The Healing Power of Noticing: Slowing Down to Connect with Our Hearts and Bodies


August 15th 2023

#30: The Healing Power of Noticing: Slowing Down to Connect with Our Hearts and Bodies

Let’s unravel the negatives of a non-stop, overcommitted life, and the detrimental impact of not pausing to process and connect with our feelings.

Ready for a revelation that will transform your life’s pace and awareness? 

We’ll also get candid about how faith may sometimes present as a hurdle to slowing down.

Yet, the power of noticing our emotions and strengths can pave the way to a life rich with meaning and connection. Unplug from the bustle and plug into self-awareness with us.

Wondering about the potency of taking a moment to notice?

This segment is your eye-opener. Bathe in the awe-inspiring moments that can catalyze us towards a fulfilling life brimming with purpose and connection.

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Drawing wisdom from the book of Ruth, we’ll illuminate how God’s observant nature spurs us to do the same. Embrace the practice of self-awareness and harmonize with your body to decipher your feelings.

We wrap up with an enchanting reading from “To Bless the Space Between Us“, underscoring the splendor and strength of the act of noticing.

Get ready to change your perspective and find more meaning in your life.

Transcription: The Healing Power of Noticing: Slowing Down to Connect with Our Hearts and Bodies

Andrea Smithberger [00:00:00]:

Jumping right into this one. What if the one thing standing in the way of your healing is the intense pace of life that you’re living? I know. One more time. What if the one thing standing in the way of your healing is the intense pace of life that you’re living? What if hurrying through your schedules and your to dos might mean that you’re hurrying right past your healing? Now that I’ve got your attention, how are you feeling about these questions? Notice is your head kind of tilted to the side, considering these questions? Are your eyebrows a little higher on your head because you’re annoyed with me now? Or are your shoulders really tense up to your ears because you’re like, oh, no. Let’s take a deep breath and relax it all. I just took your hand and jumped into the deep end. So let’s tilt your head side to side, nice and slow and back and forth, nice and slow. Take a deep breath in through your nose, push it out through your mouth and relax your shoulders.

Andrea Smithberger [00:01:17]:

Notice that these two words are both a subject and an invitation. My counselor says these words to me when I’m telling her a story about she said this again and it made me so mad again. And then, and then and then and she slows me down to say, what are you feeling right now, Andrea? Notice that and I get irritated, wouldn’t you? I’m rushing through these feelings for a reason. We’re going to consider the phrase notice that as a move toward mindfulness instead of mindlessness. We live in a culture of busyness, of too muchness. It’s in the slowing down that things like needs, lacks, aches, dreams. The slowing down, that’s when they bubble up. And that can be scary.

Andrea Smithberger [00:02:10]:

But if we keep rushing through without noticing how things affect us, we lose touch with our strengths and we choose to allow our dysfunction to carry on. Not notice our strengths has consequences. Not noticing our dysfunction means we’re choosing to ignore, to dissociate, to numb out. Let’s consider these scenarios. Maybe you’ve just wrapped up a conversation with your mom and you feel depleted. Notice that. Why are you feeling that way? Do you always feel drained? What is your go to quick fix to remedy that feeling? Is it food? The internet? Notice that. Okay, if you’re annoyed, keep with me.

Andrea Smithberger [00:03:04]:

Maybe you texted your husband or your boyfriend and you still haven’t heard back from him and your stomach starts to feel bad. Notice that. Why are you queasy? Are you thinking he doesn’t love you? Are you thinking he’s with someone else? Are your thoughts spiraling down into the fact that you might feel unlovable? Notice that. To notice that draws attention to what you’re feeling and helps slow down the process. It gives you a chance to stay in the experience just a little longer. How does that hit you? I bet that feels a little scary. For me. I know that I don’t like to slow down the feelings because I don’t want to get stuck there.

Andrea Smithberger [00:03:53]:

Maybe that’s true for you. Maybe the idea of slowing down to notice to the feelings feels like you might be less of a Christian. Because you shouldn’t be anxious about anything. You should be casting your cares, et cetera. Here’s the thing you are an embodied creature, a woman with heart, mind and body. To notice gives your mind a chance to connect with your body on how it’s carrying what your heart is avoiding. Your experiences the way they have affected you and still affect you deserve your attention. We can make great connections in our mind, but it’s when we connect our heart and our body that the most meaning making happens.

Andrea Smithberger [00:04:40]:

Make meaning. Connect. Notice. You deserve a life of meaning. You deserve a life of more than just running through it all. To notice is such a childlike quality, isn’t it? So aware and honest. To notice allows the moment to teach us. Father Richard Rohr says we must allow ourselves to be at least slightly stunned until it draws us upward, inward, toward a subtle experience of wonder.

Andrea Smithberger [00:05:15]:

We normally need just a single moment of gratuitous awe to get us going. Like a kickstart. Doesn’t a kickstart of meaning sound great? Presence and connection for the embodied woman, the creation of God that you are? As we get to know these things and we become slower people, we begin to make space to determine a vision for our life. Are you feeling the momentum build here? What once sounded scary at the start of this podcast is actually moving you towards a more whole, awe filled life. Have you read the Book of Ruth lately? Super short. Feeling unnoticed in your life hurts, but watching throughout just that short story of God noticing the unnoticed is such a beautiful message that the Lord notices you, wants to notice you, and he wants you to notice. Instead of keeping your head down and putting 1ft in front of the other, let’s look up and say, where am I going? What am I feeling? What am I wanting? What do I want to do about my life, God? Where do we go next? To ease yourself into the idea of practicing, start tomorrow morning and ask yourself, how am I in my heart, God? How am I in my head and in my body? What comes up for you? Over time, you’ll find it easier and easier to do. And then, as you build this practice, notice where in your body you’re feeling it.

Andrea Smithberger [00:07:00]:

So maybe if it is an unease in your stomach, touch your stomach. Notice your body reacting, and thank it for being a signal, a flag to what you’re feeling and connect it all. This isn’t easy, but it is so worth it. Let’s finish with a reading from this beautiful book to bless the space between us. May you recognize in your life the presence, power and light of your soul. May you realize that you are never alone, that your soul, in its brightness and belonging, connects you intimately with the rhythm of the universe. May you have respect for your individuality and your difference. May you realize that the shape of your soul is unique, that you have a special destiny here, that behind the facade of your life there is something beautiful and eternal happening.

Andrea Smithberger [00:08:10]:

May you learn to see yourself with the same delight, pride, an expectation with which God sees you in every moment.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How does the fast-paced nature of modern life affect our ability to notice and heal from dysfunction?
  2. In what ways do we choose not to notice our dysfunction? Why do we engage in behaviors like ignoring, dissociating, and numbing out?
  3. Have you ever experienced feeling depleted after a conversation? How did you cope with that feeling? Did you notice any patterns in your reactions?
  4. How can paying attention to our body’s signals help us connect with our emotions and better understand how they affect us?
  5. Why is it important to slow down and take notice of our feelings and desires? How can this practice lead to a more meaningful and connected life?


Want Andrea to talk about a specific topic? Change up the format, or just tell us the podcast rocks! We would love your feedback on Sacred by Design. You can leave your feedback here.

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