Have you ever been driving home and upon arrival, you think Wow! How did I get here already. You were just absent-mindedly driving home – probably lost in thought, not even paying attention, you have driven this route so many times that the car could probably drive itself… As if you and the car were on Auto Pilot… we have all done it! It’s probably not the safest idea! Let’s take a moment and think about how much of our lives we are living on Auto-Pilot?
What are some things we do and without even thinking turn our brains on auto-pilot? Eating, walking, driving, working, relationships, parenting, taking care of loved ones, petting animals, watching tv, hanging out with friends, pretty much anything that is “the norm”…
How did we get here? to Zombie mode? When these things once excited us so much?
We don’t start out in auto-pilot, each thing we start out with doing is exciting and we’re really into it. 100% focus and even a smile because it’s something we wanted to do! What happened to us!? When did we put this thing that we used to loved so much on Auto-Pilot? When did we become numb to the very same things that made our soul sing? Should we even be doing them anymore if they have become “routine”?
Don’t live life on auto pilot, turn that junk off!
Pretty crazy to think of all the things that have lost their zest to us isn’t it! So… How do we get off of Auto-Pilot, get excited and start living again?
For the Good things in life…
The Best thing I have found, to not take things for granted, is to imagine if it were taken away. Think about the “what if’s..” (Warning- This exercise will rattle your heart- but it is much-needed if you are living a life on auto-pilot.)
What if… you couldn’t play with your kids, what if you got hurt and couldn’t, or they did?
What if… you suddenly lost your job, and couldn’t find another, how quickly would your life change, how long could you make it without an income? A week, a month, six months if you were super prepared. (most aren’t- most are paycheck to paycheck)
What if… that person you see every day were taken away from you, what if… suddenly they left, what if they moved, what if they became really sick, what if they died? Would you be spending your time differently with them?
What if… you treated food & water differently, as a gift. What if… you were in a country where food and water are scarce, where some have not eaten anything but some leaves in a pot for days and days. Not had fresh clean water ever in their lives. What if.. you were watching your own child starve or thirst to death and there was nothing you could do about it because you had already given them everything you had and not even taken any for yourself.
What if… you got in a wreck and it changed everything, what if you got really hurt and it changed your entire life? What if… you hurt someone else? Your kids in the back seat or someone else’s in their car. Could you ever forgive yourself? (Yes, go hug your kids right now!- but come back and finish 🙂
What if… you slowed down and enjoyed meals, every flavor, every ingredient, took the time to really taste it, to feel it, to smell it, took time to make it and care what was in it? What if… you presented meals to yourself as a gift, as though you had cooked a very special meal for your idol or a very special person that you admire but had never met. But, they were coming to your home to eat dinner with you, would you give them whatever you just have lying around or something from a drive-thru? NO! You would definitely want to give them the best, the freshest and the most beautiful meal they have ever had!
I know these are hard things to think about and I’m so sorry but… That is the best way I know how to not take things for granted.
Sending a hug your way!
But, don’t beat yourself up too much, we are all just mere humans, right? We are beautiful works in progress, most of us are doing the best we can… most of the time… However we can ALWAYS do better, we always have the choice to be aware.
Think about how much we pay attention to driving when we are nearly in a wreck. We sit up straight, we put both hands on the wheel, we are suddenly wide-eyed and instantly become the best driver ever! We even turn off the radio for a while, because even the noise is suddenly distracting. Why are we not the best drivers ever all of the time? Why are we not appreciating everything and everyone all of the time? I think that maybe we should, and I’ll bet you agree. We can all start paying attention to the things we have on auto-pilot and be sure to keep the thought in our minds of, “what you would miss if it were taken away”.
Let’s all work today to change our perspective on things that matter in life and be grateful for them.
Now, we don’t only put good things on auto pilot, we also have bad things and habits on auto pilot as well. What are some Bad Habits that we put on auto-pilot? Binge Eating, Jealousy, Procrastination, Anger, Being guarded, Self-Hate, Clinginess, Staying up to late, Hitting the snooze button 17 times, etc. I’m sure you can think of more.
Awareness to all behaviors is the key to living an amazing life.
1. RECOGNIZE: “STOP IN THE NAME OF LOVE” Take a moment, PUSH PAUSE… Breathe and Be aware.
If Its Good: Appreciate it. Fall in love with it again, enjoy the moment, be grateful for each person in your life, and what they bring. Be grateful, that you have this job when so many are without. Just find as many ways to be grateful in each and every thing as much as possible. Think about the things that you would miss if it were gone.
If its Bad: Separate yourself from it. Stop the cycle. Leave the situation, the room, change your environment for at least 15 minutes. Most feelings, cravings or emotions last around 8 min. Take a walk, read something from a positive uplifting book, listen to some calming music. As for work, if you hate it, start looking for another- you deserve to spend that 1/3 of your life doing something that makes your heart sing- but don’t leave this one until you find that one- Be classy & give your 2 week notices, you never know when you need a reference!
2. REFLECT: Understanding why. Why do you want to _______.
Think about it, Meditate on it, Speak it and Journal it. How does _______ make you feel, before, during, AND after you have done it? Good or bad? What memory or belief is causing me to feel this way about this? Does it fill your soul or leave you empty inside? Does this thing or person bring me to/ or away from your future goals? Does it enhance your life for the long term? Is this maybe a temporary fix to a bigger need that needs to be recognized. What is the REAL Reason behind this need or feeling? What are you trying to fill or replace with this person or habit? These all apply to good or bad habits, relationships, behaviors. Just be honest with yourself.
You have to become a “No Judgement Zone” for yourself.
3. REPLACE- Figure out what you could/should do instead.
For the Bad habits/behaviors… Make a list of alternate things you CAN do instead. Solutions to the problems. Write at the Top of the list.. :”I will…” and at the bottom, write “Instead” and sign your name. Make an official agreement with yourself as if you made it with someone very important to you that you wouldn’t dare ever want to let down. Put said list in the places you need it most, so that you see it every time you are going to that place of bad choices. This will stop self-sabotage in its tracks!
For the GOOD things/people/habits: Write a list of gratefulness, write them a letter of gratefulness, apologize to them or yourself for being on autopilot. Write a list of things you can do together, think up new things. We all get bored of repetitive things, I’m sure that if you are on auto-pilot with someone, that they are bored as well. Good thing they love ya or they wouldn’t stick around.
Remember the golden rule.
Do unto others as you would have them do to.
But I say take it one step further,
Do unto them even BETTER than you would have them do unto you.
Make up for the people in others lives that treat them badly.
Be the light in everyones life.
4. REPEAT: Every day, Every Choice, Every Redirect, Every Emotion.
Be Your own best friend. Clear these bad habits, one at a time, and create the space to serve the world in a way that creates a massive ripple effect, that we were all created to make!
What would it take for you to fix the relationship with you. Treat yourself with love and respect. Look at yourself though eyes of love, compassion, understanding, forgiveness. Talk to yourself as though you were trying to help lift up and nurture an abused and scared child. You most likely have been abusing yourself so much that you are scared to come out and play. It may have started with someone else hurting you, but you have repeated and replayed that out in your mind. Stop torturing yourself! Stop creating bad habits to band-aid the real boo boo’s. It’s so hard to admit that to yourself I know. But that is the only way you can be truly fulfilled, and move forward leaving it and all the bad habits it brought with it behind.
Write yourself a love letter. Write down everything that is bothering you, everything you have ever done that has hurt you or any and all self-sabotaging behaviors that you have.
Then, Forgive yourself, tear it up, burn it, flush it, whatever!