What We can Learn from the Practice of Notice

Jaime Smith, 08 May 2020

I don’t know about you, but everywhere I turn there is someone sharing a way to help, think differently, see new opportunities, have more connection and so on. It could become very overwhelming, when, if we are honest, we don’t need more “things” to do. We kind of have enough on our plate adjusting to working from home, limited area of exploration and freedoms.

I don’t really want to join in the masses, flooding you with another blog but I find myself wanting to share one practice that is helping me stay centred in a weird time. It is the practice of notice. It is an old spiritual practice, like mindfulness, that creates space and pause in our day.


Right now, it is easy to get caught up in the news, family dynamics, social media, constant online connection and we can do this on autopilot, mindless engagement. The practice of noticing or being aware provides us an opportunity to connect with our circumstance, and the feelings we have, in a mindful way.

As the Viktor Frankl quote above states, in the pause or that space, in taking the time to notice, we can become people that make conscious choices to affect our future. In taking the time to be present and aware we can avoid being tossed around by our emotions and circumstance, mindlessly reactive.

This practice is more than just about the individual too, part of its beauty is the focus on others, our thoughts, feelings and response towards others. With many of us working and living in a different way now, never has there been a better time to implement this great discipline and see it impact our relationship with others – how are we responding to clients and colleagues? How do we create time and space for our children, partners? Are there new ways to live out these connections with each other?

For myself have chosen to practice this in a couple of ways, and by no means have I perfected it:

1. I’ve scheduled into my week some “Time On”. This is dedicated space where I can sit still, think, notice and take stock of what is going on and who is around me and what ways I can choose to respond

2. Spending a few minutes at that start of each day in quietness, intentionally becoming aware of my feelings, tensions in my body and breathing slowly to still my mind before I start my day.

I encourage you to carve out some space in your day or week and be still, take notice, be aware and then take steps forward. Ultimately, the discipline of notice teaches us to be people of intention not reaction – so important at this time.