You are currently viewing Integration Exercise #9

Integration Exercise #9

Your Weekly Integration Exercise

Life on autopilot?

Often times we can find ourselves in an automatic state of functioning. Life can do that sometimes. Get us into a schedule or system of habits that becomes so routine that we are on auto pilot. To the degree that we can even find ourselves arriving at home and completely forgetting the road in which we drove or what we saw or experienced on our drive home.

This way of living can produce a very humdrum and even sedentary way of living. There’s nothing wrong with USING autopilot. It is when autopilot becomes the method in which your life is lived that presents the challenge.

As humans, it is essential to growth and even aliveness to change things up, to take risks, to try new things, and to get off of autopilot mode.

Functioning on autopilot also means you are not present with each moment you are living. People have spent years on autopilot, waking up every now and then, asking where did the years go.

That is a frightening way to live if you ask me.

Let’s Integrate . . .

“Life is what happens when you are NOT on autopilot”

First, here are 5 signs you are living on autopilot

1. Your routine is predictable. Your calendar is full of repetitive activities, and you follow your plan without thinking. There’s no room for improvisation or last-minute changes.

2. You are pleasing others. You let other people’s expectations define your choices. You are not paying attention to what you need or want.

3. You are always “on”. You never pause to reflect on how you are feeling or what you are doing. You are busy, distracted, or both.

4. You feel time flies. You can’t remember what you did throughout the day. You feel guilty, like you haven’t accomplished much.

5. You believe you are missing out. You know you can have more joy, but you can’t help wandering around.

Exercise: Part 1

Practice Mindful and Intentional Living: 

1. Notice how you drive – You may remember this from one of our course lessons. Also notice what is driving your days’ actions.

Increase awareness of your behavior. As it relates to your driving, literal behind the wheel in your car. Are you aware of the new things you are passing on your drive to and from the places you go? or when you have arrived at your destination, have you even noticed whether there is anything new at all?

Being aware of how you drive and changing certain driving behaviors may help to change life behaviors. How you do anything is how you do everything. Noticing how you’re driving is a quick way to notice the autopilot lifestyle creeping in.

Are you living on autopilot because you want to, or because it just happens? How does it affect your decisions? Are you making choices or merely letting your autopilot choose what show you watch, what route you take or what food you eat?

Write a journal or take notes to increase awareness and challenge your behavior. Be patient. It takes time to recover control of your life.

2. Set your eyes on a desired outcome for your life.

What’s your end destination in life? How do you want to be remembered? As the saying goes, “Choose something worth dying for, and live for it.” Your life’s purpose should guide and inspire your actions. When you know what your final destination is, it’s easier to avoid shortcuts or roads that will take you nowhere.

Keeping your purpose present will bring more intention to your everyday activities.

3. Bring meaning to your routines – bring meaning to your life.

There’s nothing wrong with using your autopilot—the problem is when it becomes your driving system of choice. Certain things done on autopilot can minimize the energy and effort put forth. Simple things like brushing your teeth, or how you put your shoes on are efficient autopilot actions. Now, on the other hand creating purposeful habits can drive efficiency. They must be connected to your life’s purpose and goals.

Don’t let your routines dictate how you live; bring mindfulness to everyday actions.

4. Stop and reflect.

When you press the brakes, the autopilot turns off. A pause is more than slowing down—it’s creating space to start paying attention.

Exercise: Part 2
Below are a series of questions to reflect on. Write down your answers to the following questions:

What do you like about your life?

Are you enjoying what you are doing?

What is going on in your life?

Are you spending more time focused or distracted? What are you focused on? What are you distracted by? 

After taking some time reflecting on the above questions, write out a plan for how you would like your life to be and what you can begin to add to your daily actions that will lead to that life. 

Exercise: Part 3

Do something that ignites aliveness in your mind and in all of your senses. **Post about it in the discussion space.

As always, consider sharing with the group what has opened up as you complete this exercise.