Recently, I was at the Maryland House on I-95, en route to NJ for a family birthday. Despite the only four hour drive, I packed a small cooler with lunch to take a break from driving the predictably unpleasant freeway connecting major cities and towns along the Eastern US.
Yes, I wanted to get there; excited about seeing my family and wanting to beat the predicted rain, but I usually feel better if I get out of the car and walk around a bit. I had cheese, crackers, salami, and one of the summer’s best—a peach from my local farmers market. All in a 30 year- old cooler. Yes, something that is 30 years old, low-tech, and still works.
I wanted to check my phone, but as I inhibited that impulse – paused, noticed what it felt like to want to start clicking and swiping, and what it felt like to not click and swipe – it got easier to ignore the phone. I began to notice the weather…hot and humid, but there was a breeze wafting around the picnic table nestled among some holly trees. Yes, this was a rest stop on I-95. I decided to try and actually taste the food I was eating. The breeze, the grass, a meal – for a moment I was actually “in” the moment. Even the drone of highway traffic assisted me in staying present.
This ability to pause and re-direct our senses and thoughts can be a challenge for all of us; however, we can all develop this skill with lessons in the Alexander Technique. In fact, this is a fundamental principle of the Alexander Technique.
As we enter the last “official” weekend of summer, or begin looking forward to an autumn weekend away, consider taking a moment to pause, rest and reflect. Even 15 minutes out of the car can help us enjoy the trip and help us avoid pain and feel more rested when we get to our destination. Also — you have probably already figured out that this is something you can do during the day — getting up from your desk, away from the computer! Walk down the hallway, look out the window, or even better, get outside even for just a moment
If you would like some guidance with a few easy stretches you can do on a road trip, stuck in traffic, or at the office, sign up in the green box below!