The Power of Simply Noticing

I free myself not by trying to be free, but by simply noticing
how I am imprisoning myself in the very moment I am imprisoning myself.

Rick Carson, Taming Your Gremlin

During the last month I have been asked to SIMPLY NOTICE from a variety of teachers and in a variety of settings. Simply notice what I am feeling or thinking in a given moment without an imperative to DO SOMETHING. Simply notice my breathing. Simply notice the thoughts that cross my mind. Simply notice the tension or sensation in my body. Simply notice the color of someone’s eyes or the sound of their voice.

Here is what I discovered so far:

1. I spend a good deal of time doing! On a typical day in my office I am talking to clients, hosting teleconferences, sorting through email, networking, scheduling, writing, etc. I step out of my workplace and into cooking dinner, supervising homework and music practice, scheduling, laundry, etc.

2. When I am not busy doing, I was astonished to discover how much time I spend going over and over something in my mind. My TO DO list gets a regular mental review. The argument I had with my husband or my kids gets rehashed. My worries about my family get turned over and over. My business adventures take up my thoughts. Sometimes the thinking is incubating new ideas or activities but there is a lot of time spent ruminating!

3. The practice of SIMPLY NOTICING had a fantastic effect. I feel free. I feel the weight lift from my shoulders. I feel calm. I am empowered – in any moment I can stay preoccupied with my activity (mental or physical) or simply notice my deep breaths or the cool fresh air on my face or my daughter’s delightful laughter.

How does simply noticing empower you?