Cathy and I recently attended a story telling gathering. The purpose was to share personal stories that had an impact on the spiritual direction of our lives.
The majority of the stories shared that evening were not Red Sea parting, change-the-total-direction-of-your-life now stories. Most were about daily moments where the story teller was changed because of a small event or a noticing that made them pay attention to their thought patterns.
We call this high noticing – the ability to being fully aware and conscious as you pay attention to the happenings of your daily life. High noticing helps you stay curious and open to new strategies, behaviors and positive thinking.
One storyteller is an experienced wilderness guide. She told about walking up to another couples’ campfire after a long day of hiking and observing that the couple were not talking to each other. Her first reaction was to walk away and avoid the negative energy she was interpreting from her observation. Then she realized that they were using sign language. It was a brother and sister camping together. The sister was deaf. She and her brother were actually enjoying a spirited conversation about their day together.
What she learned in that moment of observing her initial interpretation was that it was a reminder how often she quickly makes judgments about other people and uses that initial judgment to avoid contact or deeper connection.
The monkey mind will stop the dream
Another storyteller is a couple of months away from her wedding day – a day that she has dreamed about for years. She said she was opening replies from her invited guests and the first words out of her mouth were “oh, great, another mouth I have to feed”. Fortunately, the man of her dreams, soon be her husband, suggested that she might want to rephrase her reaction to one of gratitude for the family and friends who say they want to share this special day.
She realized the voice of her monkey mind was trying to take over her thoughts as she was on the verge of getting everything she wanted and thus making a big change in her life. This big change, even though an answer to a long-dreamed desire, was causing that monkey mind inner voice to fearfully react to the big life change.
In the Get Clarity system, high noticing is the above-the-line, light side of habituation. Habituation is patterned behavior where you say that it’s always been done this way so why change. Habituation results in stagnation and lack of creativity.
Being a high noticer is not just about being conscious of important big events. It is about being aware and engaged in the routine of your daily life. High noticing helps you recognize when your thinking is leading to drained energy and stagnation.
What’s new and different in your life at this moment? What are you aware of and curious about in this moment? Are you doing something out of habit versus being open to another way?
Happily high noticing the details of my life,