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Life lessons learnt while learning how to drive

I have recently started taking driving lessons and I'm learning not only about driving but so much more.

These lessons have made me reflect on how the body is the main vehicle that drives us through life; from the moment of birth to our last breath, and no matter how long we've been driving it, it can take a lifetime to get to know it in its beautiful complexity

We have all been either pilots or passengers in this body vehicle since day 1, yet none of us knows all of its mechanisms, we come with no user manual or instruction on it all, but we somehow drive on through life, at times smoothly, at times roughly, always learning. The instructions are in the living 

How different would our life look like if we all knew how to best maintain it in optimal condition? Maybe there would be less breakdowns, less exhaustion and collapse and more longevity.

Some of the lessons I'm learning are these:

Lesson 1: Before driving a new car, once you take a seat, you then have to adjust it so that the seat feels comfortable and safe for you, you may shift the seat so that it suits the length of your legs and arms, similarly, in yoga, when you come to a seat or a posture, there will be a particular positioning that will work best for you, and your body structure is the one that determines how that seat positioning would look like. If everyone sat on the driver's seat without adjusting it for their own morphology, then the car won't be that safe or comfortable to drive on. Someone with longer legs will require a very different seat to someone with shorter legs, so we can't expect that we all look the same on a seat, honouring our differences will make our journey much more enjoyable.

Lesson 2:

The brake pedal is bigger than the accelerator. To me this shows that, not only do we need to move forward, accelerate and get somewhere but equally we need to slow down and stop often, otherwise we lose all control.

If our breath represented these pedals, our inhalations would be the accelerator while the exhalation is the brake. Both are essential. If you go too fast, everything around you becomes a blur and this may feel like anxiety, stress, inability to cope. On the other hand, if you don't move at all, your vehicle would eventually deteriorate and unable to do what's it is meant to do.

Lesson 3: We will inevitably run into roadworks.

Roadworks represent any unexpected, and possibly inconvenient moments/experiences we can't just bypass.

They reflect the unforeseen and usually reluctant halt that seems to get in the way between where we are and where we are going, yet it is necessary for the healthy maintenance of our path. If you enjoy smooth paths, befriend the metaphorical roadworks of your life.

Some people may complain about the potholes and then about the roadworks that fix the potholes. Next time life brings you to a pause between where you are and where you're going, what if you were able to see it not as an obstacle but as catalyst to a renewed experience of your journey? and perhaps even an improvement to it.

Lesson 4:

My instructor asks me to find a location on street signs, and follow that. Rather than instructing all the directions that will guide me there, she tells me what to look for but I have to find the way myself. If she guided my every turn, I would become reliant on constantly being told what to do, and feel lost without guidance, but if I am only told what to look for, I will build the skills to find any destination on my own, leading me a step closer to them. Once I am able to follow the signposts, I am halfway at my destination.

Lesson 5: If you look at the windscreen and compare its size to the side view mirrors and rear view mirrors, you'll realise that the most important place to be placing your attention is in what is right in front of you, with ample vision of what's ahead, but you also have to keep an eye on the side view mirrors so you can see your blind spots, those things that are less perceptible but can bring a lot of damage if we are completely unaware of them (think of your shadow, your judgements, criticism, self doubt, lack of trust, etc.) In addition to this, our awareness need to expand enough to scan around us, looking at our rear-view mirror to be mindful of what's behind us, so that no matter how far we move forwards, we always remember the path we've travelled and the lessons learnt ~ preventing hazards that can affect our odyssey.

Mini lessons:
  • If we aren't paying attention to what is in front of us. we will be obliged to brake harshly.

  • Give way to passing thoughts, but don't start chasing them, otherwise this will veer you away from your direction and you will miss what's right in front of you.

  • Life might tell you to go faster or slower, but it is you who determines the pace that feels sustainable for you.

  • My husband says that when you have been driving for a long time, it is easy to go on auto-pilot, and when you do this, you end up repeating frequent old journeys as they are familiar, but this can prevent you from finding new ones


Do you feel in charge as the pilot or do you feel more like a passenger in your life?

Do you determine the speed/pace of our life or has this been predetermined for you? 

May we arrive at a destination where passenger and pilot, being and doing are inseparably one 🙏🏼

With love and deep appreciation,



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