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Attending a Car Show in the NOW February 23, 2016

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness.

Donald-Duck-DrivingCars are BFF’s thing, not mine.  But this year I agreed to go to the International Auto Show in Tampa.

Attending the show became an exercise in mindfulness ~ a chance to practice acceptance of the “what is” . . . no matter what.

A chance to remain firmly grounded in the present moment . . . no matter what.

Donald-Duck-BaseballNot judging everything as “good” or “bad.”  Just going with the flow of the NOW.

No constant commentary streaming through my brain.  Just watching and observing.

No extreme highs and lows.  Just acceptance of the “what is” in the moment without resistance.

I accepted and released each moment as it arrived.  I remained awake and aware.  I dealt with situations without boredom or fear clouding my view.

I saw opportunities, not obstacles.

For example, getting there an hour “too early” gave us a chance to walk around the waterfront and enjoy a sunny morning.

Mickey-OKI remained “OK” with anything tossed our way without wasting time and energy deciding whether it was “good” or “bad.”

And, as a result, it was ALL GOOD!

Aah . . . that’s better!

In like vein, the parable of the Chinese Farmer reminds us of the benefits of adopting a “Maybe Mind.”

Related post: How to Become a Luckier Person Overnight (Raptitude)


1. Val Boyko - February 23, 2016

Sounds like you were well prepared for the onslaught to the mind and senses. Thank you for sharing your mindfulness practice 😎

nrhatch - February 23, 2016

Fantastic exercise, Val.

It is easy to “be here now” when where we are is where we want to be. It’s much harder if we want to “be somewhere else now.”

I found the day mesmerizing ~> a constant flow of moments and movements that arose and departed. Much like yoga poses.

Val Boyko - February 23, 2016

Yes … In the flow and focused on each moment as it unfolds. When noticing resistance, leaning into it and giving it space to be just the way it is. 💝

nrhatch - February 23, 2016

Yes. A relaxing day of allowing things to be just as they are.

2. Jill Weatherholt - February 23, 2016

Glad you had the right mindset and had a good time, Nancy.The waterfront walk sounds nice. 🙂

nrhatch - February 23, 2016

Thanks, Jill. The whole day had a lovely flow from now to now to now to now. It reinforced for me that everything we do, see, taste, smell, touch, hear, read, think is filtered through the mind.

When the mind is cloudy with stale thoughts (e.g., “I’m bored” or “this is stupid” or “I want to go home”), experiences seem stale. When the mind is clear, we remain grounded in the moment and each moment seems fresh and alive . . . no judgment required.

Jill Weatherholt - February 23, 2016


3. Kate @ Did That Just Happen? - February 23, 2016

What a great opportunity and I’m glad you were able to enjoy the time together!

nrhatch - February 23, 2016

Here’s a giggle for you, Kate:

I got in the backseat of a car with tinted windows and sank back into the cushions. I could see out, but no one could see in. I shut the door and relaxed, watching each moment unfold around me as a “detached observer.”

And then a family started peering through the windows at the dashboard. I watched and waited like a fly on the wall. As three doors opened at once, I greeted them with a hearty “SURPRISE!” 🙄

Kate @ Did That Just Happen? - February 23, 2016

hahahahahahahaha! Nice!!! That is awesome!!

nrhatch - February 23, 2016

We all had a good laugh! 😀

4. Kate Crimmins - February 23, 2016

I did a guitar show once with my husband. They had good French fries which made it worthwhile. Unfortunately he didn’t share my enthusiasm (and there were no French fries) at a cat show he went to with me. We did a big car show two years ago as we were both buying cars and it made sense to see a bunch in one place. It’s more fun when there is the prospect of a purchase. Otherwise I need the fries.

nrhatch - February 23, 2016

French fries are a suitable reward!

I had hoped to see a gaggle of pure electric cars at the show, but even plug in hybrids were few and far between.

Kate Crimmins - February 23, 2016

I thought hybrids were the thing now. Guess I’m out of the loop.

nrhatch - February 23, 2016

There were some hybrids but only one pure electric. Both were outnumbered by gas hogs.

5. L. Marie - February 23, 2016

Knowing how I feel about car shows, I would have grumbled. But the “maybe” mindset is good advice. I enjoyed that video of the Chinese farmer!

nrhatch - February 23, 2016

BFF got two free tickets to the show. I debated staying home but cars are his favorite thing so I decided to tag along. Once I agreed to go, I figured I might as well remove any self-imposed barriers to enjoying the moment. It worked like a charm! Without any thoughts getting in my way, every moment was a wonderful moment.

It’s easy to mindfully enjoy the moment when I’m meditating, doing tai chi or yoga, or cooking because I’m not trying to distance myself from the “what is.” This was a great practice in “staying put” even when I thought the “what is” wasn’t a “what is” I would enjoy.

6. suzicate - February 23, 2016

‘m thinking I should try that next time DirtMan talks me into doing something I’m not particularly thrilled in doing. A few hikes come to mind that definitely challenged me, and though I was sore later the beauty was so worth it.
Loved the parable. How true it is we just don’t know what might have been so may as well go with the flow.

nrhatch - February 23, 2016

Good plan, Suzi. If we’re doing something, we might as well try to enjoy it (or some aspect of it, at least). Otherwise, we’re just wasting our time.

7. Ally Bean - February 23, 2016

Smart approach. I think that being in the moment at a car show would be the only way I’d enjoy it. I appreciate cars, but refuse to care about their details, which I suspect is what a car show is all about.

Loved the video, but couldn’t help but thinking that the farmer needs to build some fences to keep these judge-y neighbors away from him. My goodness, they stop by every night? *shakes head in dismay* 😉

nrhatch - February 23, 2016

Agreed! That farmer gave Robert Frost the idea for his famous quote:

“Good fences make good neighbors!” 😛

nrhatch - February 23, 2016

Or maybe Ben Franklin’s saying, “Love thy neighbor, yet don’t pull down your hedge.” :mrgreen:

8. Carol Ferenc - February 23, 2016

So glad you were able to enjoy the day, Nancy. I’ll remember to try your technique next time my hubby comes up with an idea like that.

nrhatch - February 23, 2016

It worked like a charm, Carol. When you have no expectations, you’re never disappointed! 😉

9. Under the Oaks - February 23, 2016

Great video. I am happy you enjoyed the car show… 🙂 The walk around the waterfront sounds wonderful!

nrhatch - February 23, 2016

Thanks, Pix. I’ve had lots of practice with mindfulness when in situations that held inherent appeal.

This was a different fish entirely . . . but it went swimmingly! 😎

10. Under the Oaks - February 24, 2016

Stay safe you three!

nrhatch - February 24, 2016

Thanks, Pix. All is calm . . . at the moment. _/!\_

11. BunKaryudo - February 25, 2016

You took it very well, I think. I find cars so incredibly uninteresting that I’d definitely need to adopt your easygoing acceptance if I was going to get through a visit myself. 🙂

nrhatch - February 25, 2016

My secret ~> people watching. It’s like going to the zoo to watch animals, only better. People are endlessly amusing, often without meaning to be! :mrgreen:

BunKaryudo - February 25, 2016

I sometimes do that on the train. I like to guess who the people are, where they come from and where they’re going to. I’m pretty sure my answers are almost always way off, though. 🙂

nrhatch - February 25, 2016

I bet the creative vignettes you create are better than “the real story.”

12. Debra - February 28, 2016

I love the “Maybe Mind” parable. I’ve never heard it before and I think it’s an excellent way to live a more mindful existence. Exercising these principles while at the car show was a really excellent way to “idle in neutral” while BFF more enthusiastically enjoyed the cars themselves. In the end it does sound like you had a very fine time! 🙂

nrhatch - February 28, 2016

Yes! Instead of latching on to Ego’s pronouncements of “good” or “bad,” the “maybe mind” encourages us to accept things as they are while life continues to unfold. That way we don’t waste our energy getting worked up about nothing. 😛

Thoughts often detract from our enjoyment of the moment because we’re peering through cloudy filters. Attending the car show gave me a full day to practice mindful awareness without judgment. A valuable exercise. And one I enjoyed first to last.

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