He said, “Drive carefully”. I said, “You too!” The problem here? He was the friendly fellow who had just finished loading my grocery order into my car in the pouring rain. He wasn’t going anywhere. I was. And though my five-year-old quickly informed me that it was okay since he would obviously be driving home later, I felt a bit awkward.
Awkward is no stranger to me. In fact, it’s a regular visitor in my life. I totally bring it on myself and I’ve grown to just lean in and embrace “awkward” because we’ve become pretty close over the last several years. Awkward isn’t something I think of as a negative.
There was a negative that came to mind though. He told me to drive carefully, meanwhile I wasn’t even listening, thinking, or talking carefully! I was just mindlessly responding on auto-pilot, running right into awkwardness.
My mind began to spin around as it likes to do; digging down further and dissecting the true meaning of the moment. I could have really started talking negatively to myself in that time, but I took those thoughts and applied them positively.
A few years ago, a fantastic counselor taught me all about mindfulness! The practice of being present in each moment, non-judgmentally, and letting it unfold. Be aware, pay attention, experience it. It’s very simple, but not easy. What is easy is auto-responses such as “you too” and walking through life totally.missing.it.all.
So today’s little seemingly insignificant moment was a reminder to me to pay attention on purpose. Take a deep breath. Look people in the eyes. Watch the kids playing. Listen when someone speaks. Think before I respond. And most importantly, don’t judge myself when I screw up!
Life can be so much better if we intentionally live it. If we really focus on each moment and take in all the small things. So here is my challenge for you right now– literally, right this moment:
Slowly take three really deep breaths…
Relax your jaw, eyes, and shoulders…
Forgive yourself if you’ve been on auto-pilot. Really, we all do it…
Now, drive carefully ♥️