At this time of year many families take a Spring Break vacation out of town. This reminded me of a vacation back in 2016 in which my Mindfulness practice paid some tremendous dividends. Let me tell you about it…
In August of 2016, my family and I went on a road trip out east to visit Philadelphia, Gettysburg and Hershey, among other stops. I really love family vacations. Having fun, spending time together and making memories we will remember the rest of our lives is what these are all about.
During this vacation I ran into a bit of trouble. The first day we drove about 8 hours. At the seven-hour mark of the trip my check engine light turned on. We still had another 6 hours to drive the next day and plenty of driving between sites when we were on the east coast.
When that light went on the stress response immediately kicked in for me. My amygdala took over and I started to react with that emotional part of my brain. I thought about being stranded on the side of the road, the cost it was going to be to fix it, a ruined vacation for my family, etc. If it were years ago, before I was practicing meditation on a consistent basis, I am certain I would have stayed in that emotional, stress response state and did one of two things – (1) turned the car around and canceled the vacation or (2) kept going but worried about it so much during the vacation that I would not enjoy it.
Yet, because I have been consistently training my mind through meditation I was able to notice I was in the stress response, switch out of that emotional state and quickly activate my prefrontal cortex, or the thinking part of my brain.
As I did this, I thought specifically about why we were going on a vacation and what I wanted my family and I to get out of it. The answer was a fun time together with lots of great memories. With my mind thinking again I was able to quickly come up with a way to do this. I decided to leave my car in the parking lot of the first hotel we stayed at and rent a car for the rest of the trip.
This solution worked perfectly! We didn’t have to cancel the trip and I didn’t worry about my car breaking down in the middle of it.
Remember that meditation is brain training. With a consistent practice, the benefits will show up in ways you may never have imagined.
Wishing you success in all aspects of life,
Founder and President
Smart Health Wellness and Performance