Wednesday, August 04, 2010

A New Route

A couple weeks ago I was driving home from my mother's house. It is usually a 4 hour drive. On this particular day the traffic was horrendous.

One portion of the drive that usually takes 30 minutes took me 1.5 hours! I'd heard on the radio that I would be facing similar traffic for my entire drive. I was really frustrated.

It was 4pm so I decided to take an upcoming exit and stop at one of my favorite places to eat. They have tremendous turkey burgers! I considered eating dinner and seeing a movie to let the traffic die down. I took my road map into the restaurant with me so I could see if there were any alternate routes available to me.

To my surprise the very exit I had taken yielded a perfect route through the countryside and would take me directly home. Under normal circumstances the freeway drive would have taken me 2.75 hours from that point. With traffic as it was, I'm guessing it would have taken me more than 5 hours to get home. My new route that I discovered took me 3 hours, but it was scenic, uncrowded and gorgeous!

This new route was perfect! My willingness to explore a different option and take it saved me an incredible amount of frustration and wasted time.

There was a time in my life where it wouldn't have even occurred to me to check out an alternative. I would have simply stuck with the route I knew and suffered through the traffic.

I'm grateful that I've cultivated the ability to change gears when I need to. I say 'cultivated the ability' because this is not something that I have always done or known how to do. I've had to practice the willingness to shift directions and try something new.

My spontaneous route discovery, in response to changing conditions, is my reward for all the work I've done to make this ability a part of the way I approach my life. It enhances and enriches my days in more ways than I can describe.

I know that my willingness to 'take a new route' in the outer circumstances of my life is also indicative of my willingness to take new routes inside myself. I can think in different ways. I can make new decisions. I can alter my outer course in greater ways than simply driving a new road on a trip I've taken 100s of times.

We can practice cultivating this ability to move in new ways by changing our routines. Drive a different route once in a while. Switch the order of your morning tasks. Change which pant leg you put on first. Find someway to shake up your ordinary routines and let it shift you through and through!

Explore new routes! Make your life a great adventure!