"Women’s curiosity was given negative connotation, whereas men were called investigative. Women were called nosy, whereas men were called inquiring. In reality, the trivialization of women’s curiosity so that it seems like nothing more than an irksome snooping denies women’s insight, hunches, and intuitions. It denies all her senses. It attempts to attack her fundamental power.” –Clarissa Pinkola Estes
My dog Lulu does not like to be leashed. She will however go for long walks with me, leashed, as the alternative to no walk. We make it to the dog park at least twice a week, so she can run free of restraint. Off leash she greets and plays with other dogs and chases her nose out beyond my view.
I'm going for an analogy here.
Where in your life do you feel leashed and unable to follow your nose, your curiosities and longings? Write about that.
These leashed places are not safe. What would we do and experience differently, what would we pursue or chase, unleashed? Explore this.
When was a time you escaped or slipped out of a leash and chased an idea till you caught it? Write about that.
When we are discouraged to doubt authority or break the rules we stop following our noses. We hesitate to explore out beyond the tug of a leash. When we can't move our awareness and explorations out beyond what we have been instructed to see or experience, we are not really truly seeing what is possible.
To be curious is to explore, to explore is to discover.
Instead of doubting yourself, doubt what you are being told.
The old myths and propaganda around doubt and curiosity—such that curiosity killed the cat and that it will get you in a heap of trouble—is a myth intended to control the congregation and keep naughty kids (and adults) in line. Propaganda and dogma's purpose is to make you unwilling to challenge what you are told or question authority. Rules set up so that you must follow them to get the prize makes you an acolyte, not a leader. In his seventh-century commentary on Aryadeva’s Four Hundred [Verses] on the Yogic Deeds of Bodhisattvas, Chandrakirti tells the story of a ship’s captain captured by an ogress.
The ogress warns the captain never even to look, let alone venture, to the south of her island. This admonition arouses his doubt and uncertainty about what he is being told. He becomes curious, so, one day he evades her watchful eyes and steals away to explore. There in the south, he finds the king of horses, Balahaka, who will carry you away across the ocean to safety on the other shore if you hold on to even one hair of his mane. And so the captain escaped from the island on which he had been held prisoner.
Such doubt is a perfect navigational tool, a way to ignite a sacred curiosity that leads to other possibilities. This doubt gets us to question, study, and investigate what we are told. We also question the appearance of phenomena and are not as easily fooled. When we listen to our doubts in this way we won’t be so easily controlled or imprisoned by others’ views. We will discover truth for ourselves and adventure out beyond the comfort zone of dogma put out by others.
Besides, one person’s religious experience or antidote could be another’s imprisonment or poison. Write about that.
Don’t spend your life on someone else’s island. Question everything of significance. Let all admonitions arouse in you a sacred curiosity of doubt. Follow your doubt (your curiosity) to the other side of things. Don’t be leashed by others’ beliefs or desires—break away.
"You can’t sit around and wait for somebody to say who you are. You need to write it and paint it and do it."— Faith Ringgold