Shift Worry Into Curiosity
In homeschooling, parenting, and life, worry can make us feel as if everything is falling apart. A small shift in consciousness and focus can often lift us up. Shift worry into curiosity.
Finding a way to shift worry into curiosity can bring us out of the feeling of overwhelm and failure so that we feel just a bit lighter, a bit more capable, kinder, and understanding.
The question for all of us really is this: When we can’t see the forest for the trees, when we can’t see the big picture because of our worry, what can we do to shift that worry into curiosity?
Practicing Self-Compassion & Curiosity
Curiosity is a desire to know, or an inquisitive interest in others’ concerns.
I can tell you, when I’m curious, I’m so much less judgmental of myself and others because I’ve stepped outside of the black and white thinking of right and wrong.
It’s like the words of the poet Rumi who said:
If you love music like I do, check out the link in the resources below for these beautiful words set to music by the amazing acapella group, Libana.
The thing is that curiosity can really help us step outside of the worry and anxiety we experience for just a while and invite our brains to consider other possibilities.
The trick is remembering to get curious when in the thick of feeling anxious!
One way is to practice curiosity when you’re not worrying about something, or when you’re only slightly worried.
You can practice on just about any situation, in any moment. So I encourage you to give it a try.
Shift Worry Into Curiosity
Here are a few questions to ask yourself in the moment when you need a shift.
First, just stop and observe the scene in front of you. Then ponder one of these questions:
- I wonder what’s going on for my child today?
- What’s beautiful or interesting about this moment?
- What am I thinking? And then, is there another possible explanation?
- What if there’s nothing wrong here?
Sometimes curiosity requires a bit of self-compassion. But mostly it just takes practice.
Black and White Thinking
When my kids were growing up, we volunteered on a farm for a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). It was a wonderful experience for us all not only helping out with growing and harvesting vegetables, but we also got to help care for and feed the animals and chickens.
And I gathered some wonderful bits of wisdom from Farmer Molly, who was a mother of three grown children. She shared some great parenting advice with me that I’ll never forget. Probably after observing my children arguing or acting wild and me feeling guilty about their unruly behavior!
Farmer Molly said to me, “Here’s the thing to remember about parenting: no credit, no blame.”
Personally, I think the truth lies somewhere in between parents getting all the credit and taking all the blame versus none of the credit and none of the blame.
But many of us, when we’re stressed and worried, tend to take none of the credit and all of the blame.
I will tell you that this phrase has lifted me out of a place of despair many times through the years of parenting: “No credit, no blame.”
As I said, the key is to remember to get curious!
I like to play with this idea, and with the questions I suggested above, any time I think I’m sure about something. And also when I’m anxious or worried.
Especially when I think I know why someone else is behaving the way they are. Because when we assume we know what other people think or why they’re behaving the way they are, we don’t give ourselves an opportunity to be curious nor do we give the other person a chance to surprise us.
And I’m certain this goes for our children as well as our partners, in-laws, even friends.
The bottom line is that when we feel anxious or worried or overwhelmed, we can make a small shift to observe and ask ourselves a few questions. And then get curious.
Curiosity invites us to consider the possibilities and to practice acceptance and kindness. It’s a small shift with the potential to expand your view and soften your gaze. Curiosity invites connection and compassion.
And on the homeschooling journey, this is right where we want to be.💜
Links to Inspire
- Here is the beautiful Rumi quote set to music by the group Libana, called “Out Beyond”.
- For more about homeschooling and mindset, you might enjoy How to Feel Better as a Homeschooling Parent.
- For more about growth as a homeschooling parent, listen to 3 Paths of Development for the Homeschool Parent.
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