiosity


Happiness is not something that simply happens to us; rather, it is a conscious choice we make. While the journey to happiness may vary for each person, one thing is certain: self-awareness greatly facilitates the process.


Self-awareness serves as the initial step in shaping our desired reality and mastering our lives. It grants us the ability to recognize where our thoughts and emotions are leading us, empowering us to take control before they influence our actions. With self-awareness, we can make the necessary changes without our subconscious hindering our progress.


Many of us go through life on autopilot, merely going through the motions without pausing to reflect on our experiences. Without the ability to identify our thoughts, emotions, words, and behaviours, particularly in moments of building tension, it becomes challenging to make the desired changes that lead to fulfilment.


Developing self-awareness involves practices that focus our attention on the intricacies of our personality and behavior. It allows us to bring awareness to our emotions and physical state, creating a space for relaxation and enabling us to alter our thought processes in the present moment.

 

How to Develop Self-Awareness


Curiosity is a remarkable tool that is constantly available to us; we simply need to learn when and how to effectively harness its power.

As humans, we are exposed to an overwhelming amount of new information every day. To manage this influx, our subconscious mind absorbs and organizes it into manageable chunks known as habits. While habits are essential for our daily functioning, allowing us to perform routine tasks effortlessly, they can also lead us to act mindlessly, almost on autopilot.


Operating on autopilot diminishes our ability to make conscious decisions. As a result, we often react to internal and external experiences with subconscious, habitual emotional responses, unaware that they are occurring. This lack of awareness puts us at risk of entering an emotional downward spiral—habitual thoughts trigger emotions, which in turn trigger behaviors and generate more thoughts. Once caught up in this cycle, it becomes increasingly challenging to step back, think rationally, and choose our next course of action, potentially leading to harmful behaviours.


However, when we approach our emotions with mindful curiosity, we gain the ability to create distance and find a place of neutrality. This process gradually decreases the intensity of our emotions and enhances our capacity to regulate them, ultimately empowering us to gain control. During our upbringing, we are taught to categorize experiences as good or bad, happy or sad, tears or laughter. Consequently, we learn to adopt an avoidance approach—shunning the negative and focusing solely on the positive. Unfortunately, this approach fails to equip us with the self-awareness necessary to understand ourselves and our reactions.


While our reactions can often be valid, it is crucial to ask ourselves: Do they serve us? Do they actually achieve anything? To address these questions proactively, we must engage in self-curiosity.

How to apply self-curiosity:


  • Notice what is happening in your body, what can you feel and where is it occurring.

  • Perhaps give it a name, or if this is to hard, give it a colour or a shape.

  • Keep breathing and keep observing. Remember each breath is grounding you as you take on the role of observer .

  • Allow yourself to really feel it, go with the feeling, don’t shun it, simply experience it as it is.

  • What do you think this is telling you, is it trying to communicate something with you. If so, what could it mean, be intrigued.

  • Maintain a non-judgmental approach, there is no right or wrong, there is only what is happening for you in this moment, and that is ok.


Practicing self-curiosity can be an effective way of tackling unwanted/ineffective emotions. When we learn to identify and process emotion, we gain control which ultimately leads to an improved sense of self. Not only do you save yourself energy and time by neutralising such emotions but you are learning emotional intelligence, self-awareness, which will only serve to enrich your life and your relationship with the world around you.


With this mindset we start to become interested in ourselves, why we do the things that we do and it is this interest, this conscious awareness, that buys us the time we need to choose our emotional responses rather than letting them choose us! In regards to deeply ingrained habits such as addictions or unhealthy eating, turning our curiosity inwards can help us on the path to long lasting positive change and ultimately, happiness.


 

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