The practice of noticing

Clamp squeezing a wallet with cash

Whatever phase we’re all in now, it’s so easy to be so deeply enmeshed in it, that I cannot look up or around to notice what’s occurring.    


Whilst so much is back and forth and so much still feels like it is on hold.  Even if the next phase is to be towards something familiar or more compelling, it’s not easy. 


So right now I’m just making a moment to notice the energy it is taking, to make the next step, well.


On one level we’re just trying to reorganise work to start listening again.  That comes when you can notice what’s going on for the person in front of you.  To listen to the everyday and in-between moments.


But that reorganising of work is layered in with social and economic crises wherever we turn: Businesses that have far too much work and not enough people.  Workforces that are depleted from now almost years of intense emergency response.  Services that are working with isolated and traumatised citizens, who may be hidden from public life.


There’s not a template we can lift.  We have to work out what works in our setting.  What to do, what to look out for, how to respond.


But that habit of noticing what is occurring, to step out of the here and now and look at the pattern, is hard if your energy is depleted.  If you’re just surviving. 


To even think about something being different.


So often we get caught up in how limited our influence is over our circumstances. That we can’t even stop to notice and articulate what’s occurring right now.  In any meaningful sense.


It does take energy to change what we do, so we supress what we’re noticing.  We learn to ‘live with it’.


Ideally making change is a good investment.


But it does take energy.


Big changes are attractive.  The economies of scale.  Someone else changing is even better, taking the problem away.


But these are rare.


Instead, we need to respond to what we’re noticing in ways that are ever so small.  Small enough to be able to observe what’s occurring.  Small enough to be able to easily change tack if it’s not right.


There are layers upon layers of pressures coming our way as we reel from some, and hurtle into more, major societal challenges.


It takes energy to navigate these transitions.  Time to articulate what’s occurring.  Practise to keep change small.


What I am observing is from my own context.  But let’s practise this wherever we are.