We live in a world that loves fixers. As soon as we sense the hint of a problem, our instinct is to jump on it and wrestle it to the ground. To solve it. To show our utter domination of it.
Here’s the thing: if one of the greatest opportunities of this crisis is for us to use it to become the people we always wanted to be – to make lemonade – fixing isn’t always the answer. Growing into our best selves isn’t a problem to be solved, it’s a calling to step into.
Noticing is a better way to move toward that better self. Fixing grips with white knuckles, often strangling the fragile insights that might lead to change. Noticing holds in open hands. It gives ideas a chance to breathe.
You need time to notice your emotions and how they tip you off to the stories you tell yourself. You need time to notice if you want to give birth to a creative idea.
Maybe that’s one reason so many of my friends have bemoaned the loss of their commute. They say it’s because they’re missing “me time.” But an essential part of me time is space to notice.
That’s why it’s such a great idea to put new noticing routines into your re-organized day. Even five minutes of closing your eyes and simply noticing all of the sounds and smells and sensations we generally ignore as we solve our way through the day can be a huge win. Before you know it, you’ll move from noticing that annoying jack hammer to noticing your feelings of irritation with a colleague. That might help you avoid snapping at them, or at your kid.
We can solve a lot of our problems. The rest we have to address by noticing.