“Be curious and expect miracles.”
These were some of the final words I heard Tom Kenyon, a scientist, spiritual teacher and sound healer, speak at one of his last workshops before he indefinitely retired.
It was before Covid, and Jean and I were there together delving into three days of intense meditation, channeling and beautiful music led, guided and created by Tom utilizing the four-octave range in his voice and a multitude of instruments. (Click here to learn more about Tom Kenyon and his work, and listen to his guided meditations: https://tomkenyon.com/)
Jean and I met at one of his workshops a couple of years prior. It was at the end of the weekend, and as we traveled together from the hotel to the airport our eyes locked and we began to chat. It was one of those moments where you feel you’ve known the other person your entire life. But then again, it’s easy to feel that with Jean. She is honestly one of the most amiable and gracious women I know, open to everyone and always filled with love.
We discovered we had a lot in common, including our names (Jean and Jeanette), and our friendship bloomed from there.
Fast forward to this last Tom Kenyon event, and there we were, sharing in a profoundly deep spiritual experience together, even though it was also very personal and individual.
When I heard those words, I wrote them down, and thought how often it is that curiosity leads to miracles.
Such as the miracle of meeting Jean on that bus. My curiosity about her and the friend she traveled with on that occasion, Kathleen Noone (who reminded me a great deal of one of my relatives) led me to reach out and speak to them. And that led to a friendship which has been a blessing in my life in so many ways.
Friendships in and of themselves are miracles.
Usually when we are asked about a love relationship that was like a miracle in our lives, we think of our partners or our children. But friendships are the love relationships that for many people outlast the romantic partners, and friendships can go before, during and after the children. They can be the longest-lasting love relationships in our lives.
One of the most beautiful aspects of friendships is that, at least in my life, they keep me curious. And in this way, they keep me expecting miracles.
My friends have a wide variety of interests, careers, backgrounds, tastes and personalities. Some are artists, some musicians, some accountants, some lawyers. One is even a musician and a lawyer. Some love jazz music, others hate it. Some love to have a cocktail or two when we go out, others don’t drink alcohol at all. Some hate vegetables and love meat, others are Vegan. Some are avid readers just as I am, others will only learn about the book once the movie comes out.
And some, like Jean, are into the spiritual side of life as I am – but others are not. My own husband calls it my “hooliganism,” and one of our best friends is a dedicated scientist and atheist.
I love this variety in my life, and in my heart.
I love that our world, and my soul, is large enough to include all of them in it.
I love that we can agree to disagree on some things, and can chat endlessly about others that we see eye to eye on.
Their presence in my life helps to spark my curiosity about life itself, and give me insights into how others who don’t think as I do view, well, everything.
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Finding Common Ground
As I think about this, it causes me to consider this:
Perhaps an answer to the great division going on among so many of us at this time, perhaps a way to help us all find common ground again and come into a place of détente, lies in our ability to be curious.
I recently edited the video for insidewink of Dr. Gail Parker, and during her conversation with Alison and Jean she remarked upon this as a way of helping to ease the racial tension and divide that exists: simply being curious.
She talked about looking to the other whose views we are in complete disagreement with and whom we simply cannot understand or accept, and instead of preaching at them as to why they shouldn’t think or believe as they do (or ought to believe and think as we do), asking them a question such as; “Why do you believe that?” And then honestly, truly, really listening to them.
Once they’ve spoken, approaching the conversation with something like; “That’s interesting you feel that way. I understand” (if you’re honestly able to understand), or “Let me tell you why I feel as I do” (if they’ll listen).
By allowing our curiosity to come into play, we separate ourselves from the need to change them, and from judging them, and instead offer them a chance to engage in a real dialogue with us where, perhaps for the first time in their lives, they may feel heard.
Being Led by Curiousity
This doesn’t mean we are in agreement with them, nor that we are allowing their views to take precedence over our own – especially if their views are detrimental and hurtful to others.
It just means we are allowing curiosity to lead the way into opening up the door to communication between us. And perhaps, by doing so, they may listen to what we have to say as well – and maybe, just maybe, some progress can be made. Maybe, just maybe, they will begin to come around to our point of view.
Or maybe we will also find ourselves surprised by the fact that even if we disagree still, we do understand where they have come from and why they feel as they do. And it allows us to, if nothing else, forgive them. And that, in turn, widens those communication doors a bit more. Or at least it may crack open a window to let some light and air in.
Of course, if there is a true threat to another or injustice going on, sometimes curiosity has to be set aside as our instinct to protect and save kicks in.
Should I see someone actively about to hurt (or hurting) another living being, then of course I’m going to immediately respond to prevent that from happening. I don’t care in that moment who is right or wrong, because the wrong is obvious – it is wrong to harm other living beings, period.
But after all are safe, the time for questions should come. Understanding the why of the one about to do the harm can help in healing for both the victim and the perpetrator.
I recognize this is a simplistic way of stating it and there are so many more complex issues. Because there are, as we know, bad things that happen in this world (generally by humans) that have no real or decent explanations other than this person was coming from a place of nothing but darkness, and they were wrong. They had to be stopped, period.
But that’s not always the case, and generally in daily living we aren’t dealing with that extreme. If we can get to that place of curiosity, of wanting to understand the other even when we are angry at them, it is interesting how often it can help to dissipate not only our own anger, but their aggression as well. I know because I have experienced this in my own life.
My Childhood Experience
When I was a child, perhaps in 4th grade, there was a girl in our school who had decided I needed to get beat up.
I didn’t know this girl, I had no dealings with her at all. But her friends in her clique decided to let me know – after school that day, I was her target. They laughed as they told me.
I was scared. But, interestingly, I was also curious. I’d already earned the nickname “Mr. Spock” from some other friends because of how I’d question the way people acted or reacted around me in ways that just seemed illogical. And this was completely illogical to me, that someone would want to beat me up for no specific reason.
So at lunch that day I saw her in the corner of the cafeteria with her cronies, talking and laughing and attempting to stare me down. I munched on my sandwich, considering. And finally I stood up.
I went over to her and planted myself in front of her, facing her down. I crossed my arms (rather shakily I may add). She’d watched like a hawk as I approached her table, and narrowed her eyes at me as she roughly said; “What do you want?”
And that’s when I asked her. “Why?”
Why did she want to beat me up, I wondered? What had I done or said to her?
She claimed she’d heard that I’d said something bad about her. But I shook my head. “Impossible.” I responded.
I didn’t even know her name, so how was it possible that I’d done something to offend her or said something bad about her? And if I had, why didn’t she at least tell me what it was so I could apologize or make amends? I simply didn’t understand, and I wanted to know. I figured I deserved that much.
As I spoke, she didn’t change expression, but the faces of her friends grew surprised and rather incredulous. I guess no one had ever approached this girl in that way before (who was pretty muscular and intimidating, by the way).
I stopped speaking, and there was silence. And suddenly, it was broken by laughter.
The girl began laughing out loud.
The girl began laughing out loud. I was right, she never had been approached that way before, and she thought it was hilarious. “You’ve got guts, kid.” She said, and the next thing I knew I’d become sort of her mascot. Rather than being beat up by her, I was now under her protection for the rest of that school year. While not friends, at least we were no longer enemies. And more importantly, I could walk home without fear of finding my face in the dirt.
It was a small, unplanned miracle brought about by my curiosity.
Now this reaction was instinctual in me at the time, it wasn’t a decision to do so. I just had to go and find out why. I mean, if I’m going to get beat up I deserve an explanation.
But as an adult, even if my instincts aren’t kicking in to make me curious, I have the ability to decide to be curious despite being angry, upset or afraid. I can make the choice to be curious rather than stew in my resentment, fear, anger or anxiety. I can choose to be curious rather than judgmental.
I can choose to step up to the problem at hand, look it in the eye and ask “why” with an honest regard to listening and understanding. And in this way, I can use my curiosity to create a miracle.
The same is true of dealing with our fears, especially fears about the world situations right now.
There’s a lot going on that can take us down multiple rabbit holes leading into fear right now. Pile on top of that the fact we are still processing all that has happened since 2020, most of us haven’t had the chance to fully deal with or even begin to cope with that. Mental health experts are talking about how this is the greatest amount of anxiety and PTSD they’ve seen on a worldwide basis since statistics were first being taken about that.
Even more difficult is the fact that the very ones who are the experts, the healers, the physicians, the therapists meant to be the support system for the rest of us, are also in the midst of their own crisis management. This all adds up to a lot of stress on a global scale in every aspect: mental, emotional, physical and spiritual.
But if we can perhaps take a step back from the anxiety, fear, grief, anger and other emotions that are swirling about right now, and choose to instead look at everything going on with a sense of curiosity, a desire to really understand, a desire to listen and observe without judgment for a moment – it is possible to bring ourselves into a place where we can be neutral.
Letting Go of Judgment
And it is from that place of neutrality that we can be at peace within ourselves as we allow all that is going on around us to just be, to just observe, and to just quirk up our Mr. Spock eyebrow for a moment and say; “Curious.” We can let go of judgment.
From that space of peace within as we let go of judgment, we can then enter into a mindset of compassion as, because of our curiosity, we gain understanding.
From compassion, we can then enter into love.
And from love, we can change our hearts, and the hearts and minds of those around us.
And this is when it becomes a game-changer.
As each of us chooses to go into that space of peaceful nonjudgmental love, the energy of that will spread. It can’t help but do so. The more of us who choose to go into this place of peace within, the more that peace will get reflected around us.
And that energy, like the rings of water from a stone dropped in water, will ripple out, out, out.
Just imagine how far it can reach if every one of us chooses to do this. What if we gathered together not to protest something, but to promote something?
What if we gathered in groups to simply Promote Peace?
I believe an awakening is happening right now. That all that’s been occurring is leading us to a worldwide consciousness of the promotion of peace.
And it starts with each of us personally. On a one-on-one basis. From one friendship to another, one human to another. A choice to listen, a choice to ask questions, a choice to discover and perhaps uncover something amazing as we do. This is our chance.
It is our chance to lean forward on a bus and ask someone you just met a question, and maybe find a friend.
It is our chance to look into the eyes of a tormentor and ask them why, and then listen. And maybe change the mind of an enemy.
It is our chance to consider the events of the world and observe them without judgment or expectation. And maybe bring ourself back into balance and peace.
It is our chance to share the peace we find within with those around us, and maybe change the world.
It is our chance to be curious – and to expect miracles in return.
By JEANETTE DUBOIS
Jeanette is a film & tv editor, writer, director and producer who’s worked on Emmy & Telly Award winning shows, movies, and music videos for a variety of networks. She’s also a trained operatic who mostly sings to her cats now, though sometimes she expands her audience to her family & friends. She loves gardening, good books, good wine, and good conversations, preferably all at the same time.
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