On 23 October 2019, late in the evening, I was in a front passenger seat while my 17-year-old daughter on her learner licence took on a driver seat. I sit with my eyes wide open, breathing rhythmically through my nose, focused on anchoring my mind in the present moment. Silently, cognizing breath comes and leaves, fully aware of surroundings and route.
As we began to negotiate a right turn on the green light, halfway through the intersection, my eyes snap wide open. White colour small compact car storming at us head-on at 70km/h with less than milliseconds to respond. I first scrambled to gather my senses and in split second, I made some choices. Such as I squeeze my right-hand palm between my daughter’s head and steering, embracing my foot on the floor and left hand on the dashboard firmly, thinking of passengers in the other car, making a necessary call to ambulance, police, home, and office and most importantly help my daughter deal with her first accident just before the sound of collision that shook us and left other drivers, visibly shaken.
The white small compact car was beyond recognition, thankfully we had very little damage to our 4-wheel drive. immediately I attended my daughter, stepped out of the car to help other drivers, check on injuries, and made a call to authority. To my surprise, or a coincidence a tow truck arrived well before the ambulance and police. Immediately took responsibility and apologised generously for what has happened, exchanged licence details and fortunately no one was seriously hurt.
Thankfully my 25 plus years of meditation practice had finally proved to me that we can learn to stay calm during unexpected raging situations. At first, it may seem impossible but by training yourself to remain in the present moment, you train yourself to avoid unconscious thinking. This frees up a great deal of energy, in other words by anchoring the mind in the present moment I was able to avoid having unwanted clutter, allowing the brain to execute several thoughts in that moment with absolute clarity becoming more creative and effective to have more mental firepower left for planning, figuring out next steps, and solving problems.
It’s as if time and space for me to execute those important decisions in split-second had expanded or in other words, everything was unfolding in slow motion while the brain was functioning at normal speed. By being fully in the present moment, you can tap into a deeper intelligence within yourself.
Whether your commute is 15 minutes or hours, every day presents us with fulfilling experiences you can tap into along the way:
Enjoy Safe Driving!
Dreaming of driving interstate in your newly acquired car? Or perhaps you're planning to drive your friends to the beach for the day, when you're in the driver's seat, you'll want to be well prepared.
Plan your trip ahead. Planning your trip ahead of time and delegating navigation to one of your friendly passengers will make your trip effortless and lovable. A useful rule of thumb is that leaving 15 minutes earlier can be a reliable approach for any situation. Check your basic safety supplies such as a first aid kit, spare tyre and correct air pressure in all tyres. To learn what your tire pressure should be, look for your manufacturer's recommendation, which is printed on a label inside your car, a tank full of fuel, contact details for your roadside assistance (if you have one), and a good night's sleep.
Always stay focused. Try not to let friendly conversation or your mobile phone distract you. Know the rules. Although you'll want to keep your mobile phone handy for emergencies, avoid accessing it while you drive. Not only does it interfere with your concentration, but it may also get you a ticket. Most important, pull over and take a break if you feel sleepy or drowsy. Studies show that fatigue, circadian rhythm, sleep debt, sleep inertia and microsleeps is a major cause of car crashes. Driving while feeling sleepy or drowsy can affect a driver's judgment as much as alcohol or drugs can.
Stick to speed limits. It's easy to lose track of speed limits with the music cranking and suddenly find you're over the limit. If you go over the speed limit, even by a few kms/hr you can be booked, and it could put your licence at risk. Plus, speeding penalties can run a couple of hundred dollars. You'd be considered a reliable and risk-free driver doing 5-10kms under the speed limit.
Know your licence conditions. Safer limits build confidence. If you are on your provisional P1 or P2, special licence conditions apply. These include speed restrictions passenger numbers, vehicle type, zero blood alcohol, and laws against using mobile phones. All learner and provisional drivers must clearly display their L and P plates on the front and back of the outside of the vehicle – the letters must not be hidden.