Commuting can be a challenge. I admit, it's probably up there in my top ten least favorite things to do, followed by cleaning my bathroom, dealing with forgotten food in the back of the refrigerator, and forgetting my rain jacket on days with downpours. But, like all the other stuff, it's part of life.
I used to have a big story about my commute and complained crazily. And then I realized I had a total choice in the matter and how I could be about it. 90% of the time, I don't have to commute during peak hours, but it happens and that's just the way it goes sometimes. So here are a few things that I have found really helpful and things I consider as part of my survival kit for my own commute.
- I try and notice 1-2 new things each commute. Whether it's a new piece of construction equipment, a billboard, new graffiti, or even a mom walking her child to the bus stop, I try to notice something new.
- Hot beverage. Essential for morning commutes. Need I say more?
- Podcasts! I also had a huge story about me not being able to retain audio information (i.e. books on tape), but then I fell in love with some awesome podcasts and because technology is so awesome, I subscribe using the PlayerFM app, they automatically download and I listen to those. My faves: On Being, Unmistakeable Creative, Good Life Project, Kate & Mike Show with Kate Northrup & Mike Watts, and 10% Happier.
- I have intentionally limited my news intake in my life, but especially in the morning. What you digest first thing has profound impact on your cells and your energy. No joke.
- I ditch my jacket in the backseat. I am a firm believer in comfort. It's one of my core values in life....to be comfortable.
- Always have sunglasses handy. The weather in the PNW changes so fast so one minute it could be dumping and the next could be blaring sun. No fun squinting while driving in a machine at 60 miles per hour.
- I use my evening commutes to connect with family & friends before I get home. Not always, as I find it challenging to talk and drive at the same time, but I do it. Hands free only though.
- I practice my breathing. Commutes are perfect opportunities for pranayama practice. I use the morning for energizing breath work and chanting sometimes, and the evening for more calming practices.
- I keep a mala in the car. When there is absolute gridlock, I run my Nepalese mala through my fingers and pray and send my gratitude and wishes to the universe.
- On that note, I do a lot of gratitude practicing. The fact that I can get in my reliable vehicle every day and drive myself independently to my awesome job and then home to my awesome husband and house is pretty freakin fantastic.
- I don't commute every day. I work from home on Fridays and The Man and I try to carpool at least once a week. It breaks up the driving and we get to spend a morning together, which is usually slim during the week.
And that's it. What I think is important to acknowledge is that at the end of the day, we all get to be in a place of choice; in our commutes, in our work, in our lives, in our relationships. It's the cool thing about being human, at least from my perspective. Sending you love for your commute or whatever it is for you.