Are you curious enough?
August 9, 2021
An invitation to learn more about the world around you, the people on it, and your own wild landscape within – all while becoming a more compassionate and peaceful person in the process.
Author: Hannah Hokarari - Social Ambassador for Snaffle. Click here to follow her on Instagram for more fascinating stories.
Observing and pondering the wonder of all beings brings us back beautifully to the present moment.
How often do we quickly judge someone based off their appearance or something they have said or done? Multiple times a day, right? Especially if something is different from what we are expecting or our ideals of normal. We have evolved to be wary of difference - historically, a foreign human may have been a threat to the survival of our tribe, just as an unknown food source could be poisonous. Our survival instinct certainly serves a purpose, and one we can be grateful for, but being able to discern when it is helpful and when it is a hinderance is just as important. We all know how it feels to be in living in ‘survival mode’! Exhausted, stressed out, fearful and on edge as we react to the people that we encounter and situations that unfold. Not to mention, for most of todays modern society it is unnecessary, unhealthy and an unsustainable way to exist.
What if we created a moment to pause with curiosity? A moment to say, that is interesting… Why so? How did that come to be? What happened? When? Where? Who else?
An important reminder to fuel your curiosity…
Curiosity helps us become more compassionate as we try to understand a person or situation from another point of view. It gives us an opportunity to choose our response, rather than react automatically, especially when the situation is non-life threatening. We may have conditioned responses where we blurt an inappropriate comment if we see something out of the ordinary, feel personally offended if someone does not return a smile, or leave a harsh judgement in our mind about how someone looks.
Often these judgements are shaped by our own insecurities from within, such as our self-worth, our physical or mental capabilities, trusting others, or self-image. Following on from the examples above: we may judge others for embracing their differences if we are struggling to accept our very own – if we are someone seeking validation from others and have the need to be seen, an ignored smile may feel like we are not valued or appreciated – and a distasteful dialogue about someone else’s appearance often reflects our own struggle towards unattainable perfection.
What lies hidden behind that fiery flame? When did it start? How long had the fuel been smouldering?
By embracing a curious pause, we can also become aware of our thoughts and bodily sensations which creates space for inner reflection and a chance to better understand ourselves. Why did you feel lessened by someone else’s achievements? What made you think critically about that person’s hair colour? Why do you feel uncomfortable with silence? With time, these moments of awareness and reflection allow you to regain some control over your conditioned responses and in turn foster a more conscious and compassionate way of being both towards yourself and others.
Never assume you can know how someone's feeling or what they have been through — always ask questions!
Working as an adventure tour guide continually reminds me to remain curious. Guests come from an array of backgrounds, ages, ethnicities and general life experiences, of course bringing their own unique zest and zeal, as we all do. Some may be very proficient at the activity and well versed in the outdoors, others not so. For some, this may be their first time overnighting in nature, sleeping in a tent and they are freaking out! So, taking a moment to check in with everyone is important, especially if they seem irritable, anxious, grumpy or reserved. There is often an underlying meaning to someone’s mood or manner, and that moment of curiosity can help discern how best to interact with them. What do they need – clearer instruction, time alone, conversation, hearty hug or a good belly laugh?
Whether we are trying to better understand the mysterious yet wondrous ways of ourselves or others, it all begins with curiosity. This genuine engagement opens a space for compassionate conversations, allowing people to share their fascinating story, fostering acceptance for our own, and with bountiful learnings assured as we all discover new ways of doing, thinking or being.
Keep your curiosity rolling up and over the hills, all the way to the other side of understanding.
Here are some final takeaways to keep the curious questions rolling and the critical judgment at bay:
Pause and ponder - that is interesting (why, when, what, where, how?)
Ask more questions – provide less statements
Do not take things personally – there is an undercurrent you cannot see
Become aware of your own thoughts and bodily sensations
All weeds have a root – use questioning / self-reflection to find it
A big thankyou as always to Snaffle for giving me the opportunity to impart my story; as well as providing me the means to capture and share these with you. Please contact Snaffle to find the right product to record your journey, experiences and to suit your needs.
Hannah Hokarari is the social ambassador that heads up Snaffle Your Challenge, an initiative from Snaffle to challenge our customers and staff to push themselves to the next level.
Read more about it here and stay tuned to the Snaffle blog for more of her fascinating adventures.