Sunday, November 9, 2014

Love Potion #9

Has this ever happened to you…?

You’re driving along a very familiar road, maybe  a route you typically take to work or school, but your destination this time is someplace else. Without thinking you take a wrong turn, taking you toward your usual destination rather than your actual destination.
I’ve done it.
That’s  the power  --- and the danger of auto-pilot.

Auto-pilot can be a valuable, even life-saving thing. But, as my students have heard me say many times, any “strength,” taken to an extreme, becomes a weakness.
Howdy, Padnah. Welcome to paradox country.

The beauty of auto-pilot is that you can perform physically even when your mind and/or emotions are pre-occupied.
The danger of auto-pilot is that it may negatively influence your situational awareness -- you may miss subtle cues in the environment that tell you this situation is different from the “routine” situation for which auto-pilot is both adequate and appropriate.
You have to know when and how to switch auto-pilot off.

This week's workout is to encourage you to turn off your autopilot and observe your surroundings in a thoughtful way. 
Use ALL of your senses.   
What do you see in your surroundings? 
What do you hear, both near and far away?   
What do you feel? 
What scents are there?   Scent is closely related to taste – you may literally find a “flavor” to your environment. 

You may notice the smell of a restaurant you didn't know was there, music you’ve never heard before, the view from the bridge you drive over, or the anguish of someone in need.

Reinforce what you learned by sharing your insights with a friend. By being mindful of your environment, you are practicing an important trait of the everyday hero.

Your new Hero Workout:
On the way to and from work or school, use all five senses to take in information about your surroundings.
Share what you notice with a friend.

-- aac

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