Deep noticing is where I start with all my students and clients. This is where learning about one’s self begins. In fact, without activating this inner perspective, we have little chance of making progress on a path of self-discovery and healing.
Just imagine making a new friend without learning about what makes her uniquely special. You may know her in the broad strokes of her life but not in a way that illuminates her humor, her quirky adorable habits, or the deep wounds she has experienced. For the friendship to grow, you need to become intrigued and curious about who she is and to learn more about her.
Now, what about you? Why not cultivate a natural, excited curiosity for what makes you tick? To grow, we need to be able to meet situations that inspire emotion with supported inquiry rather than resistance and dread.
Let’s start at the very beginning. At times you may have noticed that life feels out of control, that some of your discouraging habits and tendencies are becoming more in charge of your daily routine than you’d like. As soon as you’ve become aware of it, does the information make you want to run from what it brings up, or do you have the strength to stay and figure out a healthy way to move through it?
When I first started out on my healing path, I realized through deep noticing that I didn’t have the strength to receive and integrate the information that kept me stuck in unsuccessful patterns. This was a huge breakthrough for me. Once I had this understanding about myself, I was able to take steps to change. Deep noticing supplied this opportunity for me.
Staying in the discomfort of difficult emotions is a valuable muscle to strengthen and one that takes time, consideration, and a huge amount of self-care. Self-care fortifies us. It reflects back to us how we feel in our body, mind, and spirit, and it gives us the chance to do something about what shows up. My book, Inside, is dedicated to self-care, a practice that grows us beyond discouraging cycles.
If you are ready for a sitting practice, you can find resources here. If you’re not quite there yet, start with this short practice and do it every day for a week. This small commitment of time will give you information about yourself and perhaps make you feel calmer, decrease overwhelm, and inspire change. This is deeply personal information, and only you will be able to experience the shifts that a practice like this can inspire.
Deep Noticing Practice
Place a journal and pen on your bedside table.
- Before you jump out of bed, take a few minutes to ask yourself these questions.
- Ask how your body feels, and rate it on a scale of 1-10. Is there a specific area that is calling for more attention? If so, remember to write it down.
- Ask how your mind feels, and rate it on a scale of 1-10. Is there a specific issue that is calling for more attention? If so, remember to write it down.
- Ask how your heart feels, and rate it on a scale of 1-10. Is there a specific feeling that is calling for more attention? If so, remember to write it down.
- Ask how your spirit feels, and rate it on a scale of 1-10. Is there a specific dream that is calling to be heard? If so, remember to write it down.
- Once you have completed your inner inquiry, place your hands on your heart and take three deep breaths.
- Thank yourself for taking this time.
- When you sit up, write down what came up with each of the self-care inquiries. Feel free to write more if you are inspired to do so.
Life will change if you give yourself a chance to feel and experience what is inside your complicated, fabulous, frustrating, creative life. It is all there. All you have to do is make room and excavate those parts of you that are uniquely yours to know.