Mindfulness has helped me see that sometimes we look too hard and too directly for that which we seek…and often don’t find.

I had always believed it was most efficient to go directly to what I wanted, to seek exactly what I wanted, to identify what I wanted and look for exactly that.

In my early 20’s I moved to an area with lots of deer. I enjoyed spotting them as we drove past field after field, yet it seemed that everyone else could spot them faster than me. I wanted to spot deer faster, before the field and backdrop trees was blocked from view by a stand of evergreens…and then we were suddenly in front of another field…and I had to start looking all over again.

No one could tell me how they found deer so fast. Finally one kindly older gentleman told me, “It’s simple. Nature is generally vertical. Man-made and animal are generally horizontal. Scan the vertical to notice the horizontal.”

Huh??? OK. I turned my head and scanned a field. Boom. There was a deer. Just like that. I scanned another field. Wow. Another and another!

And all this time I thought that I had to look for deer quickly deer and quote graphic brighter finalto find deer quickly .

Scan and notice helps us look efficiently and effectively rather than looking too hard or focusing too narrowly. With scan and notice we can see without looking.

Scan and notice illuminates many more options and opportunities than just the one thing we thought we were looking for…even something better!

Sometimes we are using our expectations, assumptions, or pre-conceived ideas of what that one thing would look like, act like, or be like…so much so that we don’t recognize it when it comes into our view…because it doesn’t fit our idea of what we want…yet, there it is…and we pass on by…still looking.

A skill that we develop as infants, scan and notice is still present within you. If you haven’t used it in a while, it may be dusty or even a bit rusty. That’s ok. It’ll still work. Take it out and dust it off.

Still looking for that diet or exercise that you can live with rather than struggle through? Still looking for that perfect relationship? Whatever you are looking for, scan and notice is available to you anytime, anywhere, to help you with anything, and everything that matters to you.

The more we use our scan and notice skills the more practiced we become and the more that scan and notice becomes second nature to us…part of our autopilot ways of being and doing.

© 2015 Mary Bartnik