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Stop the Autopilot

Sometimes it feels like everything is on autopilot. Like I am living my life without even having to think about it. I have started a practice of catching myself in moments of autopilot, when I can, and naming it,

 “I just did that on autopilot.”

Often, I will be leaving the house and I’ll wonder where my cell phone is and then I figure out it is in my purse; exactly where I plan to put it each time I am leaving. Autopilot. My routines are so dialed in, I don’t even have to use my conscious brain to make these things happen.

There is power in bringing the subconscious conscious and to truly being mindful of each activity you engage in. I can’t tell you how many times, I have driven a route I’ve driven a million times, and when I get to my destination, I hardly remember driving there. That is a scary feeling. What if instead, I consciously chose to be aware and attentive and present as I drove?

Sometimes I will go weeks where I feel like a bit of a shell of myself and I will become aware that I have been living primarily on autopilot.

One way to stop the autopilot is to get into your body. Notice your feet on the floor. Notice your butt in your chair. Wiggle your fingers. Wiggle your toes. You are alive. Look around you. Find something in the space that brings you joy. Notice what sensations arise in your body as you look at something that brings you joy.

When you are on autopilot it is almost as if you have left your body. You are no longer steering the bus. Everything you do is happening without much thought or care. There is a dullness inside when operating this way. There is a lack of life, or aliveness.

See if you can start naming the moments you notice you’re in autopilot and then actively get in your body and re-focus and choose to be mindful. Notice the ways your life shifts when you do this.




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