Stuck in a Rut? Here’s How Mindfulness Can Help

When the same old same old isn’t serving us as well as it used to, our mindfulness practice can broaden our perspective and help us see different pathways that may have been there all along.

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I was driving through Ohio with a colleague when the GPS informed us that we were facing an hour-long delay on the interstate. About 25 miles down the road, we would become ensnarled in bumper-to-bumper traffic, projected to crawl along at an average speed of a few miles an hour for an hour or more. At that point, I thought to call a retired firefighter I know who has worked throughout the entire state and knows it intimately to ask for his advice.

He rattled off several smaller roads and a series of towns we could pass through on an alternate route to our destination, one that was not offered by any of our high-tech phone apps. If we went this way, he said, it would probably take even longer, but it would offer us a “fall foliage tour.” We agreed it might be just as well for us to get off the beaten track.

We left the high-speed monotony of the freeway and traveled ever-smaller roads, up and down rolling hills and past farmland that stretched as far as the eye could see, punctuated with the occasional house. Eventually we would find ourselves on the…