What I Have Learned About Mindfulness from a Deer

A week ago I took the kids to school, it was early morning, my car was still cold and I was driving slowly. In front of me, the sky started changing their color from the dark sky to beautiful colors of an early sunrise. “Look at the beautiful sky in front of us,” I said to my daughter, who was sitting next to me.  While I was looking at the road and driving ahead I heard a big bump from the back side of my car.

“What was that noise?” I asked. I turned my head around to the window behind me and to my surprise, I saw a deer heading back to the other side of the road where it came from. It was really quick, but I couldn’t really see him, he crossed the street after I passed him in the dark and he bumped into the door behind me. I stopped the car and found that it had some dents and seems like the deer was fine if he was able to keep running, and I didn’t drive very fast.

Luckily it was a minor damage, I don’t like how my car looks like right now, but we are all fine.
Now, what’s interesting is how my driving habits changed after this experience. I drive for many years, but I have never needed to deal with deer living next to us. Where we live now – driving in an area where deer can jump into your road is a daily reality and I realized that my driving habits and skills didn’t include the habit of being mindful for a deer that might jump into the road while I am driving.
Then Last night I have noticed while driving back home from a networking event that I changed the way I scanning the road with my eyes. If before I was looking mostly at what was in front of me and/or on the road, now I am also paying constant attention to what is happening on the sides of the road left and right, especially if I know that I am driving in an area where we can meet a deer friend.

The deer made me think about the practice of mindfulness in our life. So many times we let our life pass by without noticing what’s really happening, without focusing. We don’t really pay attention to other people or things in our life. Mostly your thoughts are running all over the place with no structure. You don’t really think about anything; you just do it. But when a deer bumps into your car you open your spectrum, you look back and ask yourself: “how for god sake I didn’t notice these events in my life?” Suddenly you start looking not only at what is in front of you, but also what is on the sides of the roads, your eyes are scanning all the time, and your mind is present with what is happening right here right now. “

So now you probably think to yourself: “Oh! Great! I understand the example about the deer, but how exactly it is applicable to MY life? How do I stay present and more mindful about my life? and don’t start telling me to meditate because I truly don’t have time for meditation in my life right now!”

Okay! I get it, and I am not going to convince you that meditation can help you practice being present with your life, I won’t! my only request to you is very simple and quick – just take one deep breath. Yep! That’s it. Whenever you catch yourself traveling with your thoughts all over and pass people and events without paying attention just take a deep breath and see what’s happening. Don’t stop after the first time, keep doing it every time you catch yourself wandering around. That’s only one second and one deep breath – that’s it. Now you know. I hope the deer will take a deep breath too….