What Does it Mean to Live Consciously?
Over the past couple of years, conscious living is a term that seems to be popping up everywhere, but what does it mean to actually live consciously? What exactly is conscious living?
Conscious living is simply bringing awareness and intention to all aspects of your life.
When you do this, you allow yourself to find a balance between control and surrender, enabling you to experience life to the fullest.
It is about becoming an active participant in your life — learning to turn off autopilot and getting back in the driver’s seat.
Conscious living urges you to connect with your actions and thoughts to become in tune with how they affect your being, and how they impact the world around you.
With this sense of awareness, you can evolve and grow toward a version of yourself that is more aligned with your inner values.
While many people connect living consciously to various spiritual practices, it doesn’t have to be. Conscious living is available to everyone, anywhere.
The umbrella of conscious living is quite vast and for everyone, it looks different. It’s all about listening to yourself, learning from your experiences, and continuously evolving to your highest self.
What are the Benefits of Conscious Living?
To Live a Truly Fulfilling Life
Oscar Wilde famously wrote, “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”
While this still rings true, I don’t believe it needs to stay that way. You can live the life of your dreams— you just need to consciously build it day by day. By Living consciously your life will start to align with your desires and little by little, you’ll find that you’re living rather than just existing.
As you bring mindfulness to your life, you will cultivate a greater understanding of “self”.
You will start to realize the things that you have been putting up with for too long that don’t actually serve you or aid you in becoming your fullest self.
As you start to develop a healthy relationship with self-love you will be able to identify what fills you with true joy and passion.
This is key to unlocking a fulfilled life. Just think about it, how can you build your world if you don’t know what your deepest desires and values are?
The Environment Will Thank You
When you start to bring consciousness to your lives, you start to understand that all of your actions have an impact on the world around you.
As you become more intentional with things like what you eat, how you consume, and the resources you use with intention, you are able to consciously create less of an environmental impact.
Becoming more in-tune with yourself will naturally bring awareness to what role your decisions play in your mental and physical well-being.
By approaching things like what food you eat or how much media you are consuming, with consciousness, you will start to realize how your bodies and minds respond.
You can then identify if a certain food makes you feel lethargic or if after binging hours of a Netflix series you engage in negative self-talk. On the other hand, you could find that some foods make you feel energized, and reading makes you feel good and broadens your imagination.
Once you are aware of the positive and negative feelings that arise, you can make adjustments to improve your physical and mental health.
We often hear people say there isn’t enough time in the day. However, you and I both have the same amount of time as everyone who we admire for their accomplishments.
How you spend your time is extremely important, it defines how your futures will develop into.
If you spend your time doing meaningless things, like saying yes to something you don’t actually want to do in order to please someone else, you are losing the opportunity for that time to be dedicated to things that will help you get to where you want to be.
Being aware of what you say yes and no to allows you to have more time allocated to areas of your life that you deem more important.
For example, if health is important to you and you’ve set a goal of running a marathon, saying no to a party in order to be able to sleep early for your morning training session is a good move.
On the other hand, the opposite choice could be true for someone who has set deepening their social connections as a priority.
Your Relationships Will Flourish
When you start to embrace your truest selves, your relationships will start to deepen. You will be able to connect on a more honest and authentic level with the world around you.
People around you will take note of your growth, and the ones who champion you for your progress will also grow. It becomes a domino effect of better me, better we.
How Can You Live Consciously?
The good news is that if you’re asking yourself “what is conscious living?” You’re probably on the right track. You most likely have consciousness in some areas of your life already. To create a life that fulfills our unique desires and values, you should try to infuse every area of your life with awareness and intention. While this might sound overwhelming at first, remember that every action is interconnected so every time you take conscious action, it will compound. Eventually, you will be doing it naturally.
Ask Yourself Questions
Even if you’re life looks great on paper, you could be living unconsciously. It’s important that you continuously ask yourself the important questions. The key to this is being honest with yourself with the answers. While it might not be nice to admit that you aren’t happy, or you don’t like your job – you can’t fix it until you bring awareness to it.
Here are some questions to get you started:
Do you feel happy?
Do you like what you do for work?
Do you feel well mentally?
Do you feel well physically?
Do you feel like you have deep connections in your relationships?
Now if your answer was not positive, don’t fret, these are just the places you need to be more conscious. You can dig deeper with more questions as you start to be more intentional in these areas. Ask yourself a “why” question to the answers you didn’t necessarily like. For example, if you answered no to “do you feel well mentally?” You can ask yourself, why don’t I feel well mentally? Then dig into the reasons that are holding you back.
Practice Gratitude Daily
This could mean making a bullet point list of the things you were grateful for that day or writing a full-out journal entry noting the entire experience. Whichever way you decide to do it, practicing gratitude cultivates a daily habit of practicing consciousness.
You will start to intentionally look for the good throughout your days, in turn, you will start to see the silver linings rather than dwelling on the negatives.
Keep a Journal
By writing down your experiences, thoughts, and feelings you are able to bring awareness to them. This action of reflection will give you the basis to identify where you feel like your reality isn’t adding up to what you desire.
When you take the time to process you’ll be able to make intentional decisions that will help you get closer to a life driven by your desires and values.
How many times a day do you make decisions? You’ll be surprised to find that most of the decisions you make happen mindlessly. What time you decide to get up. What route you take to work. What you eat for breakfast.
The longer you’ve been doing something, the more it becomes automatic. When you remind yourself that these things are in fact a choice, you can make changes where you see fit. Maybe after 5 years of always playing poker on Wednesday nights, you decide that you could spend that time doing something with your family. It could also be something as simple as deciding to take the long way to work because the route is more beautiful.
However you decide to embrace conscious living, remember to be patient and kind with yourself. You don’t have to get it right all at once. Remember that there is not a one size fits all answer for living consciously, listen and trust yourself. Living consciously looks different for everyone.