So what does it mean to live consciously?
It’s hard to admit it sometimes, but we all have a choice. Right there, in every minute of every day, we can ultimately choose what to do, think, feel, say and consume. We can choose to be kind, giving, sharing and supportive of one another; we can choose to be peaceful and tolerant and to learn more, so that we can understand and grow.
The list is endless and the premise is simple. “Be the change you want to see in the world”.
Gandhi’s timeless quote is perhaps the simplest reminder of what we each need to focus on in order to protect and heal our environment.
Afterall, the current system is ill. We have reached not only the planetary boundaries from an ecological perspective, but also social and economic boundaries of a system breeding human inequality and political unrest. The problems we face often seem too vast to grapple with. Their symptoms can lead us to lower ground, in which we find we compare, compete, fight, force, self-sabotage, put down and pull back. But if we follow the advice to be the change we want to see, then we can collectively begin to shift to wellbeing and healing, for both our planet and ourselves.
Living consciously can mean so many things and it’s important to understand that even making the smallest changes can have a ripple effect. There’s no perfect ‘conscious living’. In fact, being conscious of not seeking such perfection is a conscious act in itself. Everyone’s needs are also different and so there is no blueprint to follow.
Here’s a simple list of conscious intentions that can help you start to adapt:
Mindfulness, Self-Love & Appreciation
-do everyday chores with intent / create rituals in simple tasks and root nourishing spiritual practices into everyday life
-slow down and try to understand time so that we may enjoy it more / live the moment
-nurture and be gentle with yourself / catch and stop yourself if you are being your own worst critic
-meditate so that you can think positive thoughts and feel positive emotions and do positive things / remember that thinking in new ways and changing your beliefs can literally rewire your brain (check out Joe Dispenza’s TedX Talk – Thinking to Doing to Being)
-journal / set aside (5-10mins) time each day to write and reflect.
-be grateful for your place on this planet / remember as Eckhart Tolle says, “acknowledging the good you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance”.
Sit back and take in nature
-live more aligned with nature, finding a way that works for you
-plant your garden or balcony
-consume and be content with less
-take time to cook and eat naturally and healthily with what is in season
-try a regular cleanse – do what you can…. juicing or even just cutting back on coffee or meat
Lesson your impact
-try new methods, new materials and new means with less impact on the environment
-lessen you waste and remember, “we don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly, we need millions of people doing it imperfectly” Anne-Marie Bonneau
-rethink how you travel / consider stay-cationing & camping
-seek out and support local makers and ethical producers
-learn a new skill / remember that it actually changes the physical structure of the brain and increases mental wellbeing and happiness
-post covid, make space for shared experiences to heal our loneliness, to dance and reconnect and collectively gather once again
-support good people doing good things
The pandemic helped so many of us taste the reality of how it is to slow down and consume less. It reminded us of the value of nature, time to reflect and connection. Now the world is about to open up once again and it’s more important than ever that we make a conscious effort to sustain this shift to the New Normal. In some way or another we are all moving towards this new consciousness and to curating a conscious life for ourselves. We understand that we are at the precipice of a new frontier. We are like pioneers, and through each and every little choice we make, we will become inspired to rethink and redesign it all.
Cover Image: Simon Mijag on Unsplash