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 and living 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 resource 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 kick-started in overcoming this rut were; tidying my room as advised by clincal psychologist Dr. Jordan Peterson, and de-cluttering my “stuff”. The act of de-cluttering 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.
Another way of viewing minimalism, is essentialism or cutting everything down to what is essential to you. Doing this certainly makes living mindfully easier and gives you the foundation for final piece of the puzzle; living your Truth.
Living Your Truth
In today’s world of conformity, social conditioning and blindly going with the masses, finding your truth and living it is the most rebellious, admirable and freeing act one can do. It is also the toughest, and subsequently 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, or rather, we are distracted left, right and centre by endless external forces.
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. Your truth is only found within.
As the famous Russian author Leo Tolstoy eludes to, Truth is only found by washing away all that is not good. The Truth of your being, of your Soul, can only be realised after you strip everything you’re not away. This includes all the social, parental and school conditioning, all of your self-limiting thoughts and beliefs, your damaging habits, traumatic experiences and broken relationships. It all begins with one decision. The decision to change. The decision to heal. The decision to evolve. The decision to Love!
I believe everyone holds within them incredible power and potentiality, that if expressed, can change the world. I am on my journey of unearthing my Truth and have seen incredible, mind-blowing changes and revelations occur in my life. It all began with the decision of wanting to be the best version of me. Slowly and surely I’ve experienced the falling away of everything I am not and have stepped into everything I am. My hope with this post and website is that it inspires and empowers you to do the same.