Earlier this year I came up with a new mindfulness practice: bumper stickers! OK, let me explain. I like finding new and inventive ways to cultivate daily mindfulness, which means paying intentional attention to something in particular. Being mindful means being mindful of something. And that something can be anything! Anything that allows us the opportunity to practice getting in touch and connecting with the present moment can be considered a practice of mindfulness. And it’s fun to find new things in which to practice with.
So in January this idea of bumper sticker mindfulness came to me. For each month in 2016 I would practice noticing bumper stickers. In order to put a little extra weight on this new mindfulness practice, to help encourage me to do it, I would also write down the bumper stickers that caught my eye as being especially odd, funny or interesting. I then also resolved to write a blog post about it further into the year. With 6 months of the year almost completed I thought I would post about the ones I’ve taken notice of so far. As an FYI my bumper sticker rules included only writing down bumper stickers I saw in action, meaning displayed on cars – so bumper stickers I saw for sale in a store didn’t count :) I have a nice little notebook and an easily accessible pen in my car that I scribbled down all of the ones I saw that I deemed worth noting. Here they are, in order of date seen (as an additional FYI the most common sticker I saw was the one in the pic above: Keep Missoula Weird):
Happy is hard to beat!
A woman’s place is on a horse!
Jesus loves you. Everyone else thinks you’re an asshole.
Montana is full, GO HOME!
We are Montana
Two Chinese character stickers meaning Naughty and Bitch
Montana is Full! I hear North Dakota is Nice!
Positive is how I live
I pooped today
Criminals prefer unarmed victims
Reading is sexy
A woman’s place is in the White House
My other car is an ambulance
At last the chickens have been set free
Life’s better with a basset hound
So…how’s that hope and change working out for you?
The dude abides
I got crabs in Newport, OR
Keep calm and Get Lost in Montana
Knowing better has never stopped me (on my stepson’s car :)
I love whitebark pine
What would Homer do?
Smile if you’re not wearing underwear
Jesus would slap the shit out of you
Notice: Intolerance will not be tolerated
What would Buddha do?
Hunt to eat
Darwin loves you
I’m diagonally parked in a parallel universe
Sometimes I creep myself out (one of my favorites :)
Save water, shower with a friend
Zombies eat brains. You’re safe.
I break for bigfoot
Faith is a journey not a guilt trip
Not for city boys
It’s good to be a dog mom
Jesus was a liberal
I hate being bipolar, it’s awesome! (another personal favorite)
Taking a trip not taking a trip (12-step recovery sticker)
Will travel for Vegan food
I may be slow but I’m ahead of you (another favorite)
Bumper stickers are stupid (it was this car’s only sticker, ha!)
Wolf, the other red meat (perhaps the most disturbing one I’ve seen so far)
I hate it when I think I’m buying organic vegetables but when I get home they’re just regular donuts. (I just saw this one a few days ago and was hoping the red light would be long enough for me to write it all down – another favorite!)
And that brings us up to date so far! I make sure to write down a few during the course of each month. It’s been interesting tuning into what stickers people feel called to adorn their vehicles with. It’s also interesting to note the reactions and judgements that come up for me around the stickers I see. The immediate impression I get as to whether I might be able to be friends with the person driving in a particular vehicle based on a bumper sticker, and how it’s both ridiculous and makes some sort of sense. I mean, I think I could be friends with the person driving around with the Sometimes I creep myself out sticker but not so much with the Jesus loves you. Everyone else thinks you’re an asshole sticker. You see what I’m saying.
Stay tuned in December for my next and final bumper sticker mindfulness installment (hopefully in this smallish mountain town I haven’t fully exhausted all the good stickers yet)!