Quilting is a passion of mine, but at the same time, it is a calming and meditative activity for me. I sometimes listen to favorite podcasts while I'm in front of my sewing machine. Other times, as I've mentioned in a previous blog post, my time spent quilting gives me time to think about all kinds of topics. Quilting in combination with listening and reflecting often leaves me with new insights.
I have been sewing a lot lately, working on a new quilt top. It's a simple pattern using only three fabrics, so it's been a perfect time to ponder topics that come to mind.
Curiosity has been at the forefront of my consideration in the past few days. My husband and I recently attended an event where the theme was curiosity. Although the speaker for the event was pleasant and personable, I felt he didn't cover the topic of curiosity in a very convincing way. What the event did, however, was to spur my own thinking about this subject.
Just the word curiosity takes me back to my teaching days. What I wanted most for my students was for them to become life-long learners. I truly believe that maintaining a sense of wonder and curiosity fuels a desire for learning during one's entire lifetime. On occasion, I asked my students to find and share a few "wow facts" which were facts that made them stop and think, "Wow, that's amazing!" As these wow facts were shared, there were a lot of wide eyes filled with wonder and curiosity (including mine). This assignment gave me insight into the topics that engaged my students' curiosity.
As we know, curiosity seems to come naturally to humans. We can witness this natural curiosity in toddlers and young children as they explore their world and ask many questions, including the famous "Why?" that many young children continue asking until their understanding is satisfied. As children grow older, it seems that some of that natural curiosity gets drowned out with other parts of life sometimes getting in the way. The question then becomes how we can rediscover our natural curiosity as adults. I have a few suggestions:
- Slow down and take time to allow for wonder.
- Show interest in others and their pursuits.
- Know that there is always something new to learn.
- Make a point of being around others who voice their wonder, curiosity, and amazement.
- Find activities or hobbies that spur creativity and innovation.
- Spend time in nature where it's so easy to be amazed by awe-inspiring sights and sounds. (Many of those wow facts shared by my students related to nature.)
To close, I will share a few quotes about curiosity:
The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.
We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious, and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.
Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.