The world is full of potential and infinite possibility, when we are guided by curiosity we feel it in every action and interaction. Think of the wonderment in a child’s eyes, they show us that even what we might view as mundane is an opportunity to create something new. Everything they do, see, and interact with is exciting because there’s mystery and untold knowledge waiting to be uncovered. It’s a lesson in exploration to watch a child learn and experience the world for the very first time. They aren’t tied to expectation or outcome because they don’t have a reference for how they think things might turn out.
We all have this sense of wonderment built into us at our core. Even as we grow older, the place inside us that seeks to learn doesn’t disappear. We’ve known what it is to crave new or deeper understanding, to embark upon a journey where we don’t have all the answers, yet we move forward anyway intending to learn.
Unfortunately, as we grow into the world we absorb limitations through our experiences and interactions. The creation of judgments, expectations, and stories guide the way we live and we are reluctant to admit our own ignorance. Somewhere along the line seeking new-ness became synonymous with admitting one was ‘lesser than’ for not having all the answers. Without the ability to be in constant learning we forget the endless nature of possibility and we settle for ‘good enough.’
Before I began my journey inward through healing practices like meditation and yoga, I was stagnant in an “all right”, though uninspired, existence. The world told me who I should be, what I needed, and what made me most valuable and I listened. I settled for feeling good enough because it was more comfortable than the unknown and elusive possibilities.
When we’re taught to fear the things that we don’t understand, it’s only natural to limit our desires, our beliefs, and our inclination to learn. We limit our entire existence through this lens of fear that we inherit as we grow into the world. The most profound shift for me came when I was willing to not only embrace the unknown but to admit that I might not know it all.
Holding Space for The Unknown
As we grow up and learn day by day we lose this sense of curiosity. We view ourselves within certain labels, we find and return to similar communities, we stay in a job or field because it’s what we’ve always known, and so on. All of these facets of exploration inform what we like, what we dislike, what we express, and what we hold on to. When we approach any exploration with the mind of a beginner we begin to see through the lens of wonderment a child experiences in each new moment.
Getting curious about how I express myself to this world and even to myself has allowed me to find liberation that I couldn’t have dreamed of. If I remained tied to who I’d always been I would have lost the chance to explore who I’ve become. Through the journey of being willing to understand and permitting myself to not have all the answers, even about my identity, I’ve found deep healing. I’ve been able to rediscover myself, my identity, and my modes of expression just by saying “I don’t know, but I am here to learn.” With the recognition that what was true for me 5 years ago, 2 years ago, even 1 week ago, might not be true today and that's okay. The continued relearning of this self and stepping into a space of renewal is part of the process. In that process, there is room for endless possibilities.
We can find liberation by simply saying “I don’t know.” This acknowledgment that we don’t have all the answers allows walls to dissolve and gives us permission to gain a new understanding. Instead of hiding away from the things that are outside of our understanding, the invitation is to get curious and approach that new experience full of wonder.
Invite in Possibility
The ability to hold space for not knowing takes courage and vulnerability. In a world that tries to shame us when we don’t have all the answers, that declaration can feel scary. Vulnerability is the fertile ground for creativity to blossom. No one shames a child for asking questions and seeking understanding, so why then do we do that to ourselves? To admit that we don't know gives us the room to find out. It permits us to explore even deeper and to expand our awareness, not only of ourselves but of the world around us. We human beings are so capable and so adaptable. Usually, it’s through the creation and comfort of routines that we forget our ability to endure newness.
When I began my yoga practice I came in, as many of us do, with all of my preconditioned beliefs and ideas. I quickly and swiftly learned that I had a lot to understand. When I took the seat of a student and committed to lead with inquiry I was able to find expansion and deep understanding. Instead of being limited by not knowing I’ve allowed that to be an invitation to grow and in those moments of growth I’ve tapped into strength I didn’t know I had.
Something that’s talked about quite frequently now is the pandemic of 2020 and the effect it continues to have in our world. A conversation I had recently left me with a new perspective. What was reflected to me was how truly incredible it was to see so many people around the world shift routine and find a new sense of ‘normal’ so quickly. We all adapted to online learning, community, and connection within a few weeks in some cases. Our collective ability to endure the unknown was a testament to our resilience and capability. As we re-emerge into the world the possibilities that were created have a lasting effect. Something we never dreamed of before last year is now in full bloom because we were not limited in the same ways.
Sometimes it takes the unexpected to show us a new perspective. In the continued rediscovery of ourselves and inviting in renewal, the world of possibility begins to expand. Expressing our truth with courage and vulnerability each day is a continuation of stepping into our power. We let go of the labels that hold us back and remember what we are capable of. Leading with this level of curiosity invites the childlike wonder back into our world and we align with the ability to experience endless possibilities.