I ALMOST ACCIDENTALLY KILLED A CHILD
The other day I was driving home from a dinner with a client, at about 7.30 in the evening. It was a bright evening, I’d had a great day, and I was feeling good and centred. My car was quiet, because I had turned off the music. As I drove along I was noticing the trees which lined the road and the occasional pedestrian. I could feel the leather steering wheel in my hands as I held the car at a steady 28/29mph. The speed limit is 30mph on this particular road and I’m aware that I am driving by default, utilising peripheral vision. Being in this centred place, with ‘wrap around’ vision, allows me to be aware of so much, and for that I’m very thankful…
On the left of my field of vision, I noticed a young girl in a flowery dress, on a scooter. The child couldn’t have been any more than 8 or 9 years old. She had one foot on the scooter and as anyone will know who has ever used a scooter, she was pushing the ground away furiously with the other foot to maintain speed along the pavement. Driving at almost 30mph, I caught her up in a jiffy and something told me to slow down a bit as I passed her (being a parent we become conditioned, because we know what kids can be like on wheels). Thank God for the parental feeling! Thank goodness that I was still in peripheral vision because just as I was about to ‘overtake’ her, the young girl turned her handle on the scooter, zipped off the pavement, right into the road. I could see it happening, almost like a slow motion movie, so as she appeared in front of me I slammed my brakes on, and thankfully was able to stop in time.
The girl and her scooter whisked inches in front of my car bonnet, across the road and up onto the pavement on the other side. Then she paused momentarily and looked back at me. As I wound down my window to have a stern word with her, the child dipped her head apologetically towards me and then ‘scooted’ on her merry little way. Thank heaven that I wasn’t speeding those few seconds ago, because I knew in my heart that my car would have hit her.
Have you ever had that ‘adrenaline rush’ where you can taste the adrenaline on your tongue? I had that. In that moment I noticed that I was shaking a bit, my centeredness dissipated, peripheral vision collapsed, looking directly at this young child whom I had almost killed.
I drove on, but for the next 100 metres or so hesitated as I almost stopped the car a couple of times and toyed with the idea of turning around, following that child home and telling her parents exactly what had happened, that they could have lost a child, that they need to teach her road safety, or a very British thing; the Green Cross Code. But I wasn’t centred. Times being what they are, I decided that it wasn’t such a great idea, (no matter how noble the purpose) to follow a young child home!!
What would you have done?
Was I wrong not to go speak with her parents?
If I had killed that child, albeit accidentally, everything would have changed.
If that day, I had been lost in my own thoughts, not centred, unaware, it begs the question – would I have been able to stop in time? I would have lost the benefit of great vision. Often we are so wrapped up in stuff inside of our heads that we miss so much out in the world. Moreover, we are unable to access great abilities, vision, reactions and information. Being bereft of centeredness limits us in our thinking, intelligence access, and it also means that we are not accessing our authentic self. How much more do we miss when we are too much in our head, with furrowed brows, overthinking things? What might we miss that could make or save a life, even our own?
So many times do we go about our lives not truly authentically connected to ourselves? We are in NonSelf. In NonSelf we often fail to be in the here and now, we are not present. As I said to a friend only yesterday, “The present is indeed a gift”. Being present keeps us in our greatness, aware of the problem, opportunity or task at hand, whether it be paying attention whilst driving, or in a business meeting.
If you would like to feel more of your TrueSelf, I recommend that you practice walking, driving or sitting in peripheral vision. From here we can get a taste or genesis of being, present. Focussing on our breathing adds hugely to that sense of being our Self and in the now. From this place, we don’t have to ‘do’ anything, because our inner genius, the TrueSelf takes over. Then it’s simply a matter of whether we are prepared to follow the guidance which comes from inner TrueSelf. My greatest gifts flow when I’m present. I’m happier and better for me when I’m in my TrueSelf space. I’m better for my family, friends and loved ones when I’m in my TrueSelf space. Even with a simple task such as driving, I was better for that young child because I was in my centred TrueSelf space.
If you feel that you can identify with what I am saying here, and are prepared to practice, you can use the exercise below. Use it anytime anyplace, anywhere you want to be more you, to feel centred and aware. Let me know what happens within and for you.
For reconnecting with your inner genius, your TrueSelf:
CENTRE YOURSELF INTO YOUR TRUESELF GENIUS
1. Focus on your breath.
2. Your attention is drawn inward when your eyes are closed, so close them when it feels the best thing to do. If you prefer, keep your eyes open and focus on a spot ahead of you. When you have found your focus, relax your eyes, and imagine that you can see past 180 degrees.
3. Now imagine that you can see all around you, 360 degrees, as you relax your eyes into peripheral vision. Be aware.
4. Now, notice your breath. Keep your breath slow and low. In fact, you might find it helpful to place your hand on your stomach, covering your navel, and feel yourself breathing deeply and slowly.
5. As you do this you’ll sense a shift from external consciousness to internal consciousness. You’ll be focused on the present because you’re focused on your breath – which is always in the now. Keep your vision open and peripheral.
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING
Each of us can teach a small child/children road safety. In a world where the TV and other media seem to speak to our children only of ‘celebrity worship’ and ‘materialistic values’, teaching our kids road safety doesn’t seem to be on anyone’s lips or agenda? I urge every adult and parent today to share the road safety message with the little ones they know.
Click here to watch a short video and share with a child..
I say “Share to Show You Care”.
Pass it on! You were a child once, so you will know how important this is.