Let’s go for a drive. Prepare to leave your home. Grab your keys, phone, and wallet. Get in your car. Once in your car, choose a destination that you frequent daily or weekly. This destination might be work, the grocery store, school, the park, or daycare. Got your destination? Great. Now, put your destination aside. You won’t need to navigate. Your subconscious mind already knows the way. You already know traffic patterns, and where crazy drivers pull stunts too. So, let’s put those concerns aside too.
Exercise your imagination as you read on.
Now that you’re in your car, let’s do a few things before pulling away from your home.
First, put your phone away, and turn off the radio. Let’s make the inside of your car a distraction free zone.
Second, put aside any mental to-do’s, lists, and even emotional troubles or joys. If you need to, take a few minutes and write down any lingering thoughts. Get them out of your head and on to paper. The responsibility is no longer yours or your memory’s. It is now the papers responsibility to hold that information. If you have trouble sleeping, apply this practice at bedtime. For more information, read my post, How to Fall Asleep with Ease, Every Night.
Alright, now we’re ready to take off!
As you pull away from your home and begin your drive, take notice of the landscape around you. Look around at the tree’s, the flowers, the horizon ahead of you, and even your neighbor’s mailbox. Let the colors around you pop. See different shades. Notice something new. Something that always been there.
See the environment around you as a painting.
See how the shades of greenery shift slightly. Notice the fallen tree branch, the new sign, and the small squirrel that crossed the road several feet ahead.
While driving ride the curves, twists, and turns of the black paved road as if for the first time. Feel the pull of the tires and how your body slightly shift with each turn.
Enjoy your ride. Discover.
As you do, let it bring peace, appreciation, and a smile on your face.
When you arrive at your destination, let this theme carry on with you as you walk to your destination. Continue to open your eyes to that which has gone unnoticed.
How was your drive? How do you feel? What did you notice? Could you trust your autopilot even though it wasn’t in the driver’s seat?
A Life On Autopilot
A life on autopilot occurs most often when we the same drive or complete daily tasks like cleaning, and showering. When we’re on autopilot our subconscious mind takes over. This occurs because we’ve gone that way or done that task so many times that we’ve trained our brain. The phrase, “I could do this in my sleep,” is said when your brain knows a task so well it doesn’t require much thought. This is also known as autopilot.
While on autopilot our present mind often becomes active. An active mind is one filled with chatter. We’re focused on to do’s, emotional joys or concerns or what will happen next in our life. Similar to a body that exercises, a mind that is constantly chatting will also become exhausted.
A chatty mind during routine routes or tasks forgo’s the tranquility, peace, and ease of autopilot.
Imagine this: you’re driving on your regular route. For this trip, your end destination is different than per usual. Since your on your regular route your mind ends up on autopilot and the active chatter begins. You’re thinking about everything except where your headed. Then, damnit, you miss your turn! You missed your turn not because your subconscious mind took over. You missed your turn because your active mind was busy running, which distracts you from where you needed to go.
That’s life on autopilot. Your subconscious mind new you were on your regular route, but it didn’t know you actually needed to go somewhere else off that same road.
When we’re on autopilot, it gives our active mind an opportunity to take a break. A break from everything – even the constant chatter. This break opens our eyes to the constant beauty that surrounds us every day. It gives us an opportunity to see what’s always been there, but has gone unnoticed.
The next time you travel down the same road on autopilot, apply these three practices.
1. Recognize when your on autopilot
Here are a few common examples of when we drop into autopilot:
Are you able to identify other situations when you hit autopilot?
2. See what’s always been there
Once you’re able to recognize when you go into autopilot, accept it, then begin to see the constant. See what has always been there. The whole in a large tree. The different shades of green along the tree lines. Allow yourself to receive all the different colors, textures, shapes, and sizes.
3. Acknowledge your bliss
When you’re on auto-pilot and taking in that which has gone unnoticed around you, acknowledge your bliss. Give yourself a pat on the back for seeing what is always there, yet often unnoticed, and often unappreciated. You’ll be filled with a new sense of accomplishment, joy, appreciation, and understanding.
The more you practice this, the more you’ll feel a sense of freedom. You’ll also begin to have a deeper appreciation for your surroundings.
The truth…it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.
Tap into the richness of that journey every day while on autopilot.
Did this article resonate with you? Let me know in the comments below!
Disclaimer: This information is intended for general reference only. It is not a replacement for professional health advice. The content in this post intentionally does not provide dosage information or possible interactions with prescription drugs or other medications. Please contact a certified health practitioner such as a physician of Oriental Medicine or Herbalist before considering use. To schedule an appointment with Malerie, visit the services page.