Courage to be Curious with Adina Tovell

Something New is Brewing...

December 15, 2021 Adina Tovell and Amy Steindler Episode 171
Courage to be Curious with Adina Tovell
Something New is Brewing...
Show Notes Transcript

Something new is brewing at Courage to be Curious! A new endeavor. A new opportunity. A new way of serving. A new way of cultivating curiosity. A new way of experiencing you. Tune in to learn more.

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This is actually a podcast where Amy is going to interview me, I am going to be the guest on my own podcast today, because there's something I want to share and introduce you to. And this is an exciting new venture of courage to be curious. It's an exciting new opportunity we're creating and I so want you to be able to understand what it is, what my intention is behind it, and how I believe it creates more goodness in the world. So I am going to shift from being the host to being the guest and let Amy take us through a journey of exploring what this might be. Hopefully I have piqued your curiosity. Hi, this is Adina here with today's episode of Courage to be Curious, with Adina Tovell, and we have Amy Steindler in the house as well. You've become very familiar with her name, and very excited to have her with me today on today's podcast. Hi, Amy.

Hi, it's always exciting to be with you. Because we never know what's going to be revealed.

Exactly. We're just terribly curious, and we'll see where it leads us. This episode today is actually a little bit different than most podcast episodes, where I might be interviewing a guest for their expertise on something or delving into a topic for leadership or for life and relationships specifically, but this is actually a podcast where Amy is going to interview me, I am going to be the guest on my own podcast today. Because there's something I want to share and introduce you to. And this is an exciting new venture of courage to be curious. It's an exciting new opportunity we're creating and I so want you to be able to understand what it is what my intention is behind it, and how I believe it creates more goodness in the world. So I am going to shift from being the host to being the guest. And let Amy take us through a journey of exploring what this might be. Hopefully I have piqued your curiosity.

Well, thanks, Adina. I'm so excited. I want to be like large and in charge here like this is now my podcast. And I want to talk to you about the curiosity crusaders global community that you're creating. And I have full disclosure participated in so far one of these in your pilot, and I find it fascinating. So I really want to know more about it. Can you just say what this is? What is the curiosity crusaders global community?

Absolutely. And thank you for giving us such a great introduction. Yes, the big reveal, we want to share about the curiosity, crusaders global community. And what this community are, what curiosity crusaders really is, is it is a global community of practice, you may have heard and other podcasts and other things may talk a little bit about this notion of community of practice. But Community of Practice is really important to me, because to me, it's how we sustain growing over time, it's people coming together with a commitment to self reflective practice, because it helps them to stay in deeper connection to themselves, because it helps them to show up as who they want to be in the world. And it helps them make mindful choices and decisions about how they invest their time and resources, who they surround themselves with, and how they engage in the world around them. So curiosity crusaders is a global community of practice, want bringing together people who are committed to seeking the brilliance that's inside them, so they can bring it back out into the world. And we're going to talk a little bit more about how it works. But I always like, I'd like to say that it's like going to the gym for your mental and spiritual well being.

I love that, right. And sometimes we need to make that commitment to the gym. Because otherwise, you know, we're not going to do it on our own unless we really say I'm signing up for this thing. So how long have you been thinking about this? And how did it come about?

So it's interesting, I like to say that most things unfold and evolve over time. And so I would say how long has this been in my sphere and it's, you know, in this really defined version is fairly recent of maybe a few months, but I feel like it's been brewing and getting to this place for a long time. And I think it all started when I actually created the courage to be curious logo. And I was Sitting down with my graphic designer who I had given a pretty hefty charge to take a name like courage to be curious and come up with a logo that doesn't have a trait little representation like a looking glass or somebody with their eyes, you know, looking up or something like that. And there was one moment in that conversation when I said to him, here's what the essence of courage to be curious is, to me. It's seeking the brilliance within understanding that each person who walks this earth is filled with a unique personal brilliance that is just there's yet we grow up Amy, in a world where we're conditioned to try to fit into a bell shaped curve or into a norm, or we're told, here's what's supposed to be how you're supposed to be how you're supposed to talk, how you're supposed to dress, what you're supposed to think how easily you're supposed to do this, a million things. And there was something and I said to him, here's my vision, I have this massive vision that I see of a huge jigsaw puzzle in the world. And every single human is a piece of that puzzle. And if we would all be totally committed to being our unique, brilliant selves, the puzzle would come together in such a magnificent way to create good. And so that I feel is like where it all began. And then just to pull it to the present moment. So I started coaching, and I started working with companies really everything committed to helping people find the brilliance within. And what I noticed in the work I was doing is that, in addition to whatever practical things might have been coming out of our coaching sessions, what really was most profound for people was how differently they felt, they come in feeling stressed, or overwhelmed, or stuck or frustrated with something, and they leave feeling connected to themselves and power capable. And then suddenly, things would fall into place for them. And so this notion of creating a space, because life is going to continue to bat us around every single day and, you know, throw us in a pit and make us feel badly about ourselves and throw us off track that a way of helping people come back to feeling completely connected to themselves and reconnecting with that brilliance within. That was how this all mature into this idea.

Yeah, you know, I love this. And I have that same sense that we are all looking for that space, and maybe a little guidance in terms of how we reconnect with that brilliance, because we forget, right? We go out into the world, and we're busy doing things and we forget to take that moment to say, Okay, wait a minute. How does my puzzle piece fit in and light up the other puzzle pieces?


So. So how do you think about the curiosity Crusaders, and this idea of this global community, in terms of the present moment that we find ourselves in, in the world?

Yeah, I mean, one of the things that has happened over the course of this last year for me, in my coaching work even has been, I've noticed a real shift that a lot of young people, you know, 20s, and 30s, and even high schoolers, who have been coming to me, because the stress of the pandemic that we're in, of changing how we are in the world, we're not as social, we're not out there, our political experience has been so volatile. And I think what it's accentuated is how challenging it is to stay grounded, to stay hopeful, to stay on course, with who we are and who we want to how we want to be in the world. Because the amount of input and then quality of the input that's coming in from the outside right now is so can be so disturbing. And so it seems to me and I hear from especially my younger clients a lot, that I need to be able to stop all of that I need to be able to separate from it because it literally drives my anxiety. It drives my you know, feeling so badly because I'm in a comparative place. And so I think that part of what's happening in our times is that with social media with political unrest, with the pandemic, throwing us all off course, we need this is the perfect time for introducing more tools and simple tools for helping us to continually circle back to relocating ourselves read grounding, and bringing ourselves into a place of kind of mental calmness.

So who do you see benefiting most from this money, who should find out for this? Who's it for?

Who's it for? So really this community, my intention and hope is that it will reach people broadly. And in the pilot, Amy, there have been people ranging in age from their 20s, to their 80s. And we've seen everybody in there experiencing something pretty profound, because this whole experience of returning back to yourself is something that we need. What I will say is that, I believe that this community is really perfectly suited for people who have made the shift from kind of an autopilot life into starting to have a glimpse that, oh, there's choice making here, right there on a somewhat of a personal development path. And they've recognized that they don't just have to keep following the autopilot of whatever they've been doing. And however they've been doing. But with mindful practice, and with taking time for reflection, there is an opportunity to create a different life experience. So to put it in simple terms, I know a colleague, and I say, you know, is this for people trying to help them sort of see and the kind of beginner 101 of personal development? And I say, No, it's kind of more like the 201 on up. So when people have already started to engage on this path, because I think that's who is ready to access what this community brings.

You know, it sounds to me that underneath this there is a foundation of spirituality on heart. Can you say more about how you see the the development of spirit or spirituality in this? And I'm maybe I'm just asking that for myself, because, you know, there are enough intellectual exercises out there for everybody to engage in. But what's different in terms of the heart and spirit of curiosity Crusaders,

you know, is really interesting. I was listening to something and a podcast the other day, and the person was saying that when we ask questions, our inner being always knows the answer. We only need to listen. Like our inner being knows the answer to whatever it is we need, we only need to be able to listen. And so the spiritual part of this and I think you're absolutely right, Amy, there is definitely a spiritual and heart piece of this because, I mean, I grew up in a world I was, I think, a heady like person. And Sir Ken Robinson has a really one of the most widely watched TED talks on education, where he talks about the history of education, where it's pretty much looking at students as though their heads being carried around by their bodies, because all we're doing is nurturing the brain and not anything else, right. And I lived that way. For a long time. It was a constant reliance upon my brain and my thinking, to try and figure everything out. And over time, I really shifted to recognizing there is wisdom that lies all throughout my being, throughout my history of experiences, what's in my heart, what's in the cellular memory in my body, what was kind of given to me through the generations that came before me as I was brought into this world. I think we are such an incredible source of wisdom that we have only just fractionally begun to tap into. And what I have found in this is that when we take time to ask the questions, and instead of as you pointed out, using our head to try to analyze the question to figure out the answer, but we learn how to go inward, we learn how to let our the soul inside of us and know our bodies speak and our experiences speak we get so much more wisdom than we would get just with our analytical minds.

Yeah, I love that. And I think it speaks to the who this is who this is for, you know, it is for the people yes, that that are looking for more personal development. And, you know, some knowledge of what's happening from the neck down, you know, what's happening in my heart, what's happening in my body, what's happening emotionally for me in the world, because and I'm with you, right, I'm one of those, you know, neck up kind of let me intellectualize everything and figure it out so that I can function in the world and be seen as the kind of person I want to be seen as and so there's a bit of a letting go here and an opening up into you know, what am I really curious about because there's got to be more than that, you know, that haven't really satisfied me.

And I think I just want to point out because You were actually pretty instrumental in pointing out to me the contrast for me when I'm in my head, and I'm thinking with my head versus when I'm bringing my whole being and my heart and my spirit to the table. And you once said to me, Amy, I can tell the difference. When you bring your full embodied self, your full spirit, she's something as well as your intellect, there's this shine, you really, really project out there profoundly, and your work is impactful. And then you're able to see when I devolve into just working with my analytical mind, and it loses the vibrance of that brilliance we started out talking about. And I think that's true for most people. But we don't have many tools or resources to help people learn how to bring their entire being to what they do.

Yeah, I love that. I wish I had been that articulate when I talk to you about this. But I mean, that's the that's the truth of it. Right? So if, if if courage to be curious, is all about identifying the brilliance within? You know, it has to incorporate more than just what what our thoughts have been telling us? Right. All of the ways that we intellectualize things. So you know, when, when you talk about who it's for, they're also, you know, you mentioned sort of the diversity, right, so it ages from 20s. To, you know, grandma. And I think that's another piece of it, to put out into the world is that we need to be in community with not just people who are exactly like us, or are, are in the same season of life. And so if you're accomplishing that with the the curiosity, crusaders, I think that's, that's so valuable.

Yeah. And it's so powerful, because as we'll talk in a little bit, one of the things that happens in the course of curiosity Crusader sessions, is that there is some sharing of insights that people have gained or experiences that they're having. And it is amazing, because as you said, if the 20 year old, can be both teacher, and student, and the 80 year old can be both teacher and student, and the person who is leaving a company, and the person who is raising their children are all in this and what links us what unifies us, is that we're all human, right? You know, we create so many structures of divisions out there, what seats somebody sits in, are they in the C suite? Or are they and they entry level, you know, a spot? Or are they at home? Are they in college and things like that, and we start to assume things about what those positions out there mean. And what this brings us back to is that fundamentally, we're actually all just human. And we have the same kinds of fears, and once and desires and ways of growing and challenges that we work through no matter what seat we're sitting in anywhere on the bus of life.

Yeah, absolutely. So I'm curious, I want to talk a little bit about specifics about how the community operates. And what happens in each of these sections. Can you say more about like the specific?

Sure. And just a little disclaimer, I'll put out there to people because as I'm certainly hoping happens, this will evolve and grow over time. And we're still in the pilot phase at the time that we're recording this. But the basic structure of a curiosity Crusader session is set up a little bit like we talked about, like going to the gym where I might go on to my yoga studio app. And I might say, hey, I want to take yoga at 9am. And I want to do this tomorrow at 4:30pm. So curiosity, crusaders sessions are 30 minutes sessions that are scheduled peppered throughout the week, so that people can find a slot. And that fits with their schedule. And the focus for each session is linked to a theme people who have been familiar with courage to be curious know that I like to work with monthly themes, my podcast side of the theme that ties the newsletter that ties to all the things that we do. And so there's a monthly theme. And within that the session involves a exploration and reflective practice around that theme. So just to give an example, we've been talking in the pilot program, our theme has been around contrast, which I chose because we were running the pilot in November and December, where there is so much contrast there's contrast physically outside with darkness and all the lights that are out there, with the expectation that this is a joyous time and many joyous and wonderful things that happen and then often coupled with great sadness, but this notion of contrast, the juxtaposition have things that are different, and what that enables us to see and experience and learn. And so we've taken this topic, but then what happens in each of the sessions is we come on together, there's a very short welcoming of everybody, a centering so that we can all leave behind whatever has been happening before we arrived in the session. And we can just fully become present, introducing what we're really here to do, which is to pause, reflect, and connect in work. And then I introduce the topic and the query for the day, what is the specific aspect, for example, in our pilot month of contrast that we're going to focus on, and perhaps do a little bit of teaching around that or a little bit of dialoguing in a sharing around that so that people can start to move themselves in the direction of what we're going to explore. And then the meat of it the center, which is really like it's crazy, it's about 12 minutes, right. And what's in the center of this is some sort of reflective practice. Sometimes that reflective practice is a writing reflective practice. And there might be eight or 10 minutes to actually journal about something. Sometimes it's a guided meditation. Sometimes it's an exercise almost like a coaching exercise that helps us delve into it. Sometimes it's a process called question storming. Where we're actually thinking about what are all the kinds of different questions that we could choose to pursue around this that might bring us clarity. Sometimes, we're doing breakouts where people can talk to each other in a very structured way about the topic. So I tried to engage a number of different strategies for that middle 12 minutes, where people can engage in all different kinds of reflective practices. And it's not only it's partly for the purpose of diversifying what people are doing each time. So the beginning and end of the sessions are the same. But what happens in the middle very, so there's some diversity, and it keeps it interesting and engaging. And it's also though, because it introduces different tools, right, it helps people gain practice where Community of Practice, practice journaling around a topic, practice doing one of these exercises that we do. So I want it to be a community where we actually practice using tools that we can then take out into the rest of our lives together. After we've done this, we then think about it, we share some insights and the sharing happens through chat, because the community is going to get pretty large. And so we will share some insights. And it's so beautiful, like it's such an incredible gift when people share out in the chat. Because I've seen this happen, where somebody shares something, and another person is like, oh my gosh, that is a total insight for me that just activated something that's so important. And that's the beauty of being in the community together. And then we conclude with my sort of inviting the community to see what are you taking from today's session that you want to bring out into your day into your week, so you can carry the goodness with you. And then we close with the reading of the curiosity manifesto, which is something that we've created here at courage to be curious.

Which is spectacular, by the way. Thank you just heard it. I heard it all the way through for the first time spoken by you yesterday. And it really is. It's really powerful. So you do the follow on 30 minutes

to it all in 30 minutes, Amy, it's amazing, right? That in 30 minutes, you can separate from the world, you can go deeply inside, gain some golden nuggets you can take into the world, and feel really centered and grounded, like 30 minutes.

Yeah, you think well, you know, a lot of times we have this notion, this assumption that you know, real change and shift takes a long time. But that's not true. The No, I think what you can

I think what's more true is small, small things have that take place regularly, over time, create much more lasting and impactful change than as doing the big thing. Like we can go off to a big retreat and I do I love to go to retreats. I love to go to my ashram or you know the things that I do. But those don't help me make sustainable, meaningful changes in my daily life when I return. And so regular practice over time is how we actually do this how we make shifts in our daily life here now that we can sustain over time.

Yeah, keyword, keyword practice. Yeah, I get that. I think that's I think that's so needed. So needed. So um, what are you taking away so far from the pilot, you know, what are the what are your two or three biggest takeaways so far?

Yeah, I mean, we're still fairly early on in there. But a couple of things that have been really powerful for me, is, as I mentioned, A moment ago, the sharing between people, because, you know, one of the questions I get is, will the sessions be recorded, because this is actually going to be a membership program where people will be able to sign up, be a member and, you know, for just like you do to the gym, and then you go and you take advantage of whatever you want over the course of the month. And we have decided we will record the sessions and make them available within a month segments so that you can engage in them if you can't be part of the community. But what I seen happen in the community is shifting from feeling alone, to feeling surrounded, and held in a community of like minded people. And that's really powerful, because I think, particularly as we're in this pandemic, people are working more from home remotely, I know that the just the sheer number of people I see in a day or week has so you know, reduced in size, that to be able to be connected to people who I feel like care about things in the ways that I care about them that are engaged in practice, like that is just profound. And I seen that experience come up. And I think the other thing that I've learned in a structural way is, I've been excited to see that yes, as we just talked about in 30 minutes, you can accomplish something pretty profound, I was a little worried about my own capability to actually keep it within 30 minutes. We do that we start one minute after the start time and we end like one minute before the end time so that people can really fit this into their daily life, they can count on the fact that it's going to end on time. And if they took 30 minutes during their lunch break or something like that, that they can then move on to whatever else they need to move on to. So the fact that it works, that was a huge thing. And then I think this notion of combining consistency with creativity in terms of the structure. You know, and I think that that's true, when you sign up for things like this, it's important to have a certain amount that's familiar, because we like to come on and make it I think it makes us feel comforted that when we know we can count on certain things being repeated and happening and always being the same, but also how we can insert creativity. And I think that's been the fun part for me is to sort of say, Hmm, how can we get creative with this, like, middle 12 minutes in a way that lead people both supported by the structure but also continuing to grow and expand?

Yeah, I mean, that is so lovely, this this place that you belong, right, this idea that there's a place where you belong to do this kind of work, you know, and that is with these other career curiosity, crusaders who are sort of on that same path of seeking. So, you know, what's the what's the endgame here? What, what are you ultimately hoping will happen as a result of the existence of curiosity Crusaders.

So I mean, I'm going to start with a very big and then come down to a little bit more narrow, but in the very big, the development of this program is really coming from the place that I believe that curiosity really is what is going to help us get back on track as a humanity. Right? That it is I often in my speaking engagements, I'll ask the question, what do people think is the opposite of curiosity. And for me, where I've landed in that place, is that the opposite of curiosity is certainty. I know that this is right. And this is wrong. I know that what you're thinking and doing is good. Or it's bad, that we create these like black and white and binary judgments about things, which shuts down all curiosity and then shuts down relationship shuts down creativity shuts down tolerance, like all of these ills that we experience as humans in relationship with each other, that were we able to all develop a greater commitment to and capacity to be curious to be relationally curious relationship to ourselves and others, that we can have a profound impact in the world. So in the very largest sense. That to me, is the commitment and the vision is how do we help move toward that? And I always think about this 1970 song where they say, I'd like to teach the world to sing in harmony, which I can't do, but you know, is, you know, can I teach the world to be more curious. And so at a very big level, that's, you know, what I want when I move it down, or you know, come a little bit tighter. The other piece is on a personal level. I want people to be so fascinated by who they are. I think sometimes we're so insecure and we're so judgmental of ourselves, and we're so afraid that we're not enough. I mean, it's the biggest plague that plagues us individually is we're not enough for, you know, we're afraid we're going to do it wrong, or we're afraid, you know that we don't belong, or that we're going to be abandoned if we show up or things like that we have so much fear. And if we could shift some of that sheer fear, to the recognition and the experience of how brilliant we actually are, wow, what a profound effect. So I want people to be fascinated with who they are fascinated by their own brilliance, fascinated by what they discover when they do this going within. And, you know, then finally, when we come down is, as I say, in the manifesto, courageous curiosity. For me, it is how I live authentically. It's how I try to lead brilliantly, it's how I love compassionately. It's how I parent really mindfully, because the questions that we ask, always drive the direction of our thinking, and actually create the world that we live in. And if we could learn to ask really beautiful questions. Thank you, Warren Burger for our beautiful question, right? We could learn to ask really beautiful, productive, courageous questions, we would be amazed at the impact that could have in shaping our lives.

And you know, what strikes me as you're saying this is that the practice of asking questions allows us to let go of our fear of uncertainty. Right, the things that we're clinging to that you mentioned earlier, you know, we, we want to be certain it's this or it's that, you know, there's this binary Enos that doesn't actually exist in the world. And so what you're inviting people to do, is to let that go and explore all the different possibilities that the most courageous questions can can reveal.

Yeah, and I think that as we grow this community of practice, my hope is that it expands from within, right, the people who are within this community, feel the changes that occur within themselves, and they keep expanding the community out. And that together, we really help the world to become more relationally curious internally to themselves externally to each other, and about how we show up. So you know, I am really looking for this community to grow itself in service to those ends. And I think it's going to be exciting to see all the other things that are going to evolve from this, structurally, there's going to be sessions that are happening throughout the week, and the membership will allow people to sign up for whatever sessions they want. And then there will be some special programming, there will be some special sessions where people will be able to come just with their questions and pose them out to the community, I can see over time that there would be retreats for the pursuit for the Crusaders, right Crusaders are going to want to meet in person and really take on some of these questions and how to explore and I want to say like exploring can is sometimes it's deep, and it's quiet. And sometimes it's totally playful and silly. And, you know, it can come in so many different shapes and sizes, and I want people to experience curiosity, from all of those vantage points.

Well, Edina, it sounds amazing. And I can tell everyone who's listening from my 130 minute experience that it really was valuable. And thank you for giving us this glimpse into how you've thought about it and created it and what it is, and I want to invite their free one to check it out. Give it a try.

Yes, so if you are curious and feeling very courageous, or even just like well, yep, I'm ready to raise my hand, I want to see what this is about. The pilot will, you know has just ended but we will have some pre launch sessions in January. And so if you go into the show notes, if you're listening on to the on a podcast, go into the show notes. Or if you are getting this by email, part of the courage to community courage to be curious community, you'll have a link there that will take you to a page that enables you to sign up for some of our pre launch sessions in January. And we will go fully live in February, where we open up the community and you will have an opportunity to get a pass where you can try it out, you know, come and see what this is all about. And then, you know really help us to build this community together. So make sure you look for those links. You'll find it in shownotes you'll find it in the email that you have. And if none of those things work for you because you say I have no idea where to find show notes. Just send us an email to info at courage to be curious, calm, and we will get you all set up with everything that you need. So we want to make sure you have access to how you can get passes. And to some of these curiosity Crusader sessions that will happen in January before the full launch in February. So I want to just thank you, Amy for playing host, and helping us it was so fun. Yeah. And helping us I love being the guest.

I love being a great guest, you were such a good guest, I would have you, I would have you back on your podcast.

Great, thank you. So thank you, Amy, for sharing your brilliance here with us, as you have done many times on this podcast. And as you have done today in the host role. And thank you for listening. Thank you for your continued curiosity as if you're a subscriber to this podcast, you already have the curiosity blog. And so I want to thank you for engaging with us. And we are in December, we are going to be finishing out the year with a very powerful tribute podcast. That's going to happen next week. So keep your eyes out for that. And then as I always do at the end of the year, a podcast and kind of a guide for engaging in meaningful reflection on the year that is about to come to an end. So we always offer this out to our community. If you are not on the courage to be curious mailing list where you get those kinds of extra resources, go on to the website courage to be curious comm sign up for the newsletter, go down to that bottom third link and go ahead and do it or sign up for on our podcast page for our email list. And that way you'll get all those additional resources that we provide out to our community. You will also make sure that you aren't on the mailing list for the exciting news releases as they come out about the curiosity crusaders as it launches in 2022. So I hope that you are enjoying the contrast or at least experienced paying attention and being present to the contrast that December provides to you. And thank you for your continued listening and we will be back again next week.

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