round about rush hour traffic

Being there*, sometimes it’s the hardest thing to do, especially if you’re stuck behind the wheel and the traffic’s slowly crawling forward. Listening to the news or conversation helps some; music does, but only for so long. I have a brother who relentlessly listens to audio books and business friends who keep up on the latest with podcasts. Me? Too often, I confess, I just get frustrated and fume…not a happy Yogini.

In his article, Commuting-related Stress: Consequences and Implications,** Tony Cassidy writes that: “Long distances are not necessarily stressful, though longer-term effects may lie in the disturbance of the balance between home, work, social and leisure aspects of life.” That’s about it for me, too often in traffic, I feel out of balance. I’d rather be doing something I love rather than sitting in traffic and how can I do something I love when I’m stuck behind the wheel?

The heart of being there

Usually, I’d tell you some new Drivetime Yoga move that helps, but this time there’s another mindful aspect of Yoga in play. Really, it’s the question that’s off. If I can switch my head around and ask: How could I have changed the situation? What, perhaps, could I have done to avoid it in the first place? Taking a little bit more responsibility restores a sense of control. It’s not guilt or blame. It’s a shift that makes me feel more empowered. For example, I could’ve taken a different road, left earlier or later, negotiated to telecommute or change up my hours at the office.

There’s so much in our lives right now fueling a sense of loss of control. It can be crazy making. It’s seductive to give into a drumbeat of fear that can keep us anxious and feeling impotent. The task in these times of uncertainty seems is, in my humble opinion, to look for moments to revel in, to create in, to stretch and breathe, to stay open to new possibilities…to just being there – discovering perfection in the moment. It’s always there and that alone can calm your commute.

So, if you pass my little Toyota on the freeway, share a wave, a nod and know that at least, we’re being there together.


*With apologies to Jerzey Kosinski ** Journal of Workplace Learning