As modern, western society becomes increasingly materialistic and consumer based, humans have lost our sense of connection with ourselves, the people around us and our environment all for the want of more. The purpose of conscious living is to live a rich and fulfilled life with less. Conscious living is about being mindful, to rid your life of excess and live according to your core needs and values.
The philosophy of conscious living is based on the core practices of mindfulness, minimalism, and living your truth. Let’s take a dive into those practices.
Mindfulness is about learning to direct your attention to one singular action or experience at a time.
The most important commodity in today’s world of consumerism is your attention. Your attention is the most powerful tool available to you to take control of your life. Most of the time, however, we find our attention being sucked in by our phones, scrolling through mindless news and social feeds or in our TV’s watching reality TV programs or the (“what’s to be feared in the world today”) news. Ask yourself this, if everyone stopped paying attention to Nike or the Kardashian’s, would Nike still exist or the Kardashian’s still be famous? No, both empires are built on one thing, the attention of the masses.
Whatever you invest your attention today will become your future reality.
So what are you paying attention to moment to moment? Are you being mindful, or mindless? Are you fully present when you are with your family, friend or loved one in that moment. Or, do you find yourself itching to get back to your phone after 10 seconds of locking the screen? Every corporation, social influencer, TV program and news outlet is vying for your attention. You are the product. But you don’t have to be. You have the power over your attention.
Mindfulness is about retaking control of your attention and placing it into one action or resources at a time. Mindfulness is the art of just being in the present moment. It is about cultivating conscious presence.
Here are some more benefits of mindfulness:
Increase self-awareness and awareness of other.
Short term relief from anxiety, depression and stress.
Quietens the mind to provide inner peace and increase concentration.
Enjoy the simple things in life.
Minimalism is something I came across last year when I found myself deep in a mental rut. I wasn’t productive and I was lazy with my physical and mental health. I wasn’t being mindful of my well-being.
Two things that got me kickstarted in overcoming this rut were; tidying my room as advised by psychologist Dr. Jordan Peterson, and decluttering my “stuff”. The act of decluttering forces you to become aware of, and take inventory of possessions that are valuable and necessary and those that you could actually go without. Minimalism is about reassessing your priorities so you can strip away the excess in order to live a more simple, fulfilled life with what serves a purpose to you. Minimalism is completely individualistic and encourages you to live your life, the best way you see fit. You can apply minimalism to all aspects of your life such as relationships, work, travel, eating, exercise, possessions and daily routines.
Some benefits I’ve experienced since minimalising my life:
Re-evaluating what’s important and bringing more value to my life. I have been able to identify what brings me joy and value in life. Actually knowing those is pretty special and makes life exciting.
Less mental clutter and worries. Having less physical possessions actually cleared up a lot of mental clutter as well. I am not inundated by things and have a clear living space allowing for clear thinking and living. This has lead to me having less anxiety and being able to live presently a lot easier.
More time and freedom to pursue my passions. Evaluating what’s important to you enables you to pursue those passions you were always putting off because you were “too busy”.
Ability to create more. My creative thought processes have multiplied an insane amount with ideas (including this blog) flowing a lot freer. My ability to analyse and make decisions has also increased as a result of less mental clutter.
More disposable income for experiences and high-quality possessions. Consuming less “stuff” impulsively allows you to invest that extra cash into high-quality possessions which last longer, high-quality food for sustenance and also, most importantly, new and exciting experiences.
Becoming more adaptable. I am no longer held down by my possessions which makes travelling a lot easier, think 1 light bag versus 3 suitcases and countless accessories. I found the same thing happening mentally. Quietening the mind and leaving go of thoughts and beliefs allows you to become more open-minded to new ideas and ways of thinking. I feel I have learned so much more in the last year than my entire life with the ability to explore new experiences and gain new insights and wisdom.
Living Your Truth
In today’s world of conformity, social conditioning and blindly going with the masses, finding your truth and living that relentlessly is the most rebellious, admirable and freeing act one can do. It is also the toughest, which makes it the most fulfilling and rewarding. If you don’t find and live your truth, you will become a pawn in some else’s. Should you find yours, you will be empowered to make incredible, positive changes to your life and the world around you.
Finding your truth is not an easy process. Many of us don’t know what our true passions are or what we’d like to pursue in life. I believe this is the case because we are taught to look in the wrong place.
One of my deepest breakthroughs in terms of finding my truth came when I questioned and meditated on the concepts of love and fear which I will dive deep into in a later blog post. Briefly, this came after the staunch realisation that in every act or decision we make in every second of every moment, we are either acting out of love or fear, for ourselves, for others, for our surroundings etc.
We are taught from birth to chase what you love externally, that all your happiness will be found in and dependent on external possessions, careers, relationships etc. This is the biggest lie we are told. The truth is that until you find your truth within, internally, you will always have that little voice of doubt or confusion in the back of your head. Until you can truly love yourself, not in an arrogant, ego-driven sense but a deep understanding, knowing and acceptance of your being will you be able to truly live your truth for truth and love are one and the same.
We are all on our own path to truth and love. How you act in every moment decides how close or far you are from living your truth. If you are acting from a place of love, humility, integrity, patience, empathy, strength, confidence, compassion, peace, courage or joy, you are aligning yourself to truth. Similarly, if what you are already doing in life brings you fulfillment, peace, joy or a sense of love, you are living your truth. If you find yourself acting on the opposite end of the spectrum, out of hate, anger, greed, envy, jealousy, deceit, anxiety or fear, you are perpetuating a state of proverbial “hell” for your being.
To truly live life to the fullest, we must live from that place our individual truth resides.
We are all on separate paths but you simply reading this website has connected ours. If any of what I have said has resonated with you and inspired you in any way, I invite you to download my e-book on how to implement mindfulness and minimalism into your life to help you connect with your truth and begin living the life you’ve dreamed of. I also encourage you to check out some more of the content on expanding consciousness and optimising your life and health on this website.