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Fly on the Wall Mindfulness

Dear Integral Meditators,

What would it be like to observe yourself s a stranger, and follow yourself around for a while? Would you like what you see? And what might you learn about yourself? The article below explores this theme…

Yours in the spirit of observation,



Fly on the Wall Mindfulness

This is a technique that I mention in my previous article on Mindful Relationships. I’ve been working with it quite a bit this week myself, so I just thought I’d write a little more.

The idea with fly on the wall mindfulness is that you sit down and imagine yourself as a fly on the wall during recent events in your life. You watch yourself as an observer and see what this reveals to you about yourself.

For example if I do this with myself today I can follow myself through various activities based around my daughter’s birthday; see myself going out in the morning to try and find birthday candles (see my annoyance and frustration; does nowhere have birthday candles!!). Later I observe myself reacting/responding to the special dietary requirements of the guests, three visits to the garage or corner shop, but I’m feeling easy and going with the flow. At various other points during the day I see myself and realize that I was having feelings (both positive and negative) that I was not fully aware of, and that being a ‘fly on the wall’ reveals to me very fast.

Some of the benefits of regularly doing the fly on the wall meditation include:

  • Access to an increased objectivity in your view of yourself without repressing or intellectualizing the emotions that are present within
  • Increased awareness of your behaviors and emotions, many of which are invisible to you because they are so habitual and unconscious
  • Greater ability to mentally step back from charged or reactive situations with relative ease
  •  A natural and substantial increase in your healthy inquisitiveness, curiosity and observational skill

After you become used to it, it becomes a perspective that you can take as you are actually going around in your daily life that informs your experience of what is going on; at any time you can take your mind to a place up on the wall of ceiling and observe yourself and what is going on from there.

Finally, don’t let the idea of being a fly put you off, if it does, just use the image of a surveillance camera, private eye or something like that!

© Toby Ouvry 2014, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website