In a well-known commencement address, David Foster Wallace (RIP) shared this wise anecdote. It goes something like:

“Two young fish are swimming along. An old fish swims by and says, ‘Hey young fish, how’s the water?’ The one young fish looks at the other young fish and says, ‘What the hell is water?’

What the hell is water?

We are all so busy being fish, we don’t notice the very environment that surrounds us.

Noticing the water is a super power. Bringing mindful attention to habitual patterns — instead of just experiencing them as usual — can transform your relationship with yourself, your personal and professional relationships, and even your experience of cultural and systemic influences.

To better serve my coaching clients, I’m studying Hakomi, a body-centered therapy method where a significant portion of the session is conducted in mindful self study of present experience.

Supporting clients in mindful self study, allows them to deepen their ability to recognize and then work with the water — even if it’s new or emotionally charged.

Jumping out of the system — to witness the water you are swimming in – is brave and powerful work. How might you raise your gaze today?