It was the middle of the week, the middle of the afternoon, in the middle of nowhere. I was driving home happy from teaching a workshop in which the participants had been receptive and were rejuvenated. My much-anticipated local community education class was at the end of my two and a half hour drive. Between what I had just experienced and what I was headed to, I was so excited I could barely stay in my own skin. I was flying high.
And, apparently, I was flying down the road.
It turns out that in the middle of nowhere you meet State Troopers. Who pull amazing Dukes of Hazzard-like spin-around moves. And have pretty, flashing red and blue lights.
I had been speeding. Heavily. And in some remote corner of my mind, just before we met on the road, I was vaguely aware of that fact–yet wasn’t doing anything about it. A flood of endorphins is still a flood. Natural, yes, but it can still be a disaster if you’re unaware. And boy, was I ever, at that moment.
Whether you’re overwhelmed by your To-Do list or you’ve gloriously immersed yourself in your art, periodically do a self-check: is it focus, or is it tunnel vision? When riding the wave, keep your eye on the shore. That’s so you know when and how to safely return.
The State Trooper was incredibly warm and kind. He had piercing blue eyes and a relaxing nature–a stark contrast to my jittery, stammering self. By getting pulled over, I was forced to return into my body. Which, by the way, is a great place to be when operating a motor vehicle. I honestly believe that he was sent to save me. I can see now that I was far gone from the physical moment, and a danger–to myself, to anyone else that might possibly be on this lonely road, to the deer roaming in and out of the woods–and I was unable to bring myself back on my own.
So I send huge thanks for getting pulled over for speeding. Thank you for proactively saving my life. Thank you for immediately jarring me back into physical awareness and safety. Thank you immensely for the warning citation instead of the speeding violation. And, thank you for looking so much like Bradley Cooper.
Have you had similar experiences of being outside of yourself? (Hint: we usually describe it as being out of our minds, not out of our bodies.) What happened? Did you realize it at the time, or later? Please share in the safe space of the comments.