Noticings as Life Practice

Since high school, i’ve kept a regular journal and it’s been like a friend to me since.  But i can’t open an old one up still without getting emotionally embroiled in the angst and crises that i wrote about. Sometimes after reading a previous journal, i get a “toxic” feeling, a sense of being highly unstable, like an element unable to exist on its own.

I can’t trace where this originated, but a second phase of journaling began when i started a “noticings” practice.  It works like this:

  1. Write what you notice – both factually and experientially or internally
  2. Appreciate it without analysis or judgement
  3. Let one noticing take you to another, without agenda for “all the things” you want to write about
  4. Allow the noticings to move you toward doing something if any hint of motivation arises.
  5. Be thankful for your insights, but not proud, nor judgemental.

My last week or two have greatly benefited from noticings.  It would have been easy to get bogged down in depressing self-criticism at what felt like an ongoing, overwhelming situation and periods lacking apparent productivity.  I’m officially “unemployed,” a fact that from outside might appear certain to evoke depression or negativity in this “depression” era.  But almost every other day, when i need them, my noticings shift the energy into a place of ease, self-forgiveness and clarity.  I see why i have feelings i don’t understand, like utter impatience with my children or high anxiety about small issues.  And i see what i need to do next – and next after that.

Actions out of clarity bring more clarity.  And more ease…usually.  But there’s always a time again for more noticings.  Like now…

  • I notice that i’m dehydrated after eating too many salt and vinegar chips;
  • I notice that it’s time for me to be in bed;
  • I notice that i’ve been successful at sleeping earlier since my coaching four years ago;
  • I notice that i want to finish this post;
  • I notice that i’m impatient to finish this whole blog;
  • When will this site backup finish anyway?
  • And so on…

Blessings on your own noticings.