Driving on the Other Side

We recently went to Ireland and experienced for the first time driving on the “wrong” side of the road. It is an eye-opener—literally! Nothing will wake you up and bring you into the present faster than being on the opposite side of the road than you are accustomed to. Fortunately we have returned with no major events of forgetfulness! My husband did a great job of negotiating a new skill.

The experience, however, created a raise in my consciousness, or awareness. It is impossible to go through life in the habitual way that we so often do when life is speeding by in a new and different way. It wakes you up and keeps you present every moment. If you ever wondered what the term “consciousness raising experience” meant, it is simply anything that brings you into the “now” more often and in a new way.

It wasn’t just the driving that did this, but also the new scenery, the ancient ruins, the sacred sites, and the people. Anything that we can engage in that will enliven us to the present moment can assist us in raising our consciousness. It is easy to go through life sleep-walking through the day. When we do, we miss out on the beauty that our journey here on earth is meant to awaken in us.

For this reason alone, we would do well to try to be present for more of our lives. When we are not in the present moment we miss important messages we were meant to hear, we neglect important duties we were meant to fulfill, and we miss out on important opportunities that would bring us great joy and growth. Our vision and access to the abundance of life is available to us only when we are fully present in the moment.

Spiritual practice is meant to awaken us. Meditation in particular helps us to slow down, focus on the breath, and be present with the stillness of life. If practiced every day, it will spill over into our lives in ways that will help us to be still enough not to miss out on the treasures that are present in every day, but that we too often miss out on because we are rushing through our life asleep at the wheel.

Just for today, look at everything in your life as if for the first time. Awaken to the beauty that is your life.