So I bet a lot of you who actually have a TV have seen Simon Baker in the Mentalist. I love the way he observes and integrates his observations with his knowledge and comes up with calculated guesses that are often right – it is as if he is psychic.
It’s a cool concept – If you have access to the USA channel then you have seen it on Psyche too, with a lot of tongue in cheek humor.
That is my life. Not watching TV – this integrated mindfulness – And it’s the life I am encouraging you to develop- Observation Integrated with Knowledge.
I think of it as Applied Intuition and it can look like psychic skills.
It’s basically trusting your hunches, listening to your intuition, and paying attention to your senses.
It’s the Blink response made famous by Malcolm Gladwlll, in his book by the same name.
Have you ever been listening to your partner or child as they tell a story of an event and you think there is something not quite right here? That’s paying attention to something that is not tangible. It’s a gut feeling or a sense that something is off.
Have you ever watched someone being interrogated about something and they give you a tell a quirky action that tells you or telegraphs to you huh there is something not right here.
Great poker players say everyone has a tell it’s a thing they do when they are trying to give the impression of one thing when something else is the truth. Tells can be like a tic – extra movements, avoiding eye contact, blinking, but they can also be an absence of a behavior that one would expect – a flatness or lack of action.
The theory behind this is that your body is always fully transmitting information; it’s what the lie detector test is based on; and it’s what people describe when they are trying to teach you how to read other people.
Usually it’s picking up on some non-verbal thing that communicates something different from the the verbal information.
On the TV show NCIS it’s Gibbs’ comments that there are no coincidences. For his character this is something that makes his gut say there is something wrong here.
What ever it is it requires observation of non-verbal information, internal bodily sensations (like the hair standing up on the back of your neck) – observation of things that seem to be out of order or not fitting into a pattern.
This, then is connected to your knowledge base – paradigm shifting, knowing of the person or what seems normal for that person’s behavior.
An example is when you feel it’s too quiet and you ask your child who normally is very talkative and active what she is doing and she says nothing with a feeling of something in how she says the word. Observing the dissonance between how she is acting and how she normally acts allows you to say hmmm I better go check on what she is doing…. and you find she is doing something that is outside the rules.
Or if you are interviewing someone for a job and they give all the right answers but it doesn’t feel like they are going to actually act in the way they are identifying – somewhere you have picked up on a disconnect in verbal statements and non-verbal behavior.
Hunches, gut reaction, paying attention and focusing our awareness of patterns, and strict observation are how we develop our mindfulness.
This works through the process of slowing down the input of information and increasing our gathering of information. It focuses us onto the process of Stop, Look, and Listen.
This is really helpful in relationship building, team-building, communication and parenting.
It’s also important in personal growth development and health issues.
What about when you start to feel fatigue but you are generally an energetic person. That could be your body saying to you hey I think there’s a problem here – check it out.
We are always communicating with ourselves but if we aren’t paying attention to thsoe communications then we can miss out on important health concerns. Think about individuals who may be allergic to gluten or lactose intolerant they may not properly attribute issues to the correct thing if they are not mindful in how they respond to the inner feeling of huh I think there is something out of place here.
We have to look for the tells.
The same is true for our kids – when they have a change in personality we need to Stop, Look, and Listen.
Try to unravel the place that the change occurred so that you can get a better understanding of what may have gone wrong – and how – so that you can try to set things back on track.
Kids can respond to stress both at home and school with a regression in their developmental stages – some of this is also part of the developmental process – so you have to stop – first notice the change and then look by increasing your knowledge base of the developmental stages. You also have to spend time being with your child to listen to what may be going on.
Children, like our bodies, are always communicating to us and telegraphing information to us – if we can understand how they’re doing it and what they’re trying to say.
So we have to know what is normal and then incorporate what is out of place – we have to look for the tells.
See you tomorrow.