So I don’t know about you, but the older I get the more I find myself lost in thought. The kind of lost in thought where I drive 25 miles then am like “woah, how did I get here…” which is #scary. Regardless, I’ve been trying to have more focused episodes of getting lost in thought and thus what I’m calling “Car Ride Contemplations” was born.
For me, growing older has led to growing more stressed, growing more busy, but also growing more reflective. I’ve had trouble letting myself just sit and think because our world brainwashes us to feel that we need to be actively doing something to make our time worthwhile, but on the other hand I’ve wanted to feel okay taking that time of just sitting and enjoying thinking about life. This past summer, this really hit me, so I tried to figure out a solution that wouldn’t be something I had to force myself to do but rather a solution that involved something that I looked forward to doing each day. SO I’m here today to share my solution with you in hopes that it will help you 1. to be okay with just thinking, 2. to have control over your episodes of thought so your mind is more clear when it needs to be, and 3. to bring more peace to your life as a whole.
My solutions: SILENT MORNING CAR RIDES. I used to start nearly everyday alone in the car driving, as do most of us, often listening to KiddKraddick’s Morning Show and laughing my booty off at what comes out of Big Al’s mouth, jamming to some music that’s been on the radio for like 6 months, and squeezing in a quick Our Father as I turn into the parking lot, but what I’ve found is that THIS is the perfect time for me to just think. For the last 8ish months, I’ve gotten in my car and turned on the radio for a few minutes, and with the first commercial break that comes on, I drop my volume to 0. Sign of the Cross #1 + The Our Father + The Memorare + some down time just talking to Jesus and thinking about life + Sign of the Cross #2 as I turn into work = a clear mind, a full heart, and a day where I feel that I can’t lose (if you get the reference, #respect). My routine has evolved slowly over the last few months based on what’s going on in my life, but some of the same thoughts and questions pop up over and over and I’ll share them below so that maybe they can help prompt you to begin your day in a similar way!
Questions I ask myself:
- What’s on today’s agenda?
- Is there anything I can do to make the day run more smoothly?
- What do I need to do post-work/school/errand?
- Is there anyone I need to text, call, or write to today? (birthdays, anniversaries, simple hellos)?
- What do I need to thank God for today?
- Are there any excuses I am already ready to make?
- How can I confront these excuses head on?
- What can I do to impress myself today?
- What can I do to impress my boss/supervisor/friend/mom today?
- Who needs my prayers?
- Hi Jesus, welcome to today’s episode of “Shelby’s Life”
- I am so thankful for…
- I am looking forward to…
- I am dreading…, so what I can do to change this is…
- I want to have a day that I am proud of.
- I just loved when….. happened.
- Wow, life is so good.
So my advice to you is to engage in active clearing of your mind by letting yourself get lost in thought for a few minutes each day. I have found this as the solution that leads to me being more able to live in the moment and less in my head throughout the day, and I really think that this could help you too! I always show up to work feeling less stressed than I did when I left the house and I truly believe this extra time with myself, my thoughts, and my God is the reason for this. So go ahead, try it, or share with me what you do to cleanse your mind daily!
I’d love to hear if any of you have a similar routine? Do you give yourself a set time each day to do nothing and just think? If so, do you find it completely changes the course of your day like I find that my routine does?! I look forward to hearing from you! xoShelby
P.S. A little lagniappe for week: I recently read this quote, “There is not enough room in your mind for both worry and faith, you must decide which one will live there.” Which do you let live in your mind and are you satisfied with that decision? If not, what will you do to change that?