We've Noticed with Amy + Hayley

Thanksgiving is coming up, the leaves have fully turned, and I am putting the windows up in my car while merging on the entry ramp. As I take the highway drive to the office, I have a Black Dog coffee because meeting with Amy always reminds me to do something extra for myself. Taking the 20 minute drive time to listen to a podcast and enjoy my drink feels like practicing what we preach in a way that’s a nice reminder. I get to the office, and walk into the sunlit room to her cheery, “Hello!” As we sit down to start the interview, there’s a knock at the door. She walks over to meet with someone she knew who was making a delivery, and I hear her Notice them in the middle of the conversation. “I wanted to tell you how much our phone convo meant to me yesterday! I Noticed-” I smiled. This woman is the real deal.


Hayley:

Alright, can we talk about what just happened? I heard you Notice the person that walked in. I love it because I got to see you use it in your daily life. How do you work it into your daily routine? It was so effortless!


Amy:

If you had been there when I was first Noticing people, it wouldn’t have sounded the same! I mean, at this point I've noticed hundreds of people. We get good at what we practice. And so I have practiced Noticing people.


I am a bit of a chameleon in the way that I can see how it would best be received by each person in the moment. Maybe that's my superpower. I like it.


Hayley:

I saw the superpower and I just wanted to call it out. Alright, rapid fire questions. First one: Where have you been going on your walks this year? Any good trails we should know? Amy: I’ve been walking the Rock Island Trail. The tree tunnel is my favorite part. I’ve had the chance to see parts of nature I would never have seen if I’d stayed on the main paths. Hayley:

What do you do to energize yourself in the morning now that we won’t always have sunshine to get us going?


Amy:

Carl and I were just talking about how we need to maybe make different life choices and live closer to the equator! Or at least be like snowbirds and move south in the winter.


I love the sun. I won't lie to you, it is an adjustment for me. Especially this year with my schedule being so different because of everything that is pandemic related. In the past, one routine I’ve had is to get up at 5:55 in the morning and listen to a meditation right away. I’m still working on my routine for this year.


Hayley:

I like that honesty. Do you have any books that you're reading lately or any articles that you found interesting?


Amy:

Thank God for Audible. That's all I got to say about that. I can listen to a lot! So there’s a new book by Jay Shetty I’m listening to called Think Like a Monk, and then I’ve also been listening to You are a Badass by Jen Sincero again. I like to put it on the background.

Hayley:

Huh, learning how to live like a monk and how to be a badass. Yeah. I like that.


Amy:

It's a good dichotomy.


Hayley:

I have a question about something on your wall. You have this paper taped up by your desk that says “soar” on it. What’s the story there? I know you’re intentional about everything you put in your space. Amy: I pick a word to focus on every year. That was my word a few years ago, and it’s stuck with me ever since.

I picked it because you can't say SOAR if you haven't made it to a high place. Whatever process it took to get there, there’s something about maintaining a high place once you’ve put the work in.


I felt like I had, for the years prior to that, been doing the work of getting to a high place. And from that point on, I wanted to use the ease of soaring.


Hayley: What did it make you think about? Amy:

It really caused me to grapple with: Am I comfortable being a person who soars? Because can everybody around me handle that? What does it mean to soar? And as I came to that, this piece behind me at my desk came to life and that's my own quote.


Hayley: What is it?

Amy: I made this piece, and those are my hands. I had it printed on metal, and asked Carl to take the picture. It’s in Rocky Mountain National Park, and I just really wanted to give myself permission to soar knowing that it could help the world if I did. There’s this notion out there of being lonely at the top, and that has never felt right to me. I’ve never wanted to distance myself from people. Others will soar too.


Hayley: I hear what you're saying. It takes a lot of courage to be comfortable in your own light and to soar, knowing that doing that does not mean it’s at the expense of anyone else.

Amy:

I don't have to tear somebody else down to feel better about myself, and I don’t have to tear myself down to make anyone else feel better either. Nothing good comes from shrinking to blend. There's just really no value in that.


Hayley:

Actually, I saw a blog post come through recently that touches on this. It’s the one where you wrote about your own personal version of Supernatural.

In it, you referenced a moment where Brené Brown realized she couldn't play it small anymore.


Amy: Yes. She has this picture on Instagram where she's standing in Times Square and pointing up at a big, huge electronic billboard of her face when her Netflix show launched. And so the world gets the opportunity to see Brené Brown, in this really big, shining kind of way.


Hayley:

So what did you take from that?


Amy:

She speaks of vulnerability and perfectly describes that feeling we get when we put ourselves out on that edge. The reason I referenced it in the blog post was the same. I don't ever want to be the kind of person who makes it look like I am not human and don't have that vulnerability.

I love to soar, but dang it, it feels vulnerable. Yes. At times it feels vulnerable to do that. I love to notice people, but I would be lying if I didn't say there's a moment of vulnerability. You're getting ready to step into a place that someone didn't really invite you into and getting ready to shine light on them and you don't know how they're going to react to that.


Hayley:

That's very true. It takes some bravery.


Do you have your own Times Square moment where you had to feel comfortable shining? There's a lot of talk about how to recognize your own faults and weaknesses, and how to work within those.


But there's this whole other side- what are the coping skills and things you bump up against when you're vulnerable because you're soaring? Amy:

It feels rather vulnerable to have this be my example, but several years ago I was figuring out how to be a professional speaker. I got this idea that I would put on my own event and sell tickets to speak.


And so I rented a ballroom, and I did all the things on the checklist. I had some people supporting me, but it was very unofficial. I didn't hire a producer or a production company. I delivered the message. I'd been hired to deliver the message before, but I'd never put on an event to do it. And I had this image in my mind that you get to go see really dynamic speakers speak at these big ballrooms or big conventions. I’ve imagined myself at Madison Square Garden. I still see it, but it looks different now.


Hayley: What was the event like?


Amy: Family, friends, my kids, other parents, and people that I knew were all in the audience. And they had bought tickets. So they had paid money to hear me speak. Hayley: Mmhmm. Amy: And I think what I bumped up against was, it's certainly not a Time Square moment, it wasn’t that much world exposure. But I was announcing it to all of these people.


Showing that I had this ability to people who had never seen me speak before. I started the presentation in my bathrobe and I did it to make a point, but they'd never seen me use drama. Or act in any way. They'd never seen me put together content. And to address your question, the reason why it feels like that Times Square moment to me is that it was really hard for me to settle into how great that went.


Hayley:

Yes. Amy: Or to be comfortable with the fact that I did what I wanted and to not pick it apart. Not be frustrated with the fact that the microphones weren't working just right, and the creamer ran out halfway through the night so people didn't have creamer for their coffee. I wanted to pick it apart after!


Hayley:

Were you able to shift your focus?


Amy: I think I did. And yet it was really hard to just let that be. So when I see that in other people, I want to say: don't argue for your limitations. And I'm grateful for the friends I have that will call me on that. And certainly that night, I was grateful for those people that showed up and stood by me.


Hayley:

I am going to remember that for a while. Don't argue for your limitations, and surround yourself with people that won't even tolerate that.

Amy: My prayer before speaking is always the same. Let this serve the people that hear it. So I came to the conclusion that as long as my heart is pure, my intentions are truly good, and my ego's out of the way- there’s no need to analyze. Not only can I show up and deliver, it's more likely that I'm going to soar.


Hayley:

Okay, so this is my favorite part! My favorite part of these interviews is getting to hear your Noticed Shout Out.


Amy:

Oh, God! Hayley: (laughs) And I really like it because you always forget, so it’s always in the moment. So who do you have a Noticed Shout Out for?


Amy: Speaking of good people in your life that don’t let you argue for your limitations- that person for me is Carl. For me to have a home base be a place where I can have moments where I try to engineer smallness, and then to have him reflect back to me my true nature and who I really am is the greatest gift, because I can't argue with him about it. Sometimes I'm resistant to it, but he has an amazing ability to see the best in me and believe in me. He just doesn't hold space for me to be any different than who I am, you know?


There's no need to struggle and prove who I am because he already knows my goodness, that's what it feels like with him. It just feels like he already knows it, so there’s nothing to prove. I try it sometimes. I try to argue for my limitations, but he won't hear it.


Hayley:

That is the nicest thing. Pack it up, this is done. I'm done! That really is the nicest thing.


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