Saturday, June 21, 2008

What interests you?

A raw cookie, perhaps? Experimented further with the carob/tahini/honey paste by rolling in some raisins, sesame seeds and oats. Flattened the mixture into circles and dehydrated for 1 and 1/2 hours.

The other day I asked my friend Nic what she thought people could ask instead of: "What's the next project?" ... or (upon meeting for the first time): "So, what do you do?" In other words, a question that focuses on the person, rather than on extraneous things like what they do or where they live.

She said: "How about - what interests you?"

Hmmmm. We thought about that for a while. What interests you isn't necessarily what you do for a living. Some people work in a bank but they are not interested in banking. They may be interested in anything from stamp collecting to ancient Mexican history to people watching to hydroponics.

I imagined someone asking me: "What interests you?" The first answer that came to mind was 'raw foods'. I am reading a lot about it, talking about it, blogging about it and literally eating it all up. It interests me because it's something new, something I want to know more about, something that fits with and reflects a lot of what I already do or am interested in (art, the environment/nature, yoga, meditation), it is something I can do alone or share with others, it impacts upon me positively, opening me up to an increasing consciousness of self and what my 'self' wants and doesn't want on all levels (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual).

'Self' is another interest of mine. I started this year saying it would be a 'me' year ... and, without even trying, it is turning out to be that way. If someone asked me 'What interests you?" I could truthfully answer: "I am interested in me." This is not vanity. I have to be interested in 'me' as much as you have to be interested in 'you'.

We all need to be self-centered. Not in a vain, selfish, egocentric way (as definitions of the word imply) ... but by literally being centered in self ... the position from which we can increasingly know and be who we truly are.

I thought further about that question: "What interests you?" and took it deeper. I'll share that one in another post.


Andreamuse said...

In order to help others in the world we HAVE to be self-centered! How can we be of any worth to anyone else if we are off balance?

I like that question "What interests you?" I'm so going to use it!

Gary said...

I would very much like to hear a question like "what interests you?", yet the answer would have to be so complex and getting out of hand, you'd better not ask!
To ask "what do you do?" is superficial in a way, but it may be the opening phrase for something deeper and better, as any small talk offers the opportunity to get into something different. Nevertheless I'm wondering why people don't ask the "better" question that is the title of this post.
You are right about the difference between being self-centered and being selfish. Real self-interest includes the same kind of interest for others. On a deeper level, the "me" is identical with the "you".

Elspeth said...

True about the deeper level me = you. The parts we 'like' and 'don't like'.