Week 46: When noticing becomes transformative
Write down what you notice: both outwardly and inwardly
A week ago when we were given this experiment I needed to start noticing. I needed to notice the world around me:
- Autumnal colours giving a glow to the greyness of the sky
- The feeling of the wind on my face stroking and soothing
- The sound of the wind almost like the ocean
I have put these in bullet points because this is how it felt – a nice neat list of what I should notice and be thankful for. Yet I needed all this structure because I was ignoring the fact that inside I was also noticing that I was tired – not a general tiredness but an exhaustion that was leaving me tearful, sensitive, angry. I wanted to sit down, roll into a ball and sleep. I wanted to cry until catharsis occurred and I was alright again.
If I had been advising a friend I would have said: ‘Stop, sit, sleep, take a day off work.’ But often we are not as understanding of ourselves as we are of others. I continued clawing my way through the week. Saturday came and I purposefully blitzed those chores, anesthetising myself with more work. I met a friend and found myself being judgemental. She described me as ‘disciplined’ and a bit of me wept inside. I was allowing myself to notice and list these emotions in my book. I had turned not outwards but inwards and I needed to.
When I got home a reaction took place. I didn’t want to be disciplined all the time: that suggested something military, ordered but not human and soft. I noted down the need for colour and perfume and texture. Candles, lipstick, music, glamour. I also noted the need for peace. I meditated. I haven’t meditated for weeks and this was what I craved.
On Sunday I refused to do any work for school. I meditated three times, I rested and I felt I could laugh again at the end of the day. I began to notice the world around me: those autumnal colours, my lovely blanket, the comfort of an excellent book. Meditation is now back in life and I feel so much more energised. I live in a large family, in a social job where outside stimulus is constant. At times, I need to retreat from this and find peace within.
My little notebook is here and it is worth writing the things you notice down, as looking back at what you write gives you an insight into the patterns of your emotions. Those patterns may give you clues to underlying feelings before your brain finally catches on! Also, giving yourself permission to notice, outwardly and inwardly reminds you that we can actively participate in this world, we do not need to passively follow the rules. And as for ‘disciplined’ my aim is to now reject this – a bit! – bloody hell at the end of my life there are things I would much rather have said about me than ‘Blimey that woman could follow a list!’