Curiosity Killed the Cat

By Melinda Glenister

Have adults lost the ability to learn? (or curiosity never killed the cat, but lack of curiosity froze the pelvis)

As babies & toddlers we go through a learning explosion, our brain is busy exploring, trying things out, testing, discovering, making mistakes & trying again.

So where does it go?

What happens between early childhood & adulthood to reverse and eradicate that discovery?  At what point exactly does the learning curve start going on a downhill slide?

At what age do we stop being curious?

It’s not unusual that I feel I have to ‘give permission’ to students in my classes to take an instruction as something other than literal translation of my words.  For example, if I say tilt the leg- but don’t specifically mention the pelvis, the tendency is then to assume it’s forbidden to move the pelvis- either consciously or unconsciously.  Someknow they stop it, (believing it to be ‘cheating’),  and some don’t know they do it.  Either way they are usually busy working hard to prevent movement, no matter how difficult or uncomfortable that might be.  And they are busy looking for confirmation outside of themselves.  I find it such a fascinating phenomenon.


But a child hasn’t learned yet that they have to keep their pelvis fixed.  At what age do they teach that at school?


I know that it is built into the culture of sports & dance training, and disciplines that involve ‘core-stability’ training- that movement needs to be restricted or held/controlled.  But it’s the same with many people I see who have not had those types of formal training.  It’s as if they teach it for GCSE’s.  A compulsory subject in ‘How to move in a disconnected way and alienate yourself from your own body.’  It goes further than movement ‘disciplines’- it is completely ingrained into our culture.


It’s no surprise to me then that when it comes to being able to listen to ourselves, to be guided by our own body wisdom, it is a foreign concept to many many people. We need experts to tell us when to eat & what, how much to exercise, when to sleep, & when our babies should eat & sleep and how we should raise them,  how we should live our lives, & how we should feel about it too.  If it causes discomfort or imbalance the experts will medicate that, so you don’t feel the body or the soul complaining.

Can we not live anymore unless someone in authority is telling us what to do?


So when people come to a class (such as mine) where they are not told exactly specifically how they should behave or feel, or what is the ‘correct’ way to do it, it’s as if they are being asked to walk a tightrope without a safety net, while strapped in a straightjacket.  I see some people become very anxious, and others are so disoriented by it they may not even be able to find the right direction to take the first step.

In fact it is no tightrope- but a big, open, green meadow to play in if you just allow yourself to break out of this fixed way of thinking.

Open one eye, and take a look- you may realise there’s not as much to fear as you thought.