Vanessa Carroll, MS

Embrace Your Curiosities and Experience More Joy: How Identifying and Indulging Your Curiosities Promotes More Joyful Living

Sometimes we feel like flat, one-dimensional versions of ourselves. Our sense of joy and wonder gives way to boxes checked, deadlines met, and endless lists of things to do. Day-to-day demands, periods of personal/professional challenge, and ongoing social uncertainties can dampen our states of joy, enthusiasm, well-being, and engagement. The good news is that our curiosities are powerful resources in reacquainting with our joy. This workshop explores the joy/curiosity connection and how intentionality in identifying and indulging our curiosities inspires more joyful living.

In this workshop, attendees:

  • Discussed joy and the physical, emotional, and social benefits of living joyfully, with purpose and intention. 
  • Identified curiosity styles and recognized how their individual curiosity styles reveal insights into finding personal joy.
  • Developed personal action plans for embracing our curiosities to experience greater joy.


Vanessa CarrollVanessa Carroll recently retired after a 10-year career at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, where she served most recently as special assistant to the dean at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry. Prior to that she was director of special projects in the Dean’s Office at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. In retirement, Carroll serves as a consultant in the nonprofit arena, where she has enjoyed a 20-plus-year executive-level career. She is certified as an integrative health coach and maintains a rewarding practice as a strategic thought partner for boards and executives of regional service organizations.

Carroll’s curiosity style is “Explorer.” While her lifelong passion for indulging her curiosities may have created a few awkward moments for family and friends, she proudly boasts participation in an archaeological dig of the slave quarters at the Montpelier home of James and Dolley Madison, fencing lessons (as a woman of a certain age), officiating a wedding, meeting the Dalai Lama, and taking Thai cooking classes in Thailand, among her long, eccentric list of joy-inspiring experiences.

Carroll’s personal statement of aspiration focuses on using her gifts and talents to help others fully realize theirs. About 10 years ago, she began investigating the joy/curiosity connection and now incorporates these dynamics into her coaching practices, helping her clients experience the life-changing magic of engaging their curiosities to spark enduring joy in their lives. Her motto is “Not just living. Living with zest and vitality.”