Communicating with our teenage children about life and love can sometimes feel strained and unwelcome.
So when the opportunity comes along to spend 120 hours as a passenger in your own car with your teenager learning to drive, what do you say?
Fasten your seat belt, because you are in for the ride of your life...
Whilst committing to this extremely challenging and at times, life threatening situation, some very awesome insights can present themselves.
You can tell so much about a person by the way they drive.
8 Tips to enjoying your life through the Art of Driving
1. Stay Connected
Driving is a community event. Driving requires confidence, awareness, clarity and an understanding that we are not alone. We can learn to navigate, negotiate, evaluate, allow, share and care, simply by driving to the shops and back.
You have become an integral part of a huge community when you drive. Like a flock of south bound birds.... you get a chance to lead, follow, stop, give way, go with the flow and support fellow drivers. You get to feel the state of the world, brotherhood and the connection of road travellers.
However, as a passenger in your own car... you also get a chance to let go of control, trust and develop ways to speak with your teen that are non threatening and easy to understand.
Your teen, like you, is a wise, savvy and fascinating person. They can spot dishonesty a mile away and ask us to stay consistent, transparent and steady.
'Back seat driving' is rarely welcomed. Speaking with patience, understanding and love, is the only way to travel.
Where are we off to?
2. Be Responsible
Your vehicle is your body in motion. Every curve, every angle and the roar of that engine, represents you! When you choose to drive a vehicle you are making a decision to become responsible for your own life. Literally. Your life is in your hands while you sit in a speeding piece of metal and it is important to understand this.
Therefore, not only is your life at stake but your passengers life and the drivers around you. Those around you are relying on you to take care. This is a great opportunity to really claim yourself as the driver of your own life, without being in drive and deeply appreciate yourself, your movements and your responsibilities.
Like anything in life, driving can either be just a simple way to get from A to B or alternatively an awesome opportunity to embrace a magnificent skill, that well developed, can become a joyful, playful and deeply satisfying event. Driving is an art form.
What are you aligning to? How do you place yourself in your car? How do you maintain your car? Know that you are constantly making choices. Small choices, simple choices, complex choices. We are making choices in every second.
Allow your own extraordinary sense of intuition to guide you.
As the parent, within safe reason, allow the young adult to make their own choices, give them the space to feel them for themselves. The adult soul knows how to do life. Trust and allow.
Are you letting other drivers know you appreciate their awareness and connection? This is not only considerate, but an awesome way to share the experience of traveling on the road with others.
How are you communicating with your teen? Do you have pictures around how they should be? Live their life? Smash those pictures and start a fresh new relationship. It is time to let go of old patterns and get intimate. This means get real about who you are and how you are in the world.
Your teen does not need you to play a role, they need to feel how you roll!
Be you and they can be themselves too.
It is everywhere... road rage, distraction and disregard.
The car creates a false sense of confidence for some. We can feel bullied, hassled, hurried and intimidated. You can tell a lot about where a person is at by the way they drive their car.
Refrain from absorbing another persons issues? Why not! It is not yours to have and it will 'drive' you to distraction.
As the passenger you also get the delightful opportunity to observe your teen drivers confidence and strength of character. Let them know how you feel. Encourage and appreciate the finest of details, express yourself.
7. KEEP CLEAR
As the signs say...your clarity is crucial to the enjoyment and safety of your ride.
Stay consciously present. This simply means be with yourself, your body and your movements and enjoy every single moment.
Fuel, water, windscreen, engine and the cleaning of our vehicles all play a part in the quality of how our vehicle runs. Just like our bodies.
How do we respect and care for our vehicle?
Cars are like us....
How do we respect and care for ourselves?
Licence to Live...
How gently do we turn the key, shut the door, sit restfully in the seat, etc...it all makes a difference to the quality of our experience and to those around us.
In fact, the way we move in our vehicle effects us, our passengers and in fact, everyone on the roads.
The rules on the road are not unlike our opportunities in life. We can know them and break them or know them and sense what works for all.
Cruising the freeways of life with clarity, care and connection or driving ourselves to the ground?
Letting go of control ain't easy, however allowing another person to develop their inner and outer confidence is key.
In truth, we can allow a right of passage to unfold for both the young adult and ourselves when we are willing to let go of what we 'believe' and step into what we know to be true.
Getting a drivers licence never felt so easy?... hmmm with only hours to go... the young adult and I have shared many moments of wisdom and harmony, challenging times and joy filled moments.
At the end of the road, the true success of the driving time is in the quality of the moment, not the outcome.
So are you ready to do some hours? Open up the space, turn the key and start your engine friends... it is time to move!
Oh and remember, our true destination is Home.