Curiosity and the Beginner’s Mind

Curiosity killed the cat, apparently. This old proverb has been making us perceive curiosity negatively because this said cat approached a situation without caution and lost its life as a result.
Relax and Enjoy

Curiosity killed the cat, apparently. This old proverb has been making us perceive curiosity negatively because this said cat approached a situation without caution and lost its life as a result. A more appropriate proverb would be saying that impulsivity, or lack of caution, actually killed the cat. I believe that curiosity is powerful and, in fact, central for improving our mental health. Curiosity is a state of openness and eagerness that can lead us to a variety of possibilities, and opportunities for growth.

In Zen Buddhism, they speak of “beginner’s mind”. It is a state of mind where we allow ourselves to experience every moment as being new and fresh. This simple stance allows us to see the uniqueness of every moment we live by soaking in everything that is detected through our wonderful senses and letting go of our per-conceived notions.

We often greet new experiences by viewing them through the lenses of our past, where we hold assumptions, opinions and judgement. This mentality taints the way we perceive every new moment and make us focus solely on the evidence that confirms the notions we are holding on to from our past. Don’t get me wrong; this mentality is necessary because sometimes our assumptions are accurate but not always. That’s where curiosity comes in.

Imagine approaching every new moment with curiosity by letting go of our expectations of what this experience will bring and simply living the moment as it is. This stance leads us to gather all of the information and evidence detected from a scene. By doing this, we can start noticing every little detail, some of which we may have missed if we held onto our assumptions. Some of the newly gathered information that may or may not be be meaningful and relevant to us, or maybe not. Curiosity allows us to make that decision. Instead of closing ourselves to a possibility, curiosity lets us observe the option in a neutral way first and once we’ve opened ourselves to the entire experience then we can decide how we feel or think about it.

Curiosity means starting to pay attention to details in our surroundings and to say yes to new experiences. Be eager to notice all the little things you may have ignored, all the opportunities you may have missed and intentionally seek out the unknown.

Having a narrow mind often contributes to our mental health concerns because we ignore all of the beauty in our surroundings.

Here, I invite you to let go of what you think you know and open yourself to what you may not know. Stay curious.

By Catherine Gendron, Registered Psychotherapist

Share this:

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on skype
Share on reddit
Share on email

More Posts

Yoga MIndfulness

COVID-19: A Social Distancing Toolkit

Feeling anxious? That’s okay! Anxiety is extremely normal and quite valid in this situation – there is a lot of noise in the world and collectively, I believe we are all experiencing a gentle background hum of fear.

Vulnerability

The global unease and fear that has hit us in recent weeks has left us feeling vulnerable, anxious, and uncertain about the future. We feel like we are at war, but with an invisible enemy.

Michelle Sorensen Blog

Building Resiliency: The Path To Living Well With Diabetes

Many people living with diabetes are frustrated by the amount of time they spend dealing with diabetes-related problems. And, of course, they have other problems in their lives unrelated to diabetes as well. Whether they pertain to relationship struggles, anxiety, depression or work stress, people with diabetes have the everyday struggles other people have, compounded by the difficulty of managing a chronic disease.

Tesia Briski

Happiness 101: Unpacking & Redefining What It Means To Be Happy

Goals are valuable tools in our lives, however, we tend to place heavy conditions on goals. Happiness is not a conditional state: by saying “I’ll only be happy if ____” or “I’ll finally be happy when _____”, we are removing the possibility of us being happy right now. Because you never know, something else just might make your day.

2200 Prince of Wales Drive
Units #100 and #702

Ottawa, Ontario K2E 6Z9

We are located on Prince of Wales Drive, just south of Hunt Club Road. There is free and convenient parking behind the building, both in the parking lot and on O’Donnell Court.

2200 Prince of Wales Drive
Units #100 and #702

Ottawa, Ontario K2E 6Z9

We are located on Prince of Wales Drive, just south of Hunt Club Road. There is free and convenient parking behind the building, both in the parking lot and on O’Donnell Court.

Resiliency Clinic © 2020. All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy