in february i went to center space in grand rapids michigan to write for ten days. i lived with strangers and internet friends for over a week and made art and cooked food and watched the world. while there, a new friend commented on my tendency to share things i noticed in the natural world, squirrels eating outside the kitchen window for instance. ever since that comment i have been really examining the way i notice the world. and of course i related it back to plants, and now i am teaching a workshop this weekend called the magic of noticing.
so i have been researching noticing, and what happens when we notice the world around us. the magic of noticing is an opportunity to make time expand. it is about realizing the present moment and recognizing that we have free will in that moment. that we can be how we want to be as we are right now. this is not about accepting the circumstances, it is about realizing where we have agency and making change. your change may be big, maybe its small but it starts with noticing. i told you i related this back to plants of course. houseplants specifically but now even outside is full of small things growing that we can notice.
go outside. notice something alive.
so this free will that we exercise is really powerful and we can harness it and understand it when we use noticing as a tool. noticing starts pretty small, minutia, but once we get good at noticing we can start to really notice bigger things. noticing is a tool we can use to build connection. this is not surprising. but its juicy.
noticing gives us the power to really feel where we are, in our body, in our surroundings, in our homes, in our work environments, when we begin to notice how our body feels when we are in a certain place and time we begin to make connections about our body and our feelings in that specific time and space. are you still with me?
connection. what happens when we are in connection with living beings around us? how can we be of service to the living beings we share space with? this is where the real magic of noticing hits us. it is the moment we realize that we are part of bigger natural systems. when we are able to notice our connection to the natural world, whether we struggle with the time change of daylight savings time, or we crave sweeter richer foods in the fall or we feel as if we will explode in february if there is not a sunny warm day soon. often these moments of recognition are distilling a frustration or a disconnect we have with the universe around us. note that it can feel easier to notice discomfort before comfort, pain is information after all. these moments of noticing, that illuminate our part in the cycles of the earth are invitations to use our free will to make the tiniest shift towards feeling good, or better in your moment. perhaps reconciling the disconnect we have with the earth is what this noticing is best for. i don’t know. but i know that my noticing brings me into the present, brings me the gift of realizing and recognizing how i am connected to the natural world, i am a part of it, no matter how removed from it i feel. i am an animal, the rhythms of the earth affect my existence and noticing brings me deeper connection and understanding of this truth.
a huge component of my research in to noticing has been reciprocity. noticing is about being in relation with the world around you, and fostering deeper connection with your world. when we do this work, we begin to understand the reciprocal nature of our being in relation with other living beings. what we tend to grows, literally and figuratively. what we cultivate and use grows stronger, what we notice blooms.