Seattle city bus on Capital Hill

King County Ballard/Crown Hill In Motion

I’m so excited to announce that I, as Black Pine Holistic Healing, have joined up with King County to support their Ballard/Crown Hill In Motion project as a corporate sponsor! Right now anyone who owns a car and lives or works in Ballard (or West Seattle for that matter) can participate in an effort to drive alone less–think: public transit, cycling, walking, or ride sharing. The contest started on Sept. 10th and runs through Nov. 24th. In addition to receiving a free, unlimited Orca card valid through Nov. 24th, 2012, you also have the chance to earn rewards–like gift certificates from yours truly ; ) ! For every week you log two trips changed from driving alone to another way of getting around, you’ll be entered to win a gift certificate worth at least $10 and up to $100 from a local sponsor. (Click here to see complete list of sponsors.) Their grand prize is pretty sweet, too:

I’m just so proud of our Seattle – that they would work so hard to encourage folks to think outside of the box when it comes to getting around! So, in honor of this project, I’ll add…

My Top 5 Curious Reasons Why Public Transportation is Good for You

1.  It’s inconvenient.

I know at first, this seems like an oxymoron. But it’s true – often the needed bus stop isn’t across the street. It’s a bit of a walk (or a run, if you’re late). This is really great for folks who work a seated job. It means moving those hips and legs more, which can translate to less piriformis syndrome (i.e. pain in the butt and/or radiating pain down the leg that, in some cases, is caused by prolonged sitting). It also means getting more fresh air. And while indoor air quality without outdoor air intake has been associated with “Sick Building Syndrome;” negative ions present outside in the air, particularly during stormy weather and near the ocean, have been shown in study to even assist in the recovery from stress associated with computer operation. High-five, nature!

2. Did I mention, it’s inconvenient?

Yes, I did. But this is different. Often taking the bus here in Seattle means a bit of a longer commute… which means, more sitting. Just sitting. This is good for two reasons: (1) Less stress, less accidents. It’s been shown that driver stress is influenced a lot by stress they’re experiencing in other areas of life, such as in work or home-life. (Do you find yourself sometimes yelling at other drivers, when really you’re angry about something else?) Well, they found that each of these emotional spillovers can influence mental lapses during driving and/or traffic violations. (2) More pause, more reflection. How often do you find 30-40 minute windows in your daily life that afford you time to process what’s going on in your life, or just to see other people you may never meet, but who live lives just like you do. Psychologist, Dr. David Lewis, found that folks who commute by bus experience 1/3 less stress of their fellow car commuters. It helps when we know someone else is taking care of everything; all we have to do it show up. It also helps that we can use that time in productive ways – whether that means resting, or reading, etc.

3. It’s a melting pot.

In so few situations these days do we really get to be around people who are different from us. But who rides a bus, for example? The able, the disabled; the young, the old. People of all different races and backgrounds. Folks commuting from food banks to Corporate America. Riding public transportation provides us an invaluable opportunity to see what’s going on in the world outside our private worlds. It allows us opportunities to connect with people we would otherwise perhaps never meet.

4. It’s uncomfortable.

Riding public transportation is a great opportunity to practice how we treat ourselves and others. How do we treat people we think we’ll never see or meet again? How do we handle sitting in the face of homelessness? Mental illness? What do we say to ourselves in our moments of discomfort?

5. It’s humbling.

Giving, receiving and witnessing simple acts of kindness on a regular, daily basis can have profound positive effects on your wellbeing. Give up your seat for someone who needs it; accept an offered seat when you need it; turn in a lost wallet; applaud the driver for her/his courage in driving you through ice, or in confronting a threatening passenger. Every day a new chance to find and know the good in where you are, who you are, and in the face and heart of others.

So, now that you’re feeling inspired… go win yourself some rewards!!! You deserve it!

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