- Thoughts for inspired living

April 10, 2009


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:25 am

While out walking Snuffy the black nosed beagle this morning, I heard the sound of a woodpecker going through his morning routine, same as me. It got me to wondering.

Does the woodpecker notice what he does or is it simply a matter of that’s what they do? The answer I got was, “That’s what they do.” They don’t notice.

That makes them much like us – a species that goes around doing what they do, without a lot of noticing.

Automatic pilot is very helpful when doing certain tasks like tying your shoes but doesn’t fill the bill in many other areas of our life.

We seem to walk from one trance to another throughout the day and rarely take the time to observe what we do. This creates a robotic feel to life that we attempt to remedy with a pill or potion or some activity to get our mind off doing what we do.

I’m recommending the opposite.

After musing about the woodpecker, the letters N.B. popped into my mind. I remembered from my elementary school days that it’s an abbreviation that means “take notice.”

It is absolutely freeing to take notice of what you are doing. Rather than writing on Facebook that it’s “hump day” with only two more days after today until the weekend, notice what you are doing. Your current escapism practice insures that this moment is going to suck. Notice that you are sacrificing this moment to get to the next.

That’s what we do. We string together a bunch of unnoticed moments and call it life – a life we’re attempting to escape from.

When you begin to take notice of your waking trance, you create a space for something brand new to pop in. It’s the novelty you’ve been craving. It makes life alive again.

Imagine a 4 year old in a sandbox having this conversation in their head. “God, I was in this same stupid sand box yesterday. Can’t they find a more exciting place to take me? It’s the same thing everyday – shovel, bucket, building stupid sand castles, and I’ve had it with this fresh air and sunshine routine. I’ve just got to find a bigger sandbox with a canopy.”

The 4 year old notices what they’re doing in the moment and it brings them joy.

We can learn a lot from 4 year olds and woodpeckers by simply noticing.

The woodpecker snapped me out of my trance this morning. By becoming present and curious about the sound he was making, it also made me notice the environment I was in. I could now consciously smell the spring air, see the daffodils in bloom, feel the spring in my step, and hear the early morning sounds that surrounded me, rather than the blather that was going on in my head. Thank you woodpecker for making me notice.

It’s this simple: When you’re in your head, you’re dead – you’re dead to the life that’s always present.

The remedy? You just have to “take notice.”

And as we say in Rhode Island, “Happy Eastuh!”

All the best,


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