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A Field of Daffodils Bobbing Their Heads in the Sunshine

and a transformational tool that conceives of every human being as a system of protective & wounded inner parts led by a core Self

By Marie WilsonPublished 3 months ago Updated 3 months ago 5 min read
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A Field of Daffodils Bobbing Their Heads in the Sunshine
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Curiosity is about having a sense of wonder. It's about going wide-eyed into the world, the one outside and the one within.

I came across an article recently about Dervla Murphy, who cycled from Ireland to India in 1963, then wrote a book about it. Maria Popova in the Marginalian writes of Murphy:

“...always, she meets the unknown not with judgment but with curiosity — that hallmark of true grandeur of spirit."

Not with judgment but with curiosity.

Go forth with beginners' eyes to the wonder of it all and you may soon feel a sense of calm come over your thought-fevered brain, like a soft blanket landing on a restless child, bringing soothing security.

By Andrew Neel on Unsplash

Curiosity is one of the 8 Cs that are part of the Internal Family Systems, a an evidence-based psychotherapy devised by Dr. Richard Schwartz (who wrote No Bad Parts). Here are all 8: confidence, calm, compassion, courage, creativity, clarity, curiosity, connectedness.

My therapist introduced me to IFS as a tool to explore and manage my anxiety. Doing the recommended work has allowed me to move into life with more confidence. Some of that work involves answering one question about all 8 Cs: "What does it mean to me?"

Following are my thoughts on the remaining 7 Cs. You'll want to find your own answers but perhaps mine can serve as a springboard for you. Your deep dive into the Cs might help you get out of the mire that is depression or the jittery netherworld of anxiety. If you contact your feelings as well as your thoughts, your answers may be life-changing for you.

Calm: The absence of alarming thoughts, negative thoughts based on the past and projected onto the future. It's a quieting of those and all thoughts so one can see and feel the what is, in the here and now. Thoughts are not facts. And you are not your thoughts. Remember that.

Confidence: It's feeling at home in my bones. It's happiness and relief and lightheartedness - or at the very least, it's being in control or not being rattled when you can't have control. It's being able to meet distress without being stressed out but with a feeling of "I can handle this; it's just a part of being alive."

Compassion: Loving. Care. Kindness. Lovingkindness. Feeling calm enough to love and care about people, even difficult people who are hurting and maybe lashing out. Showing people (and all creatures) compassion can transform them. And it will definitely transform you. Lao Tzu said: "Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation."

By Matt Collamer on Unsplash

Breathe: I know - it begins with B. But it will help you with all the Cs and other letters and words too. And it will help you when there are no words. So go ahead, take a big one - in and out.

Creativity: It means everything to me! It’s the air I breathe and the food I eat. It's the movies I watch and the words I write. I love to deliberately create works (written, drawn, sung, danced) but also to bring creativity to my life in the everyday choices I make: the activities I do and how I do them, where I go and how I get there, what I wear and who I meet. It makes me feel alive. It’s fun and full of joy and I forget stressful things when I’m creating.

Clarity: Before me is a beautiful frosty window. I breathe on the glass and my hot breath melts the shimmery-white patterns so that I can see out into the world. Okay, that's a scene from Doctor Zhivago, one of my favourite movies. But it's a pretty good metaphor for clarity in life. Eventually, the winter scene outside Zhivago's window becomes a field of daffodils bobbing their heads in the spring sunshine. That's movie magic known as time lapse but you can create the same kind of magic on your own personal screen in your head - or on actual canvas with paint! (We're veering into creativity now but all the Cs, as you'll see, veer & converge).

Clarity means that life's events make some kind of sense: I understand them, not necessarily in an intellectual way, but in a gut way and eventually in a calm brain way. Clarity also involves knowing what I’m cut out to do and why (my motivation) and understanding my place in the world (in a creative, flexible way).

By Josh Calabrese on Unsplash

Courage: It means an absence of or a lessening of fear, especially fears based on fictions - negative projections of my own making. It means knowing I can face any potentially stressful situation and not feel scared or like I can’t handle it. Or like I’ve just entered the Twilight Zone. It's that feeling that no matter how stressful or charged a situation gets, it is not “other” - not some other zone, nightmarish twilight or otherwise, not some other planet, but life on earth. Courage makes me curious and vice versa.

Connectedness: This is feeling for other people. And for all animals. It's empathy. Being connected means being curious about others and that means putting judgments on the back burner (and turning it off). It means holding someone’s heart and treasuring it; it means they do the same for you. It would also mean treasuring those who may have fallen short or fallen down. It means understanding the struggle they go through - and that understanding loops back to compassion. In fact, all the Cs loop back to one another, weaving in and out to form a beautiful tapestry or that lovely frosty pattern on Zhivago's window, the one that may reveal an ocean of brilliant yellow dancing in golden light.

EM Forster said: "Only connect!"

Video above is a few minutes of Dr. Schwartz speaking about IFS.

Here's a good place to find a therapist: Scattergram Counselling

Thanks for reading! You're welcome to leave a comment or a tip or you can subscribe to get more of my stories & articles hot off the press.

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About the Creator

Marie Wilson

Harper Collins published my novel "The Gorgeous Girls". My feature film screenplay "Sideshow Bandit" has won several awards at film festivals. I have a new feature film screenplay called "A Girl Like I" and it's looking for a producer.

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Comments (3)

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  • Rachel Deeming2 months ago

    I loved this, Marie and agree with approaching life in this way. Dervla Murphy sounds pretty cool. She has written loads too so I'm going to have to check her out after Plath, I think. She reminds me of Isabella Bird, a female adventurer in the 1800s who travelled around on her own on different continents which makes me gasp just thinking of it! What a human! Can you imagine?

  • This is a neat perspective! I find it interesting how Flow States are very Interconnected with these - and how much Interconnectedness there is between so much of life.

  • Aaron Schwartz3 months ago

    Thoughtful, clear and inspiring. Brilliant really.

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