Observation is a crucial skill. When we observe our thoughts and emotions, we can get better at consciously setting our stories aside. Our stories are our past experiences, our worries about the future, doubts, expectations, assumptions, fears, etc: essentially, anything our mind uses to take us away from the current, present moment of now.
By choosing to set our stories aside, we can cultivate more here-and-now presence, allowing our true nature to emerge.
Observation with non-judgment is key. Non-judgment means that we are not evaluating a situation/moment/person as “good” “bad” or “other.” We are not critical or wishing the moment was some other way. Rather, we accept the moment as it is, and we choose how we respond to what life is presenting to us. This is important: we cannot control other people or situations; if there is something we do not care for, it is within our power to choose how we respond/what we do/don’t do. Life becomes more empowering and fulfilling when we do not leak our energies throughout the day via thought, feeling, or behavioral resistance to what is. Life becomes incredibly empowering when we consciously choose, choose, choose, and take responsibility for those choices.