Curiousity Killed the Catabolism


The first time I ever heard that word was from the lips of a very caring naturopath who at the time was reading some of my test results. I had been very sick and having trouble keeping weight on, to the puzzlement of every doctor I visited. “Do you know what catabolism is?” the good doctor inquired of me. “No” I replied, slightly afraid of what she might tell me next.

Honestly, the word sounded a little scary. Catabolism, she explained, is when the body begins to cannibalize its own muscle tissue to fulfill its requirements for protein. My body was tearing itself down. So much for being a successful vegetarian, but that’s another story for another day. Thanks to some dietary changes I am once again enjoying health, and muscles.

Years later I heard the word again—in an entirely different context—the context of energy, (thanks to Bruce D. Schneider’s book Energy Leadership.) In this context the author explains catabolic energy as negative, destructive energy that tears down as opposed to anabolic energy which is constructive energy that heals and builds up.

We’ve all experienced emotions and actions that could be labeled catabolic. Road rage comes to mind, or the over-tired store clerk who is less than friendly, or maybe a boss who has let his or her deadline ratchet up the stress level until everyone in the office is feeling frustrated, overworked and under-appreciated.

In all of these instances it’s so easy to reciprocate with more catabolic energy. Catabolic energy feeds on itself and can be contagious. Often this is shown immediately by way of judgments, which then create labels (“What an idiot!”).

Judgments and labels nearly always create even more catabolic energy.

Judgments, labels, complaining, whining, blaming, ALL symptoms of catabolic energy.

Another response could be curiosity. Yep, just be a little curious. Instead of judging and labeling (many times the default reaction for humans in our culture), try asking a powerful question.

Just be curious. “What is good about this situation?”, “How can I look at this from a different perspective?”, “What could be some possible reasons for this?” “How can I be part of the solution?”

Immediately the energy can shift to a much more positive experience when we become a little curious and forego the judgments and labels.

Albert Einstein said of himself, “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” Just think of his experience of energy!

Try it today, be a little curious, maybe even passionately curious. Ah, Passion! But that’s another story, for another day.

Love & Magic,


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11 Responses to Curiousity Killed the Catabolism

  1. Renee says:

    I LOVE this, Cindi! Especially the info about judging and labeling. It feels so good in the short term, but it’s so destructive to both the person you are labeling, and to your own spirit in the long term. Plus, it takes you one step closer to mean when you could instead walk towards compassion. Very difficult habit to break though. Thanks for the opportunity to think on it.

  2. Yoni says:

    Great post! Seeing a positive in a situation always seems to make things better. Even if it’s just a shift in your energy.

    • admin says:

      Thanks, Yoni. When we take responsibility for our own reactions we indeed can facilitate a shift in our energy, and when our energy shifts everything shifts. 🙂

  3. Missy says:

    Wonderful. Good message to start my day. I am purposed to be passionately curious! :o)

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  5. Amy says:

    Thanks Cindie for a very timely subject! Just learned about Catabolism and Anabolism in Microbiology……very true! My fellow students, who are mostly younger than me, don’t get it when I put a positive spin on things that they complain about. I am most grateful to be able to be in a learning environment again, and am in awe about how beautiful the innerworkings of the body is , human and animal. So thanks for backing me up and reinforcing that first reaction I have, which is positive curiosity. You have helped me so much today! Feels like you are an energy cheerleader!!!! luv, Amy

  6. Pete says:

    Now that’s a good question ask, “How can I look at this from a different perspective?” I’ll be asking this question throughout this day to shift from catabolic to anabolic energy, great post, perfectly resonates with me.

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