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20 Ways We Can Live More Consciously

20 Ways We Can Live More Consciously

These days, there are so many social, environmental and other issues demanding our attention, it’s hard to decide what to focus your attention on. In many ways, it’s easier to do nothing. But has our doing nothing only made everything worse? We’ve become not just distracted, we’re also disconnected. We’re disconnected from each other, and more devastatingly, from the people closest to us and from ourselves.

There’s evidence that this distracted life we’ve been living can lead to low self-esteem, loneliness and other social and mental problems. My greater concern is that the disconnect is breeding fear among us and keeping us from leading fuller lives.

You and I need to try and live more consciously, and I have some suggestions on how we can make that happen.

1. Ask yourself what you want.

How often do you NOT take a stand? NOT have a preference? Like a former me, you go into relationships just to be in one and stay in them when you’re not getting much from the experience.

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 even worship from a place of fear because hell sounds like a scary place. We can live more from a place of love, by doing more of what we enjoy. I say we start with the simple, every day activities that bring us happiness.

3. Live in alignment with your truth.

Often society and our families shape the way we think and how we live our lives.

What do you think? Who are you? What do you believe in?

What do you know to be true in your life based on your experiences?

Living your truth means being honest with yourself, and choosing those things that resonate with you.

It’s also being honest with others, expressing yourself and being who you are. It’s about all of us taking off our masks, letting go of our egos, so the truth of who we are can come through.

4. Accept yourself for who you are.

You may have shortcomings and inadequacies. You may not believe you’re as smart or as talented, or as able as your co-worker or sister.

Most of these are false beliefs which have accumulated from a lifetime of being told you’re inadequate or incomplete.

You are whole. Even with your imperfections or perceived inadequacies, you are enough. No matter what anyone else has led you to believe, you don’t have to be any thinner, taller, smarter, able to cook better or earn more.

The people around you will try to compare you to others to make you feel worse about yourself. Don’t fall for that. You will try to feel better about yourself by judging others. Don’t condition your acceptance by having to feel superior to others.

5. Do work that’s intune with your being.

If you are doing unfulfilling or passionless work, try to find a way out of it. You can transition out of your career.

Think of it this way: If your work doesn’t reflect who you are, you are not making your greatest contribution to the world. Take small steps to get out of your day job and do work that is a reflection of who you are. You have after-work hours and weekends to work on your next career or business.

6. Ignore society’s guidance and demands.

You are going to be bombarded with a lot of advice and guidance from society, which will tell you what it takes for you to be happy – e.g. get a job, get a house, get a husband, get a baby, etc. Have a retirement account, invest in property, get more education.

Society’s way is one way, it’s not the only way. You can choose the life you want to make for yourself depending on what’s important to you.

7. Spend wisely.

Be careful how you spend your money. Don’t waste it unnecessarily on material things or spend it mindlessly.

Do you really need whatever it is you’re going to purchase? Is it a conscious purchase that will really add value to your life, or will it be just one more piece of junk you’re collecting for a garage sale down the road?

Ask yourself, “Can I live without making this purchase? Is this purchase absolutely necessary?”

Along the same lines, be mindful of how you spend something far more valuable: your time.

Ask the same questions about your time that you ask about money.

Eliminate wasting your time on mindless and unfulfilling activities.

8. 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.

9. Say “no” more.

A conscious life allows you to gravitate towards a life you want to live and places the power of choice in your hand. The greatest weapon you have for living a conscious life is to say “no” more often. You say no more by saying more “noes” to small things. If you don’t want to eat a particular dish or attend a particular event, say no.

Continue building up your “no” muscle until you can say “no” to the things that matter.Until you can say “no” to that boss, “no” to that relationship, “no” to that unhealthy lifestyle.

10. Be picky.

Be more careful in choosing your friends. You become more like the people you surround yourself with. Let go of the negative people in your life.

Your clothes. You make a statement when you purchase a brand. Be more aware of whom your money is going to and what interests your money supports.

Your food.  The food you buy also makes a statement. Buy food that is farmed safely and is good for your body.

Your entertainment. Know that sights and sounds can inspire your creativity and stir your soul. Be more aware of what you’re watching and listening to.

11. Go within.

Again, the world loves to give you advice and has many paved routes for you to take your life journey.

If you chose to live consciously and create your own path, be cognizant of what people tell you to do, but ultimately go within to find the answers. Go within to listen to yourself. Trust your inner voice.

12. Let go.

Society wants you to hold on tight to whatever it is you have.

But there are a lot of things that are worth giving up. It’s worth giving up your negativity and judgment towards people and circumstances. Both don’t serve you well.

It’s also worth giving up attachment. Release the need to be attached to your desires, goals, dreams and ambitions. Work towards what you would like to accomplish in life, but let go in the process. You don’t have to have a tight grip and tie your self-worth to your ability to achieve something.

13. Treasure the moment.

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.

14. 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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15. 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.

16. 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.

17. Practice compassion.

Practice compassion on 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.

18 Be observant of the ego.

Our egos like to sit in the driver’s seat and rule our lives unless and until you call them out for what they are.

You stop the ego from taking over by recognizing it. Your ego wants to dominate a room, dominate a conversation, feel superior, and own your identity.

Know that acts of superiority, judgment, and resentment stem from the ego.

Watch for hints of the ego throughout your day so you can try to infuse the crafty creature with love.

19. 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.

20. Wash anger with love.

When anger erupts like a volcano, be willing to see it. Watch it erupt repeatedly to catch the pattern that leads to your anger.

Have a plan for simmering your anger so you can learn to soothe it. Anger flows when you don’t get your way. Or when someone doesn’t live up to your expectations or disappoints you.

Come to realize that no one can trigger your anger. Only you can recognize the triggers that make you angry. Do you think that you have to become an enlightened spiritual being to live a conscious life? No.

You can strive each and every day to work on living a more conscious life. Living consciously starts with a simple intention to live more deliberately.

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

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