And Now We Are Six

When I was one,
I had just begun.
When I was two,
I was nearly new.
When I was three,
I was hardly me.
When I was four,
I was not much more.
When I was five,
I was just alive.
But now I am six,
I’m as clever as clever.
So I think I’ll be six now
for ever and ever.

~ A.A. Milne

On May 4, 2022, Choose to be Curious turned six. And while I do feel more clever about this whole radio/curiosity thing, there’s certainly still room to grow, so maybe not stay six for ever…but at least a year!

In these six years I’ve generated (drumroll, please) 168 episodes. That’s a lot of conversations about how curiosity shows up in work and life, many more than I ever imagined when I got started. I have no earthly idea how many minutes of audio that represents, or hours of editing, or days of planning, but I know it’s a lot.

More than time, however, the show has meant learning, and for that I am profoundly grateful. From getting my head around audio production, to learning the social media ropes, the ins and outs of an interview, and innumerable deep dives into the growing body of curiosity research, the endeavor has kept me on my toes. When everyone else’s world contracted with covid, mine continued to expand.

But I’m going to take a brief hiatus from WERA right now. I’m not disappearing permanently — no, we’re all just giving the good folks at Arlington Independent Media some time to get their ducks in a row and do much-needed upgrades to operating technologies and processes. Things have been a little hiccupy in recent months (sorry about that!), so a little time to iron out the wrinkles seems like an excellent idea.

I’ll be back on the air in July. Lucky you, dear readers and subscribers, you won’t have any interruption in your curiosity listening pleasure. You can still find me here and on my various podcast platforms, uninterrupted. All the episodes released in this WERA hiatus will eventually make it on air as well.

Going into Year Seven, I’m going to work on the website and that infernal social media presence, prepare a course for Encore Learning, “What Kind of Curious Are You?” and tee up a bunch of great new episodes. If you’ve got a curiosity angle you think I should explore, I hope you’ll let me know!

In the meantime, I invite you to try out some of my favorite Curiosity Practices collected from my wonderful guests. Do you have a Curiosity Practice you think we should all know about? Let me know!

5-5-5 Yoga instructor Jenn Seiff introduced me to this easy check-in that she uses with her son. Quick: what are the first five things you see? First five things you hear? First five things you feel? A lovely centering practice that brings the world into focus and perspective.

What are all the ways we could….? I think of choosing to be curious as acting on the belief that there is opportunity in the unknown. Karen Ward, Beth Flores and Andrew Minigan, in particular and in very different ways, helped generate lists of these “opening” questions that expand our thinking and invite curiosity in.

Architecting Curiosity – an intentional, design-driven process for baking more curiosity into your life, kindness of Pim Schachtschabel, Monica Canfield-Lenfest and Anthony Rocco. They’ve developed six elegant principles that I return to over and over:

OBSERVING – using all our senses to notice what’s around in the moment

SUSPENDING – temporarily being open to the possibility of something new

APPRENTICING – using our beginner’s eyes, mind and heart to learn by doing

RITUALIZING – exploring a sequence of activities with real intention

GRACING – acting with beauty, love, humor and ease

FLOWING – moving smoothly and continuously from moment to moment

Wait…what? Attributable to innumerable teens everywhere, but made memorable by Jim Ryan, then dean of the Harvard Ed School, in his commencement address and captured in his excellent book. Suitable for double-takes and other moments when you want to call your own attention to something you might otherwise slide by. Great discussion of this in my conversation with Dr. Nicole Rochester as we revisited curiosity, race and healthcare recently.

…And, if you’re in the neighborhood, try out one of my Curiosity Walks in Arlington, VA or Rehoboth Beach, DE. Or take some inspiration from my gallery and make up a walk of your own.

You know, #choosetobecurious. 🙂

WORK IN PROGRESS: I told you I was trying to make more sense of social media…

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