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PodcastTurn Off Autopilot

Turn Off Autopilot

When we’re rushing through the day, it’s easy to get caught up in our routines and in our own minds. But how much of life are we missing when we forget to look around? Try to approach today like it’s brand-new.

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Better mental health starts with Headspace

(sand shaking) (mouse clicking) (peaceful music) Headspace Studio. Hi, it's Andy here, and welcome to Radio Headspace. This is Wednesday morning. I got to chatting with some friends the other day about just how much we see in the space around us just how easy it is to fall into a pattern in life where we're just doing the same thing each day, maybe going to the same places each day. And part of our awareness, our attention, almost as though it shuts down almost sort of running on autopilot. A long time ago, I used to work in a clinic in London, and as part of teaching people meditation, I think it was 1 week of 10 weeks of seeing people, I would go out and teach them walking meditation, and we'd go out and we'd walk around and we'd talk about how you can do that and make it feel kind of part of ordinary life without walking around in a very sort of slow way and looking a little odd. As we would do that, I would give people different exercises to do. You know, it could be as simple as sort of just walking around the block and noticing when the mind's wandering off and then coming back to the body so that you kind of feel more present as you're walking around in life. Or it could be something like, okay, you know walking up the street when you get to the traffic lights notice the impatience, especially in big busy cities we're all moving at such speed. The mind is moving at that speed too and it's helpful just to see that sometimes. Anyway, on this one particular situation I asked this chapter, go for a walk. I said, I'll see you back at the clinic in 5, 10 minutes. And when he came back, he'd been crying and he had tears in his eyes still. We took a moment and I said, you okay? He said, you know, I live very close to the clinic. I've walked up and down that road every day for the last 10, 20 years of my work. He said, I've never once seen that road. In that five minutes I saw things, noticed colors, birds, shapes, smells, sounds it must have always been there, but I never even saw it. And he said, it moved me so much that I found myself with tears rolling down my cheeks and wondering what else in life was I'm missing. And it's really stayed with me over the years. I always kind of come back to that idea of how much of life are we missing when we turn on that autopilot when we are no longer showing up each day of fresh as though our experience is new. And I think even just bringing a moment of that into our day, whatever it is can really change the way we feel can change our relationships in our life. But more...


Duration4 min

About your teachers

  • A former Buddhist monk, Andy has guided people in meditation and mindfulness for 20 years. In his mission to make these practices accessible to all, he co-created the Headspace app in 2010.

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  • Eve is a mindfulness teacher, overseeing Headspace’s meditation curriculum. She is passionate about sharing meditation to help others feel less stressed and experience more compassion in their lives.

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  • As a meditation teacher, Dora encourages others to live, breathe, and be with the fullness of their experiences. She loves meditation’s power to create community and bring clarity to people’s minds.

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  • Kessonga has been an acupuncturists, therapist, and meditation teacher, working to bring mindfulness to the diverse populations of the world.

    More about Kessonga
  • Rosie Acosta has studied yoga and mindfulness for more than 20 years and taught for over a decade. Rosie’s mission is to help others overcome adversity and experience radical love.

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