I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I went to a yoga class. Not something I had done in many years, it was refreshing and relaxing. I loved every wobbly moment of it. At the end, during the relaxation phase, the instructor was encouraging us to all just let go, release the thoughts and anxieties in our minds and bodies and let ourselves be. She said to be present in ourselves and to notice. Then she said “Noticing is the victory”. If I wasn’t so relaxed at the moment, I’d have stood up and hugged her.
On the way home from the class, my friend and I were talking about the class and I was saying how I need this woman to follow me around all day long with her soothing voice and bits of wisdom and encouragement. Then we both at the same time mentioned this comment that she’d made about the noticing. It struck a chord with both of us and stood out as the moment in class that really brought home what all of this being still and present is all about. Noticing.
I have days that I am so caught up in worries in my own brain that I don’t see anything. An unexpected visitor comes by and I spend so much time worrying that my house is lived in messy that I barely even pay attention to the conversation. I don’t notice her smile or her words of praise for the beauty she sees in our chaos here.
I have moments that I am so caught up in do this, do that, go here, go there that I don’t even notice that all my little guy wants to do is sit on the living room floor and have storytime or play trains.
I wish it wasn’t this way. I wish I was always relaxed and present and not worried or thinking of what needs to be done. The moments that I do let go and am present and notice are the moments that make up the days that feel victorious. Where when it’s all over and I’m curled up in my bed at night I can think of all those smiles I noticed, all the requests I fulfilled for the little people, all the graciousness that I took in around me and all the beautiful things that make up the world around me.
I have other kinds of days too. Days that look productive because my house is tidy and my laundry is folded and I got my list of errands complete. But on those days, I might not be able to tell you what book my daughter read in her room by herself while I was busy. I might not be able to tell you what snack my 3 year old helped himself to while I was doing other things. I can tell you about the shattered glass jar across the kitchen floor from when he had to climb in the fridge himself to make himself a sandwhich because I was scrubbing the shower. Not much noticing going on in those busy days. I never go to bed feeling better about a tidy and clean house than I do the days that were filled with moments of real living.
It’s a balancing act for sure. I am not entirely willing to drop one for the other. I can’t embrace every moment I am in if I am surrounded by messes. It’s just not me. I can’t embrace every moment I am in if I am worried about a friend or a loved one. But I can find time each day to let those things go, if only for a little while and be. Notice. Stop doing and live. It’s not easy, but it’s true that noticing is the victory.