Meditation Challenge- Just Notice

Posted March 18, 2013 by Monica O'Connell in Life After Five


The meditation challenge is underway.  I’ve enjoyed the meditations so far and I haven’t participated in all of them.  One of the days this week I really didn’t set aside time to sit and do the meditation.  Sounds kind of crazy as I reflect back on my week.  I should easily have 15 minutes to have completed this meditation, right? I mean, come on, that’s basically nothing.

That’s super true. I should have made time.  I should have made it a priority I should have skipped something else. Gosh, I’m a crappy meditator. I’ll never do it right. Why do other people have time for this and I don’t? If I can’t even meditate, I must be missing out on so much more. I should’ve had time to workout more, to work longer at work, to spend more time outside, to be a better friend, to be a better partner.

(Are you catching on to this slippery slope?)


I notice on my meditation challenge that I started on Monday so I have 7 recorded sessions saved and I’ve only done 6.  Huh. I’d like to make time to do the 7th one soon.

Often times we create our own stress, shame, and tension around activities we actually really want to do.

To keep with the meditation journey I’m taking, I’d like to channel my own Tara Brach and invite you to reframe this slippery slope into simply noticing.  Tara Brach says over and over and over again in meditations “Just notice and label your thought as ‘noticing, noticing, noticing.’”

Your challenge this week is to just notice your thoughts around your time.  When you feel crunched or traffic’ed or stressed or when you’re looking back going I should’ve done this today……. simply saying to yourself “I’m noticing.”  And start to really bring up the facts about the day. It’s true, I could have made time for this.  And I chose not to.  Probably for a really great reason.

Some of the best gifts of noticing are all of the stuff I talk about on the regular.  I can catch myself when I’m sitting in shame, I can catch myself when I’m judging other people, I can notice how often I choose stress over peace.  And from noticing, I can make a new decision in this very moment.  Instead of making a decision coming from a place of stress.  There’s a difference.  Can you feel the difference between those two?

Try it.  And see if you can notice.

About the Author

Monica O'Connell

Monica O’Connell is a Licensed Marriage and Family therapist in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In her practice, she spends her career cheering on “Career Girls” as they learn how to get the most out of life. Monica works with arguably some of the most successful, intelligent, inspiring women in the Twin Cities who tackle self-discovery, career success, and what’s getting in the way of their true desires. She shares her favorite moments as those “best described not by words but by the stomach aching, face soreness that comes from spending an entire day laughing with loved ones.”