I read a story via a posting on FB this week which held some resonance with me.

‘Known in Japanese as shisa kanko, pointing-and-calling works on the principle of associating one’s tasks with physical movements and vocalizations to prevent errors by “raising the consciousness levels of workers”—according to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, Japan. Rather than relying on a worker’s eyes or habit alone, each step in a given task is reinforced physically and audibly to ensure the step is both complete and accurate.’

Have you ever driven somewhere and arrived without knowing how you got there? We do lots of mundane or repetitive tasks in life without actually noticing. Our brains have evolved to filter out the mundane and the insignificant so we can see the more important patterns in our environment to enable us to survive. However, what we have become are people who are losing the ability to notice life. The small things of joy such as the smell of fresh-cut grass, the sound of rain on a window pain or the taste and crunch of a fresh apple.

Spring is in the air this week. Before driving to work I pointed to the sun shining on the fields in front of me with the daffodils and flowers emblazoning the landscape. Breathing deeply in, the air was fresh. Moments passed as I took in the moment, savouring it as though it was the first time I had experienced it. Just as a child becomes fascinated with something new, I let myself drink in the moment. At my place of work, we have recently refurbished the rooms and also, outside the building. Yesterday, I stood back and I pointed to the new features and the freshness, acknowledging each new piece. A deeper connection with life is made with peace and calmness as you truly notice your surroundings.

At home, we have had our drive extended. For 24 years, every time I stepped out of the car I stepped on the grass, occasionally trailing mud into the house. Like many things, I had put off making a change.  As these tasks finally are achieved it is like a small weight is removed from my shoulders. Each thing we park becomes a small burden, nothing particular on its own but collectively are significant. Taking away our enjoyment, as we have to keep turning a blind eye. As each task is completed we grow in our sense of achievements. We can’t do everything, but we can honestly acknowledge what needs to be done and begin to prioritise.

Stop and take the time to practice shisa kanko to point and call those joys of life out. Mindful living involves noticing. The rush of life means much of the rich tapestry of life passes most of us by. Shisa kanko may enable you to stop and positively notice life, keeping you in the moment. Pointing to the tasks as we come across them forces us to acknowledge and make a decision on whether to make an action.

PS weight = 80.7kg