Every time I read the sentence below I would be left with a heaviness in my heart and a feeling of frustration and annoyance.
“Make a commitment of keeping an attitude of wonder and play while learning about your Upper Limit behaviours.” The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks
It was weird to be triggered by the above sentence but instead of ignoring and tucking it away, I instead began to break it down. It turned out to be the word Wonder (even as I write the word my heart contracts) that was the culprit. I also observed that the word Play reverberated in the gut.
I’m currently in India rereading the Big Leap. It’s a powerful book about discovering and living from your Zone of Genius. I always knew I would have to revisit it again in the future. It’s been a couple of years since I read it and I’m glad I brought it with me.
My self discovery went a little further. If wonder or we can even say curiosity is birthed from my heart what impact does living with a closed heart have on how I show up in the world? In March 2014, after spending a week at a retreat in Costa Rica, I had for the first time in my adult life truly felt the exhilaration of an open heart.
Since then I have been trying to maintain and live with that openness but it has been challenging. When you reside in a city where I believe most people are walking around with closed hearts (a natural protection mechanism when we are scared to show up as our authentic self), its hard for our energetic body, the heart chakra, to stay open. It requires a lot of mindfulness practices to keep it open and show up from that space.
Definition of Wonder:
a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable.
desire or be curious to know something.
feel admiration and amazement; marvel
An attempt to connect the heart with the act of wondering and nurturing curiosity.
Wondering and curiosity is about asking questions. I was raised in a culture where asking questions was disrespectful. If an elder told you to do something that didn’t make sense to you, it wasn’t acceptable to question and dig for clarification. ‘Don’t ask why, just do what I tell you’ was common. If you asked too many questions, it would more times then not, result in scolding or maybe even an ass whooping, quite normal in Indian culture.
Exploration, sense of curiosity and play, was discouraged in my childhood. There was always a sort of invisible leash on me. Perhaps this is why I travel so much today, because I love finding new places to explore, as if making up for lost times. However, I do still find myself holding back. I have raised the glass ceiling but haven’t completely shattered it.
I think the way to shatter the ceiling is through the heart. The heart is the centre of energy and when it’s closed, the flow of energy is blocked. I work hard to keep the heart open by continuing to read, meditate, practice yoga and travel. I still have ways to go, but I think this discovery of wonder and suppression of curiosity is a great place for my next exploration as I work towards discovering and embracing and taking up permanent residency in my “Zone of Genius”.
If you are interested in learning more about this zone I highly recommend picking up The Big Leap.
I’ll leave you with a fun little self discovery exercise. Say the following three words (out loud or quietly to yourself) and pay attention where each word reverberates (lands) within you. Give 20-30 seconds between each word.
How does each word make you feel? Are you tightening up, feeling expansive or indifference? Where do the words land within your body?
Think about all the energetic points (chakras) in your body. What chakra is each word landing on?
For me, Wonder lands in the heart chakra, Play lands in the sacral chakra (gut) and Love lands in the solar plexus (abdomen). To learn more about chakras I absolutely love the book Anatomy of Spirit by Caroline Myss.
Chakras are nothing more then energetic areas within our body and based on how we are raised, each energetic point requires some level of healing and opening.
We are complex physical, energetic and spiritual being. When we really begin paying attention to the connection between all three areas and begin the exploration of connecting the three, we inevitably begin connecting to our deeper SELF, to our Zone of Genius.