curiosity didn’t kill anything

image

Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment

Rumi

Our ability to not know, to be curious, is our energy. It breeds learning, growth, relationships, love, movement, dreams, invention, self discovery…

Advertisements

yesterday’s traditions today

mayday

It’s Bank Holiday weekend.

Strange how we hold on to these relics of a time gone by. These customs. These traditions. Long beyond their time in a sense.

Bank Holidays have been around in current form since the late 1800s and were all associated with important religious festivals and agricultural holidays before they were enacted into law by the Victorians.  So many go back even further. May Day only became an official bank holiday in 1971, but its roots as a holiday stretch back to pre-Christian pagan festivals, and the familiar rituals of crowning of the May Queen and dancing around the Maypole made it a popular seasonal celebration in medieval England.

So why do we keep traditions?

Sure we enjoy the day off, but we don’t bring the holiday into the present context; rather, we hang on to a relevance long gone.

It is like that too with our lives more broadly.  We hold on to behaviour and thinking rituals which often served us well as children.  No longer useful as adults, we keep them still; almost shackled to the tradition.

We do this with learning too. Learning skills and ways of being which suit one role, but still practicing them in others, such as later careers we may undertake, or even in parenting, or other life roles.

Strange our love of the past.

 

 

where does a smell take you?

pasty

There’s a man eating a pasty, maybe fifteen feet from me.

I can smell it. A slightly sweet aroma. I can feel the sensations of a bite of the piping hot food in my mouth. I can sense my slight open mouthed panting, as air is used to cool that bite to a temperature for swallow. I can taste the meaty, gooey mouthful, mixed with crumbly buttery pastry. I can taste the slightly peppery warmth.

There’s something strangely primal about holding your food in your hand.

I am instantly transported to my own specific memories of enjoying a pasty. Walking in the street with my family, grabbing lunch on a shopping trip. Numerous glorious holidays in Cornwall. A rushed snack on the way home from somewhere, late. In each memory, the smell of this man’s pasty takes me there. Fully.

Where does a smell take you and how vibrant is that place?

I’m off for a pasty…

whose embarrassment?


This morning, two guys standing on the train were sniffing. Each drawing bodily fluid up into their sinuses through the medium of sucked in air. Both sniffing independently. Both once every ten seconds or so. Slightly different rates and slightly different resonance. Together almost musical.

I wanted to hand out tissues.

They were seemingly oblivious to their mildly melodic disruption of my thinking time.

The man next to me produced a silent smell.

It left me pondering what embarrasses us; the actions of others or our own? And who does the embarrassment belong to? Are we embarrassed for ourselves or for others having to judge us?

Why are some of us embarrassed by falling over, having a wardrobe malfunction, nose picking, spot squeezing, breaking wind, going red, messy hair, sneezing … and some of us not?

What is that about? Where does it come from? What purpose does it serve? And whose is it?

a bit worried about worry

image

I met a potential coaching client the other day, wanting to explore how they could spend less of their time in a worried state. The brief conversation led to me being curious about worrying. Its intent, patterns of behaviour, structure, purpose etc.

In pondering my own experience I notice that I don’t typically worry when I’m in a really good mood.  When things are joyous, happy, positive, worry seems to be absent?

The next thing I notice is that worry seems to be in two broad forms – imagining a future potential scenario or assessing a past one. I worry about something that might or might not happen, or I worry about what I’ve just done, or not done. This leads me to notice that worry seems to be neutral in some way – it shows no favoritism to good or bad, might or might not, did or didn’t.

Worry seems to be a state of disablement.  Worry, in a sense, stops me acting.  It occupies me … with worry.  I don’t know that worry achieves anything other than keeping us busy. I am reminded of this quote (attributed to a number of people)…

Worrying is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but it gets you nowhere.

I have also met people for whom worry becomes a state of existence. They develop beliefs about the need to worry in order to be themselves. Worrying develops a heightened state of challenge that delivers, it seems to them, a better result.

Curious that we worry.

That’s enough worrying about worry for now. Time to just be.