Debra Swersky
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Opt-in for weekly journal, not blog, posts.


This morning, as with most weekday mornings, I went to Bar Method. Bar Method is not a bartending class, nor a ballet class… and it’s not yoga, nor pilates. It’s a combination of all of them (minus the bartending bit). I found the class almost four years ago and have been a dedicated student ever since. Highly recommended. I could write a book about all the things that I love about Bar Method (… but I’ll save that for when I have some free time). I did, however, write a post a few months ago titled: With Purpose. One of the many things that I love about Bar Method is how the class is managed. The teacher, like a ballet instructor, makes small adjustments to the form of each student throughout class. Keyword: Small. Each exercise is set-up so that you can get into the initial form and then throughout the exercise you execute small movements to complete the exercise. The more classes you attend the more quickly you get into the correct form and the better the exercise is (overall).

But, this morning, my form was corrected while I was completing an exercise that I had probably done 100 times. In most exercise classes I would have said to myself, “Ugh! How could I have been left so long doing this exercise incorrectly.” But, with Bar Method I immediately recognized the problem, I wasn’t paying attention. My shoulders were tense (not “down and back”), I was lost in thought, and even though I was staring at myself in the face, I didn’t notice the problem. 

Notice! I didn’t notice. What a word. 

I heard the word “notice” the other day in the context of having paid attention to something and realized that it’s one of those words that I had heard before, but never actually “heard.” As in, I understood the meaning of the word in context, but never thought to understand the word. Like “fascinate.” You know that a tidbit of information can be super interesting… but fascinating? What does that really mean to you. 

Recognizing that I didn’t “notice” my form while at Bar Method and therefore having it be corrected I identified this as a Headspace moment. To Headspace’s credit I’ve been having these moments often. They’re a “check-in” of sorts: “how are you feeling,” “take a deep breath,” “what are you doing right now”-moments. Baby steps. (::patting myself on the back::) At Bar Method I was too “in my head” focusing on other thoughts that I was having, conversations from yesterday, things I needed to do, places that I needed to go, etc. etc. Life. Life was happening in my head while I should have been focusing on my form. 

I didn’t notice what was right in front of me. 

Since hearing the word “notice” in Tony Fadell’s TED Talk: The first secret of design is… noticing, I started to really think about the word. I’m not a designer, but I don’t think that matters. Noticing is the first secret to just about anything: health, work, friends, family… life. As Tony said, “… it’s seeing the invisible problem, not the obvious problem, that’s important…”

After being corrected in class this morning I immediately cleaned up my head (the invisible problem) and got back to the workout (the obvious problem), paid attention to my form, reminded myself to breath, and definitely pulled my shoulders “down and back.” In short, I took notice and focused. Thank you, Bar Method, for keeping me honest.

Debra Swersky