I have been talking about the changes I experienced during and after my 3-days of silence. Here’s how a simple dinner and a left turn changed my life in some very profound ways.
I have lived no further than 3 miles from the same beach for all but 18 months of my life. And yet, I had never had a simple dinner at that beach – I never even thought of it! To take my dinner “on the road” and eat it while watching the sunset, never even entered into my mind.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the beach and have eaten many breakfasts, lunches and dinners at the restaurants overlooking this beautiful beach. And I have had quite a few BBQ’s and “official” picnics at the beach – but never just a simple dinner taken to “my” beach to watch the sunset. Sure, I’ve had many an impromptu meal at the beach when I was traveling to some exotic place like Hawaii or Santa Barbara, but never on my “home turf” – I just didn’t think of it! Funny thing is that it was so windy that the sand was blowing like rain, but I didn’t let that stop me. I just sat in my car and ate my simple meal – while watching the amazing sunset.
Another mundane incident – a simple left turn – turned out to be quite profound. I was blocked by a traffic jam and decided to turn left on a street I had never turned left on – even though it’s only a few blocks from my home! The simplest way to go around this particular traffic jam would be to turn right, then left and then left again.
Simple right? But I found myself in a near panic attack when I started to take this path. I realized that I was actually afraid to turn left from this neighborhood street because it was onto a very busy street and there were no stop signs or traffic lights to stop the oncoming traffic. I had always driven several blocks out of my way in order to have this safety – I had never even attempted to cross this busy street without this “protection.”
I approached this “new” intersection with lots of fear and dread – and to my surprise – there was no oncoming traffic from either direction! I turned easily and smoothly.
I was shocked! I was never aware that I was avoiding this situation – and expending a lot of time and energy in the avoidance of this perceived “danger.” All of this “calculating,” avoidance and going out of my way was completely unconscious! It was as if my mind didn’t usually allow me to even consider this path as an option. Not until I became silent – in my ordinary life – could I consider this alternative.
I quickly used my process to release the “emotional charge” from my fear of turning left on busy streets without a traffic light or 4-way stop sign. Now I feel so much lighter and calmer when I drive – and I’m open to so many more possibilities of routes that I had never even considered.
Of course I’m still cautious and use common sense in crossing busy streets, but I’m able to make my driving decisions consciously and not be stuck in old patterns where I am literally limited and “boxed in” to routes that are not the most expedient.
I know this seems like a simple thing – making a left turn across two lanes of busy traffic – but it is making a big difference in my daily life. It has given me more options and more opportunities that I was not even aware of previously.
I wonder what else I’ve been missing? Here’s to more sunset dinners, expedient driving routes and who knows what else?
See you in the next post (^_^)
All the Best – Cynthia
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