Does the phrase “snap out of it” trigger irritation? Do you find it tough to get over something if your concerns are passed over, disregarded, or dismissed? If so, you are probably someone who values the importance of acknowledgment. At a fundamental level, acknowledgment sheds the light of awareness on the over- or underlying factors of any given situation. In a word, it says YES! to whatever exists, because it already exists. Acknowledgment is hard to measure, easy to take for granted—and while we can’t assume everyone knows how to do it, we can commit to getting better at it ourselves.
Acknowledging your thoughts, feelings, senses, and desires is the first step toward making any positive change. To practice acknowledging means to practice noticing. This requires “taking a moment” to pause and check in with your inner and outer environment. This simple commitment to becoming more aware initiates a conversation between your mind and body, heightening a direct experience of what it’s like to be you. It expands your field of awareness, aligning you with the present moment, and paves the way to a more intimate connection with reality and a whole new realm of possibilities.
In many ways, acknowledging is a true art form and a sentient skill to be cultivated, nurtured, and even romanced. Taking a moment to notice things like the sensations of your skin, the clouds in the sky, and the smell of roses is more than a cliché. Acknowledgment, as a contemplative exercise, sharpens your ability to notice your surroundings and therefore yourself in relation to the world. Feeling seen, heard, and known (if only by your own self-design) holds up the shiny start gates and ushers in profound feelings of belonging and self-worth. It’s the first step in a journey of understanding, wherein “snapping out of it” may feel less like a slap in the face and more like an invitation to truly lighten up.
- Make it a habit. Take a moment to just notice your surroundings at least three times per day. Use your senses to observe what you see, smell, taste, hear, and touch. Name the senses by saying out loud or silently to yourself: I see . . . , I hear . . . , I touch . . . , I smell . . . , I taste . . . . Then list out whatever is the case at that given moment. Set the goal to see, hear, touch, smell, and taste more beauty, pleasure, joy, or whatever it is you would like to be more “in touch” with in your daily life. Go out on a “beauty reconnaissance mission”—gather evidence of beauty by electing to spend more time in relationship with your beloved senses.
- Notice your preferences. Write down your favorite sense experiences each day. What was your favorite smell, taste, sound, etc.? It’s important to know your preferences in order to fully appreciate your unique sensibilities.
- Make a commitment. Add more of your favorite tastes, touches, sounds, and smells to your daily self-care routines. Stock up on pleasure in constructive ways.