The great thing about wondering is that it is so simple and something we frequently do without even trying. Yet it is a powerful a tool to get us grounded when we are stressed.
When we feel calm and safe, we have the luxury to wonder, or be curious, or reflect on things. This is not a very time consuming process, but it does take more time than the assuming or jumping to conclusions that can happen when we are stressed.
HOW IT WORKS
When one is wondering, one is accepting that one does not know. This protects one from assumptions. As we wonder, our bodies relax: there is a feeling of open receptivity, and a slowing down. Wondering can be used as a tool for grounding ourselves. As we wonder then wait to see what comes up, we will receive either an insight or an idea of how to deal with the situation, or both. Just like a child gazing at a fish who with wonder and curiosity starts to observe the different colors and patterns of the fish, a person who shifts from worrying about money to wondering about it can be reassured: that he will be able to pay the bills that month, reflect on ideas of consolidating his debts, and consider creative ways to live within his means.
HOW TO WONDER INTENTIONALLY
Firstly, you can get in the habit of wondering about things throughout the day.
Also, any time you feel upset, you can invite yourself into wondering about the topic rather than: worrying, being frightened (unless there is actual danger, of course), being angry, hurt, hopeless, jealous or any other upset about it. This calms you and allows you to have a different perspective on the matter: a more grounded perspective. Often you will get insights or deeper truths beyond what was apparent at the surface. While wondering, a useful habit is to wonder what all do you know to be true in regards to the topic, which then may together lead you to a conclusion e.g. that this was likely an accident that your child had and he is telling the truth. Prior to the wondering, you may have been very upset at the broken family heirloom and ready to display anger at whoever broke it.
For a further example, person A might feel understandably hurt and angry because person B interrupted her. When A wonders about it, she realizes that B was most likely unaware that he interrupted, that he was stressed about something and so not at his best, and that she knows that he cares about her and respects her. Note that just because the upset is understandable or would be commonly experienced by others, does not mean that one prefers to stay upset, which is less pleasant and often can lead to further damage in a relationship.
WHAT IF YOU’RE TOO UPSET TO BE ABLE TO WONDER
If the topic at hand is creating too intense an upset to allow you to shift into wondering, tell it that you are going to put it temporarily aside so that you can look at it from a helpful place. So temporarily put it out of your mind, promising it that it will have your full and healthy attention soon. Watching it go quickly and easily into a storage container can be helpful (see article on container). Once you have done this, check how your body feels to see if it is truly set aside. If your body feels much better, then it is set aside. If it goes into the container but keeps coming out, let it know that you feel it’s very important to be addressed, ask it to wait until you’re ready to address it. Then, alter things so it does not keep coming out e.g. a constant vacuum pulling things into the container which only you can override to get things out, putting a lock or heavy lid on your container, or altering it altogether to for example, a steel vault.
Choose something that you naturally feel wonder about. It can be anything. For example: the ocean, a sky full of stars, a little baby etc. Spend some time being with the object of your wonder with as many senses as possible. As you do this, you will notice your body relax further and you will feel more open as you enjoy the wondering. Now take this wondering and apply it to the topic that was creating all the upset.
WITH WONDERING, INSIGHTS CAN REPLACE UPSET
When you replace one “w” word with another by wondering instead of worrying, you realize that what you were worrying about won’t actually happen or is very unlikely to happen.
When you are hurt or angry and shift into wondering, you realize that the hurtful issue at play wasn’t about you, and that you are cared about and worthy of good treatment. In other words, it helps you not to take things personally.
When you are ungrounded and feeling hopeless, with wondering you can get some insight or idea or a realization of just how capable you are that allows you to feel hope.
If you are feeling inferior, wondering will remind you that you all have our unique sets of strengths and weaknesses, but you are all of equal and immense worth.
If you are feeling guilty, you can wonder whether you did anything wrong or not, and focus on the fact that we are good people, even though you feel remorse about your actions and want to apologize/make amends.
If you’re struggling with jealousy, wondering will lead you to feel that you are cared about, loveable, and good enough.
If you’re struggling after a break-up, wondering will help you see the negative aspects as well as the positive. It will help you feel loveable, cared about, deserving good treatment, and good enough. It can help you gain insights into room for growth for you and for your ex-partner, and into unhealthy patterns that existed in the relationship. It can guide as to what to watch out for in future relationships, and help you with acceptance of the break-up.
If you’re having difficulty making a decision, wondering about it can give you clarity and help you make a decision that you feel settled about. Wondering first about what all you know regarding this matter can be helpful if it’s a more complex decision.
In summary, when we wonder, or reflect, we slow down and we automatically become more open, relaxed, and quiet. By thus becoming grounded, we are in a position to be open and receptive, ready to receive wisdom, truths, ideas, reassurance, intuition, and insights from the best part of us. Some people call this the Higher Self, or the True Self, the Holy Spirit, or God, or Spirit, or the universe. It is not important to have agreement on naming. And it is okay that this amazingly powerful energetic state is also a very ordinary common state that we all enter frequently without paying attention.
What is important is: 1. to recognize how useful it is, 2. to use it intentionally when we are upset, when we might not have thought we had a choice but to feel upset, and 3. to foster the habit of wondering/reflection/curiosity to replace assuming.