I’m curious…and its only been in the last few years that I’ve allowed myself such a luxury. The old adage “curiosity killed the cat” ruled the day and also described my desire to not “pry” into people’s space with too many questions. Although my intent was honorable in my own eyes, I was actually missing out on the whole world of inquiry. When I first realized that I could ask “why,” I was amazed at how much of the world opened up to me. Who knew you could ask such a question and actually expect and receive an answer?

Next question was “what.” Open ended questions start with “what,” and, again, another whole part of the universe exploded into my consciousness. Am I the only one on the planet who didn’t know I could question the world around me?

I’ll tell you what I did know…faith. In the absence of “prying” questions, I dug deep for information based on intuition, faith and trust. I would not trade those years of observation and study for anything…and I am now looking to integrate these two worlds of inquiry into some kind of seamless existence.

So I noticed something today. I asked a question and did not shrink back when my internal feedback loop didn’t support me. You know, when you put yourself “out there” and then don’t feel the supportive “good job” from your own soul. This is cool! Now I’m curious about this and want to experience this kind of confidence more. What if my question went past the point of reason? What if I went too far? Wow, I love this! Its like a vast experiment where I get to learn by trying…and making mistakes…and its okay!

My curiosity is getting to the point that I’m heading in many directions at once. I want to learn everything and understand all the whys, too. I love it.

My challenge: What about you? Are you able to ask “why” and “what” questions of the world around you? If you could ask anything, what would you ask? Who would you ask it of? Why not ask – today!

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Scientific Inquiry: rigorous investigation to discover new information

Artistic Inquiry: uses intuition and analysis of experience to discover new information

The artistic stream lends itself beautifully to the coaching realm. Having clients connect with and acknowledge their intuition and experience helps them become more fully present to their current reality. It is key in discovering and defining what they want for their future. And, interestingly enough, it is a great tool to close the gap between the two.

In my view, the scientific stream provides the underlying theory that supports the artistic stream and gives it definition and depth. Although the scientific stream does not have to be known for artistic inquiry to work, for those of us who need the “particle” level of things to make sense, scientific inquiry provides that for us.

Which way of learning and inquiry do you prefer? Do you need both for life and learning to make sense?

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Inquiry Streams: Per M.S. Knowles et al’s article: An Andragogical Theory of Adult Learning. In The adult learner: The definitive classic in adult education and human resource development. Amsterdam; Boston: Elsevier. pp. 61-72