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Living Life as a Research Project: Curiosity Breadcrumbs 2

Living Life as a Research Project: Curiosity Breadcrumbs 2

Living Life as a Research Project: Curiosity Breadcrumbs 2

Welcome to issue 2 of Curiosity Breadcrumbs, my monthly exploration of a theme that has activated my curiosity. This month I delve into the idea of living Life as a Research Project, the act of paying close attention, of observing with a sense of presence, being infinitely interested as a matter of course, always looking for patterns, and of course, taking plenty of notes along the way. To receive next issues by email, please subscribe here.

 

“To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.”
― Mary Oliver

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Curiosity breadcrumbs

by Greta Muscat Azzopardi. Writer, connector, curator, curious human – greta-ma.com

Dear *|FNAME|*,

Welcome to issue 2 of Curiosity Breadcrumbs, my monthly exploration of a theme that has activated my curiosity. This month I delve into the idea of living Life as a Research Project, the act of paying close attention, of observing with a sense of presence, being infinitely interested as a matter of course, always looking for patterns, and of course, taking plenty of notes along the way. This issue includes a mind and soul-activating interview with the brilliant Jason Silva, notes about different ways of taking notes, a book that illustrates how collecting ‘small data’ can enrich life and my own exploration of compassion, judgement, sticking with discomfort and exploring curiously, through the act of paying attention.

I hope you find this meaningful.

Please do email me with thoughts, feedback, possible collaborations.

Greta xx

 

Jason Silva On the Spectacle of Existence - Inside Quest

In this video interview, incredibly articulate human and producer of YouTube series Shots of Awe and National Geographic’s Brain Games, Jason Silva talks about how we are being entirely controlled by our brains. “We do not have a direct experience. We see the world as we are. ” He explores cognitive framing, sees the artist as someone who can connect the dots, perceive patterns, and explains how experiences of radical novelty allow us to look at life through a microscope.

If life is a research project, how do you go about taking notes?

Having recently really embraced my love for taking notes and deconstructing books and articles I read into themes I’m exploring, I absolutely loved this deep dive into methods of taking notes by Jeremey DuVall. He illustrates Maria Popova’s method of indexing books, Ryan Holiday’s take on the Commonplace Book, visual note-taking and more technologically connected methods including my own favourite, Evernote.

Love notebooks and inspired to make your own? Here’s a fascinating tutorial using Japanese style binding.

 

Maria Popova in her foreward to Dear Data, a book she describes as “A Lyrical Illustrated Serenade to How Our Attention Shapes Our Reality”. Image: brainpickings.

“In their yearlong visual correspondence project, Giorgia Lupi, an Italian woman living in New York, and Stefanie Posavec, an American woman living in London, capture the inherent poetry of (their) subjective selectivity. Each week, they jointly select one aspect of daily life — from sleep to spending habits to mirror use — and depict their respective experience of it in a hand-drawn visualization on the back of a postcard, then mail it to the other. Out of these simple diurnal observations emerges the complexity of the human experience — nonlinear, contradictory, and always filtered through the discriminating yet imperfect lens of attention.”

Read more

 

Grandma Zen, Alice and the Stick
An exploration of compassion, judgement, sticking in discomfort and exploring curiously; through the act of paying attention. In writing.

… There’s a sense of opening in this playful curiosity-following. A certain joy of exploration, a new space within me for recognising and taking in magic. In looking at life through the lens of a focus, I seem to be able to set myself up for finding things that fit within it, and reap great happiness when they turn up right under my nose. An underlying wellbeing fuels me to keep at it a little longer, the internal peaceful smile that makes being here pleasant even though I often feel pulled in a million directions at once.

Staying on course is most definitely a deliberate choice. The ideas flash, they offer a way out of the grind, at times they are a helpful distraction that gives just enough distance from whatever I was concentrating on to have a slightly higher perspective. There’s even more exuberant satisfaction when these happy rambles take me down the paths that join with other rabbit holes I’ve been following. Places of intersection that allow me to crossover rather than create another knot. Breakthroughs. Flashes of light where I can see the a stretch of clear road ahead. Room to run…

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The name Curiosity Breadcrumbs comes from this interview with Elizabeth Gilbert. She speaks about how choosing to follow curiosity makes our lives (and selves) infinitely more interesting.

Thoughts you want to share? Ideas we can collaborate on? Get in touch here.

Copyright © 2016 Greta Muscat Azzopardi All rights reserved.
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