Monday, 7 October 2013

Playing the Alert Card.

Here's the fourth in the series of excellent blogs by Lex covering the adjectives on the 20 Moodscope cards. Please don't forget we'd love you to add any ideas, tips, insights or advice you may have that you'd like to share with other Moodscope members that might be of help. Please add them to the comments at the end of this post. Many thanks. Caroline.

Today, it's the turn of the "Alert" card, which Moodscope defines as, 'being quick to notice and act.' This is an 'animal' trait to me, reminding me fondly of the dogs and cats I've known. Beloved pets often appear to be resting contentedly, but their ear movements give them away - they always score a 3 on this card because they are ever quick to notice and then leap into activity... especially if there is food or attention available.

Being alert is dominantly an external phenomenon – it's an awareness of the opportunities and threats in our environment. As such here is a fascinating exercise you can do. Take the index fingers of both hands and wiggle them in front of your eyes. Keep staring straight ahead while you move your arms apart horizontally and so test the width of your vision. You are testing your visual awareness of movement not sharp focus. Now do a similar exercise but take one hand up above your head and the other down towards your waist vertically. What you should notice is that you can see more in one dimension. (No spoilers here – you'll have to try it for yourself.)

Now that you have an idea of the scope of your visual awareness, put your hands by your side and just look straight ahead. Without moving your eyes, check out the height, depth and breadth of your visual awareness. What can you see now that you hadn't been consciously aware of before? Keeping that vision, switch to your peripheral awareness of sound. What can you hear now that you hadn't been consciously aware of before? Where is the sound coming from? You can, of course, continue through the 5 senses but seeing and hearing are often enough to pull you back into the 'now' sufficiently to sharpen the level of your alertness.

If I do this rapidly (and privately) in company, I'll usually pick up on some cue that someone is giving off – perhaps a tell-tale cluster of body gestures or an interesting tone. The second part is then to act on what I've noticed – this is being alert! And, taking my cue from the wise cats and dogs, this is a great activity to do when eating socially. You'll hone in on someone who would positively purr at the special attention you can then pay them.

A Moodscope user.