photo from theunholycow.comOK – it has to be said. Commuting is stressful. (Perhaps not as stressful as trying not to hit a cow.) Driving or taking public transit, the conditions are rarely soothing or ideal for relaxing and chilling out.

So how can we transform this largely unavoidably unpleasant event into something more pleasing to the body, mind, and spirit? Use it as an opportunity for relaxation.

What??!?! Yes, I’m a crazy woman. Hear me out.

The key is to begin with the end in mind. We’ve all heard that before. But here’s some practical suggestions about just how to do it. And some audio support to go with it, if you like.

First – when you get in the car, take three deep breaths. Put the phone away for a minute.  Your texts, phone calls and e-mails can wait that long.

Then – say to yourself “I’d like to be relaxed the whole drive home.” or “I see myself being relaxed the entire drive to work.” Or something similar and appropriate. Say this out loud (or to yourself if you’re in a carpool, though it would be fun for the whole car to say it!) at least three times. I’m serious about this part. Say it aloud.

Then practice Tasting Relaxation. What’s that? An exercise from Kum Nye Tibetan Yoga, and one of the core skills of Kum Nye. You’ll have to practice it for a week or two before your body begins to get into the habit and remember on its own. It will be so worth the effort!

After you’ve gone through all of the variations of Tasting Relaxation, you’ll discover that you can just think of one – or just think of the words (Tasting Relaxation), during a meeting, riding the bus, waiting in line, and your body will respond. It’s pretty amazing.

For suggestions on how to get started on retraining your body – check out this post on Tasting Relaxation.

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