The one where you’d been driving somewhere and found yourself miles down the road with no recollection of the journey?
That happened to me today. Wow, twenty minutes worth of driving and no recall. Where had I been? Is that dangerous? Who else was on the road? I didn’t see a single soul, but they must have been there, I was on the highway after all.
I was functioning on automatic. My conscious mind knew how to drive. Muscle memory was alive and well and currently residing in me. But where was ‘I’…you know the piece of us who knows we’re there, and more to the point knows where ‘there’ is.
Uh oh…not such good news. I’d been lost in the reverie of past experiences. Would you believe me if I said it was okay, because they were all really great, really lovely, in fact beautiful memories? Nah, didn’t think so.
Give the right orders
Remember that, when we’re operating on automatic, our mind replays over and over all the stuff from the past, some of it good perhaps, but also all the old doubts and fears, and we’re hardly aware of it happening. Yep, that was me today. What we’re doing is constantly reinforcing directions to our sub conscious mind – it perceives these old thoughts and feeling… our memories…as orders that it needs to process, or continue to process. Yep, that was me today too.
And since all our thoughts are powerful forces…energies that have a huge effect on our life, we need to pay attention. Memo to self, that includes you Elle. Actually, especially me given my confession today. And unless we’ve trained ourselves to be focused on all that is wonderful in our world…well…you know the rest.
So here we are, always connected to infinite energy and power from which all things in our life spring and there am I with absolutely no focus whatsoever.
This infinite energy doesn’t just flow in a haphazard kind of way, it doesn’t move from us and crystallize into forms of its own making, it follows a definite track, the track laid down by us in our internal conversations. And as with me today, there are lots of times when we’re oblivious to the fact that we’re talking – there’s rarely silence within – and no, that’s not just me, chatterbox though I am.
What does all this mean, well it all boils down to the usual…awareness and practice. Awareness of our inner conversations, what we say about events, who we are saying we are and then the practice of saying what we want to hear, what we have – and best of all how wonderful we are.
Listen to the sages – they know what they’re talking about
As all the great sages say, we are what we think about all day long and we can only experience what we are, not what we want. We need mindfulness to keep us focused. Don’t go wandering off into the weeds of unlovely memories or thoughts, they’re really not helpful at all and certainly won’t take you towards the fulfillment of all your desires.
When we’re on the road again, its in our best interests to stay focused, not just for safety reasons, but to make sure we’re heading in the right inner and outer directions, and yep that includes me!
Encourage one another.
7 thoughts on “On The Road Again.”
This “lapse” happens to me a lot when I drive … have no clue where I “was”. For me, it’s more likely that I was hovering over some perceived problem rather than in my past. Sometimes looking for the opportunity in a “challenge” is productive, but normally we’re worried about something that doesn’t happen anyway. Definitely need to stay “in the moment” and notice what I’m thinking about.
Thanks Debi for your input. I think it’s all about making sure our attention is on the things we want, or perhaps in the case you mention, the solution rather than the problem? 🙂
I listen to educational audiobooks in an effort to avoid this but it doesn’t seem to be completely avoidable.
Having our little kids around 24/7, my husband and I sometimes need to “go for a drive” simply for some quiet time to think about things (or to simply crank up the tunes and relax a little).
Reading this is certainly a needed reminder to notice my thoughts, especially at times when I’m generally doing the opposite. Thanks Elle!
I’ve felt this way at times as well. When I’ve lost myself in my thoughts. It is scary when you are driving. Driving does give you that quiet time to think and the mind can begin to wander as it so often wants to. I do often listen to music or a book on tape and that can work too. Thanks for sharing!
You are so right Cathy, and usually my car is my rolling university – sadly I’d just cleaned everything out that day and hadn’t put the new material in the car! Oh well…it was a good aha about consciousness. 🙂
Ah, I’ve done this so many times. It’s a fault of being more of an introvert. I happily putter around in my own thoughts. As in the Buddhist religion, we should be mindful, in the moment and focus on the experience in front of us. I know I need to do a lot more of this. Great post! I love that photo of the bee on the flower.
Thanks Denise…I liked the bee too…it was very evocative for me. Paying attention to our thoughts and deciding in which direction they’re to go is so important for us all and a full and happy life. 🙂