13 January 2012

Time to Wake!

How often we find ourselves at the end of our day and wonder how we could possibly not remember what we had for breakfast and where the twenty dollar bill we had earlier got to, how often. Frightening really, the times we come to our destination and find ourselves musing about the drive, as we don’t remember a single turn of it. Is it possible that we are missing characters in our own lives? Quite possible, it seems to me. More importantly, how can we replace these vague moments and forgotten turns, with something more lucid and engaging, even ultimately more satisfying? Possibly the best term I can fill the void with is “Conscious Living.”

Conscious Living is a way I remind myself to be a player on the stage of my own life, to live in the moment and savor more of life at every opportunity. Simply choosing to be more aware and conscious of the life we are moving through can have benefits beyond even the awakening experience. As we move into a New Year, symbolically filled with potential and new opportunities, I would challenge any and all to live consciously. Wake in the morning and resolve to pay more attention, act with more purpose, and be accountable in your own existence.

There are so many examples of how Conscious Living can change our little worlds it is hard to know where to start! So many ways we will benefit from the extra thought put into an action or decision, so many ways we could potentially save time, money, even heartache. The most simple and mundane example could be getting behind the wheel. There are studies that indicate that we would have vastly fewer vehicle accidents if we could eliminate even part of distracted driving. Some interesting studies can be found at www.nhtsa.gov, the website for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. As individuals how easy would it be to simply choose to be more aware behind the wheel? We could all easily practice more present moment thinking, choose to pull over to use cell phones (there actually was a time when we all survived without them), never eat behind the wheel, leave 5 minutes earlier to eliminate distraction from being late, dress before we leave our homes, and the list could go on and on. What would we benefit from these simple (though difficult for many) acts? On the somewhat insignificant end we might see better traffic flow. Bigger possibilities might include lower car insurance premiums, even if they are only for you as the individual who improves your driving record, but maybe as big as better premiums overall! On the earth moving end of the spectrum, we could lose fewer loved ones as we see fewer accidents on our roadways. This is Conscious Living in action, and all it takes is a simple decision to be present in your own life moments.

There are so many other ways that choosing to live consciously can find us in better places. I hear so many times how people cannot figure out where their money goes. I can tell them exactly where it goes. It goes into the cup of coffee they “had to have today, because today was just ‘one of those days.’” They needed it, but how quickly the moment is forgotten. How quickly the fact that most days are “one of those days” is also forgotten. Then there was the snack that was picked up with the cup of coffee because breakfast was forgotten in the hurry out the door. After that there was the quick bite at noon, because who has time to pack a lunch these days? By the end of the day twenty dollars, and probably more with the convenience of credit and debit cards, has slipped though tired fingers mostly unnoticed. How easy it would be to save a few hard earned dollars if we just thought about each one of those transactions. Simply waking up in the morning and pledging to think about your actions through the day could be an enlightening experience for many and if that enlightenment led to even a few small changes, perhaps it could even be a life changing experience. Maybe more money could be found in the budget when you put a cap on the unconscious spending you do throughout the day.

How many projects would go better if we put just a tiny bit more thought into them? If we simply live in the moment and think about what we are doing. Numerous trips to the store could be avoided, messes and damage lessened, just for a bit of thought and planning. We would probably forget fewer things as we leave our homes and we would probably lose fewer things while we were out! We would probably find that we are capable of very good decisions when we put a little thought into the equation. Our diets might even improve if we live a bit more consciously! We might find ourselves eating something new, rather than simply plodding along in the same rut, because we never think about what is outside of the rut. We might ultimately eliminate that irksome moment in each day when we anguish over what to make for dinner, because we have already given it due thought!

There is even the off chance that you might find life just that little bit more beautiful when you choose Conscious Living. Maybe you will be aware enough of your surroundings to notice the intensely beautiful sunset on your daily commute home. Perhaps you will actually hear the wit blossoming in your young child as you actually pull yourself out of the stupor to listen to what they have to say. You may even find an incredible person staring back at you when you look in the mirror with a new consciousness. We can all be amazing individuals if we only take the time and make the effort, but we must be aware, alive and conscious to really do that!

As you live more consciously you may find that you have more time, because you put some thought into your morning routine, were conscious of the time and your needs. You may find you have more money, because you saw that beautiful sunset and you didn’t need that “pick me up” to get through another day. At the very least you should know where that twenty dollars went! You may find you are more happy, because your interactions are more vivid and real and more meaningful. So many wonderful things are out there just waiting, but only for those aware enough to notice them.

I challenge each person who might read this to just think about what you have read. Just by thinking about it, you have been more conscious even for a moment. Let consciousness become part of your daily life, start to live in a more vivid and clear world. The best part is that Conscious Living won’t cost you anything, all it takes in the power you have inside you already. All it takes is a decision, a decision to bring your world into focus! You might be surprised at the good things you have been overlooking! Live Consciously!