When everything is swirling around you, how do you react? Do you run faster, get more manipulating and controlling or shut down? What if you could begin to notice stepping back and observing your world before reacting? What if you could feel more calm, still and present? Becoming an observer of your life by asking questions is a place to start.
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 begin to 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.
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 a challenging situation. For example, 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. Does that phone have to be attended in that very moment?
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? I have noticed as I practice this question, I am able to stand back from the situation easier. I believe you’ll find your reactions and thinking staying calmer, more still and present, simply by staying in this observer mode and the act of noticing. It’s easy to get into judging and the blame game, harder to stay in the observer mode.
Over the next week, practice becoming more of an observer, with the question, “What’s present now?”, especially as you find yourself in challenging situations. Take a deep breathe and notice your mind, body and emotional reactions when you ask yourself that question as opposed to when you jump in and simply react. What is the difference in how you feel between becoming the observer and noticing, versus being a judger and reacting?
I would love to hear how this question, What’s present now?” kicks you into your observer mode. Share at Nancy Booth Coaching facebook page. Let’s support each other towards developing the observer mode and enjoying a more calm, still and present style of living.
Nancy Booth is a certified life coach and spiritual director. She loves creating safe spaces for women going through life’s transitions to discover and support their visions for health and well-being in an overwhelming world, explore possibilities for next steps and find hope. She writes about taming the overwhelm and reducing stress, looking for ways to motivate, energize and inspire you! You can sign up to receive her weekly blog or contact her to find out ways you can begin to shed overwhelm and stress. It’s time to explore possibilities of new relationships, better life pacing and gain hope and peace.