As humans, we often respond and react to both our inner workings and to the world around us spurred by motivations of which we are unaware. Our ways of being in the world can be triggered by our history, our cultural milieu and by the fact that, under our "rational" brain, we retain the instincts and motivations of the mammals that we are.
If we learn to observe, to note, to witness how we are responding to the world around us, we can exercise more choice in our responses. At the same time we become more present, being aware of what is, awake in the current moment. We can begin to recognize that we often are making choices that do not feel like choices because of the factors that surround them. By simply noting how we feel in each moment, we develop the ability to recognize choices as we make them.
By simply noting, not judging, our reactions we free ourselves to accept how we are. From that foundation of awake awareness to what is, we can then exercise more agency in the way that we are in the world.