How often do we hear and live the saying, 'same thing different day'? It can feel like we are going through the motions, waiting for Friday or our next scheduled vacation. Sometimes things can feel so mundane and stale. It can take a family challenge, a health crisis, losing an important person, or other shake up to see life in a new way. Personally, I would like to appreciate life around me more without being shaken by a large scale event. I would like to be grateful in my most mundane moments like washing the dishes, getting the school lunches ready, or driving to work.
Being curious is a way to develop our mindfulness and to cultivate our ability to enjoy the now moment. If we learn to become more curious about the world around us, we can start to see how miraculous and amazing our world truly is, be more mindful, and ultimately more grateful. Gratitude is the most powerful lifting device to bring you into a more peaceful, joyful, and loving state of being.
To be curious we must strive to take on a young child's view of the world again, before we had an explanation for everything. That means noticing sensations, sounds, feelings and impressions. You immerse yourself in the experience at present, wondering, and interacting with elements.
Curiosity, Mindfulness, and the Dishes. Let's take the dishes as an example. I can groan about this duty and begrudge how the work is never done and there are always more dishes. It feels that way sometimes. But if I look at the task with curiosity I become more mindful and joyful.
I may ask myself what water feels like when I allow it to run over my hands, noticing the sensations. I can investigate the bubbles that foam up in the hot water. I can look into them for shapes they make and play with them as I scrub a glass. I can make up a song about water or dishes. I can think about where the water is coming from. Where does it come from? How does it get to my sink? How do my hands even know how to do this familiar ritual? How do my hands know what to do next and what do they feel as they do this task? I can enjoy the feeling of my fingers flexing and smooth glass and shining reflections in the water. There are many ways to approach this task with curiosity.
Curiosity leads to gratitude and joy. The curiosity I feel as I explore and immerse myself in the dish washing can lead to gratitude for my hot running water, my ability to put food on the table, and my beautiful hands that are able to do so much for me. I have so much to be grateful for. Being able to wash my dishes at all is such a privilege in itself. I want to appreciate it when I have it because maybe some day my hands won't work this well, or I won't have food to put on the table and would wish I had dirty dishes to wash, or my water won't work, or my kids won't be around dirtying the dishes and I will actually miss this.
We can remember how much we have to be grateful for and how interesting and even magical life really is if we can stop and really engage in the tasks we are doing with a renewed curiosity. The more we exercise our curiosity and mindfulness the more it becomes a habit and way of being.