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15 Ways We Can Live More Consciously

15 Ways We Can Live More Consciously

Many people just go with the flow, afraid to rock the boat. Their days all look the same and if you ask them why they do the things they do, they couldn’t give you a compelling answer. Why did you eat that turkey sandwich? Why take that job? I understand perfectly how we fall into these patterns. The main reason for me was decision fatigue. It just seemed easier to eat what was convenient. I would shop at Zara because I didn’t think about their manufacturing practices.Once I decided to live more consciously by thinking about the why of my choices, I began to live more on purpose. I felt more grounded, less fearful, and had less mental noise.

Living this way has helped me in so many ways that today, I want to share some ways you can too.

1. Care about something.

How often do you NOT take a stand? I will say, sometimes the problems of the world feel overwhelming. There are so many issues and causes that it may seem simpler not to get involved. But once you do commit to something, no matter how small, you feel more connected to your community.

2. Live from a place of love, not fear.

Much of what we do, we do out of obligation and with expectations. We go to college because that’s what everyone does and because we want a better paying job. We go to church because hell sounds like a scary place. Instead of living from a place of fear, as cliche as it sounds, we can live from a place of love. How? By doing more of what we enjoy.

3. Accept yourself for who you are.

You may have shortcomings and inadequacies., but don’t we all? And isn’t that what makes us interesting? Okay, part of what makes us interesting. From a lifetime of being told you’re inadequate or incomplete, it’s understandable that you developed the “I’m not enough” view of yourself. But if you want the respect of others, you have to respect and accept yourself first. Others don’t see us with their eyes. They see us through ours. What we believe about ourselves is telepathed to others in our behavior and in all the ways we show up.

4. Do work that suits you.

If you are doing unfulfilling or passionless work, try to find a way out of it. Think of it this way: If your work doesn’t reflect who you are, you are not making your greatest contribution to the world. Unfulfilling work, especially when you want to do more and is capable of doing more, will leave you feeling drained and shutdown. Start working on your next career or business now.

5. Be money-wise.

How we spend our money says a lot about us. It can point to unresolved childhood insecurities. It can indicate uncertainties and fears about the future. When you spend money, do so with the intention of what you want and desire, not what you fear. Buy the $900 coat because it will last you a lifetime and because you look damn good in it. Save for a condo because you want the pride of homeownership. Brown bag it at lunch during the workweek so you can splurge on weekend brunches.

6. Walk with courage.

While we simply cannot eliminate fear, we can learn to walk with more courage in our lives. Acknowledge fear for what it is, and then question it. Is the fear real? Is the worst-case scenario likely? What would happen if the worst happened? Once you acknowledge fear, you can go about your life aware of it, but keeping it on the back burner. You can exercise courage whenever fear crops up.

7. Say “no” more often.

Living more consciously you will begin to value time more. That means saying “no” more. A tip I got from Christine (the founder of Vurb) is to say “Let me get back to you” to give myself time to weigh the value of an invitation. By saying “no” to more things, you free up more time for the things you want to focus on.

8. Have standards.

Yo-yoing is common when you’re trying to change. You take two steps forward, feel great about that, but life happens and you take a few steps back. By setting a minimum standard, you stick to a level that you never go under. Have a minimum standard for the upkeep of your home. A friend of mine has a 10-pound weight cushion that she stays within. You may want to set a maximum time limit on how late you will stay up on the weekends or how many drinks you will have when you go out. Having standards will guide your actions and help you to maintain the progress you’ve made.

9. Enjoy nature.

Life can get so busy that you spend most of your time either indoors or in your car. Join a hiking club, a nature group, or a community that plans outdoor events. Take full advantage of summers and nice weather to dine al fresco, play outdoor sports, and do volunteer work.

10. Live in the moment more often.

You are likely living in a moment that has passed or one that is not yet here. Will you be here now? As Eckhart Tolle reminds us, “Whatever the moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it.” No need to repeat your past mistakes and bad experiences and relive the pain over and over again in your mind. Nor do you need to get anxious about events that have yet to unfold. Live in this moment. Focus on the task at hand.

11. Practice daily acts of forgiveness.

We hold onto grudges and wrongdoings, grasping tightly onto the coal of justice in our palms. When we hold onto resentment that tightly and refuse to let go of trespasses against us, the hot coal burns our own hands. Forgive daily and pardon people for all the small trespasses against you.

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12. Focus on what you have.

Wouldn’t it be more fun if we thought about the achievements and experiences we had in life as opposed to the ones we were seeking and searching for? The more we focus on what we have and show appreciation for it, the less we will be operating from a place of lack or want. Focusing on what we have, leads to contentment.

13. Give freely.

The one place where you can afford to share selflessly is when giving. If you want to serve, do it. No need to think much about helping others who are in need. You almost can’t go wrong when helping someone else. Look for opportunities to help someone daily.

14. Practice compassion.

Practice compassion for yourself and others. Let go of your perfectionist tendencies and don’t hold yourself to such a high standard. Vibrate love from within and be willing to release any negativity. Extend that same compassion to others. Instead of scorn and judgment, feel empathy, and seek to understand the plights of others.

15. Be mindful of your words.

Be sparse and intentional with your words. Know that words can hurt. If there’s an alternative way to say it that will be softer on someone’s eyes and heart, say it in a nicer way. If there’s a way to speak that hurts less and inspires more, do that. If the words are not necessary for the situation, opt for silence instead. Words have meaning and consequences. Acknowledge the words that you use.

You don’t need to do all 15 of the things I’ve shared. To live more consciously, choose the ones that are most meaningful to you and start there. Start with one and add another habit once you’ve become comfortable with the first and integrated it into your everyday.

To choose to live more consciously is to gift yourself more joy and happiness in your life.

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