The Practice of Mindful Curiosity

To be truly curious is to be truly present. So, hmmm, what is this about?

by Bridgit Dengel Gaspard

To be truly curious is to be truly present. My daily practice is to be non-judgmentally inquisitive about something for at least one mindful minute. This playful discipline kicks you out of your habitual mode of making assumptions. Also, it’s fun to learn new things like the science of sneezing, the ecology of frowning, or the dynamics of wasting. These represent ways of perceiving the world that “I did not grow up with.” Back then, areas of study and professions were clearly delineated. There was no continuum. There was mainstream and there was fringe, and never the two shall meet. I guess the same could also be said about roles, gender and race. Formidable endeavors like physics, calculus and chemistry, in addition to numbers, shared the qualities of incomprehensibility, unavailability, and exclusivity. Monolithic subjects like math and science was the realm of the “boys club” – except for a few women who by their mere entry were obviously brilliant and unique.

Meditation, extra sensory perception and intuition were once considered lightweight, frivolous topics. Now they are embraced and studied. It turns out that fragment of your imagination might actually be a fractal of your potentiality. Cool. Over the past few decades, mixing and matching on multiple levels including futuristic and ancient, have created entire new fields like thermodynamic experimental anthropology, particle microeconomics, neurofashion engineering, behavioral micropaleobiology and life coaching. Yes, I am making some of these up. But what I love is that today, a checkered past can become an interdisciplinary asset.

This expansion of, and wonderful disregard for old boundaries, extends to the concept of health, which many are defining as more than symptom relief. (Not that there is anything wrong with symptom relief…) It is invigorating to have your body in working order, but now we also require emotional balance, vitality, optimism, energy, resilience, stamina, higher consciousness and mental acuity. In addition, the new gold standard to optimal health includes living your dream. This comprehensive approach to well being is absent in the smoke-and-mirrors debate over American health insurance. When I think of health I don’t even consider our system, since providers of massage, homeopathy, herbology, and other modalities are not covered. Four out of ten American adults regularly use “alternative” medicine. For those curious about that statistic and more, enjoy a dose of this government survey. I would like to eliminate health insurance altogether. Who needs it? Insurance does not mend a broken bone, lower blood pressure, or skillfully apply Botox. Healing professionals do. The health care system should simply be a series of marvelous places that tend to the ill, wounded and those seeking optimization. These centers should also support practitioners, whether they are MDs, RNs, LCATs, AADPs, MTPs, TCMs, SWCs, ACCs, NDs, CHCs, MSCs, DOMs, beedeepedepees, BLTs (sorry, I digress.) Haggard, overworked, fatigued caregivers do not energetically help themselves or their patients.

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