They say that one of the ways to become more self-aware is to develop the skill of being the Observer of your own life. To witness yourself in action and instead of being attached to the actual event or experience you are having; allow yourself to be an impartial onlooker.
Let’s say someone has just made a dangerous move in traffic, right in front of you. Not only are you surprised, you are likely angry and frightened by this close call. If you are in normal operating mode, you may react with intensity. You swear, send gestures, maybe scream at the driver of the car long gone. In ‘Observer’ mode, you are still surprised. You may even feel the anger. However, instead of going into full anger, you witness it. You contemplate the incident and begin to put things in perspective and context. Instead of screaming at the driver or going into road-rage, you calm yourself. Your anger never takes over.
Learning to be an Observer of your life, is not something you do just for the heightened emotional situations. It is helpful during the mundane and ordinary times as well. As a matter of fact, the more you become a witness to your thoughts and emotions, the more it becomes a natural way of Being. This does not mean you don’t have thoughts and emotions, it simply means you are aware of them, and as a result, you influence them, they don’t control you.
Observing your own reactions, behaviors and thoughts or emotions changes them. It changes you. Much like scientists have discovered; witnessing or putting your attention on something, changes it, simply because it is being observed.
Lately I have been observing myself in a state of not knowing what’s next! I am profoundly aware that I feel the need to be doing ‘something’; yet have no idea what that would be! I find myself running through a checklist of maybe this, change those, do more of that. Looking for something to shift… AND, I am Observing my discomfort with the unknown.
I have begun to wonder if this is how I shift from planning and being future oriented to living more in the moment! For me, being in the moment, the Now… Has been a big part of my spiritual journey. It is something that was nearly impossible for me 10 years ago. I was much more comfortable thinking about where I would be and what I would be doing in six months to a year from now. Always chasing the dime.
Yet here I am… Sometimes unable to determine what my next step is in the current moment, let alone next week or next month. It is disorienting… And I am observing this disorientation. Energetically I check in with myself to see if there are suppressed emotions or subjects I am avoiding giving thoughts to. But I can’t find any. I even check to see if there is something “wrong”. There isn’t.
All the while, being aware that I am Observing all of my discomfort and reorientation. I find myself in contemplation. Turning over the questions of why, what, how and when. Realizing that I can choose anything I think I want. Yet that is what I would be doing; making a choice because my mind wants me “doing” something.
Like many of you, I have been purposeful with engaging my internal Observer and staying present. I am now reminded that sometimes even the changes and shifts we pursue and choose ourselves can create confusion or discomfort that we weren’t expecting! Who knew that learning to BE would create such introspection!
Now Observe this!
With Light, Love, and Laughter