I've am currently pursuing an advanced yoga certification (500hr) through Wild Abundant Life. The master teacher is Deborah Williamson, and she is fantastic. I knew I was ready to grow and I wish this was a decision I made sooner! But, as with any new endeavor there's a wave of emotion: excitement, doubt, fear, pride. Above all, curiosity!
Curiosity is your best friend when pursuing anything new or foreign. Trainings always remind me of what I don't know and that there's so much still to learn! I used to fear this sensation of not-knowing. But, now I embrace it. Not-knowing right now, means there's opportunity to know more tomorrow and the day after that. I've settled in to a career of life-long learning. That for me, makes all the difference in how I approach every day.
Here are some way that being curious helps:
A curious brain, is a brain on fire. According to the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, a novel interest in knowing more stimulates critical thinking skills, increases IQ and elevates your problem solving skills. You can train your brain to do more and think better by taking an active interest in mini-mysteries.
A curious brain is a healthy brain. Scholarly writings from Psychology and Aging suggest that curious behavior throughout your life can slow degeneration in old age. Additionally, some studies have shown a link between curious brains and lower instances of diabetes and hypertension. While this may not be a direct, causal link, it may be that those who are inherently more curious about life, and their health, will take an active role in researching and understanding disease and prevention.
A curious brain is a happy brain! Encountering new endeavors and being open to the experience has a high impact on our happiness. Harvard researcher, Daniel Gilbert, PhD, also cites our ability to accept and find joy in stumbling upon opportunities as a key indicator in happiness. Dr. Gilbert suggests that the more open we are to unexpected circumstances, the greater satisfaction we will find, even above accomplishing goals or activities that are planned.
These and so many more, are reasons why I stay open to the process and limit my expectations. Every training is a dive into uncharted territory for my brain, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
So, what else? Who knows! And, I love it.
Stumbling on Happiness (Knopf, 2006)
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