By: Donna R. Wood, Existential Coach
People-watching is a fascinating pastime that millions of people enjoy on the daily. You see them on the park benches, in the shopping malls, and sitting at al fresco tables along the marketplaces of society. Observing others is something people have done since the beginning of humanity as a survival tool. It was a means of reading the body language of someone new in the midst to determine if they were friend or foe, or sizing up the enemy in times of trouble.
Observing others is a skill that we learn from birth. It comes natural and with ease. However, observing ourselves is another matter entirely. It can be awkward and uncomfortable. Developing the inner-observer takes practice.
The inner-observer is the part of ourselves that allows us to witness the thoughts and feelings we have, without judgement or involvement; otherwise known as, not getting into our feels.
This part of ourselves is what allows us to make conscious decisions, during stressful or painful moments. For example, the old adage, “It’s just business”. Business people have to make difficult decisions after much consideration, or sometimes on the fly. Successful people make these decisions by not getting caught up in the emotions. They know what lives in their skin. They understand that feelings might get hurt; perhaps even their own. However, they make the decision, and then move forward.
When we live from our emotional dimension of being, we create an imbalance in our lives. This is the danger of jumping on the “follow your happiness” bandwagon. Being happy all the time is not possible, and it’s not natural. We have our four dimensions of being to help us to shift with the ebb and flow that is life. When the four dimensions are balanced, our inner-observer can see clearly, and our conscious mind can make decisions that allow for the best outcome.
Tip for Developing Your Inner-Observer:
- Use mindful breathing techniques to relax.
- Once centered and relaxed observe things as they are; without attaching a story to it.
- See your reaction as it is in the present moment.
- Adjust your reaction accordingly and appropriately to the situation.
When we are relaxed, our mind opens a space that allows us to see things as they are, not as we wish them to be. We can be fully present in the moment, which is the key to the inner-observer that is always in the present.