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The Conscious Path




The definition of "conscious" is to be "aware of and responding to one's surroundings, to be awake."


"The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it." - Thoreau


How often do we simply "go with the flow," slipping into our usual routines because that's what's familiar or easiest? How often do we find ourselves merely going through the motions?


By challenging the status quo of 'going with the flow' and embracing a more conscious way of living, we begin to recognize the profound impact of our daily choices on both our immediate surroundings and the broader world. This shift invites us to reconsider our habits, from how we consume goods to how we spend our time and energy.


Do you catch yourself thinking: "I might need that," "I'm running out of this, so I better get more," or "It doesn't really matter how I live; it won't have any effect on the world. How can one person make a difference?" These thoughts often reflect societal norms that promote consumerism and credit cards, which I believe aren't necessarily beneficial.


What if we started living more consciously, being aware of how we spend our time, money, and energy, and considering the broader impact of our actions on the world?


I've seen positive changes in people who adopt more conscious living: shifts in household routines, improvements in health habits, and complete lifestyle transformations.


Now, I'm going to provide ten practical tips to help you begin your journey toward conscious living:


1. Zero Waste: Last year, we attempted zero waste and found it challenging. We had set very high expectations for ourselves and gave up after a week. What we learned is that this is a journey, not a one-time achievement. Start with manageable steps. We then did things “swap for swap”, so every time we ran out of something, we replaced it with the sustainable option. For example, buy bread unpackaged from a local shop that supports minimal packaging. Begin with small changes like these.


2. Minimalism: Minimalism isn't just about possessions; it's also about minimizing unnecessary drama in your life. Make deliberate decisions about who and what you allow into your life. From a work perspective, prioritize tasks into urgent/important, important but not urgent, urgent but not important, and neither urgent nor important.


3. Being Mindful: Mindfulness involves considering the consequences of your actions. Think about where your waste goes and opt for reusable items like coffee cups and shopping bags. Use up everything you have creatively; for instance, repurpose old sandwich bags or paper for different uses.


4. Willful Blindness: A concept of consciously choosing to ignore things. This may sound positive but willful blindness is associated with “not wanting to know about the bad stuff”. In order to be on the conscious path, we have to understand the hard parts of life, be able to take a good look at them to assess what we need to do differently.


5. Knowledge is Power: Researching the life style you want to achieve can help you to understand the best of way of doing it for you. Understanding where other people have stumbled in the best can help you learn from their mistakes.


6. Less is More: Simplify your life to gain more time and save money. Share resources like; one car between family members and focus on meaningful experiences over material possessions.


7. Simplicity is Key: Reduce decision fatigue by simplifying choices. When dining out, stick to what you know you want and ask for recommendations, being mindful of your dietary choices.


8. Learn to Prioritize: Reevaluate how you spend your time, money, and energy to align with your values and goals.


9. Time Considerations: Connect with loved ones over shared values like veganism and healthy living. Live in a way that reduces stress for yourself and future generations, leaving behind a smaller footprint.


10. Start Where You Are: Begin with manageable actions like reducing junk mail or using up items creatively instead of buying new. Challenge yourself to make celebration cards or refrain from unnecessary shopping.


Consider your reasons for not embracing these ideas. Why do you think it's impossible or not worthwhile? Reflecting on these questions can help clarify your motivations and barriers.


Rather than preach statistics, I base my beliefs on personal experience with my daughter. We've found that living consciously has given us more time and financial freedom. By being mindful of our choices in how we live, eat, and interact, we feel empowered to shape our lives positively. Importantly, our actions can influence others now and in the future, regardless of whether we're shopping, traveling, or going about our daily lives.


If you've watched my TED Talk, then you know that at the time, I wasn't sure what my next path was...this is my next path.

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