We come across so many terms nowadays: mindful living, simple living, sustainable living, etc and maybe you're asking yourself, what the heck is conscious living. I like to think of conscious living as a wholesome way to live. It includes all of the above mentioned and much more. But ultimately, if I were to put conscious living into a sentence it would be this:
"Conscious living is about appreciating yourself as well as everything around you through seeing and acting with greater clarity."
So let's break this up and explain this sentence a bit further. By appreciating yourself and everything around you I mean that you and your environment are one, you affect the environment and same applies the other way around. So what you do, consume, and how you chose to live can affect the world around you. Furthermore, what you chose to watch, read, and people you chose to relate also affect you and your life. Being aware of these dynamics and and how they relate is part of conscious living. And this my friends is acting with more clarity.
To give you more specific examples I've name a few important areas of conscious living. Chose one or two at a time to analyse in your life so you don't get overwhelmed. And take this as a guideline, not a rule. Conscious living is also about choosing what's best for you, at a specific moment in time. Not anybody else. Not at another moment in time. It's about you making conscious choices, for yourself, there is no good or bad choices, but simply intuitively choosing what's best for you. Above everything else is about living in tune with yourself.
EATING & DRINKING
Eating is an important and very often misunderstood topic. Health and nutrition is a very broad and sometimes contradictory science. There are countless ways to approach healthy eating, so many different lines to follow and different opinions: Ayurvedic, Macrobiotic, Paleo, to name a few. One will literally go crazy trying to figure which one is best. So I will tell you a little secret, all of them and non of them. The best food is that one that makes you feel good, and NOBODY can tell you what makes you feel good, you just have to try for yourself!
So beyond following specific diets conscious eating is recognising the foods that make you fell good. Sometimes the food that will make you feel good is pizza and sometimes is a big salad. When you're in tune with your body and with yourself this choice comes quite naturally. Same thing applies to what you chose to drink. Sometimes you can enjoy a glass of wine because you felt that was right for you today but maybe it will be different tomorrow.
Beyond these choices, conscious eating is also about how your eating habits will affect your environment. You will quickly realise that the food that's good for you very often will be good for the environment. Pesticides, packaging, local x global sourcing are a few things to consider when trying to buy and eat more conscious.
HEALING YOUR BODY & MIND
You probably have heard this sentence many times before "Listen to your body". Respecting and honouring your body is beyond any health advices from personal trainers, yoga teachers, and body goals you set for yourself. Although moving your body is important, our culture has idealised perfect bodies and set "unhealthy" body images for most people. What I mean is, beyond moving your body, move it mindfully. Move it because you love your body and you want to take care of it. Move it because you enjoy whichever way of moving you chose.
Pushing your limits and the culture of "no pain, no gain" is harmful, not only for your body but also for your mind. I often say "if only people cared about their mental health as they care about their physical health". And to be honest they're not even separate things, they are directly connected, your mind affects HUGELY your body and the other way around also.
This respect, love and care you have towards yourself sets a pretty good standard to how you're likely to interact with other people. Especially people who are close to you. My mom had a very bad relationship with her body. She was always on diets and she hated her more curvy figure. I grew up watching this happening and later on developed a food disorder and often compared my body with other girls. This snowballed into feeling jealousy towards other females, insecurities, lack of self-love, etc. This is just a small example to show how being happy and well with yourself can shine through other peoples lives, and same happens the other way around. Of course you're not responsible for anyones happiness, but I like to think of this as a good purpose: to shine your light and spread your good vibes.
I'm really trying to work on this one, and it's not always easy I know! Buying what you want for a cheap price is very tempting. We see ads for clothes, cars, houses all the time as if they were selling happiness. Buying only what you really need and considering how that was made, by who, with which materials and from where that came from are a few things to be considered when buying more consciously.
WATCHING & READING
What you chose to watch and read hugely affects and shapes your ideas and your life. Being selective on the movies you watch, books you read, people you follow on social media is a very effective way to feed your mind with healthy information. If it makes you feel bad, sad, down or if it doesn't add anything positive to your life, then better off skipping it!
Last but not least important is who you chose to surround yourself with. It's not selfish to chose to skip dinner at your uncles house knowing that his negativity will intoxicate your life and bring your mood down. You can try to help people, but you shouldn't let them interfere negatively in your life. Be aware of the people in your life, and if you feel they often make you feel sad, angry or less worthy, well then maybe it's time you let them go..