Why Life on Auto Pilot Just Doesn’t Work

Before I even begin to tell you why life on auto pilot doesn’t work, I have to tell you what I did to my eye today, because it is actually related to my topic. 

I poked myself in the eye HARD with a coffee stopper. What is a coffee stopper, you ask? It’s this green thing that comes with your hot Starbucks drinks. 


This happened this morning when I was teaching summer school and was about to administer a test. I was rushing around, making sure my students had everything they needed. I took the green coffee stopper thingy out of my Starbucks cup because I needed to drink coffee as I was rushing around. Because coffee makes me smarter and makes me do great things. You guys have no idea how many amazing things I can do with coffee.

But apparently multitasking isn’t one of them. I ran over to my desk looking for my test manual. You know, cause, that’s how my brain works. Let me grab my test manual–oh wait! There’s my purse on top of it. Oh wait! My fish oil vitamin is in my purse. Omg! I need to take it, because vitamins are important. 

Meanwhile, I’m still holding my coffee and the green stopper thingy in my other hand–the same hand with the fish oil vitamin. I quickly go to put the vitamin in my mouth, and simultaneously poke myself in the eye with the stopper. BECAUSE I HAD FORGOTTEN THE STOPPER WAS IN MY HAND. 

This is why I really needed to finish drinking that coffee. 

Or perhaps it’s deeper than the coffee. Because this is not the first time something like this has happened. 

A colleague of mine across the hallway has joked that I need my own reality show, because it would be entertaining to have cameras following me around, catching my hurried antics, which include driving my child all the way to school, only to realize she didn’t have shoes on when we arrived. This also includes numerous instances of leaving my purse and even kids’ electronics on top of my vehicle and then driving away. It also includes pouring laundry detergent into a person’s wash at the laundromat that I thought was my own, but was another person’s load already on the rinse cycle. 

Mistakes can happen, I know. But they have happened to me a lot because I have failed to SLOOOOOWWWWW DOWWWWN MY MIND in times of stress and rushing. 

When I let my body move on auto pilot, I attempt to multitask, move quickly, start forgetting stuff, then move more quickly and then start making mistakes. 

But here’s the good news. There are lots of smart scientists out there who have researched the brain, and they have found out that our brains are actually incredibly effective when we practice mindfulness and being present and STOP THE CRAZY RUSHING.

Writer Donna Labermeier says it best, 

“The truth is that our bodies and minds working at a breakneck pace is experienced on a frequency that is very low and slow. This means that we align ourselves with other things that are of a low vibration, like anger, fear, worry, and frustration. When we’re rushing around and not being mindful of our thoughts and actions, we are creating more of what we’re trying to avoid. This is when mistakes happen, decisions are poor, and nothing seems to go right.”

So when I’m rushing, I make poor decisions, like poking myself in the eye. 

Rushing is bad for the brain and the body. Mindfulness and slowing down thoughts  is good. (I’m telling myself this just as much as I’m telling you. I need to learn this lesson before I end up with more injuries caused by inanimate objects.) 

And since I haven’t done my recipe share in awhile, I’ll do that. I found this awesome recipe on the website NatashasKitchen.com. I have made it TWICE in one week. So good. 

Cucumber Tomato Avocado Salad


  • 1 lb Roma tomatoes
  • 1 English cucumber
  • 1/2 medium red onion, sliced
  • 2 avocados, diced
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil or sunflower oil
  • Juice of 1 medium lemon (about 2 Tbsp)
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 bunch) cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tsp sea salt or 3/4 tsp table salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper


Place chopped tomatoes, sliced cucumber, sliced red onion, diced avocado, and chopped cilantro into a large salad bowl.

Drizzle with 2 Tbsp olive oil and 2 Tbsp lemon juice. Toss gently to combine. Just before serving, toss with 1 tsp sea salt and β…› tsp black pepper.

My picture: 

I put goat cheese on mine just because. 

7 thoughts on “Why Life on Auto Pilot Just Doesn’t Work

  1. Pingback: LAFF On Saturday: Strange Bathfellows…… | be-anxious-about-nothing

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