Curiosity gets a bad rap sometimes. The term "morbid curiosity" sounds ominous. And you know what they say about curiosity and the cat. There is increasing thought that curiosity, although innate, is not an instinct but rather a basic emotion. One reason for this is that curiosity can express itself in numerous ways while instinct is usually fixed.

Curiosity of what's around us naturally brings our awareness to how we relate to these things and how we feel about them. When we explore, in a non-judgmental
way, our own preferences teach us to live in right relationship with ourselves and our surroundings.

Lack of curiosity can lead to separation from our surroundings which can lead to losing touch with our whole self. As far as our body is concerned lack of curiosity can have painful effect. An example from my past illustrates this:

Before I started my present career as a somatic therapist I had a corporate job, spending much time sitting at a desk. I would, by the end of the day, have a great deal of pain between my shoulder blades. I had no understanding of what caused this. Because my day involved focusing on a computer screen in front of me, usually racing against a deadline, my awareness was taken away from my body.
It was suggested to me the I had a "posture problem". I tried to correct this by sitting or standing straight. This lasted as long as I was thinking about it which was not long. Then I would slip right back into the uncomfortable posture again.
There was no motivation to learn why I was in pain or to move away from it. I accepted it as "the way things were".

As I started learning about anatomy I could actually visualize what muscles were involved and understand the function of the shoulder blades. As I explored my bodies preferences while sitting at a desk I realized that something was pulling me towards my work. My intense focus on what was in front of me was pulling my closer to the work with no connection to the toll it was taking between my shoulder blades.
I learned that by stopping periodically, standing up, and exploring my spine's movement forward and backward my body gained a sense of where comfort was. By exploring the edges of where I was comfortable my body gained awareness of what it's limitations were. By taking my focus away from the work and focusing on my body I allowed my self-balancing reflexes to kick in. Our bodies know what to do, they just need our attention. Without attention our body's range of motion can become limited.
The body does the best it can to protect us from injury by making us less mobile. Our minds can get stuck in thinking that this limited mobility is all there is.

Curiosity about three aspects brought the awareness needed to facilitate the change necessary to return to comfort:

1) By researching the structure involved, the bones as well as the opposing sets of muscles, and their function, I intellectually understood why I was in pain.
2) By discovering the emotional need to forge ahead with the work at the expense of my body it became possible to allow limits on that.
3) By actually returning to my body and gaining a sense of where it was comfortable and where it wasn't I allowed my bodies self-balancing reflexes to restore me to comfort.

The result was a balanced relationship between my need to accomplish a task, and being in comfort and balance.

This process may sound complicated and intellectual but it can actually be quite simple. We can take the approach towards curiosity by simply turning over a stone and looking underneath with no judgement as to what we find. We can explore our preferences, emotional and physical; again without judgement. "Just notice, don't judge", We can ask our bodies what they want. Explore the body's preferences.
With a sense of curiosity we can evolve to where we are meant to be.

What are you curiously noticing?

Article By Ric Chamberlin, LMT,

Author's Bio: 

As a registered practitioner of Ortho-Bionomy and a massage therapist Ric Chamberlin specializes in pain relief and restoring balance, bringing awareness back to the body, utilizing the bodies self healing reflexes.
Ric has a private practice in Omaha, Nebraska called The Healing Connection.
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