Part Two: WHY I Started this Journey
Image by Gerhard G. from Pixabay
“The place between the stimulus and the response is the place of power”.
– Jon Kabit-Zinn
Years ago, soon after one of my sisters got her driver’s license, she was stopped at a red light. Apparently, she missed that it had turned green and the driver behind her honked its horn. She immediately flipped off the driver.
So, the driver behind her put on its police lights and pulled her over.
Oh, that powerful place between the stimulus and responding.
As I mentioned in the last blog, 10 years had passed since I had taken my first 8-Week Mindfulness Workshop. I have been endeavoring to bring more mindfulness to my life. From more mindful eating, more mindful conversations, more mindfulness in my leadership in the spa I owned, more mindfulness to my habits.
Of course, I made fun of my sister, teasing her about how her quickness to anger was going to get her in more trouble than a police ticket.
Yet, here I was, decades later doing the same thing I warned my sister of. (see Part One of this blog post. Ahhh, every time I have to re-tell that time I was a complete $%$#@ to a driver I still cringe)
Since that day I have been working on my responses to my driving, my thoughts while I am driving, taking responsibility for my reactions, and trying to respond in more compassionate ways.
Simply, I wanted to have a healthier response. That is my WHY.
“The future is to heal back to the mind again. Recognizing that the mind is all-powerful – it controls every cell to every degree of its genetic expression” – Bruce Lipton
For health reasons. I already knew that spewing my anger out, letting other drivers know how I felt about their poor, stupid, idiotic driving habits was basically dumping poison (stress hormones and neurotransmitters) into my body.
Whether I said them out loud or in my head. They have the same poisonous effect.
I even wrote a blog post about this… but, knowing isn’t the same as doing. I sure had to eat some humble pie. If I was going to talk the talk, I needed to walk the walk.
“Master your mind, master your life” – Magnus Steele
I felt like a crazy person in that interaction with the mother and teenager. I especially did not want those external things affecting my internal peace. I really wanted to stop my mean, negative, internal self-talk, I wanted to understand why I did this and how I could change it. I was, and am, dedicated to mastering my thoughts to have increased mental health. I was and am, dedicated to responding in ways that humanize people instead of de-humanizing them.
“In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated, and a person is humanized or de-humanized” – Goethe
This is my heart-felt why. Spiritual health differs for everyone. My desire and definition of spiritual health or spiritual growth has to do with being a kind heartful person, to myself and to others.
Endeavoring to not be triggered by egoic things. By going high rather than going low. What I was doing while driving did not reflect this.
They say the highest form of love is grace. Could I become that driver that gives grace to all other drivers?
I certainly am trying…
These are my “why’s” to wanting to become a more mindful, kindful driver. I would love to hear your thought, ideas, and your stories about your experiences of driving.
To your health and well-being,
Connie M. Warden
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Part Three – The Two Most Powerful Strategies I Found to Be a More Mindful-Kindful Driver