Relationship Diversity Podcast

Harnessing the Power of Curiosity to Reshape and Reimagine Our Relationships

November 30, 2023 Carrie Jeroslow Episode 76
Relationship Diversity Podcast
Harnessing the Power of Curiosity to Reshape and Reimagine Our Relationships
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Episode 076:
Harnessing the Power of Curiosity to Reshape and Reimagine Our Relationships


This episode is a deep dive into the realm of curiosity and its magnificent potential in reshaping our relationships. Begin by understanding the importance of curiosity in both non-monogamous and monogamous relationships, and how it can lead to more fulfilling connections. Then, cultivate your curiosity as you learn to apply a growth mindset, diversify your media consumption, and embrace a plethora of perspectives to live a life that's truly your own. 

Remember, change is a door that can only be opened from the inside. Let's step into the unexplored, question the unquestioned and, together, reimagine the potential of our relationships. Because at the end of the day, it's our curiosity that defines our humanity.

Join me to be a part of this new paradigm of conscious, intentional and diverse relationships. 

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Please note: I am not a doctor, psychiatrist, psychologist, therapist, counselor, or social worker. I am not attempting to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any physical, mental, or emotional issue, disease, or condition. The information provided in or through my podcast is not intended to be a substitute for the professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment provided by your own Medical Provider or Mental Health Provider. Always seek the advice of your own Medical Provider and/or Mental Health Provider regarding any questions or concerns you have about your specific circumstance.

Carrie Jeroslow:

When we stop being curious, we stop living inspired lives. Our lives become rote, automatic and we just go through the motions as the hours, days, weeks, months, seasons and years pass us by. Curiosity empowers you to break out of what you've known and venture to a road less traveled. Welcome to the Relationship Diversity Podcast, where we celebrate, question and explore all aspects of relationship structure diversity, from solaramary to monogamy to polyamory and everything in between, because every relationship is as unique as you are. We'll bust through societal programming to break open and dissect everything we thought we knew about relationships, to ask the challenging but transformational questions who am I and what do I really want in my relationships? I'm your C. rri . . Bestselling author, speaker, intuitive and coach. Join me as we reimagine all that our most intimate relationships can become. When my son was about two years old, he learned the word why. I don't think we could say more than two sentences without him asking why. At first, this was very endearing. Watching his imagination ignite was inspiring. He saw the world with his young eyes and wanted to understand every single part of what he was experiencing. But after several months of hearing why over and over again, my frustration started growing, mainly because it demanded more from me, an already exhausted mom with a very, very curious spirited toddler. So many times I wanted to answer his inquiry with the words, just because. But more times than not, I answered his one-word question with as much appropriate honesty and truth as I could. I really admired the curiosity that emanated from his every pore. I think so many of us are born curious, wondering about the world we see with our young, fresh perspective. Everything is interesting, different, new and many times adults answer with just because, for a variety of reasons, exhausted, overwhelmed, struggling, distracted, unsupported, self-occupied. These are just a few reasons why mostly very well-meaning caregivers answer just because Because at that moment that's all they can handle. However well-intended these overwhelmed parents may be, many children interpret the words just because to mean that they shouldn't have asked the question at all, and it lands in their subconscious as asking why makes mommy mad or it frustrates daddy, or I get in trouble for asking why, or something like that. And so children stop asking and grow up to be adults who never question why things are the way they are, which can make looking at anything other than the normalized traditional love story really scary. You know that story Boy meets girl boy and girl, fall in love, get married, have kids, retire and die. And this is what we're gonna talk about in today's episode. It's all about curiosity. What happens when we stop being curious, why curiosity is so important, and then tips to begin your own curiosity practice, something that is so ripe and ready to begin being at the end of 2023 and going into a new year. In my opinion, when we stop being curious, we stop living inspired lives. Our lives become rote, automatic, and we just go through the motions as the hours, days, weeks, months, seasons and years pass us by. And it doesn't stop there.

Carrie Jeroslow:

Without curiosity, we could experience the repression of our authentic desires. By conforming blindly to societal norms, we risk sacrificing our true self and settling for relationships that don't align with our genuine needs and desires. Without curiosity, we may limit our understanding of all that our relationships could become. This lack of awareness can breed judgment, prejudice and a reluctance to accept or appreciate the expansiveness of diverse relationship models. It could confine us to a narrow view of what relationships should be, hindering personal and societal progress. Societal norms can be restrictive, promoting a one size fits all approach to relationships. Without curiosity, we might resist change and growth, leading to stagnant relationships. This resistance hinders the evolution of both the individual and the relationship, potentially resulting into satisfaction and unfulfillment. It may lead us to stay in relationships that we're unhappy with, just because Our current relationships may even become healthier if we just made a few little tweaks to our structure, allowing us to be more fully our true selves while our partners do the same. But without curiosity, we may not be open to exploring what those simple yet transformational tweaks could be.

Carrie Jeroslow:

Without curiosity, we may default to what we've been told is the way to be in relationship. I call this default relationships or default living, and the opposite of this would be intentional living. So meaning that we're moving away from this is what I do, just because it's what I've seen and what I've been told and what's expected of me to actually moving to intentional living, choosing this kind of relationship, kind of life, because it is the truest expression of who I am. Curiosity is essential for moving from default living to intentional living, and it's why I end every podcast with the words stay curious. I myself have always pretty much been a very curious person. My mom tells stories about me being curious as a little girl. But when my curiosity became more intentional, more asking questions, really wanting to understand. In a very intentional way, it opened up so much of my life.

Carrie Jeroslow:

I found that that curiosity really guided me through uncharted territories in my career and in my relationships, and especially when navigating this nuanced landscape of non-traditional relationships. It played a pivotal role in understanding, embracing and designing these unconventional relationship structures. So, whether you're exploring polyamory, open relationships or even crafting your unique version of monogamy, curiosity is the secret ingredient to finding your way to your most fulfilling, authentic, intimate relationships. Here are some other reasons why I think curiosity is so important, and I'm going to break it in two categories. The first is anything other than monogamy and the second will be monogamy. So, for relationships that are anything other than mononormative relationships including soloamory, polyamory, living apart together, platonic life partners and so many other different, incredibly beautiful, diverse ways of being in relationships Curiosity empowers you to break out of what you've known and venture to a road less traveled.

Carrie Jeroslow:

Curiosity is the driving force behind personal and relational growth. A desire to understand yourself on a deeper level makes relationships a journey, not a destination. This desire also helps that journey become more expansive as it unearths more and more all the time that is ripe and ready to be explored within you and your relationship. In non-traditional relationships, where self discovery is often a central theme, being curious about your partner's experiences, emotions and evolving needs can lead to mutual growth. It enables a continuous dialogue that allows all partners to learn, adapt and flourish together. Curiosity propels individuals to embrace change and evolution, both personally and within the relationships. It encourages partners to explore new aspects of their identities, relationships and sexuality, fostering an environment where growth is not only accepted, but it is celebrated.

Carrie Jeroslow:

Non-traditional relationships often defy societal norms, challenging preconceived notions about love and commitment. Curiosity gives you the space to question these norms, fostering a deeper understanding of their own desires and values. By asking why certain structures are considered standard, you open yourself up to alternative possibilities that may better align with your authentic self. Curiosity is the cornerstone of effective communication and transparency. Specifically in non-monogamous relationships, it's so helpful for partners to be curious about each other's feelings, experiences and expectations. This curiosity fosters open dialogue, allowing individuals to express their needs and concerns, ultimately strengthening the foundation of trust within the relationships. Curiosity can also deepen the emotional connection between you and your partner or partners by encouraging you to actively engage in each other's experience when exploring non-monogamy, being curious about your partner's feelings towards other relationships or understanding how these dynamics contribute to their personal growth, strengthens your emotional bond.

Carrie Jeroslow:

Non-monogamous relationships come in so many different beautiful forms. The curiosity allows partners to adapt to the specific dynamics of their chosen structure and how it shows up for them. It involves asking questions about the expectations, commitments and roles within the relationship, ensuring that both individuals, or all individuals, are on the same page and comfortable with the chosen structure. Now here are some reasons why curiosity in monogamous or long-term relationships is super important. If monogamy feels most in alignment with who you are, curiosity is essential in designing a relationship structure of monogamy that really truly resonates with you. Instead of adhering to societal expectations of what monogamy should look like, be curious about what monogamy means to you and your partner. This can involve exploring shared values, defining unique boundaries and continually assessing and adapting your dynamic.

Carrie Jeroslow:

Curiosity is the anecdote to relationship stagnation. In any long-term commitment, it's natural for individuals and dynamics to evolve. By remaining curious about each other's changing needs, desires and visions, couples can avoid the pitfalls of complacency and prevent their connection from becoming stagnant. Curiosity deepens emotional intimacy in monogamous relationships by encouraging partners to explore each other's inner worlds. By asking open-ended questions and actively listening, couples can develop a profound understanding of each other's thoughts and feelings. This, in turn, strengthens the emotional bond and cultivates a sense of connection that transcends any predefined relationship structure. This takes constant attention and intention throughout the years and decades couples are together.

Carrie Jeroslow:

Okay, so now I've talked about many reasons why curiosity is so important. Now I wanted to give you some ideas of how to cultivate your very own curiosity practice. It's so much simpler than you think. As we finish 2023 and set our sights on 2024, what would this time next year look like if you invested in a practice of picking one small thing to be curious about each and every day? It could be as simple as what would it be like to brush my teeth using my other hand? What would it be like to close my eyes and take a breath before starting my car? What would it be like to take 30 seconds and look outside my window at something I've never really looked at before? It doesn't have to be complicated and, in fact, simplicity and presence will keep the practice going for you. Here are some other thoughts to inspire you.

Carrie Jeroslow:

Okay, I'm gonna start with mindset. Doesn't it always start here? Cultivate a mindset that sees challenges as opportunities for learning and growth. Adopting a growth mindset encourages curiosity by viewing failures and I'm putting failures in air quotes because it's all in how you look at it as valuable experiences rather than insurmountable obstacles. So failures become opportunities. That's what curiosity will give you. Asking yourself why is this here for me today Can move yourself from frustration into curiosity. And that leads me into my next suggestion, which is to begin to train yourself to ask open-minded questions that encourage exploration and deeper conversations. So, instead of settling for yes, no answers, inquire about the how, why and what if. This habit not only stimulates curiosity but also enhances your understanding of the world and the people around you.

Carrie Jeroslow:

Another way to stimulate your curiosity is to diversify your media consumption by expanding your sources of information and entertainment. Read books, articles or watch documentaries on subjects you know little about. Engage with content that challenges your existing beliefs and introduces you to new perspectives. Try stepping out of your comfort zone and exploring activities that you've never done before, whether it's learning a musical instrument, taking up a sport or trying a new form of art. Engaging in new hobbies provides fresh opportunities for discovery and curiosity.

Carrie Jeroslow:

Practice mindfulness to stay present in the moment. Cultivating mindfulness allows you to fully engage with your surroundings, noticing details you might have otherwise overlooked. Being present enhances your ability to appreciate and be curious about the world around you. Surround yourself with people from different backgrounds, cultures and experiences. Engaging with individuals who have varied perspectives broadens your understanding of the world and fosters curiosity about different ways of life. Try embracing change and viewing it as an opportunity for growth. By being open to new experiences and adapting to different situations, you'll naturally foster a sense of curiosity about what each change may bring to your life. Actively question your own assumptions and beliefs, consider why you hold a certain opinions and be willing to explore alternative viewpoints. This self-reflection not only enhances curiosity, but also promotes intellectual flexibility and empathy with and for other people's choices.

Carrie Jeroslow:

Cultivate a habit of continuous learning. Take online courses, attend workshops or enroll in classes that pique your interest. Learning new things not only stimulates curiosity, but also keeps your mind active and engaged. Cultivate Gratitude by regularly reflecting on the positive aspects of your life. Gratitude opens your mind to appreciation and curiosity about the world, fostering a positive outlook that encourages exploration and discovery and, if possible, travel to new places and immerse yourself in different cultures. Experiencing diverse environments and meeting people from various backgrounds naturally sparks curiosity and broadens your understanding of the world.

Carrie Jeroslow:

If this is impossible for you in this exact moment, then be creative. Create a wish list of places you want to travel to Choose one place and learn everything you can about its history, culture and people. I love creating vision boards with images that I can look at to continually get inspired. And this leads me to my last suggestion, which is super simple but not always easy, and that is, instead of saying no to something and ending the conversations with the words it is impossible, or it is impossible for me, or there's no way that could happen, shift your inner dialogue to ask how, how is this possible? How can it be possible? And then open yourself up to what might come your way.

Carrie Jeroslow:

Staying in this question of how can completely shift your emotional and mental state. Try this exercise Think of something that you have shut off in your life as never being possible. You can pause the podcast right here to take your time and think of that one thing that you have determined, because of one reason or another, that it just isn't possible for you. How does that thought feel in your body, mind? How does it really feel? And now shift it to the question how can that be possible for me how can that be possible for me? And see if you feel a shift in your body and mind. When I do this, I'm really able to go into it and really, for a moment, suspend the no, this is impossible to me. And sit in the question of how could this be possible for me? I feel my entire being expand and lighten, and then the trick from this point on is to be okay with sitting in the unknown, truly opening yourself up to inspiration that will most likely come in a way you weren't expecting, and once you work with this on a regular basis and you shift it for a while, it becomes more natural and then life becomes an exciting exploration of all that is truly possible for you.

Carrie Jeroslow:

In my opinion, curiosity is the driving force that propels individuals beyond the constraints of what society has deemed makes a life good, makes a relationship good. It can be the very thing that gives you the freedom to design your most authentic relationship. Whether you're venturing into the unfamiliar territory of non-traditional relationships or crafting your unique version of monogamy, curiosity is the key to unlocking the full potential of your connections. Embrace the unknown, ask the tough questions and allow curiosity to be the catalyst for a relationship that is the truest expression of your beautiful, unique self. Until next time, remember to stay curious.

Carrie Jeroslow:

Thanks so much for listening to the Relationship Diversity podcast. Want to learn more about Relationship Diversity? I've got a free guide I'd love to send you. Go to wwwrelationshipdiversitypodcastcom to get your sent right to you. If you liked what you heard, please subscribe to the podcast. You being here and participating in the conversation about Relationship Diversity is what helps us create a space of inclusivity and acceptance together. The more comfortable and normal it is to acknowledge the vast and varied relating we all do, the faster we'll shift to a paradigm of conscious, intentional and diverse relationships. New episodes are released every Thursday. Stay connected with me through my website, carriejeroslowdotcom, instagram or TikTok. Stay curious. Every relationship is as unique as you are.

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