My dear old book club friend Melissa now works at the Commish with Handsome. She and another book-loving coworker Janice were recently discussing worthy reading titles within earshot of my guy and landed on something that was eventually loaned to me via my non-reading husband. That’s a lot of info you don’t really need. I do however want you to know all about the book itself.
It’s called The Noticer and it’s written by Andy Andrews who is also apparently the well known author of The Traveler’s Gift and a widely celebrated corporate speaker.
This book is just 156 short, sweet, soothing pages of easy story telling. Nothing too cerebral. Nothing too terribly painful, though while reading my heartstrings were tugged plenty. (I only cried twice, which is not much for me.) The book is a nice spiritual refreshment but neither religious nor preachy. Motivational but not overbearingly so. I was hooked in the first few pages and immediately felt familiar strains from books like The Shack, A Return to Love, The Secret, a book by Mitch Albom (The Five People You Meet in Heaven), and more. Also, friends, my own story about the worry door.
I love echoes like these.
The Noticer message is all about perspective and how to adjust our own so that we see life and its problems and opportunities more clearly. More calmly. With greater capacity for love and growth. These are decent, useful things; and honing perspective is a skill that will serve us throughout life. As the book points out in various conversations, everyone is constantly in close relationship with crisis: We are either in crisis, headed for crisis, or recovering from it. Have we not discussed that right here over and over again? And pretty recently? How comforting to remind each other that crisis is nothing special meant only for us, though it sometimes feels that way. Life is not about avoiding crises but about improving our perspective and coping skills so that we can live with more love and purpose.
The Noticer was, for me personally, a mellow touchstone for all these lessons I’ve been receiving about practicing gratitude. A brief exchange about two-thirds into the story has the fascinating main character, Jones, suggesting to a work-obsessed friend that upon waking each morning he spend ten minutes listing things in his life for which he is grateful. When I was about 28 years old my husband’s grandmother instructed me to do almost exactly the same thing. I started doing it then, and it was transformative. Even now, when I fail to physically write on paper my gratitude, just sitting quietly with my thoughts and expressing gratitude sets the tone for my day and relaxes all my tension. Sometimes I do this at night when I can’t sleep. Just using gratitude to adjust my perspective from worry to peace often puts me right into a deep, restful sleep. It’s amazing.
After all, our blessings far outweigh our problems. And focusing on them only magnifies them and magnetizes you for more of them. Don’t forget that.
Okay friends. I could sit with you and discuss this interesting, inspiring book for many hours. I hope Melissa reads it soon so we can meet for lunch and do exactly that. (hint hint lady!!) If you are looking for a quick, uplifting read, something to refresh your thinking without making you feel like you’ve just visited a church you don’t recognize, find The Noticer and let it gently suggest a better perspective. Easy peasy.
Your vision, my boy. It is incredibly cloudy at the moment, but I am certain we can clear a pathway from your head to your heart and into your future.
Thank you Melissa for thinking of me and Janice for the loan! I loved it.
Oh and by the way? Watch out for the garden seeds metaphor. You know I hated that. : )
“Keep your fork.
The best is yet to come.”
~Andy Andrews, The Noticer