There’s a needed shift on the horizon. It’s the willingness to notice…what’s happening in your body, in your mind, with your spirit, in your family, in your community, in our country, in the world…in your life.
Words matter, and I feel “notice” is the right word here.
It isn’t awareness. That’s focused on a new knowledge or perception of something. It isn’t mindfulness. That’s centered on bringing awareness into a conscious state in the present moment. Both of these are wonderful and we need to bring forth more awareness and mindfulness in ourselves and our world.
Noticing is different.
When you notice something, someone, some feeling, some experience, some pattern, you’re more than just aware of it, you’re observing it. You take in more data, summon memory, acknowledge complexities, and listen to inner nudgings. Now you’re in a place of discernment. Discernment creates choice, which leads to action (or inaction, which is an action).
When you notice, choices are revealed, and actions can be taken. This is how we make ourselves, our lives, our world, better.
Let me show you how this has shown up for me recently.
This year I’ll be celebrating 25 years in practice (stay tuned for lots of awesome stuff coming your way starting in March). The other day I noticed that almost everywhere I go in Kansas City, I run into someone I know. That made me remember how nervous I was when I first moved here to go to chiropractic school. I was a small town girl, moving to the big city, only knew one family and had no other friends in the area. Now my heart overflows with friends, family, and colleagues. That moment of noticing caused me to acknowledge how far I’ve come, be grateful for all the wonderful people in my life, and reach out to a few specific people who popped up in my mind just then.
Here’s another example. If I wake up in the morning and feel a little out of sorts I pause and take time to really notice what’s going on. Is it in my body? Then I ask myself how I slept or what I ate. Is it in my spirit, my energy? Then I ask myself who was I around last night, or what did I watch on TV? If I take the time to not just be aware that I feel off, but really notice what doesn’t feel right and determine why, then I know specific actions I can take to feel better (and avoid the same causes in the future).
Noticing is also external to you. It is paying more attention to others, to situations, and seeing the whole picture. That can feel daunting if you let it skew to the bad, dark and frustrating things we see in the news. But it can also feel amazing when you notice all the good happening too. You start to see opportunities for collaboration, ways to help, chances to be part of making the world a better place, whether that’s the world of one person, or everyone.
My challenge to you is to take notice. Notice your inner world and outer world. Notice the tiny, intuitive nudging, and the loud, obvious thing in front of you. Notice. Choose. Take action.
Originally posted February 3, 2017.