- Set your intention. Prior to your commute, spend one minute, breathing, close your eyes. In your mind, set an intention that you will observe 5 new things (things that you haven’t noticed before) during your commute. There is no expectation that they are big things or small things. If 5 things feels too overwhelming, start with an intention to notice one thing.
- Take your morning commute. Notice anything that was different from a previous commute. Realize that though you may pass the same roads each day, that each day things will be different in some way: there will be different vehicles, commuters, trees, bumper stickers, animals, red lights, around you as you travel. The weather and seasons will change, and so the resulting sun or sky will shed different colors on the landscape. There will be different songs or sounds entering your ears. Your body may feel different as you stand, sit or bike during your commute.
- If you wander, gently return. Your mind may wander and you may have gone an hour without noticing. That is okay! When it occurs to you, try and notice something then.
Add on or alternatives:
Do this exercise for a series of 3, 5 or 15 days. The second day may be easier as you have recent observations from the previous day to compare to. By the third day, you’ll have two days to compare to. After several days, in some ways it may get easier to do this practice, and in other ways, it might start getting more challenging. That challenge is likely refining your observation skills so that you notice more subtle aspects of your commute.