When everything is swirling around you, how do you react? In your world, you have a to do list a mile long. You have people counting on you for their care. You have food to buy and prepare, laundry to do, a house to clean, a business to run and the list goes on. As you go through your day, do you run faster, get more manipulating and controlling or shut down?
What if you could begin to notice what is present in this very moment? Take a deep breathe. Ahh… Invite God into your space. Could you step back and observe your world before reacting? That stopping and taking a deep breathe actually calms your brain, heart and soul. It can bring you to stillness and presence, Becoming an observer and noticer of your life by whispering, “What is present now?’ can change your world.
Become An Observer
According to Marilee Adams, in her book, Change Your Questions, Change Your Life, becoming an observer of your own life gives you an opportunity to be more present, centered, resourceful and strategic. When you are observing, it’s like taking a step back and experiencing your life as if you are watching a movie in which you are one of the main actors. By taking the time to develop your observer capacity, you can be more in charge of your thoughts, feelings and actions- and become an active participant in your choices. This gets you out of your more reactive, automatic pilot mode, where you may feel controlled by other people, places and circumstances.
You can bring God into your observer mode as well.
What do you want me to see today, Lord?
Where am I feeling close to you?
Where am I feeling further away?
In the observer mode, practice noticing what is. When practicing noticing, you detach more from your own feelings, thoughts and assumptions. When you do that, you being to notice the kinds of impulses you have in challenging situations.
To practice noticing, when your smart phone dings, resist the urge to look at it. Step back and notice how you are feeling, thinking and reacting. Do you go into automatic mode when your phone dings? Are you afraid of missing out on something important? How calm, still and present are you while reacting to the phone? Now take a deep breathe, consider what is. What assumptions are you making about the message on your phone? Consider letting those thoughts and feelings float on by. What is it about that phone that needs to be attended to in that very moment?
This simple exercise brings to the forefront what noticing can do for you, instead of being on autopilot. What else do you need to notice in your day to day interactions where you are on autopilot?
In noticing, there is no judgement here. The intent is to notice what is and make choices about your own reactions that could bring you more calm and present, instead of reactive stress.
Ask a Question
When in challenging situations, it is easy to be in a reactive mode. Stopping to ask yourself one simple question can often stop the reactivity. Ask yourself, “What is present now? By answering that simple question, you’ll notice your own reactions and thinking. This question gives your brain a chance to be more still and present, simply by staying in this observer mode and the act of noticing. This simple question gives you a pause before moving forward.
Over the next week, practice becoming more of an observer and noticer, with the question, “What is present now?”, especially as you find yourself in challenging situations. Take a deep breathe and ask God to help you notice your mind, body and emotional reactions when you ask yourself that question. How does it change your approach to the situation you are facing?
I would love to hear how this question, What is present now?” kicks you into your observer mode. Share at My Sacred Moments facebook page, in the comments below or by replying to this email. Let’s support each other towards developing a more observant, calm, still and present style of living
Your brain and those you serve will thank you for it.
Nancy Booth wants to create safe spaces for you, helping you find ways to have two-way conversations with God. She loves encouraging you to look for ways He is at work. Nancy is a spiritual director and writer. She would love to accompany you on your journey of discovery to hear and see more of the God who delights in you. Peace, hope and freedom could be yours Contact her today..
Nancy, thank you for giving me new ways to see God around me. There’s no doubt the quality of my life trends with the quality of my questions.
You are welcome Christine. May God supply you with the questions. Keep listening:-)