The Art of Observing

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The official description for observing, or observation, is one of noticing, recording, sensing. There is scrutiny and consideration to not include what is not relevant. A pin-point of attention, at the exclusion of all else – unless we are observing the bigger picture.

Some of us tend to notice detail, others vastness and the generality of what is before us. Depending on our unique concoction of senses, some will feel more, hear more, avoid more. We will exclude what doesn’t resonate and separate the offensive or ‘strange’. We will consider ourselves careful observers of fact…and yet, how can we ever know truth when truth – factual evidence and deep resonance with our soul or interpretation of life – differ so dramatically one person to the next? 7 billion people, and no two interpretations will be the same. The ‘label’ or categorisation of what we observe may liken, but the make-up which brought us both to this conclusion will include a differing set of parameters and evidence.
Observation is underrated and overlooked – for the most part used as a means to create outcome, and sadly...judgement. In comparing, we separate ourselves from the observer – our-self – and from what we observe.   We sense, calculate and rationalise so that conclusions can be made in relation to external influence. We see in order to sense safety, rather than the more delicious invitation to see in order to sense for the sheer enjoyment of sensing.
Observing is an outcome based on intention: a process of being with what we see. We can observe, quickly, in order to ‘move on’, or we can observe with depth, steadiness and inquisitiveness. Our minds may be becoming more fluid, efficient and speedier, but we can slow this down – through the act of observing differently.
Notice your observations and the speed you make them at: what you don’t see; what you pass over – indolently or subconsciously. Notice where your attention rests, what it is drawn to and what sits alongside the gaze of your attention. This is how we change our experience of time. Slow how you observe, and you will slow time itself. Change what you observe, and you will change your reality.

The art of observing includes two distinct traits: the ability to receive – to be with what you observe – and the power to acknowledge. When we observe, we give permission for it to be – to be included as part of the experience. A sudden traffic accident witnessed without notice will, for instance, create shock. An event happening to us physically, emotionally, mentally or otherwise, has the power to create trauma if we have resistance to it. It is the acknowledgement which creates the deep observation, and this acknowledgement, powerfully, includes recognition of ourself as the individual observer. In noticing a beautiful sunset, we permit the receiving into the senses. What we enjoy, we allow deeper within us.

We have inordinate power over our ability to observe – how, what and when. If you don’t like something, don’t observe it or allow it into your senses and energetic field. Take control of what enters your awareness and the speed at which you traverse time. Slow your noticing, soak up the beauty and wonder and sheer extravagance of life and nature. Give permission for more of this into your awareness. And acknowledge what works for you. The greater harmony you feel within, the greater the view you will be able to appreciate.


  • Notice the smaller details in your day to day…the font on the paper, the sway of the breeze, a smile or the touch of a hand or a glance upon you. Also notice the grander, vaster view. Take a moment in each day to turn 360 degrees and to see what’s behind you, before you and to each side of you. What have you not noticed before, and where do you feel that in your body?
  • Notice also the speed at which you notice, how your sight ‘jumps’ or turns away as you move through your day. What are you not wanting to see? Reflect on why this is. Notice also what doesn’t want to be noticed anymore.
  • Take time each day to observe something of Beauty and Stillness; it creates harmony in the body and mind.
  • Finally, remember to place the best of images and observations in the heart. It’s where they belong.