Nurturing the art and skill of observation can have a powerful effect on how we move through our lives. Learning to observe what is without believing in our thoughts and judgments about those observations is part of learning to become aware of the structure of story we weave around our experiences. This structure of story, of assumptions, beliefs and judgments defines the way we perceive and engage with the world around us. It determines the questions we ask as we investigate and strive to understand and the questions we ask determine the truth we find.
So, as a way of playing with this, I have a morning mindfulness/creativity exercise for you:
List five things you observed this morning. Stick with “observed”. I saw…I heard…I felt…
Leave off judgments about your observations. For instance, “I heard a squirrel in the tree across the parking lot,” as opposed to “I heard an angry squirrel in the tree across the parking lot.” I do not *know* that the squirrel was angry, that’s a judgment on my part.
Get it? I’ll go first. And I’d love to hear about others’ experiences with this!
1. I saw morning sunlight illuminating the buildings outside my bedroom window.
2. I felt a breeze blow across my face as I woke up.
3. I heard my cats meowing.
4. I heard the birds begin to sing.
5. I felt a cat’s paw stroking my cheek.
(© Karen Opp. All rights reserved.)