Curiosity Did Not Kill the Cat

“I don’t feel like a Jedi,” Dalton explained. “My head tells me to move to the next step, but my body feels resistance. The tightness in my chest is unsure.”

“Of course, you are unsure. The future is full of uncertainty and ambiguity,” I replied. “That is why you need all your creative energy to find the best path. With your judge looking over your shoulder, your body will win, taking you back to familiar patterns even though they did not work in the past. Under pressure, most people revert back to what seems familiar.”

“The resistance is the struggle?” Dalton asked.

“Your resistance is the first struggle. But, you don’t have to win completely, you just have to open the door to possibility. Your judge will keep you blinded to a limited set of alternatives, this way or else. It’s a familiar problem in parenting. Under pressure to bring a child into compliance, parents resort to repeating themselves, increasing frequency and increasing volume. If I told you once, I told you a thousand times. Even though it doesn’t work, the familiar pattern persists.”

“And?” Dalton tilted his head.

“And, the struggle against resistance is counterintuitive. You cannot fight it, you have to relax into it, give yourself permission to fail. Resistance only works when you are rigid and frozen. That is the source of the resistance. Discovery and exploration only work when you adopt curiosity.”

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