What do you want to do with your life? What brings you joy? What do you love?
These questions have inspired and plagued me for as long as I can remember. At my most courageous and certain, I can answer each of them and boldly reach towards a holistic vision for my joyful future. At my most insecure, I can hardly even remember what joy feels like in the first place.
For some, following your heart's desires is the only way to live. It is an adventure! It takes your whole being! For others, it is hard to narrow down what it is that you'd like to live for because there are so many interesting things to feel passionatly about. Then for even more folks, life is full of many desires and many passions. It will never just be one path, one certainty.
So how do we begin to discern how we will use our precious time on this planet?
Right now, I am watching my 7-month-old-daughter explore our living room. She has pressed herself into every nook and cranny of this room and still she finds something new that will fascinate her. Some things she has touched a thousand times and she still experiences something wonderful in just one more interaction with that timeless treasure. What she never fails to be is curious. She misses nothing in a day. She sees everything, hears everything, touches EVERYTHING. She wants to know what I am doing, what Joel is doing, what the neighbors are doing, what that dog is doing and ALL at the same time. This child is curious and each of her curious wanderings led her somewhere new.
Experiencing the world with her is reminding me of a part of myself that I don't give a whole lot of credit to- my curiosity.
My curiosity is a daily assistant to my discernment. It is simple, it is often subtle and easy. There is no pressure when I am curious. It just happens; gently taking me by the hand, visiting interesting non-threatening places until I find that I have landed on something akin to joy.
The other day I watched a movie about the life of Frida Kahlo. After I watched it, I found myself looking up information about her. I was particularly interested in photos of her, not necessarily her work. I liked how she wore flowers in her hair and found myself thinking about roses throughout the day. Later in the week, I decided to paint some big roses which I have not tried before. Painting the roses, I learned that I really enjoyed painting flowers. It was freeing and bright. I felt my heart refueling and eased myself into a moment of peace and assurance. Today, I have someone interested in buying that painting.
It all started with curiosity.
Who knows what will come next, but it was curiosity that led me on this winding little path and brought me to a place of painting for myself again. I needed that space and to create for my own enjoyment.
While there are many desires in my heart that almost always blast me to spaces of joy in my life, I also know that curiosity will be quietly ushering me along a path that I could not have designed for myself. It will expose me to new wonders that escape the sureness of my mind. It will teach me something fresh about where I can find meaning and joy. And in the end, curiosity will have led me into the fullness and depth I am ultimately seeking from this experience of living life on Earth.