Vehicular Meditation

Just like many thousands of frustrated, stressed-out and overwhelmed motorists, I too, get aggravated on my commute to and from work each and every day.

I once calculated that I spend the equivalent of about 8 hours in my car, each and every week, commuting to and from work.

8 hours! That is like an extra day of work.

On average, it takes about 30-40 minutes to get to work in the morning (and that is leaving my house around 7:30) and over an hour to get home – relying on city streets because the highway is a gong-show.

More times than not, I come home in a pissy mood. I absolutely hate not moving when I am in my car. I absolutely hate being stuck behind big honking SUV’s, mini-vans, trucks….anything where there is a wall of metal in front of me prohibiting me from seeing what the delay is. My kids and my wife can tell that I am in a crappy mood because normally I am a happy sort of guy.

There are days when the drive to and fro is relatively stress-free. There are other days where, even if the streets are dry and the sun is shining, a full moon must be out because I encounter people doing really crazy, stupid things – taking risks, not paying attention…its very scary.

Normally, as a way of passing the time while sitting in traffic in the car, I will either listen to talk radio, make calls to friends and loved ones or actually just listen to music.

I have found that in recent months, the combination of extreme traffic congestion, annoying radio talk show hosts and phone-in callers, is a recipe for higher blood pressure than I already have.

So, yesterday, fed up and verging on going to my pissy place…I decided to try an experiment.

I got on the road as I normally do and took my regular route home from work. This time, I turned off my cell phone (actually powered it down) and kept the radio completely off. No music, no talk, no phone calls…no anything.

I cracked open the window for some fresh air and just listened to the sound of my noisy snow tires vibrate as the rubber hit the cement. All I heard was the sound of the engine revving. All I heard was the sound of other cars and the periodic horn honking.

This time, unlike times before, I whispered instead of yelling when someone did something stupid. I have a tendency of yelling and shouting expletives at doofus’.

This time, I heard myself breathe in and out. I even began to talk, only in whispers, to myself about whatever came into my head.

I was completely awake and aware of the surroundings around me and was focused on the present – on driving home.

Vehicular Meditation. No, its not a disease or a condition.

It was amazing. It still took me forever to get home…but I didn’t feel the same way I have felt in days past when I pull up outside my home. My blood was not boiling and my mind felt very clear.

I was even able to remain calm as a garbage collection truck was collecting recycling containers and completely blocking the street. I was stuck waiting for the driver to move past for almost 10 minutes.

Have I stumbled across a new stress-reliever technique? Have I solved the problem of texting and driving? Have I figured out a way to be more present? Not sure…but I cannot wait for my drive home tonight.

Stay tuned.


About I'm Just A Dad

Stephen Gosewich is just a Dad (he is a former Enlightened Male but decided to change the name because when you search Enlightened Male, "other...wink, wink" are displayed. He spends his days during the week as a working stiff. At all other times, he just enjoys hanging out with his best friend and wife and their two very active and inspiring daughters.
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One Response to Vehicular Meditation

  1. Myles Butler says:

    This might be the most relatable thing I’ve ever read. I get terrible road rage and the only thing that seems to limit it is mindfulness. I even go so far as to listen to Eckhart Tolle audiobooks to keep me in a calm, meditative state.

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