Driving Through Life

Driving Through Life

​I took my 16 yr. old son driving for the first time yesterday.

At first it seemed the responsible thing to do was to focus his attention on all of the things that could go wrong: the potential accidents, the limited peripheral vision you have when pulling out of a parking spot, the desire to answer your phone or the need to send a text, not to mention everyone else on the road who could potentially be distracted while driving.

I also believed it would be responsible for him to have all of this on his mind so he doesn’t make a mistake (which would cost ME a lot of $).

Then it hit me. That’s ludicrous. Why would I want to help him perpetuate a state of mind that compromises his potential for success?

What do I mean by that? Well, think about it. What state of mind is most helpful when we want to be responsive to life, to have good ideas and make healthy choices?

A clear one, right? Not one filled with worry, fear or stress.

All of the sudden I saw how all of my good intentions were going to make it harder for him to be a successful driver.

If an athlete is busy thinking about how he is doing on the court, he will probably make more mistakes. He wants to be in “the zone.” A space of no thought, just presence. He trusts that in the moment he will get what he needs to play the game to the best of his ability.

So too, in life. There is a space, a place of no personal thought, just presence to G-d’s wisdom. This wisdom is innate and shows up to guide us in the moment.

That is the state of mind I want my son in when he is driving. Presence. Not in his head thinking about all he needs to do and not do. Worry is not going to make him a better driver. Fear is not going to make him a better driver. Stress is not going to make him a better driver.

Yet we can innocently fall into the trap of believing that worry, fear and stress are good things that motivate us and keep us in line.

While driving through life with worry, fear and stress we are bound to crash and burn. “The zone” is available for all of us at any given moment. Driving through life in a feeling of presence, with less on our mind, gives us the ability to be responsive to life. We may get off track, but we have within us a Divine space that will guide us right back if we let it.

Ride The Wave

By Aviva Barnett, MSW

Discover the secret to living
with peace of mind.

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