Categories: Gettin The Mind Right

Train of Thought

Happy Monday!

The other day I was waiting for the Brightline Express train to Miami, to catch up with a close friend and check out his new gym.


20 minutes before we were set to leave, there was an announcement: “The 10:40 train will be delayed due to a fatal car crash on the track.


Sadly, my very first reaction was – “Ah man. It’s delayed!”


Then it hit me. Wait–did she say “fatal car crash”? Like, someone DIED?”


I scanned the faces in the room. You could tell by their expressions they were annoyed at the delay.


I asked someone near me, “Did they just say there was a fatal car crash and that’s why we are delayed?” Another woman overheard and nonchalantly answered that deaths were very common, mostly due to suicides.


Then there was another announcement: “The train will be delayed another hour.” Again I scanned the room. People were not hiding their irritation and anger at the news.


Had I not literally just been reading about mindfulness and learning to be an observer rather than a participant of your natural reactions, I’d probably still be pissed my train was delayed.


The entire thing fascinated me. Are we so caught up in our own lives that we literally forget how to be human? SOMEONE DIED!


Trust me I’m not judging those other people. My mind also fixates on my own convenience, and I also fell victim to my perception that the train delay was a personal disservice, somehow.


Given what had happened, I figured the delay would probably be more than an hour so I decided to drive. As I went to get a refund on my ticket, I noticed my impatience kicking in while I was in line. Again I had to remind myself, “SOMEONE JUST DIED! What’s really important?!”


On my way home from Miami, I hit bumper to bumper traffic – a 1.5 hour trip took 4.5 hours! I kept noticing my ego /small self berating me, “If you had only taken the train, you would be home by now and could use this wasted time to finish the pile of work you HAVE to do!”


But thankfully, I kept my perspective and remembered—someone had died. Who knows what their family was going through, but it surely must be awful. My getting stuck in traffic was literally of no importance in comparison.


What Drives Your Train of Thought?


I don’t write this to sound self-important, like I have this perspective thing figured out. I don’t. Not by any stretch. I am working on it, though, and by consistently reminding myself to becoming more present, I am slowly getting better.


There will still be many times I will fall victim to my subconscious and react as an emotional participant. I am only human. But the more I practice being an observer, the less reactive I will become.


We have a serious consciousness issue as we are all moving at the speed of light, so we think. We think every event in our world is “life or death,“ when in reality our issues are quite minor in the grand scheme of things.


This is not to say you or I should be indifferent – not at all. Have a standard, a purpose to work towards it – effort does matter because that we can control. However strong our intent and subsequent action may be, we ultimately have very little control of what ultimately happens.


So the true North that I am working towards, that I encourage you to be open to, is to do your very best with what you have, but surrender the illusion of control of outcomes – whether people, places or things. I encourage you to make a conscious effort to reminder that as different as we all are, we are all human and we could all open our hearts a little more towards the bigger picture.


This is no easy endeavor so use as many resources and reminders as you can to help practice these ideals. One song I played several times during my drive that helped me stay grounded was “Loving Awareness“ by Ram Dass mixed by East Forest. Check it out!





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