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resistance & curiosity

I picked a card from The Hidden Artist Quest Cards* deck last Sunday.  You would think that using a deck of my own passionate creation would lead to joy and flow and open engagement.  But hmmmm, as it turns out, that’s not always going to be the case.


I chose randomly from the deck, looking for a word of inspiration for the day and out popped the word “explore.”  To my surprise, I immediately felt resistance. A subtle whisper washed over me: “couldn’t you have picked a better word?” — resistance.  I looked at the inquiry which said, “where do you want to go?” and the invitation to, “explore a museum you have never been to” and there it was, just internal push back, more resistance. 


Resistance to what? I didn’t have time to sit with it further; it was just supposed to be a lighthearted card pull to walk out the door to yoga class with.  I had to go. So off I went with the whisper of resistance nagging at me into the car and onto the mat.


“EXPLORE” — the word exploded in my mind during shavasana.  Clearly it was not going to let me off the hook.  Before I left for yoga, I wrote in my journal that I would write today, and there I was on the mat and resistance was literally melting away with the help of a breath and a movement and that allowed curiosity to surface which created some space from the resistance.  And right there on the mat, words (for this post) started to fill those spaces.


As I lay there, I realized that during the class I let go of the word and the letting go allowed me to open and explore with a small “e”.  I noticed the resistance I was feeling was my interpretation of the demand for action – even though it said “explore,” I read “EXPLORE!”  And I didn’t want to GO EXPLORE;  I want to slow down, go less, do less.  I have literally been putting ideas, to dos and things to EXPLORE, in an actual box with a lid (a Hidden Artist Quest Cards box actually)!


I realized then that the word I picked was simply asking me to explore with a small "e," to get curious with what is happening inside. So, when I got home I picked up the pen and began to write. Now inspired and intrigued by the word, I looked up its meaning.  Lo and behold it’s not first and foremost to GO EXPLORE.  I read: “explore: to think about, to talk about or to study something or to experience it in order to find out more about it.”


You can explore a possibility, your options, a place far away or the room you are in.  You can explore a card pull, the leaf on a tree, the sunrise, the dark or the light.  The words of your favorite song can take you on a great adventure, right where you are.  Some of the most powerful explorations happen right where we are.  All you have to do is lean into curiosity to release resistance and exploration happens!


While I was writing this reflection, I received a note from a dear friend of mine who is an early recipient of the The Hidden Artist Quest Cards deck.  Sitting in a coffee shop with the cards, during a very difficult personal time in her life that is causing resistance, she sent me this note: “You have no idea how they impacted me today.  I have been feeling so restricted…Through tears, they have inspired me so much.”


Here's what I learned as I explored that day, The Hidden Artist Quest Cards are an awesome tool to guide exploration in both the big "E" and little "e" ways. They encourage you to look inside, play with an idea or concept, ask a question, and to get out into the world and into action when you are ready! 


What are you resisting?  Get curious, let it go, come back to it, look at it in different ways, pull a card, ask a new question, maybe go out and do something. Notice what happens to resistance when you do and then make a conscious choice to explore or EXPLORE. Both will offer you growth and transformation. 



*The first box of 36 decks has arrived.  The rest are on their way, and you can click here to pre-order yours and be among the first to receive your deck! Keep your eyes on my workshops & events page for both introductory and in-depth workshops about and using the Hidden Artist Quest Cards.

photo by Lynne Harris Bernstein



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