Just driving

Carve out a certain about of time on your commute to work to do nothing but drive or be driven.  Without listening to the radio, talking, taking an object off of a seat, etc. … tune in to the driving process.  Guide your focus to the unfolding micro-moments of your HERE and NOW experience.

Internal process

  • Kindly observe how you hold and move your body:  your hands on the wheel (or in your lap if not driving), your posture, the muscles in your legs, etc.
  • Humbly notice your level of tension and energy.
  • Gently witness your thoughts and feelings and urges to action without allowing yourself to be distracted by them.  If you feel yourself getting lost or carried away by any of them, smile because you were mindful to catch yourself getting lost (!) and take a few moments to breathe … until you can return to simple witnessing.

External process

  • Engage your sense of sight and sound: Observe your vehicle’s gauges, how your vehicle sounds, what you see ahead of you on the road, what you see beside you on the road, the sounds of your vehicle and of driving itself, etc.
  • Loosely label the unfolding moments of your commute to yourself, such as “green light” when passing under a green light or “red car turning” when you see a red car turning.  It is less important how you label (or even that you have a word for the experience, to be honest).
  • If or when you notice yourself interpreting or judging your commute (e.g., “There’s so much traffic today” or “Halfway there.” ), smile to yourself … and breathe for a few moments… until you can return to the simple labeling of unfolding events.

Internal and external process

You may find yourself toggling back and forth between internal and external observation as you make reach a level of understanding of how external events (e.g., someone speeding) are connected to internal experiences (e.g., irritation).  This is a good thing!

© Copyright 2013 Maria Hunt

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