Insight Comes to Us
I was talking with a friend last night, and he had an insight that I want to share with you.
After sharing everything that was on his mind, we did a brief meditation/grounding exercise. (This is such a simple yet powerful way to get us present to so much more than our own thinking.) Then we jumped into a conversation about his relationship with a colleague. The relationship has been good and professionally productive, but he’s been noticing that it’s not as personal, supportive, or connected as he would like, and he feels like there’s a missed opportunity here.
His insight during the conversation was that bringing curiosity to his relationship with this colleague could be an access to a more meaningful connection. It seemed obvious once he said it and then saw it. “Right, why haven’t I asked that question yet?!”
Insight can’t be forced. In fact, insight nearly never comes from our trying to figure something out, which is our analytical or focused thinking mind. Insight arises when we settle ourselves more fully into complete awareness of the present moment and allow our focused thinking to settle. Insight is the type of thinking that comes to us, not the kind of thinking we “do.”
In our conversation, I then offered an observation - that thing he said about his relationship with his wife earlier, would curiosity make a difference there too?
Life seems really complex, yet our approach and our being can simplify it in a beautiful and effective way. For instance, grounding ourselves in a single intention or two each day can simplify our attention and allow us to focus in a meaningful way.
From my perspective, curiosity itself is always a powerful intention. Curiosity is an openness and willingness to explore despite how much we think we know. Curiosity allows us to see the people in our life newly, with fresh eyes, and seeing people newly allows us to connect with the person who’s actually there instead of just the stories about these people in our minds.
We teachers want all our students to be curious in the classroom - it’s a powerful access to learning. What most of us fail to recognize, though, is that we should also want curiosity for ourselves. There’s so much more hope for ourselves, our students, and others in our lives when we engage with them from curiosity instead of from already knowing. That's the difference between insight that arises and thinking we "do" - there's not room for insight when our mind is full of what we already know.
At the very least, as teachers and parents it models curiosity for our students and children. At the very best, it gives us access to unconditional love, understanding, and engagement in the present moment.
Thanks so much for reading. ❤️