My mindfulness was put to the test on the way home from Wales yesterday as I was stuck behind a 5 car pile up on the m25 only 10 minutes from my house.
I challenged myself to drive mindfully to and from Swansea Valley to see what difference it made to the 3 hr, normally monotonous journey of 200 miles of the m4, in which my usual stance was autopilot.
A few things stood out for me. I felt positively happy concentrating on the beauty of the countryside rather than letting my brain run away thinking about the past or the future. It was interesting watching my brain start to veer off and how frequently it did it. I found it easy to accept it as it was and gently bring my mind back to the stark branches, the 100 different shades of green I could see all around me and full car boots of others also on their travels.
I felt more connected to life and to the kids as we played eye spy with things I wouldn’t have ordinarily noticed. We even passed an entire field of reindeer on the way home!
I was lucky enough both ways to have a beautifully blue sky and bright sunshine. I felt grateful for the small things. I had thought that maybe driving mindfully would make the journey seem longer but it didn’t at all because there was so much beauty I didn’t pay attention to road signs and junctions as they were passing.
The accident kept us in one place for around an hour. Passing it, seeing the carnage of crumpled mental i thought about those involved on the eve of christmas eve. The kids were getting frustrated while we were waiting but I used some guided meditation with them. It was challenging and met with giggles but mostly they went with it.
Choosing to accept life as it was, seeing the beauty, giving my brain a thinking break and keeping in the moment left me feeling refreshed instead of bored, frustrated and exhausted. Your mind is an instrument. Learn to be it’s master, not its slave.