A conscious life is a deliberate and thought-out life. It’s listening to yourself and then making choices. It’s asking yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing: looking at the reasons behind the actions you take. It’s not wandering adrift in the stream of life. It’s taking purposeful and intentional actions.
When you live a conscious life, you’re more likely to live a life filled with happiness and joy. Living a conscious life means you’re actively evaluating your activities, decisions and options. You’re making deliberate choices based on your values and your truth. When you choose to live consciously, you can question and challenge everything. You can do what feels right to you and reject the things that do not resonate with you.
1. Ask yourself what you want.
How often do you NOT take a stand? NOT have a preference?
Don’t know where you want to go out to eat? Not sure what you want off the menu?
Not have an opinion? Not know which policy or politician you want representing you?
How about asking yourself what you truly want? What is your say? What are you hungry for?
2. Do what makes you happy.
Instead of doing things out of obligation and expectation, why not try doing things that make you happy?
If you hate visiting a certain group of friends, don’t.
If your monthly get-together with your workmates bores you to death, stop going.
If you hate the gym, find another way to exercise that makes you happy.
Spend more time on everyday activities that bring you 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.
Not hiding behind a façade, pretending to be what you are not. Eventually people will see through this façade and see you as a liar or worse a coward.
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 your sibling.
Most of these false beliefs have accumulated from a lifetime of being told you’re inadequate or incomplete.
You are complete.
Even with your imperfections or perceived inadequacies, you are enough. No matter what anyone else has led you to believe.
As long as you believe in yourself it doesn’t matter what anyone else believes.
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. Do not try to feel better about yourself by judging others as lees than you, you will only feel empty in the long run. Do not be tempted to condition your acceptance by having to feel superior to others.
5. Do work that’s in tune 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.
If your work doesn’t reflect who you are, you are not able to make your greatest contribution to the world.
Take small steps to get out of your day job and do work that reflects 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:
Get a better job, get a house, have a retirement account, invest in property, get more education… and so on and on never ending list of things society expects from you.
Society’s way is one way 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 that 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 can say No gently but firmly, 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 don’t matter.
Until you can say NO to that boss, NO to that relationship, NO to that unhealthy lifestyle.
10. Be selective.
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 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 the 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. Try to live within the moment, experience the here and now?
Stop living in the past (let go of past hurts) or the future. Live in the present. 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.
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 too much about helping others who are in need.
You almost can’t go wrong when helping someone else. Look for more 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.
Emit 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. Capture the silence
The world is noisy like a bazaar, so is your mind.
The way to slow down your mind and your life is to slow down your thoughts.
Seek and practice silence so you can be more mindful of your thoughts.
Being more mindful allows you to live more purposefully.
Awareness leads to clarity and intentional action.
19. 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.
20. 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.
21. 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.
It’s likely that you already live consciously in some areas of your life. Many people are motivated by family, money, health, or one other main aspect of existence. However, to unlock your full potential, mindfulness and living consciously are necessary.
There are a variety of practices you can begin now that will assist with this:
Ask important questions. You may be living unconsciously without realizing it. Start by asking yourself some questions about your life and existence. Do you like your job? Do you feel happy? Do you feel healthy? Do you spend enough time with family and loved ones? If the answer to these questions is ‘no’ then you’ve identified some areas in which you can start being more aware.
Reflect. Set sometime aside each day to reflect on your life. Whether it’s some quiet time to meditate, or an opportunity to write in a journal or diary, think deeply about the matters that are close to your heart, and ask yourself where you can be more conscious. Review how you’ve spent your time that day, and where your time could be better spent tomorrow.
Make positive choices. If you’ve identified that you need to eat better or exercise more, live out those changes. Maybe you have decided to set a goal or follow a passion; make daily reminders to take small steps towards it.
Expand your horizons. Mindfulness is about exploring new sources of information to form a well-balanced opinion. Read, watch, and listen to a variety of different media to think about yourself and the world in a different way.
Changing your lifestyle to one focused on living consciously takes time and effort. But it’s a process that’s more than worth the effort. With a greater understanding of yourself and your inner thoughts and feelings, you can take actions that benefit you and those around you. It allows you the opportunity to connect with yourself, your environment, and the people you care about, and it gives you true power over your life.