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The power of observation

The ability to observe without evaluation is considered by some to be the highest form of human intelligence – Jiddu Krishnamurti.

What does this word “observe” mean? Why does it matter, and why does it matter now?

What does it mean?

The Merriam Webster dictionary tells us that observe means “to take notice” while the Cambridge dictionary says it means to watch carefully in order to learn more.

Essentially it is your ability to notice something in order to learn more about that something, before forming an opinion or judgement, before making a decision based on the something you are observing.

How often does this in fact happen in real life? In your life?

If judgement and attachment were not such entrenched human responses you would definitely not get all revved up and tense about your Mother-in-law’s opinion of your Sunday lunch roast chicken, or what she may make of your latest choice in hairstyle, now would you?

Let’s face it, humans are hardwired to immediately form opinions about everything we see and feel, making instant judgements about almost everything, particularly when facing circumstances that trigger feelings which do not fit neatly into our ordered way of seeing and experiencing the world.

Why does it matter?

Discovering that you can become the observer of your thoughts rather than their unwitting slaves will allow you the freedom to choose your response when you are good and ready. This may offer a brand new experience, rather than your normal jumping to an immediate decision, making a judgement or forming a fixed opinion the minute your thoughts and feelings take control, leading down the same old well-travelled path they have habitually dragged you down.

Observing matters, because you were not constructed to be a slave to your often irrational and unfounded thoughts and feelings. Your thoughts and feelings were designed to serve you, to teach you and allow you to craft the greatest version of yourself, based on observation and informed choices.

Slowing down and noticing what’s going on, both on the inside and the outside, while relinquishing your immediate need to have an opinion about what you observe, brings about the freedom to learn something new, to see through a brand new set of lenses, to experience life as an exhilarating smorgasbord of possibilities.

Perhaps you are not always the innocent bystander you have believed yourself to be. Could you possibly have been contributing to the situation evolving around you? Maybe it’s not only your Mother-in-law, your partner, your children or your colleagues that need to do all the changing.

I invite you to watch just a little more closely, surrendering that opinion and judgement just for a moment, just long enough for you to possibly see from a different perspective.

Quantum physics tells us about a phenomenon known as the “observer effect“, which means that the act of observing will influence the phenomenon being observed. Your observation of a situation, no matter how remote you believe yourself to be, makes you a co-creative partner of the experience.

You are never entirely the innocent victim or blameless bystander and your ability to notice this, to observe, to learn and make different choices irrespective of old feelings or in-built judgements provides you with options and new possibilities.

How would your Mother-in-law, your partner or your colleague show up if you were removed entirely from the situation?

Just watch the situation play out in your mind. What do you see? Could you be the trigger?

Why does it matter now?

It matters because seldom before have we been more surrounded by a myriad of opinions, views and perspectives offered by well-meaning, and sometimes not so well-meaning people (with prestigious titles and a list of credentials) about the economy, your life, your health and your future. These messages tend to force their way into your world at an increasingly alarming pace as a result of our connectivity mania.

It is critically important, now more than ever, that you stop and observe and notice and learn more about what you see before you respond and allow your thoughts and feelings to run rampant, imprisoning you before you have even taken the time to notice, to truly observe.

That news report where so and so said ……… that Zoom chat in which everyone shared just how terrible life is, that highly esteemed Doctor or Nobel prize-winning scientist who said ………

Now more than ever we need to notice who is saying what. We need to decide why we would choose to believe, react or respond to what is espoused as the truth.

What is that one version of the truth?

You are constantly impacting everything around you merely by being an observer.

Each and every moment you are in a dance of creation.

What to do?

You may as well learn to slow down, to notice, learn and make new decisions for yourself. Become a conscious creative participator, rather than a reactive unconscious, not so innocent bystander in crafting the truth for your very own, incredible life.

The ability to observe and pay attention to the present moment deliberately, without judgement and attachment, is often referred to as mindfulness, and can’t we all do with just a little more mindfulness in a world gone mad?

It is said that the obstacle in the path becomes the path, so never forget that within each obstacle lies an opportunity to improve your situation. 




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