We've Noticed with Amy+Hayley

Here we are, mid-October. The leaves are deciding whether it’s time to change. The air is crisp at the beginning of the day. And it’s that time of year where taking a deep breath outside feels so good. I open the door ready to meet with Amy, iced coffee in hand. She hears the door close. “Over here!” She says from her office. And I have to laugh because I see her Diet Coke- we both routinely show up with some fun drink. On interview two, let’s call it a tradition at this point. I’ve had a 25 minute highway drive to review the topics for today, and Amy greets me with a hug and a pat on the seat that she pulled up for me.


Hayley:

We’re into that cooler weather now! How are you doing with this time of year?


Amy:

Well, I like all things comfy and warm and soft, so this is great. The brisk morning air is a little cool, but it’s also rejuvenating and refreshing. The air on my walk this morning was brisk and it was so nice.


Hayley:

I love that you’re taking the time for those morning walks. The world has started to pick back up, and I feel like we're having to be more intentional with our time. Almost like we’re getting a chance to re-evaluate our schedules. What's another way you've been making time for yourself?


Amy:

We definitely are. One thing I’ve found myself sharing with people lately is that so often when we're trying to figure out what self care is, we like to jump into the things that other people have told us it looks like. Like making sure we have good physical health.


But for me, I think it's that pause of taking a moment to be intentional. Maybe I'm running errands in the grocery store and I pause before rushing to checkout to ask myself, “What do I need right now?” Just ask that one question. I love it because sometimes the answer is that I already have everything I need. And then there's gratitude.


Hayley:

And then sometimes it’s like, I need a Kind bar.


Amy:

Totally. But maybe from asking myself that question, I become aware that I need some downtime later. Or I need to go home and talk to someone who can lift me up. So I think it's the pause- giving myself permission to take a minute. Because the world will go on even if I'm not running to the next thing. So by giving myself some time, I can ask myself, “What do I need here?”


Hayley:

So self care for you is a self check-in.


Amy:

That's exactly it. Checking in with myself, because I do think that's the first step to self care. You can't take care of yourself if you don't know what you need.


Hayley:

So let's say you do a self check-in and you’re needing an on the go snack, do you have a favorite go-to lately?


Amy:

Yes! So I have been craving fresh fruit lately, and my favorite is fresh blueberries. I love having a handful of those, they’re so flavorful. And then I always have almonds in my car. I keep those in my console in case I need them and I have a few moments.


Hayley:

Do you have any podcasts that you're listening to while you're driving around?


Amy:

Yes! I'm listening to Unlocking Us by Brené Brown. She has this amazing podcast and you would love it.


Hayley:

What! I’ve never heard of that. Hold, on I’m writing that down.


Amy:

You’ll have to tell me what you think!


Hayley:

Oh I will. You’ll get some excited texts. Okay, now that I've been to your office, I'm very excited about this next question. Do you have any tips for how to make a workspace easier to focus? We've all adapted our workspaces so much, and I’d love to hear your tips.


Amy:

What helps me is being intentional about what I can see while I'm working, and what’s allowed to be right in front of me. There’s this space in my office where I tend to keep piles of things. So if I have lots of projects going on, I'll have these little piles.


Sometimes them being in my peripheral vision can almost put a weight on my shoulders. So I actually have one huge drawer I keep empty, just so I can take the piles and carefully put them there. I will get to it later, but I need to focus right now.


Hayley:

That’s a great habit. Knowing how to remove extra visual clutter from the workspace. Are there any other habits you can think of?


Amy:

I make conscious choices to stay zoned into the one thing I'm working on. For example, if I don't keep my desk clear, my brain can't focus. It's really easy for me to see something in the room and then just go off on a thinking tangent.


Hayley:

I do the exact same thing. I’m going to remember that idea.


Amy:

It’s really helped me.

Hayley:

I want to talk about something that I've been learning from you. We've had several conversations lately about how much the ripple effect of Noticing starts with how you talk to yourself. Like, it really is the beginning. That was a bit of a curveball for me.


Amy:

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, from a scientific perspective, there are lots of studies that estimate we get about 70,000 thoughts a day and about 70 percent of those are negative. And they're negative, not because we're negative people, but because our brains are designed to keep us safe.


So they're noticing what we need to steer clear of and how we need to navigate. And if we're not intentional about it, that 70 percent can run wild. We can't do the same thing over and over and expect to get a different, more positive result. We have to work on a balanced approach.


Hayley:

So what’s an example of that?


Amy:

So let's say I look in the mirror and I think, “Oh my gosh, do I need to make an appointment to get my hair highlighted?” That’s the start. But then the next thought can go off- “I have not made an appointment, I hate the way I wasn’t ahead of it.” And then let's say that I don’t catch it, then I might even quickly say: “God, I always let things fall behind like this.”


And all of a sudden I'm not talking about my hair anymore. I am down a literal rabbit hole of being really, really mean to myself and probably talking to myself in a way I wouldn't talk to anyone else.


That’s where the change comes in. This conversation, this relationship I have with myself can be so much better than that. Instead, I can honor myself when I look in the mirror and think, “Wow, you've been busy- I want to text right now, set up a hair appointment and move on.”


Hayley:

So how does that play into Noticing from there? What does the ripple effect look like? Amy:

Well then I'm going to go out and I'm going to see the next couple of people, my family or my co-workers or whoever, and whatever I say will come out of the place I have for honoring myself. I'm going to go to the grocery store and Notice the goodness in them, but if it’s not authentic inside, I've kind of defeated myself. It's going to come from a different place. My language is going to be a little different. I'm going to think, “Well, they are the ones who have got it all.” It all flips when you honor yourself, because self-talk and Noticing are definitely linked.


Hayley:

How long does that flip take? That’s not an overnight shift.


Amy:

It's something that you work on over time. It doesn't just happen right away. Hayley: If you wanted to give a place to start, what is one habit to try to change? Amy: I recommend a one minute mirror challenge. Literally, set your timer on your phone for one minute, look in the mirror at yourself and have a conversation. Start it with: “I want to Notice ___.” And then fill in that blank. Look for the good in you.


Hayley: Mmhmm. Amy: I've had people who have tried it tell me, “I didn’t think I could do it. But I started it anyway. I’d set the timer for one minute and it felt weird.” But then the more they did it, it became more natural. And then they’d done it several days in a row. So it gets easier and before you know it, this routine is part of your day.

Because we're going to spend all our other minutes Noticing other people and doing important things. So one minute with you to Notice goodness is worth the time.


Hayley: Let’s continue the tradition: I want to hear your #NoticedShoutOut- Amy: Yes! Hayley: Is there an organization, or a person, or a group of people that you've particularly Noticed and appreciated lately? Amy: So one of our long term partners is Camp Encourage, an organization of amazing people who serve children living with Autism. With the pandemic, they have not been able to hold camp this summer for their friends. So I have watched them get creative and stay authentic and find ways to connect with the people they serve.


I'm so impressed by the way they’ve had this attitude of: Our mission is so important, so if the world changes, we'll just tackle it and figure out the “how.” Their tenacity has been amazing. I mean, they're called Camp Encourage for a reason! They are encouraging and they have continued to do that with such integrity, even when it now looks a little different.


I know that it’s not, but they make it look easy. They are putting together events and opportunities for people to connect, and they're really giving their heart and soul to making it happen. I'm so impressed with that, and they are so important to the world this year.

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