Insatiable curiosity. I have it.
I go around thinking that there is an idea out there that I have not thought about yet. Of course there are millions. There is no way I am going to get through them all. There is no way I am even going to skim the surface.
I imagine there are books that will change the way I think. Of course there are. They will come timely and most likely slowly when I am ready for them. I cannot will them into being.
There are people I have yet to meet that will make me better. Some of those will be chance and brief encounters. Some will become friends. They will happen as they happen.
Curiosity is insatiable for most of us who are curious. We never really fill up. There is always more to know, more to see, more to feel and fully understand. There are always more stories, more people, more art. This is what the world holds for us. And we love that. It is beautiful.
Recently someone told me they had this too, and that it meant their head was filled all the time with churning ideas. I understood. Because mine is too. It gave me something to think about. I too was sometimes going around with a mind churning with ideas that was longing for a rest. It wanted a retreat. In thinking about this, I realized the importance of silence.
Every morning I walk for forty minutes without any devices before I even look at a phone, television or computer. This is sorting time. Time to centre myself and time to sort the ideas that come and go in my mind.
I understand that I can do this anytime I want. I can quiet the noise by my own will. I can turn off the sound, the notifications, whatever noise I need to and soak up silence anytime at all during the day for ten minutes or as long as I want. I forget this sometimes that the quietude is there like a gift waiting to be opened.
Being overfilled with ideas is not exactly inspiration. It is closer to exasperation. Sometimes, we have so much on our minds that we cannot think clearly. For this we need times to let those ideas come and go and roll on and maybe even roll out.
We are taught that inspiration is a light bulb moment and it can be. Inspiration is also a quiet awakening. It can take time and it can come sweetly and slowly.
So we don't want to quell our curiosity. I still take my online courses, listen to my favourite podcasters, go to the library and carry home a bag of books. I still seek out new ideas. Goodness knows there is nothing I love better. I am still listening to audio books. I still gather ideas and act on them. Now I give myself breaks. Just that throughout the day I take ten minutes, fifteen minutes or a half hour and consciously choose silence the way I do when I walk. That is a very conscious decision in the morning. I am intentional about it. Being intentional about it throughout the days lifts my spirits and soothes me once again.
Silence is needed in our lives. Perhaps not too too much of it and surely not too little of it. It is a balm for the curious person who is carrying around a lot of thoughts and ideas.
So perhaps it is peeling the potatoes without the radio.
Or hooking for the first or last fifteen minutes without the television or music.
Or perhaps it is a walk without your iPod.
Or going off to sleep without a device in the room.
Just choosing it sometimes is a little gift for yourself.
Even five intentional minutes might lead you to an inspiration. It might make room for something beautiful.
Thank you for reading.
- Deanne Fitzpatrick
Deanne, congratulations on your Honorary Doctorate, well deserved. Your speech was both impactful and inspiring. You make a difference, every day. Thank you 🙏