Driving with Presence

For most of my driving life I have not been driving with presence. I have found that I do not enjoy driving at all, yet when I was behind the wheel of a car for the first time I found it fun. When I was first learning to drive, I remember being totally in the moment, present with my driving and aware of everything that was going on around me. My focus was always with what I was doing and there was a simplicity and a humbling joy of feeling the gentle movements of driving the car.

I remember that when I first started driving I never had any need to seek a ‘thrill’ while driving. I never needed (or wanted) to drive excessively fast or in an unsafe way (the standard speed limit of 50km/h was fast enough for me, let alone driving at 100 or 110km/h!).

Yet, over time, I have found that my driving has changed and I have not felt quite the same joy – and that my driving ethic had changed from when I first started to drive. I have been pondering what is behind this feeling and I realised:

  • I am often not present with myself when I drive. I am usually thinking about the time or about what I need to do when I get there, but very rarely am I in the moment thinking about what I am doing. Sometimes I have been so distracted or checked out that when I arrive to my destination I hardly recall turning on the car, much less braking, accelerating and all the other things we do when we drive. At these times I would feel like a driving zombie!
  • When I am not present when driving, it is actually very dangerous; not just for me but for other drivers as well. I have found that when driving over the many bumps and abrasions in the road, I often never even notice them until I actually feel myself driving over them! I then feel a pulse of anxiousness through my body as I feel that I was not prepared for driving over bumps. At times, I have found my driving seemingly very reckless with no real care for myself or my car at all!
  • When I drive, it is seems easy at times to go over 100km/h without noticing. Have I detached so much from myself that now I am unaware of how fast I am driving? I have found that when I am needing to get somewhere, I have a feeling of enjoyment from being reckless and driving for the ‘thrill’ of going fast. Why do I now need this thrill when I didn’t before?
  • I often reach for the stereo and listen to something. This was typically music but it could have been the radio, too. I can feel when I do this sometimes I am so away from the moment that the radio or music is just another way to escape when I am feeling stress or anxiety.

What if I could drive differently and be more present as I drive, and therefore actually enjoy being with myself while I am driving?

I have found that driving with presence is actually extremely fun and very nourishing for me and my body. By being with me in the moment (as I did when I was 15 and learning to drive), I have found that:

  • Time and space seem to expand. There is a humble feeling of not needing to get anywhere. I am learning that if I do need to get somewhere on time, I need to make time, as a support for myself and my driving.
  • I am no longer a zombie on the road but instead a lovely man who is totally enjoying the ride. It is surprising how much fun it can be to be with my body as I did when I was 15 and learning to drive. Now I want to be present in all of my driving so I am completely aware and remember all of the journey. I am going to drive me there and not the zombie! There is also no feeling of anxiety for driving too fast or driving over bumps, but instead one of joy as I am with my body and my car when I approach a bump… I am ready for it.
  • The space and connection with myself I am creating as I drive is one that totally supports me for my day and what is ahead. There is no need to escape any more, for what could prepare me more for my day than being in my joy when I arrive?
  • The space in the car is so still when I drive with conscious presence that I can feel the gentleness of my breath throughout my body. It becomes an amazing time to remind me of the gentle tender man I am and that the support and joy I need is found in that space.

The seemingly simple power of being in the moment and driving with presence for me is one of the best tools to enjoy life again. I have been inspired to live this connection again by the students of Universal Medicine and the forever inspiring work of Serge Benhayon, who have highlighted to me from their lives what simple joy can come from just being.

By Joshua Campbell (21), Living in Christchurch, NZ

200 thoughts on “Driving with Presence

  1. Driving is such a great excercise in life – we can learn so much in our cars, I always enjoy my daily car lessons, they give me reflections upon which I know where to make changes in my life.

  2. This is very inspiring and shows what mastering a skill looks like. During our learning stage, we cannot afford not pay attention to the details of what we are doing; then we eventually graduate to a stage where we feel confident enough not to do that any more – but that doesn’t have to mean we go into auto-pilot, it actually opens up space for us to go deeper with it so we end up enjoying ourselves because we can feel more of us in movement, if we choose to.

  3. How we drive our cars is very revealing of how we ‘drive’ our physical bodies. That is, the way we drive in our cars on the roads exposes the way we are choosing to move in our bodies on this plane of life we call planet Earth. It is easy to see when we are not consciously present while driving because the stakes are higher in that a momentary lapse of mind/body connection can lead to a sudden accident. This can also be the case when on foot but for the most part we are able to ‘get away’ with this lack of presence as we are not going at such a great speed. However, the repercussions for not being present in our bodies are in fact equally as high in the sense that it can lead to a downhill slide of ill health, exhaustion, complications, seeming mishaps as well as a whole host of others bumps and scrapes we willingly endure through the lifetime of this vehicle we inhabit. The key here being that we are always in movement and so the question is, who or more precisely what energy are we allowing to steer the vehicle if we are not consciously present while in this movement?

  4. Great question Joshua, one I need to ask myself every time I get into the car;
    “What if I could drive differently and be more present as I drive, and therefore actually enjoy being with myself while I am driving?”

  5. I can definitely relate to this Josh, however due to my younger years spent go-karting I did carry that need for speed when I started driving!

  6. Wow Joshua if I am a person who would like to learn to drive I would choose you to be my driving instructor or at least that you drive with me when I did my first drive alone. While I was reading your amazing blog I could feel the joy you have when you are driving your car and that is really something great to share.

  7. It is rather interesting how we can drive in a way that creates anxiety in the body, which you call “thrill” here or we can perform the same action and movement by supporting an ease and joy in the body through our loving presence – as you share it is only a matter of choice.

  8. I have always loved driving. I too remember the care and attention I gave to when I was first learning to drive. For me this change when I learned how to drive defensively. What came with this was an arrogance and even aggressiveness at times because “I knew how to drive properly”. I too had a greater tendency to check out when I drove this way.. Thank goodness this has changed, for the most part. I love how my body feels when I sit in the car. This is a real marker for me on how I am at that moment. How am I gripping the strong well, how I set myself up for the drive. If I pay attention to this then I will remain present during my drive and then it’s never exhausting regardless of the kms travelled.

  9. It is scary to realize how many people are driving while checked out. Perhaps those bumps in the road are there to bring us back to our responsibility to ourselves and everyone else we share the road with.

  10. Thankyou Joshua, it really is the simple things that bring us joy. If we view driving as a nuisance then we feel annoyed the whole time, instead of it being an opportunity to enjoy being consciously present with ourselves, and driving safely and responsibly aware of the other drivers. I still find my focus on time gets in the way of me enjoying driving. And what an inspiring and very common sense line “what could prepare me more for my day than being in my joy when I arrive?” – so true, thankyou Joshua. Focusing on ourselves instead of the perceived pressures of time is the way to go.

  11. Yes it all comes down to presence – doing things with myself makes everything enjoyable because it is me doing it feeling all the details of my body. This mainly comes because I am learning to appreciate myself again also inspired by Serge Benhayons teachings and presentations.

  12. When I was learning to drive I felt like a meerkat – constantly looking around every five seconds. Yes I was aware of my surroundings and my fellow drivers but it came with an anxiousness and a highly strung alertness. This resulted in restricted and slower reaction driving. These days when I drive with presence I am aware of my surroundings but without the tension in my body, so much so that I feel more confident in how I move my car such as not reversing out of my parking space at 0.2mph but at a steady and more fluid pace.
    And should I approach a bump too harsh I feel it much more now and come back to asking how I feel, a great example being that I went over a bump too fast due to being tired and that ‘I don’t care I want to sleep’ attitude coming in. Coming back to myself after that speed bump allowed me to say no to those thoughts and even though I was tired, making more effort to approach the following bumps with care I was less sleepy! How we are and how we drive or do anything in life are interlinked.

  13. ‘The seemingly simple power of being in the moment and driving with presence for me is one of the best tools to enjoy life again. ‘ Beautifully said Joshua, and imagine the blessing other drivers receive when we chose to bring this level of presence and quality to our driving.

  14. When I drive without presence it is scary to arrive and not remember the journey. Returning to conscious presence in all that I do in every part of my day is what I am embracing. Not only in my driving, but all parts of my life.

  15. It is astounding the number of things we can check out with when we are driving. No wonder there are car accidents. How consciously present we are on the roads is a reflection of how present we are in our everyday living.

  16. Great awareness you have come to Joshua, from the act of driving that is often used as a time to check out.

  17. Driving particularly is an activity where we can make a huge difference if we bring conscious presence to it, as we so easily can just do it in autopilot, especially if it is a route that we know well and drive regularly. How many times have I arrived and did not remember how I got there! This is an interesting phenomena, that we can arrive safely whilst we have been completely somewhere else in our heads whilst driving, which shows that we do not really need the capacity of our minds to drive but actually use our other senses for it. However if we sync the mind with the activity of the body – the body is at ease and very supported and held and the mind can marvel at the simplicity and beauty of each moment.

  18. I find driving an awesome reflection of where I am at in my life. When my days are flowing I naturally allow time for my journey and it is smooth and I enjoy spending time with me consciously present but when I am feeling rushed I approach driving in a tense way and lots of obstacles seem to appear but maybe they are needed to keep my focus on what I am doing so as not to spend the entire journey in zombie mode?!

  19. What an inspiration you are Joshua. No coincidence that I’ve read this blog this evening. I’ve had two different experiences having driven out to some friends this morning totally connected, observant and so enjoying being behind the wheel and, yes felt every bump in the road and was very aware of where they were and noticing the speed restrictions and sticking to them. Arriving at my destination bright, energised and ready for my busy day ahead. My return journey home was a different story I’d eaten something that had really upset my system, feeling tired and heavy headed I was not so alert, I could feel the tension in my body as I drove through speed restrictions and going too fast and a few swerves to avoid rather large pot holes and debris on the road. So ‘note to self’, take full responsibility for all my choices as these have such a knock on/detrimental effect with all following choices. Driving with conscious presence can never be too overstated.

  20. This is timely for me to read. Being consciously present in our driving is as important as in any other part of our lives- why do we often drive as if it is less so??

  21. I also drive like you Josh! It pays off to make time and space for ourselves in our days so we don’t have to rush through things, and things like driving or going places are given as much values as “the destination”. Driving can be so simple, gentle and even enjoyable! The feel of the car, the feel of the road, the flow of the traffic.. what isn’t great about that?

  22. Beautiful blog Josh! Its amazing how awesome driving is when you are first learning, why does it become mundane and a “zombie-like task”?

  23. Thank you Joshua for a great blog on driving with or without presence, I am sure we can all relate to these experiences. simple enjoyment “The seemingly simple power of being in the moment and driving with presence for me is one of the best tools to enjoy life again. “

  24. At my current job I have to drive 30min each way. Now I know that this may not sound much to some however I have always been around 10mins away from my place of work, school and education for my entire life… Until now. At first I was a bit apprehensive about traveling the large distance. However I decided to take stock of what this space provided, I now look forward to this time for myself to re-connect, listen to some recordings or music.

    I have fun during this time and it no longer bothers me.

  25. Driving provides me with immediate feedback on how I’ve been living up to that moment, because I notice I continue to play it out right behind the wheel. Checking out, speeding, being reckless, self-centred – and it always ends up with me arriving racy, tense and relieved that I got there on time or exhausted, fuzzy and immensely grateful for my autopiloting skills. I’m learning to build in more time than I need for the journey so I don’t have to rush out of anxiety and I’m experimenting with using my cruise control to create a base line consistency that supports me in remaining present, able to feel the car and enjoy the space. The difference is amazing. There’s a calmness throughout my body and I’m less dominated by thoughts. My arms and neck are certainly way less tense and I arrive as me, not some frazzled version.

    1. I can report back that the cruise control is a regular feature now, not only on long motorway journeys but also those country roads where it’s all too easy to start speeding up to gain a bit of time the other end but at the detriment of a tensing body.

  26. I can relate to the driving ‘zombie’ very well. Learning to be more present with my driving is a work in progress and at times I can’t believe how often I can drift off, I have found being aware of my hands on the steering wheel and moving them often is a great support with this.

  27. Great reminder Josh to slow down and enjoy life; and driving. To let me do the driving and not the zombie is a lesson I need to be more aware of!

  28. During my working day I am driving from one client to another all day and although this is never a long distance it is a challenge to stay with me and not going in thoughts about where I have been or where am I going to. When I use this time to be with me in my car it is a new and fresh start where ever I’ll come next. When I make it about time I set myself up to be anxious and not present when I arrive at my next clients house, in a way the zombie state is being continued. With reading your blog Josh and writing this down I feel the responsibility we have all of the time to stay present and honour who we all are.

    1. Absolutely Annelies. I find that there is a resistance in many of us to actually embracing this level of responsibility to be present and honouring all of the time. It can feel like another being inside, a spirit that does not want to be exposed and sets up these moments that ensure we are not with ourselves and our bodies. It is definitely a great responsibility to hold and live this all of the time.

  29. I just loved reading your blog Joshua, I can so relate to both your experiences, though the first one I do more often. I notice that when my mind strays when I am driving I tend to go over the speed limit and this is a signal for me to come back. “The space and connection with myself I am creating as I drive is one that totally supports me for my day and what is ahead. The space in the car is so still when I drive with conscious presence that I can feel the gentleness of my breath throughout my body” so beautiful Joshua, thank you.

    1. Going over the speed limit with a straying mind is definitely a sign of not driving with the body. It is interesting that when we are truly present and with our body driving over the speed limit is not a natural thing to want to do. It actually makes me anxious now when I do it as it does not feel honouring of myself or of others.

  30. Joshua, what a delightful blog. I love how you’ve transformed your experience of driving through being present, and I especially love how you make time for you to get there … ‘if I do need to get somewhere on time, I need to make time, as a support for myself and my driving.’ Reading it I realised how important it is that we honour ourselves in everything we do and not try and shoe horn ourselves into impossible situations such as not enough time, and how to give ourselves that time is truly loving.

  31. “I am going to drive me there and not the zombie!” This sentence reminded me that often when I get out of the car at the other end I can be detached, distracted, and not quite all there…. and it sounds exactly like the zombie has arrived (and Simon will hopefully be joining us in a few minutes!).

  32. Like you I discovered that I did not enjoy driving and was always busy in my mind with loads of things while driving. Serge once shared that when he is driving he makes sure that he feels his hands on the wheel, checks the mirrors and stays in touch with his body and then from the beginning again until destination. This keeps the mind from wondering off and staying present in what we are doing. Since then I have been practicing this and realized how distracted I can get when I am driving my car. And the difference is unbelievable like you said Joshua. I feel more relaxed and enjoy driving my car as if I am a child again. If everyone would drive in this manner I am sure there would be a lot less (if any) traffic incidents.

  33. I’ve had that sensation you describe – of time and space seeming to expand whenever I’m totally present driving. All manner of creative ideas and solutions to problems flood in – so much so that I now voice record them so I don’t lose their richness – and I’m very aware of my breathing and every nuance in my posture. But I also notice I cut life short, meaning I have to go into girl racer mode along country roads too frequently. That’s when I feel the contraction across the muscles in my shoulders, neck and upper arms, my breathing becomes more rapid, I’m on the edge of my seat and I arrive a lesser woman than the one who set off. So your blog is a great reminder ‘that if I do need to get somewhere on time, I need to make time, as a support for myself and my driving.’ That’ll be a super early start tomorrow morning then!

    1. It is amazing what comes to us when we are present with our bodies. But not just present, actually embodying and fully claiming being all of us in our bodies. I find when fully content with everything in me and my body, no trying, pushing or forcing life to be a certain way comes in at all. Time then seems to expand and I am truly enjoying just being with wherever it seems to take me. Surrendered and deeply in my body it feels like doing anything, driving, walking or even talking with another is a beautiful moment to enjoy!

  34. It is a bit scary to think how many of us actually drive without being in our bodies! To be in conscience presence is really important , we are aware of what is happening and the safety factor is very much better for all concerned. Thank you for your sharing Josh and reminding me of the need to be aware at all times.

  35. This is gorgeous Joshua, thank you! You have reminded me of how I felt when I first learnt to drive… I must say quite nervous but there was a feeling of fun and joy in driving and being responsible for how I was on the road. I have completely forgotten this up to now. This has been the same with so many tasks or things I do, once it becomes the ‘norm’ there is like a comfort that creeps in, because I’ve done this hundreds of times I don’t need to be fully present on what I’m doing. Pretty big to feel right now. How you now drive feels amazing to read, I’m going to check in when I’m driving today.

  36. Driving is a lot of fun when done truly conscious of what is going on outside and inside the car. That what brings in the slack is what I feel to be a routine just driving, not needing to be present because its going alright, that is an awful feeling, because everything gets much much better with a conscious presence.

    1. That is beautiful Benkt that you expose this subtlety which many get trapped into. A comfort with our driving which we accept as being ok when in truth it can be a whole lot better when we feel truly present and connected with our driving. It is almost like driving with the least presence as possible is the norm for how many drive.

    1. That sounds wonderful Joe. I have noticed that it is harder to stay present when my children are in the car with me because then there is a lot going on. My mind is distracted with all sorts of (controlly) things having to do with them. Thanks for the reminder to stay present no matter what and appreciating the beauty it can bring. In fact I will practise this afternoon when I will be in the car with four teenagers :).

  37. Joshua, you are summing it up for me when you say ” I am going to drive me “. By making driving about caring and loving what you are presently doing you are also taking care of all those around you. This morning I am attracted to blogs that reveal the simplicity and beauty of doing mundane tasks which our full presence and how nourishing it is for the soul.

  38. Joshua, I find that when I drive with presence, care and attention, journeys pass in their own time without the need for speed, (no longer in a hurry to get there). I enjoy journeys more, constantly check speedometer, see road signs and speed limits and know what’s happening in and around me. Driving responsibly is a totally different and safer experience to when I drove checked out and disconnected

  39. What you have described here Josh is two completely different states of presence. Having tried both I would like to add that the quality of presence is built as you go, for example if you spend your morning half asleep and not really with it, you can make yourself alert when driving and carry that presence with you throughout the day. On the other hand if you spend the morning connected and alive with presence then check out when driving, that is the state you will arrive to work in. We can go in and out all day, but the more we are present the more we get out of life.

  40. Joshua I too have found that when something mundane feels boring that it is because I’m being a zombie, and am not present with the task. On the otherhand when I am totally with myself everything is enjoyable. Thanks for the reminder.

  41. Many could relate to driving like a zombie. I have been refining my driving for 6 years since first attending a Universal Medicine workshop. I often noticed I could check out with music and harden my arms. I often changed lanes, not wanting to be behind drivers who didn’t do the speed limit. I have always been a very polite driver and someone who waved people into lanes, but I always liked to drive hard and fast. After a series of accidents, all of which were running into someone and a recent speeding fine I have chosen to really concentrate on the road and to not speed at all. The change is amazing. Turning up to something or meeting people feels very different as I have been in a gentle energy before doing something, allowing the next moment to unfold in a way that wasn’t racy or full of anxiousness. I now can check in with how I’m feeling but observing how I’m driving. It is a good marker to have and one I keep checking in with. It feels really supportive to drive in a way that is gentle and present.

  42. Joshua, I can so relate to the zombie you describe. In the past I frequently got in the car and went into autopilot to get home which I would only notice in the times when I was not going directly home but would find myself in autopilot driving myself back home anyway. I now drive with far more conscious presence and love the feeling of stillness when I drive with me.

  43. Joshua, driving checked out is an experience I used to have and it was quite scary to think I had driven from A to B and couldn’t remember getting there. What you have said here is true – we can make a choice to be present as we drive. Being present allows for a totally different experience where we are valuing of ourselves and valuing of others. Thanks for creating discussion around this very common practice – one that needs to change.

    1. Isn’t it mind boggling that with such responsibility on the road in regards to the safety of ourselves and others that it is so common to be driving and not concentrating. It really is a totally different experience when we value the responsibility of being a road user.

  44. This is a great reminder for me, Josh. Many of us spend a lot of time each day on the road and probably do not realise just how often we are checked out when driving.The raciness in which I have driven in the past is what i take into my workplace or home and this is not responsible or self loving.

  45. I have only been driving for the past few years, and only on rare occasions, so I am very careful when I do drive, and although I am getting used to it by now there’s a degree of anxiety and tension. Reading your blog, it feels to me that I am being careful while not being with myself – paying attention to every detail of what I see outside of me, but never to how my body feels. Thank you for the inspiration, Joshua.

  46. This is a great reminder for every aspect of our lives – mundane or boring tasks can feel awesome and joyful just by us choosing to be present with what we do. Thank you Joshua.

    1. I’ve been experimenting with this for a while Carmin and its amazing how any task or job can be awesome if we choose to be present with what we are doing. I now simply do every task without going into my head and feeling like I don’t like this task or I wish I was doing something else. I am present with each moment and continue to chip away at bringing true quality to it. I find the moment I’m not present my body gets knocked or hurt and I’m quickly reminded to re align myself.

  47. Very beautiful reminder Josh. ‘The seemingly simple power of being in the moment and driving with presence for me is one of the best tools to enjoy life again.’ – well said and I agree that it is simple and empowering to drive with presence. In fact, to be with our presence anywhere anytime is a true joy.

  48. I enjoyed reading this Joshua and can relate, as my job involves driving. What I have noticed is that if I am late for an appointment and try to rush the car feels heavy and awkward and then my lower back starts to ache. When I am with me the journey flows and the car feels lighter and easier to manoeuvre.

  49. As you say Joshua, driving with presence is a beautiful experience. I feel in rhythm and the car seems to glide effortlessly. I’m conscious of my body while, at the same time, my focus becomes more expansive to include all that’s around me and, as you have experienced, time and space seem to open up. This sits in such stark contrast to times when I’ve been running late, I’m focused narrowly on where I’m going, or lost in thought, my eyes become blinkered and I’m oblivious to everything but the road and ‘getting there’.

  50. Beautiful blog Joshua- I can´t do too many things anymore in the same time, it actually really hurts in my body because I have to switch in my brain to do so. But presence in driving and in everything else is always something that I feel need to deepen in me. To not have these pillows to escape from presence, which can be a drive or overdoing as well.

  51. I am a person who is driving a lot and so I was very interesting to read your wonderful blog. I have to say that your lovely words helped me to remember how I was learning to drive a car. That was not a very pleasant thing for me because my driving teacher was very rude and not appreciative. After I had my driving license I started to enjoy driving a car and since I met Serge Benhayon my joy of driving a car has increased even more. Now I ponder how beautiful it would have been to have a driving teacher who would have offered me the joy and presence to drive a car right from the start . . .

  52. I love what you share here Joshua about the importance of driving with presence, I often do long trips in the car and can feel the pressure to just get there at times instead of enjoying each moment with me. This is such an awesome reminder for me and I look forward to my next long trip now – thanks for the inspiration!

  53. So many great observations here Joshua – to drive with presence seems to be a ‘no brainer’ but I feel sure that many of us do drive in this way at times. The pressure is on for me whenever I travel and leave late for my journey – anxiousness creeps in, then frustration as I sit behind a particularly slow driver, even the wildlife seem to run out into the road causing a reflex action to avoid hitting it/them. The opposite of that is taking my time, feeling comfortable in my seat, feeling my hands on the wheel, observations of other drivers and checking the road ahead, a completely different ride and still arrive early at my destination feeling fresh and ready for what lies ahead.

    1. Do you know this phenomenon when you are running late you have the slowest driver in front of you? I used to get really angry then, but now I see it as a blessing, that nothing should get me so racy, even not being too late, that I push my body so hard.

      Accepting that I wasn´t in my true rhythm in the morning for example and that this is a STOP for me, really works for me…

  54. Wow! Joshua,
    Driving with presence is something that I too now practise. I can remember the days of arriving home and not remembering most of the journey. And my journey home is over 1 hours drive. To think about not being fully present in these situations is now truly scary to me, and if I feel myself drifting off today, I bring myself back to my body and the car with the simpleness of feeling my finger tips on the steering wheel and my feet in my shoes. And of becoming present with where I am at that moment in the drive. Choosing to do these simple things, has made me a more conscious, caring driver.

  55. Thank you Joshua, for a reminder of how to drive with presence and how lovely that can be, instead of driving in distraction.

  56. Thank you Joshua, I can relate to much you have shared. It can be pretty scary, arriving somewhere without even knowing how and where you had driven. I can also relate to the busy, stress, and wanting to get somewhere. I found that conscious presence is indeed such incredible tool to drive safe and with fun. As it makes you more aware of the moment you are in. Next to that I can feel my breath and body.. It is quiet a miracle: as I can sit very calmly in the car, being very present with myself, but drive a 100km a hour, without the feeling of rusting.. Pretty cool! To me that is the power of our presence, everyday.

    1. Could not agree more Danna. It is in being present with our bodies that we are better able to observe what is going on around us which not only makes us better drivers but allows us to not absorb or ‘take on’ life

  57. Fantastic Joshua, thank you for this beautiful reminder. I have noticed just in the last couple of days, that I have had a tendency to coast between on the speed limit to up to 10 km’s over it – all the while holding the opinion I drive on the limit. Why? I asked myself. To stay present allows me to not let myself drift away or over the limit, and instead am there in every moment ready.

  58. I used to listen to music and speak on the phone (with a headset) a lot whilst driving, but for a while now I’ve stopped as I find I can stay more present and alert simply driving.
    Being present with me, the car and my body, is such a joy and I get less tied driving to.

  59. Wonderful observations Josh, slowing down to enjoy us – us being with us, and also us being with others. When we are in-time with ourselves, neither ahead in rush, nor behind in thought, we open the space for appreciation. Beautiful.

  60. I find driving a great opportunity to be really present with myself. For there is me, my car and the road and a heightened awareness of everything else, without becoming distracted.

  61. Driving reflects so much where I am at. I enjoyed going for the thrill in driving aswell, now I take care during driving that when I get of the car I don´t feel drained. I very often drive 5 hours so this is always a great opportunity to check, what I am doing during driving: checking out or staying aware.

  62. Driving with presence, having allowed the space to enjoy you and the road without the pressure of time pushing you along is a truly gorgeous experience… and a far cry from getting from A to B completely checked out and clock watching to get there in time only to arrive and realise you left yourself behind.

  63. Driving with presence is truly something. I love to drive and to connect to the back of my neck while driving and from there be aware to everything else. Driving in that connection with the body is a total different experience.

  64. Driving is one of those activities where we can really connect with our senses and one in which we can clearly feel when we check out. It’s such a gift to be aware of the loveliness of being present.

  65. There is indeed not much fun in driving without myself being there. There is actually not much fun in doing anything when I am not present! So back to me – back to fun!

  66. Great blog Josh, it’s awesome what you are sharing about driving and I love all your honesty. I sometimes get a little bit reckless while driving when I am in a hurry to get somewhere… and even when I am not in a hurry. But as a general, I love driving… I love that it takes time and it’s a time for me to sit, not doing anything else other then drive… There is so much to focus on that it can really be quite fun I find 🙂

  67. Driving the car can seem like an utter chore on some days – I totally relate Josh to the zombie driving. How much care is given to the car, and the other road users in that state? Not much. However connecting and settling into the seat with presence, feeling with my hands and fingertips the controls and steering wheel, I connect with this amazing mode of transport. It’s actually super smooth from this space and no rush or thoughts can push you forward – the road simple melts away.

  68. It took being just one point off loosing my licence before the penny dropped, gosh, I need to bring some conscious presence into this driving business, and I did. Now I realized how ‘driven ‘ I was and what its like to not be a paranoid always speeding driver.. what a relief.:-)

  69. A wonderful reflection Joshua. How we all are when we drive our cars can be a great reflection for us of how we are driving our bodies. Are we on auto pilot and therefore cannot feel what is truly going on or are we driving our bodies recklessly and therefore in disregard. Choosing conscious presence in all activities creates that joy and space that you so wonderfully describe.

  70. Josh this is one very important area of life that needs our constant attention and presence. It is very frightening to arrive somewhere, and then be unable to account for that time. It is no wonder so called accidents happen. Everyone needs to be reminded that when we are in the moment, time expands and there is space for everything. Thanks again.

  71. A very timely reminder Josh as I do a lot of driving and love it.
    So often I drive without being fully present; however I am aware of this and am practising conscious presence every time I am behind the wheel.
    “The seemingly simple power of being in the moment and driving with presence for me is one of the best tools to enjoy life again”
    These are very inspiring and motivating words, thank you Josh.

  72. Driving is something I do not enjoy doing at all. I have been driving in the far North Coast of NSW for over 20 years and feel that I cannot afford to go on “auto pilot” due to so many incompetent drivers on the road in the area. They are all on “auto pilot” and a few drivers who are “present” are preventing “driving zombies” from having accidents!

  73. One day a week I drive to and from home for an hour on the highway at fast speed, and whilst I have been practicing conscious presence and enjoying the time I spend in the car with myself, your blog reminds me to keep to the speed limit. It is easy to travel a few k’s over the limit, but why would I need to do this when the time in the car is an opportunity to feel my gentle breath? Thank you Josh, there is always room for creating more space, not rushing, enjoying the moments of conscious presence.

  74. ‘The space in the car is so still when I drive with conscious presence that I can feel the gentleness of my breath throughout my body. It becomes an amazing time to remind me of the gentle tender man I am and that the support and joy I need is found in that space.’
    A great blog Joshua and a simple example of the power of conscious presence 🚗

  75. I love this Joshua, as it is a lovely gentle reminder of how not present we can be when driving. The changes you have made feel so supportive and so simple, that I feel we could all take something from your approach, and bring back the joy and presence in how we drive.

  76. Lovely to re-read this blog this moring. I could really feel the gentle and tender man you are Joshua… it felt to me this blog was a parallel in how we drive or treat our own physical vehicle, the body. When we are consciously present in the body, the journey through life is much safer, smoother, more fun and joyful, and with the awareness that being present in the body brings, we are prepared for those bumps on the road when they appear from time to time, so that they do not really disturb or interrupt the journey one is on.

  77. Lovely to re-read this blog again this morning, and I could really feel the gentle and tender man you are Joshua… it felt to me your blog was a parallel of how we drive or treat our own physical vehicle, the body. When I am consciously present in my body, my journey through life is safer, smoother and more joyful, and with more awareness when those bumps on the road appear from time to time, I am already prepared so that they do not really disturb or interrupt the journey I am on.

    1. Love the analogy you make here with being in your own body Jacqueline. I experience the same thing when I am with me life is a joyful ride!

  78. The focus on conscious presence whilst driving for me makes my daily drives much more enjoyable as I get to feel the journey, rather than being lost in my head and just getting there on automatic pilot, so making those check-ins are an important factor in staying connected.

  79. Thank you Josh, I can relate to having the moments where I actually don’t remember traveling a certain amount of miles because I’ve been thinking about something to the opposite where I am totally with myself in that moment and being aware of everything around me. I know which one I would prefer to master.

  80. “The seemingly simple power of being in the moment and driving with presence for me is one of the best tools to enjoy life again.” It is so great once we have felt this for ourselves. To even have one moment, one action that we can focus on and know we are connected to ourselves, paves the way for this connection to spread across other actions too, until it becomes our livingness.

  81. Josh. You would be a wonderful teacher, enlightening some of today’s drivers with your conscious presence and awareness in your body – as you drive along life’s highway.

  82. Josh thanks for the blog, I so relate to what you say. I don’t drive much now while I live in London but when I did the last few times I remember feeling a similar experience. The more I bring conscious presence in everything that I do and not get caught up in where I am going or the time that I need to be there etc. – The journey is so much more enjoyable and yes space is most definitely created and on your side and when I arrive, where ever I am, there is no anxiousness. Just one of the supportive techniques Universal Medicine presents.

  83. Whilst I don’t drive I can also relate to the anxiousness in walking if and when I am focused on needing to get somewhere and haven’t allowed myself enough time. The other thing I found interesting whilst reading was that yes the first time I do something I do tend to take more care, am focused and present but thereafter as it becomes routine I become careless and can do it by rote. Perhaps everything can be approached fresh each time, no matter how many times it has been done before?

  84. Wow Josh I love this! Whilst I don’t drive I could feel myself going through my working days with everything you said and feeling how beautiful and full it feels to be present. It’s beautiful that the presence you are writing about is actually felt in every word you have written. Absolutely Awesome and a deeply healing gift. Thank you .

  85. I too have noticed how bringing conscious presence to everyday physical activities – be it driving, showering, cooking, dressing, cleaning, etc – beings joy, spaciousness, flow and timelessness.

    1. And life becomes super simple and fun because you are always reminded of that love your presence naturally brings.

  86. Thank you Joshua for sharing your experience with driving. In the past jumping in my car and just putting my foot on the pedal to go from A to B has been easy ‘to do’ and with no respect or regard for it, or for other drivers on the road. Equally so, I have treated my body in the same way, and with no sense of responsibility towards others. As I have brought presence into my life this has naturally flowed into my time in the car. Now I appreciate the times I bring presence to my driving and can feel how I drive along the road supports my body, my car and this can be felt by others on the road.

  87. Hi Joshua, I always love reading your articles and what you share. I love the part about driving ‘you’ and NOT the Zombies, a great statement and one that I will use a lot now. 🙂 It is very true in that how we drive our car really shows us how we are in the world depending on what we chose.

    1. Zombies are not nearly as much fun to drive with as ‘me’. 🙂 Great to hear how you are claiming yourself and your presence, Awesome Amina!

  88. Awesome Joshua. I have in the past had many a journey I cannot remember. Feels dangerous to look back. Driving has not been something that I found a pleasure and so practicing presence whilst driving has made a huge difference in the care of my driving and also how I feel when I arrive at my destination too. I now have many an enjoyable journey in my car, making observations along the way as I endeavour to drive with me rather than in the rush of ‘getting somewhere’.

    1. Awesome Beverley. Very confirming to feel the difference presence has brought you and how much fun you now find driving to be. Thank you.

  89. Hi Josh. I too have noticed what a difference it makes when I don’t drive as fast as I used to. I find I arrive at my destinations, not only with much more ease, but also far less tired and anxious. And – a bonus – it doesn’t usually take me any longer!

    After reading your blog the other day I decided to wash my car in conscious presence – and what a difference that made. Instead of it being a chore, and being tired afterwards, I found it was really easy, and that I even quite enjoyed it!

    Thank you also for the reminder to allow time if I need to get somewhere at a certain time. I notice our road signs in NZ are also saying ‘make space’ – how awesome is that?

    1. Hi Anne, I can really feel the simplicity and playfullness in the way you have expressed driving and being with you. A blessing to read. Thank you.

    2. I did the exact same thing the other day and washed my car with total conscious presence. I too enjoyed each stage of the task and it was great to not rush the job because it was something I didn’t really want to do or had something more interesting to do. I simply enjoyed myself in the moment. The car felt great afterwards.

  90. What a great blog. I remember well when I learned driving – it was very much fun and I could also feel the responsibility I had in driving that big, heavy metal object we call a car.

    I have had my driving license now for over 4 years and it feels very different now. I notice I am actually less aware of how heavy a car is and with that, driving more on autopilot. Thanks for the reminder of what a joy it is to drive a car and how important it is to be present with yourself while driving, because that is my first and foremost experience as well!

    1. It was almost frightening for me to realise how quickly driving had become a thing to get from A to B and in the shortest, quickest and most fuel efficient manner, when it seemed so much fun not that long ago. I suppose it is a testament to society and our seemingly ever driven need to get somewhere rather than just to be. I remember driving long distances when I went on holiday with my family and it seemed the most tiring process which exhausted me by the end. It feels to me now how the drive was all about getting to our destination by a certain time and to make sure I never sped or crashed. It was so not fun, at all! Now I just use it as a moment to enjoy being with me wherever that may take me.

      1. Yes I always loved cars and driving and it is true it is a moment to enjoy wherever it takes you, would be nice to end up at the right place though ;-).

  91. Hi Joshua, your sharing of your driving & presence gave me a smile… and an incentive to do some inner investigation. I just came back from a week holiday with my boyfriend, where I was confronted (again) with my pattern of ignoring the 50 km, worse 30 km, signs for little villages. I shared out loud with my boyfriend that this pattern – to drive a bit faster than requested – is ingrained in me. I realise now through your sharing that it is an arrogance in me who finds it a waste of my time to drive so slowly and that I want to decide myself how fast I can drive. Next time I am, just like you, going to enjoy the ride, even if it’s 30 km, and the beautiful surroundings including me, my breath and body. It’s all about the Journey, that is what you make very clear. Thanks.

    1. Caroline, I can also feel an arrogance with driving over the speed limit especially if I have run myself late, like its my right because there is a reason. I know this is not how I would naturally choose to drive. If I’ve been distracted and not focusing on getting myself ready for my day, then that is how I then get in the car. I’m realising more and more how everything I do affects everything.

      1. I can definitely relate to the arrogance of driving that little bit faster than I should, pushing the limits. It comes up as well when there is a road to be shared with oncoming traffic, and often times I will nudge in, push a little rather than just taking a moment longer to let it naturally flow. The difference in the way the two approaches feels is considerable.

  92. Hi Josh, I agree with Rod, you would make an awesome driving instructor, bringing your conscious awareness to others. I am sure so many others will relate to to your blog because when you’re busy and in a rush, it is so easy to wander off in your head while driving and think of all you have still to do before the day ends etc.

    Your blog is a great reminder of how important conscious presence is while driving.

    1. Hi Jacqueline. It also reminds us of the fun we are missing out on when we do wander into our heads. Sadly not many people actually show us what driving joy can bring when we drive with ourselves as we drive.

    1. Thanks Rod. Sounds like fun! It would be awesome for others to feel this when they drive too. I remember when I was learning to drive with a driving instructor and it felt so overwhelming that to enjoy just driving seemed an impossibility. I not only felt that I had to follow all the road rules every single moment on the road, but that I had to be aware of all the cars and everything because I might crash. Talk about making driving boring and also seemingly scarey. We do all of this naturally when we are in the car just enjoying the drive.

    2. How incredible to be taught about conscious presence and what a blessing for all the other road drivers too. So many accidents and deaths on our roads are caused by this seemingly not important task of staying truly connected whilst driving. To be made aware of this in a tangible way would serve millions.

    3. I agree rodharvey, how cool would it be if along side all the rules and regulations of driving there was the same amount of importance given to addressing how we are in the car and driving with presence.

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