Poet Michael Chitwood once wrote, “What you notice becomes your life.”
What we bring awareness to has a way of gifting us things we may otherwise be unaware of. Even the loving, challenging, hard and painful “gifts” are so essential to our ongoing vitality, growth, and overall fitness of heart and mind.
I remember working with a client once who had received such a painful “gift” -a harsh letter from a customer sharing all that had gone wrong in the service my client provided.
One thing I often tell clients I work with is that the problem you are facing today, or the one that led you to call us, is the period at the end of the sentence. It is in the unraveling of that sentence where the true gifts lie. This “harsh letter” was the period at the end of a sentence for us, and it’s what we would use to find clue to the greater gifts it had to provide.
In its continued unraveling, What we noticed was that the words in the letter were telling us just part of the story. The client had likely held back and only put to page that which made the final cut.
Although it hardly felt like a gift at the time, the more we invited that list to sit down, and speak its truth, the more it evolved. The “problems” listed there morphed into complications, then took a turn toward “a favor,” and finally settled as a gift that has continued to give; an evolution wholly dependent on what was noticed and integrated.
When we dug deeper, we stepped into noticing what wasn’t there – what issues could have made the list but didn’t because the client held them back.
And we took a different approach. One of curiosity.
When we asked the customer to share with us what they had discussed but ultimately chose not to write, we were gifted even more. A chance to see what we were missing. A chance to illuminate our blind spots. Not only that, but something remarkable happened, a trust was formed with the client, one which blossomed into a respect that has remained unbroken for 10 years’ running.
The truth of the lesson: That which may not seem like a gift at the time, gives us more than we could imagine by not being so.
What you notice becomes your life. So notice it all – the joys, the problems and all the pregnant spaces in between. None of us come into our l lives and work fully formed. This means there is space for it all – what is obvious, less obvious, and hidden altogether; those subtleties of life. By noticing it all, we can be gifted in the right way – your way – with all the abundance such gifts bring.