When we engage in a daily practice like this we often notice ourselves vacillate from one end of the emotional spectrum to the other. So it is helpful to watch these cycles and to begin to find a new way of responding to ourselves and the world around us. Throughout this process we may even begin to see patterns of how we move from open to closed, from happy to sad/mad, from enthusiastic to discouraged and back again. This is the nature of duality and it is often at the very heart of this process of inquiry.
I invite you to begin to cultivate the practice of compassionate curiosity. See if you can observe yourself with the non-judgmental wonder of a child seeing something fascinating for the first time. A curious mind is one that is open to possibilities and isn’t locked into a label or definition of something. A compassionate heart is able to feel empathy and kindness toward someone even in adverse circumstances. Putting these together can help us witness our own experience without getting caught up in judgments and generalizations, regardless of whether we label it as good or bad.
This is a particularly useful practice in somatically based therapy processes, especially when we feel sensations or emotions that are distressing. Yet it is also important to recognize that we can just as easily get caught up in grasping onto success and accomplishments that feel good, which can have equal power to throw us off center. Compassionate curiosity helps us be a witness to our own process.
So throughout this process of Creative Inquiry I will encourage everyone to continue to witness themselves and each other with Compassionate Curiosity. Notice when your mind grabs onto an old belief or definition and tries to sway your opinion. Notice when a knee-jerk habit tends to label an experience as bad or good without really seeing it on a deeper level. Notice when you use general descriptions rather than specific observations to communicate your experience like “I feel tired”, rather than realizing that you actually feel a heavy weight that seems to be pulling you downward, for example. Be specific in your observations, while at the same time remaining neutral about what you witness, as much as you can. Remember, it is an acquired skill so practice helps.