10 Reasons Why We Should Live Consciously
To live consciously is to live completely in and for the present moment, perceiving our experiences directly through our senses without any labeling or filtering. This may sound impossible to you, but if you look back far enough into your childhood, you may recall having experienced such pure consciousness before.
That was the time when every moment is fresh, exciting and full of surprises. Every sight, sound, touch, or taste seems so new and intriguing.
But as we grow older, the way we see this world begins to change as we increasingly adapt to our environment. It is no longer a carefree world that we know of. Instead, it is one in which we need to work constantly in order to get the next treat, the next comfort hug, the next toy, and gradually, the next pay check, the next promotion and the next vacation.
Living mindfully from moment to moment is to find and bring back the lost wonder back in our life; it is to rekindle our love and passion for living.
But what does it mean to live consciously? Let’s explore by looking at the ten manifestations of a conscious life and why you should bother?
- Direct energies where they are really needed. When you live consciously, you channel your time and energies on planning and creating what you want in life, and stop investing them on useless worries and energy-sucking internal commentaries.
- Why bother? How much time do you spend indulging in the past and worrying over the future every day? Wouldn’t it be more productive to focus on the one thing that you can do at this very instance that will bring you closer to the result you want?
- Stop robotic reactions. You will stop knee-jerk reaction to everything that comes your way. Instead, when something stirs you up, you pay close attention to your thoughts and the emotions that accompanied them and question their authenticity. After all, what is the point of getting work up over unreal threats or worries, which in reality is nothing but how the mind reacts to protect your ego?
- Why bother? Ever had experiences where your response was quicker than what you would like? The seemingly uncontrollable flare-up of temper or slip of the tongue is the product of an unconscious and unchecked mind. An awareness of what is going on in your mind will help you to insert a buffer between your response and your action, giving you sufficient time to acknowledge your emotions and yet not be overtaken by them.
- Harmonize with people and nature. When you make peace with yourself, you will find that your external conditions will also start to reflect your inner state of mind. Without the internal clutter, you will become more sensitive to the needs and feelings of the people around you, and become more aware of your impact on them. You also understand that every act of living has an effect on our planet which you and I depend on, therefore you make conscious choices to lessen any damage to Mother Earth.
- Why bother? Living is not just about you. It is also about how well you live in harmony with the people around you as well as nature. No one can live without depending on someone else and nature. Even if you live in a deserted island, you still need to sustain yourself with whatever you can find in your surrounding which nature provides. Each of us plays a part in creating a caring community and a sustainable world
- Discover true self. When you truly understand that your thoughts are just fleeting electric flashes that dance tirelessly between neurons in your brain, you will begin to realize that the identities created based on your background, successes, failures, experiences, income levels and things you possess are also workings of your mind. You are much bigger than all the stories weaved together by your mind. You are beyond what your brain wants you to believe.
- Why bother? A life built upon identities limits us and separates us from each other, creating conflicts not only within ourselves but also with others. If you open your heart and your mind and not let any preconception comes between you and your experiences, you will discover a lighter, more liberating and refreshing way of existence.
- Withhold judgment. Having realized that you are not your thoughts, you will become very careful in using labels on the people and things around you, including your thoughts and experiences. Because more often than not, the labels you impose on them do not tell you reliably what they really are.
- Why bother? When you don’t even know yourself fully, how can you be so sure about the judgments you mete out on other people and things? Ponder this long and hard.
- Cease seeking external fulfillment. You will no longer seek love, fulfillment, acknowledgement, or acceptance from people or through things. There is no longer a need to complete any missing parts with anything outside yourself because you know you already have what you need from within.
- Why bother? Looking for external fulfillment is a never-ending vicious cycle that feeds itself. When you believe that you must get something in order to become more beautiful, more powerful, more prominent, or more wealthy, you are on a quest that will see no end. A journey that sees no end is one that leads to nothing but exhaustion, despair and regrets.
- Make intuitive, spontaneous decisions. With greater clarity and focus, you will respond intuitively to life situations based on what really happened, not what you think has happened. You act according to what the situation calls for, not what the book says.
- Why bother? When our decision-making process is clouded by fears and preconceived ideas, not only are we sabotaging ourselves by making poor choices, but we are also short-changing other people by denying what they truly deserved.
- Give up control. You will have no illusion about what is within your control and what is not. You surrender the will to control the traffic condition, the stock market, your partner, your boss, your mother-in-law and even your thoughts, and choose to live in the bliss offer freely by the present moment instead.
- Why bother? How many times have we tried to control the uncontrollable, refusing to face reality and ended up in misery, anguish, frustration and pain? Do you want to continue living in this way? Or would you rather make a difference to things that are within your control?
- Embrace fears. Instead of letting fears run your life, you will acknowledge their presence, get to know them and ultimately, embrace them. You may not be able to get rid of them, but at least you know how to better handle them when they show up again.
- Why bother? Suppressing or running away from your fears only make them seem uglier and bigger than what they really are. Try facing your fears instead and take an interest in what you are really afraid of. Could it be just another trick of your mind again?
- Appreciate life more. You will laugh at yourself and life in general more because you don’t see life through a judgmental pair of eyes anymore. And when there is no will to change or control, you can give and receive things and people in your life with open heart and mind as well as a deeper sense of gratitude. After all, you know they won’t last forever, however enduring they may appear.
- Why bother? Our misconceptions and ignorance about life have prevented us from enjoying life fully. The fear of giving and receiving paralyze us and almost reduce us into living corpses incapable of sharing love. Unsurprisingly, states of pure ecstasy and connectedness to our environment and other people elude us. Now is the time to wake up from the deep slumber.