The moment I saw myself, I would not trade that for anything
“Think about New Year’s resolutions. Anecdotally it’s safe to say that a significant majority of those desired behavioral shifts fall by the wayside fairly quickly. The gyms are full in January; February, not so much.
One missing ingredient is self-observation. For illustrative purposes, let’s imagine you have a self-limiting behavior of “frequently interrupting others” and have a stated aspirational goal of becoming a great listener.
Instead of simply biting your tongue to stop interrupting others (which might work for a few days or even a few weeks), my experience working with many individuals over time suggests that your best bet is to start by developing a self-observation practice.
However counter-intuitive it may seem, one needs to spend a fair amount of time simply noticing their as-is state.” Mike Normant
We often miss the importance of noticing – our selves and our choices. Noticing is profound and it is also profoundly difficult. And it can change how we live.
Imagine that you could choose a moment and slow it down… so slow that it would feel like a trickle of slow motion freeze frames.
You could step back and see the moment as it occurs.
You could see the intervals of thought,
“Like an army, falling, one by one by one.” (Linkin Park)
You look deeply, into time itself
As you slow time, you notice the millisecond pause before each decision… which way to turn, what to eat for lunch, whether or not to jaywalk, or whether they will light up or resist.
If you could stop time at just the right moment, you would see something.
Something that you miss.
Something that would blow your mind.
You would see the many possible choices that exist in each moment.
It’s time to step outside, for a moment
Imagine that you could step outside of your life.
A part of you could step back, and watch.
Then you freeze a moment of your own life and then watch to see what happens.
You would see the many possible choices in each moment.
Observing your life will change how you live
“Before you race ahead to make your next behavioral change, do yourself a favor and give yourself permission to spend some time to more fully understand your current as-is state. Watch yourself.” Mike Normant
You and I cannot “make a living” just by going to work.
We need to go to work, but if we don’t pause, we will become occupied by our occupation.
We won’t notice.
Notice the people in our lives.
Notice our selves.
Notice the moments that are within us. And right in front of us.
Mental health, observing and feeling
Depression is living a frozen life. Stuck inside of our darkest moments. Unable to move. Excruciating dark attention.
Anxiety is becoming lost in the moment. Our minds are full. Full of fears that crash into each other. The crashing leaves behind a million broken pieces, each one reminding us of what is wrong about our selves.
Addiction is a chase. It is running faster and faster. Chasing after. Longing and wanting to feel good, feel alive or maybe feel nothing. For a moment, we have it in our hands. But then the moment is yanked away and we are left with nothing. Haunted by the longing. The running. The wanting.
Which of your moments asks for another moment?
If you could freeze time,
What moment would you choose?
Would you savor the birth of a child? Your graduation? A peak moment of your life?
Or would you choose to notice that moment. The moment…
The moment where you realized that you were at your worst. And that was the moment that changed you?
I would like to hang onto that moment.
Making a living can become a convenient way to not see
And how long until I realize?
That I am frozen, again.
But too busy to notice?
Seeing is believing
You believe because you’ve seen with your own eyes?
Better things are in store for those who believe without seeing.
For the natural way is to see, without believing…
To have sight, but no longer able to see.
Right now, will you freeze time?
A moment can be frozen.
By stopping, now.
By noticing, now.
Our selves, now.
Just a moment of noticing can become the moment.
And a moment unnoticed will be
Just one more
Will you take a moment and freeze time, or will your moments freeze you?
• • •
If you enjoyed this post, I invite you to read a related article, “Let This Moment, Whatever Moment You Have, be Inspired by Dr. Seuss.”
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Keep it Real
Reference to Linkin Park, “In My Remains.”