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Melli O'Brien



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Are We Steering Our Lives?

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness.

Today I'm going to talk about our habit

of living on autopilot mode and how we can

take back some control of our attention

and steer our lives more deliberately.

There's an old Zen story about this.

A lady in a village saw a man on

a horse suddenly come galloping

through the streets at high speed.

So it seemed as though this man had

somewhere very important to go in a hurry.

So she shouted out to him,

"Where are you going?"

And the man on the horse replied,

"I don't know, ask the horse."

So this story is a metaphor for how

we can all get kind of swept up in

and swept along by our habit energy.

The horse is like the momentum

of our conditioning that

just kind of pulls us along.

And as it does pull us along, it

often ends up driving us to rush

and hurry and busy ourselves.

So we're doing, doing,

doing day after day.

And we can kind of get caught up

in this haze of habitual activity.

It's a really easy thing to get caught

up in and hey, we all do this sometimes.

But if we continue galloping through

our lives without stopping every now

and then to pause and take stop, it's

pretty easy to end up with a sense that

life is passing us by and we can end up

in places we may not have wanted to go.

So, you know, potentially we can

end up with our health or lifestyle

way off course, our relationships

breaking down, or maybe we end up

living that sense of just being

out of alignment with our values.

And despite all the activity and

doing and rushing, it's not bringing

us any closer to actual fulfillment.

And this is part of the reason why

it's so important to learn how to take

back the reins of attention and take

back the reins of our mind and steer

our lives in a more deliberate way.

Now, of course, mindfulness

meditation is the most effective

way to train our attention and our

minds to be present so we can live

more deliberately in the long-term.

But a simple invitation for today

is, as you go about daily life,

see if you can notice when you have

that sense of just going through the

motions, that sense of autopilot mode.

It often has a bit of a dullness

to it, or a bit of tension to it.

And when you notice you're on

autopilot mode, see if you can

just pause, take a mindful breath.

And in that moment, you can be present

again and take back the reins of

attention and then continue your day

with more presence and intentionality.

If you can continue to bring lots of

these little short moments of awareness

and intention into your day, you can keep

steering your life in the direction of

wellbeing, joy, and genuine fulfillment.

So as always, thank you for your

practice and your presence here with us.

And now let's settle in for today's

meditation on intentional living.

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