The Art of Noticing: Going with the Flow

Th Art of NoticingThe Art of Noticing  is about practicing presence in accessible, everyday ways. It decreases resistance, increases gratitude, and opens your eyes to what Mary Oliver calls your “one wild, precious life.” Learn to notice in The Art of Noticing, a 30 day practice group beginning May 1st. Click here to join me.

The Art of Noticing: Going with the Flow


Last week I was whining. Our house had been broken into  and most of our electronics had been stolen. The kids needed help processing the trauma. My laptop was gone with two non-backed-up articles that were due that week. Every time I tried to do something on my borrowed computer I realized I first had to download a program, or grab an image off my website, or re-write something I’d lost. Even the small things — like that fact that the back door was boarded up so we couldn’t easily let the dog out to pee — were making me crazy.

I knew it was going to be a tough week, and I was ready to go with the flow.  My mantra was “Practice Non-Resistance.” I said it A LOT. But I was still very strained. I was trying to go with the flow, but the river was so damn rough it kept bashing me against the rocks, and then I would start flailing.  The feeling was very familiar, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Then suddenly while I was walking up the stairs one day, I remembered.

This is what it feels like to have toddlers.

When you have toddlers every task becomes a challenge. All you want to do is get in the car. But first there are fits about not wanting to wear shoes. And then someone has to go potty. And then you forgot to pack the goldfish crackers — and lord knows you do NOT want to be caught in the pediatrician’s waiting room with two children under 4 and no goldfish crackers. A task that should take a few seconds ends up taking 20 minutes. It’s maddening.

When I had toddlers I was so overwhelmed I couldn’t really notice anything. So this time, when that familiar feeling arose I decided to pay attention. To take notice. What does it feel like when I am resisting my reality? And what have I noticed helps with that?

I didn’t have enough resources on this list last week. I struggled. I need more equipment in my non-resistance tool box. So I’m asking you to make your list with me this week so we can help each other out.

*8Things: Noticing Resistance (and what to do about it.)

1. When I am resisting my reality, my breathing becomes fast and shallow.
2. When I am resisting, I drop the f-bomb a lot.
3. When I am  resisting my my throat gets tight.
4. When I am resisting I waste a lot of time complaining in my head.

(Now that what to do about it part…)

5. When I am practicing non-resistance I take full, even breaths.
6. When I am practicing non-resistance I say to myself, “It’s okay,” or “This too shall pass.”
7. When I am practicing non-resistance I swallow to relax my throat.
8. When I am practicing non-resistance I take action on the task at hand.

*8Things iconWhat about you? What are the tell-tale signs that you are resisting the reality of your “now”? And what have you noticed helps you practice non-resistance?  Give us your *8Things list and contribute to the giant pool of wisdom that keeps us all afloat.  Grab a button and play along. If you put your list on your blog, give us the permalink(not your homepage address) in the Mr. Linky below. Thanks for playing!

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Susan March 26, 2011 at 10:40 pm

thank you. I have a lot on my mind right now and I decided, even though it’s late, to read a bit at magpie before bed. As I read the second half of your list, I took a slow, even breath and let me abdominals relax. Somehow they had become sneakily tight like a fist. Felt good to let go. Good night!

Jeannie February 21, 2014 at 8:50 am

I have a toddler. It is a practice in patience ;)

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