Thursday, July 17, 2014

Turn Off the Auto Pilot

Every time I practice yoga at my local studio I learn something new or at the very least am reminded of something. This evening I was reminded that we often exist on autopilot without really thinking about how we move, react, or respond to any given situation. 

What truly fascinates me about the programs, processes and practices that I follow is the consistency in the message that I hear. Practice mindfulness. Do the next right thing. Taking care of oneself is paramount for a healthy life. And making conscious decisions with awareness brings us peace, serenity and an appreciation for what the world has to offer.

Even in the most mundane way it is easy to fall into a pattern. For example, when my husband is traveling for business, I tend to do the same things. I work at home and made a concerted effort to log off by 5:15 so I can practice yoga. Sometimes I go out afterwards with friends. But I often come home, make a bowl of pasta, sip a glass or two of wine, and return to my work computer or play Candy Crush.

At my yoga practice tonight I was reminded that taking a different path often is rewarding. Breaking patterns reinforces the choices we humans have of celebrating life and veering away from insanity – which 12 step programs define as doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. Sometimes insanity can be just doing the same thing over and over again – like a life style Rain Man.

So, tonight I moved differently in my practice. And after practice, I did something out of the ordinary. I went to the Bistro on the Winchester walking mall, sat outside watching people, and enjoyed a quiet dinner alone. It was glorious. I am one of those individuals who can celebrate solitary moments. I enjoyed the breeze on my skin, the taste of the spicy crab soup, the sounds of the people gathering to watch a movie on the green, and the energy of the people gathered to celebrate a beautiful summer evening.

I stopped existing and lived in the moment. That is the gift of turning off the autopilot – the joy of experiencing the world around us. I am grateful that I was reminded of this tonight.

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