The Noticing Guide
I discovered last year that when I really “noticed” something, I was immediately in a state of conscious awareness. Since then, I have made noticing a daily practice. I’m in the process of writing a book about what I’ve learned, discovered, and continue to observe, because I find it both fascinating and enabling of easier passage through my days.
Noticing is less intimidating and more accessible than what can sometimes be served up in the deep and wide categories of mindfulness and meditation. But noticing is perhaps most accessible and useful for being mindful in the moment of “right now.” Think of noticing as mindfulness-in-immediate-action.
Jon Kabat-Zinn, a pioneer in both meditation and mindfulness, said meditation involves “…purposefully refining our capacity for paying attention, ultimately to anything and everything that might be relevant to navigating the world with open eyes and hearts.” He described the two levels of meditation that are aligned with noticing as concentration and mindfulness. First, by cultivating paying attention, you can become less reactive and agitated. That’s the concentration aspect. Second, if you bring a certain kind of open, moment-to-moment, nonjudgmental awareness to what you’re attending to, you’ll begin to develop a more penetrative awareness that sees beyond the surface of what’s going on in your awareness. This is the mindfulness aspect. Mindfulness makes it possible to make connections that may not have seen before.
Although he is describing meditation, within it, there is a basic definition of noticing: “Noticing is bringing nonjudgmental awareness to what you’re attending to while effortlessly seeing beyond the surface of what’s going on.”
I believe in what Rumi, a 13th-century Sufi mystic and poet, said about the value of a teacher, “Whoever enters the Way without a guide will take a hundred years to travel a two-day journey.” Shortcuts can be more direct routes, and guides can ease the process. My offer is to be your unofficial noticing coach as I offer my thoughts in The Noticing Guide. Simply subscribe to only receive links to my Noticing Guide blogs as they are posted.