Curiosity Fuels Our Inner Joy

Curiosity fuels our inner joy by offering different viewpoints than our first default observation. Using the photo above, what comes to mind? What do you feel in your body? Where do you feel something in your body?

How Curiosity Changed My Perspective

The first night I settled into my North Carolina home, the image above was just like the photo. Yet I didn’t see it. Rather I saw a hideous green security light streaming into my bedroom that ruined my night sky view. The light had been there before, but it wasn’t as high or as bright. My default observation was anger and resentment. As the days went by, my curiosity grew. I stopped by the house and met my neighbors, a lovely family of four who are renting while buying their own lot to build on. The father is a police officer, his marked vehicle a fixture during his off hours.

I never asked about the security light. Afterward, it didn’t seem important. In fact, that night was the first time I noticed the heart on my ceiling as I was lying in bed, recalling the day. It was extra bright due to the full moon, which I captured just before. The blue orb I’m so familiar with now has a green hue. If you are familiar with the chakras, green is associated with the heart chakra. Perfect.

Tips for Cultivating Curiosity

The next time your feel sad, angry or upset about something outside yourself, I invite you to try these actions.

    • Excuse yourself to a comfortable, safe location
    • Sit, stand or lie down
    • Close your eyes or lower your gaze
    • Take one or two deep breaths
    • Ask yourself, “What am I missing in this situation?”
    • Gently open your eyes fully
    • Slowly move your head and shoulders back and forth
    • Notice the objects in your view, stopping for anything especially pleasing
    • Be open to your intuition
    • Practice patience with yourself, then others

Curiosity fuels our inner joy when we invite it in.

Understanding Mindfulness vs Presence

Understanding mindfulness vs presence is my focus this week.

Examples of Mindfulness

I remember when a friend helped me work on being in the moment during a road trip to Aspen, Colorado. On the other hand, more recently I worked toward practicing mindfulness through meditation.

For me, meditation is a daily habit and developing presence is becoming one.

Understanding Mindfulness vs Presence by Example

Mindfulness includes noticing the world around you.
Cultivating presence includes focusing on a physical aspect within your own body.

Food Example:
I made yummy gluten-free almond oatmeal cookies yesterday. It was shortly before dinner when they came out of the oven. I confess I ate four cookies before I realized it.

Mindfulness practice would have me slow down, take one cookie, place it on a plate, sit down, and savor every aspect of it as I slowly took one bite at a time. In fact, I would have closed my eyes to increase my enjoyment and ability to be mindful.

On the other hand, cultivating presence, might result in a slightly different outcome.

My intention for the day included one technique for developing presence – tuning in on breathing. Rather than reach for the first cookie, I might have closed my eyes, and directed my attention toward the rise and fall of my belly. Perhaps then I could have considered ways to combat my familiar habit of eating without mindfulness.

Some alternative behaviors include:

  • Moving the cooling rack out of the kitchen
  • Drinking a glass of water, insuring hydration
  • Concentrating on heating up the dinner of leftover soup
  • Moving up dinner time
  • Fully enjoying one after dinner cookie

How Today is Different

This morning during my meditation to set my intention for the day, I realized patience would have helped me yesterday. Why not set patience as my intention today. I even have a scenario all set.

When the call of the cookie strikes, I will consider the list above after I close my eyes and focus on the breath.

Practicing Loving Kindness Feels Better

Practicing loving kindness feels better… than being caught up in comparing.  Compulsive comparing creates a restlessness that can never be satisfied.

Examples of Compulsive Comparing

Do you know someone who has an immaculate house? Imagine after visiting them or just thinking about them, you might have these thoughts walking inside your own less than perfect home.

  • How does she keep everything so clean?
  • It really feels bad, seeing all the dust in my house
  • I know there’s a candy bar hidden here someplace…

If only we could substitute these thoughts of loving kindness for ourselves instead.

  • Perhaps I care about more important things than housework
  • But, if I set a timer for 30 minutes and sweep…
  • After the timer goes off, I’ll fix a cup of coffee… or herbal tea

Did you feel a difference reading these two very different lists? For me, the comparing list made me frown and furrow my brow.

The second list brought a smile to my face and a lightness in my chest. It’s about offering forgiveness for ourselves.

How to Bring Loving Kindness Home

Mindfulness meditation is the key to bringing loving kindness into your life. Sharon Salzberg is my go to person for learning how to cultivate loving kindness. I’ve completed her 10% Nicer meditation course inside the app, Ten Percent Happier , multiple times.

She has also written several books on loving kindness, available on her website . If you want to experience a ten minute mediation right now, go to A Simple Meditation to Connect With Loving-Kindness, from Sharon Salzberg on

This Seems Too Easy

Yes, it is easy… and also very hard. Like most things, it takes a daily commitment to change. However, if you miss a day, don’t beat yourself up. Rather, start again. Each day dawns with another new opportunity to live happier.

Practicing loving kindness feels better… than comparing ourselves to others. Just think what a different world it would be if you practice loving kindness for yourself and others. Start right now.

Sending you loving kindness,