What is inquiry? I talk about this idea of inquiry quite a bit because I truly believe it is a gateway to living our life fully in the present moment. What’s fascinating is that our comfort with inquiry shifts up or down based on the sensitivity of the topic at hand. It’s easier for our minds to be curious when our hearts aren’t hurt or our egos bruised. Of course, when inquiry is the least comfortable is when it is the most valuable.
More commonly, we understand the concept of inquiry but fail to initiate the action of inquiry. To inquire is the action of observing without solving, processing without a need to be right, and listening without the need to be understood. To inquire is the action of intentionally pausing to witness versus react & to get curious about the possibility, the learning, or the purpose of this moment’s construct. As it is.
Think to the last heated conversation you had. What might have been different if, in place of an emotional reaction, you wondered what you were to learn? Think of the last time you felt unsuccessful. What might have been different, if in place of justifying, hiding, fighting, or shaming (you name your favorite coping mechanism), you simply took a deep breath and inquired about the next step best aligned with your highest good?
Yesterday in a yoga class, I realized I wasn’t breathing in floor bow. At all. After class, I commented on this to the student next to me, and she confirmed she also holds her breath in backbends. She then immediately dove into a story around why, the architecture of the breath in the body, and the likelihood that most people do this. See the pattern: Event – Reaction – Justify – explain – commiserate. What if she simply asked herself, “Hmmmm…. I wonder where else in my life I hold my breath?”
Inquiry is a muscle of growth and wisdom. The question is: Will we flex it?