There he sat. This man who had practised mindfulness meditation for 20 years. He had come to my mindfulness meditation meetup on a Sunday a few weeks ago. I felt immediately insecure. What can I teach him? Doesn’t he think I’m an impostor? I felt my hands becoming sweaty and my mind becoming blurry.
You can probably also imagine a recent situation when you felt your focus/energy/peace mind slip away within a few seconds because of your own thoughts.
So what to do then? The thing I tried was to be curious. Curiosity helped me focussing on this man, listening to his story. Forgetting about my self-doubts.
Curiosity is a beautiful thing. It evokes positive energy. Curiosity implies attention. It’s impossible to feel curious about something and not to have attention for it. And curiosity is at odds with judgment. Try to be curious about something and to judge it at the same time. I guess you won’t manage that easily. Attention and non-judgment are keywords in mindfulness.
You maybe wonder how to be curious?
It’s natural and easy to feel curious when it’s about something we like. But we can also try to use curiosity in difficult situations.
We can ask ourselves questions like ‘Ah, I feel stressed out by this conversation. What is it exactly what makes me feel stressed out?’ or ‘Ah, I feel frustrated, how interesting. How does it exactly feel today to be frustrated? Where in my body can I feel this frustration?’.
So perhaps you like to try out some extra curiosity the next few days? What questions can you ask yourself in more challenging moments?
Author: Francisco Beisterveld. Francisco is mindfulness trainer, psychologist and coach. Through Amsterdam Mindfulness he teaches courses and workshops specifically for people experiencing (high) sensitivity.