The Art of Observation

Subtle observation can help improve our own behavior
Subtle observation can help improve our own behavior

Last week we started talking about how our behaviors can be triggered by our underlying sense of fear.

After I wrote that column/blog, I went to the ladies room and when washing my hands, I observed a younger woman in her thirties, fuss with her hair for several minutes, way beyond what would be considered normal.  She was dressed fairly casually and her hair was good—she was an attractive woman and yet I sensed that she didn’t think so, unless she got her hair just right.  Or it appeared that way, since she kept fussy over it, checking her appearance first in one mirror and then another.  Finally, she left and grabbed a tissue to open the door with, using her covered elbow to prop it open for me, who was also exiting.  Instead of throwing the tissue into the proper trash bin, she let it simply drop to the floor for someone else to pick up.  She was still playing with her hair and patting her head as she walked away.

Now that woman lives in fear.  She clearly afraid she’d not good enough or pretty enough.  She’s afraid of catching some fatal disease and she came across as not being very considerate.  Frankly, my observation was that she came across as vain, shallow and self-absorbed.  I’m not sure about you—but these personality traits aren’t very flattering.  And they are based on an underlying state of fear.  (Of course I don’t know what her real story is—these simply my observations to make a point.)

If you’re not up to observing your own behavior, then begin to watch those behaviors around you.  Are those people you observe living in peace or in fear?  Are any of their behaviors similar to your own?

We’re not here to judge or criticize others—but we are here to observe so we can then improve our own behaviors.    This means observing quietly and stealthily.  I wouldn’t recommend jumping into someone’s conversation just because you can contribute or it sounds interesting—you don’t want to ease drop, even when the party is a noisy or loud one.  I have been tempted to do so in the past and admittedly have done so, and my participation isn’t always welcome. 

One of my favorite childhood books was “Harriet the Spy”.  Stay away from the subsequent video—it simply doesn’t do justice to the book.  But it was here, within the pages of this wonderful book and during my childhood that I learn the art of quiet observation about human behavior.  It wasn’t until much later that I applied those lessons of behavior to my own behavior improvement, but that’s another story.

I observed how people behaved and brought my ‘spy skills’ into adulthood, where I still quietly observe others.  (Yes, you are being watched!) You too can use these stealth techniques to learn how others act and react and become more self-aware about your own behaviors.  Yes, you may start second guessing yourself, but you’ll soon learn to use these new skills as tools to perfect, not judge others or even yourself, you own behavior towards the positive, rather than the negative. 

Attempt to watch objectively; it won’t always be possible.  And it’s certainly not easy.  But then this will another behavior you can work on for yourself. 

Soon you will find that some people are confident, happy with whom they are and are nice to others.  Most you will find are rather self-absorbed to the point of narcissism, are attention seeking, and aren’t so nice to both themselves and to others.  They live in fear and aren’t very joyful about life.  And they think life should be kinder and nicer to them.  That it is other people’s fault that their life isn’t better.  They criticize, blame, dramatize and don’t smile very much. 

Don’t judge them or even try to fix them—each person has their own story to tell and most will tell you their story if you let them.  You have your own story though and can learn from other’s poor behaviors.  Learn to use their story to improve your own.

For this is what life is all about. Everyday life is here to expand or enhance your personal experience with the ever abundance of contrast that this planet provides us.  Figuring out what you do want by figuring out what you don’t want is part of that experience.  

Observing others provides you unique insights about contrast and your own behavior.  People are mirrors—do you like what you see in your reflection?  If not, start to clean it up—step by step and day by day.  And that too, is part of the reason you are here on this planet.  Enjoy your expansion by start telling the story you want to live and not the one you aren’t enjoying.

With Light and Love Always,

Blake Cahoon and the Divine Guidance Team
Illuminated Engagements Centre for Whole-Being
www.IlluminatedEngagements.com
bcahoon@illuminatedengagements.com
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One thought on “The Art of Observation

  1. I own it, I’m a great observer. I learned how to do this about 10 years ago. Yes, it has helped me to grow on a personal level. I have observed some positive and negative things and have decided how I’d like to show up in this world for others and act accordingly. Hopefully others find it favorably- however, I’m not forgetting we are all human 🙂 Thanks for allowing me this pondering of how I show up for the world 🙂

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