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November 18, 2018

Cultivating Consciousness

Stepping into the life that I love has awoken my innate curiosity, my sense of wonder and my passion to live fully, wholly and in a way that is driven by meaning and purpose. The more I explore and delve further into freedom, the more I realise just how crucial learning is for me.
‘To be conscious that you are ignorant of the facts, is a great step to knowledge’.
Life is all about learning. We learn how to become content and well and thrive. We learn how to do what we do and how we can do things better. We learn about who we are and what we want. We uncover truths, we find answers, we look at life through fresh eyes.
Living is learning.
In a world where media, information and resources await us a mere click away, I’ve enjoyed unearthing a wealth of education that has led me to discover a new understanding of this world we’re all a part of. And as I continue to lean into learning, it’s increasingly important for me to ignite this value in others too. I want us to collectively embrace and become conscious of, the multitude of learning opportunities we encounter each day.
Because, the world is a funny place these days. There is a lot wrong, there is a lot of injustice, there is a lot of ignorance and negligence and issues that need addressing. There are a lot of norms that aren’t that normal, a lot of pathways that need repaving and attitudes that could do with altering.
That’s not to dampen hope, of course the world is rife with beauty, wonder and positivity too, but as much as I value positivity, I am against passivity.
My hope is that we can not only live fully and contentedly but also consciously. My passion for life extends beyond my own; we all have this one great opportunity, our moment in time to choose what kind of impact we’ll make, how we’ll influence the world we get to live in.
And to do this, I believe we must cultivate a questioning curiosity, we must choose a passionate life over a passive one and realise that what we do while we’re here, matters.
Questions begin a conversation with the experience of life we’re having and are a foundation to forming our own answers. Inviting this curious attitude into our mind is essential to creating a more conscious life and personally, I believe a more conscious life is a significantly more fulfilling and meaningful one.
Conscious is defined as – ‘aware of and responding to one’s surroundings.’
Synonyms: aware, awake, alert, responsive, reactive, feeling, mindful of…
Here’s three areas where I’ve learned that increased consciousness is of benefit:
The detriment posed to our environment is a topic within the media that we may be aware of, particularly recently with regard to climate change and extinction. But are we responsive to this knowledge? The way we are living directly impacts the environment around us. Pollution, waste, animal exploitation and cruelty, human rights violation, health, habitat destruction, species extinction – these are the devastating effects of human behaviour. Convenience, materialism and the constant demand for ‘more’ overwhelm and surpass the limits of sustainability.
Becoming more conscious about how we consume could be a profoundly helpful shift to a more sustainable way. Increasing awareness about why we buy what we buy, whether it’s necessary, what impact it could have, would all transform our attitude to consumption. Engaging curiosity means harnessing a greater understanding of our part in how things work.
When consuming, consider:
Where does this come from? Where will it go?
Do I need it? What does it do for me?
At what cost, is its cost?
Bigger ideas like minimalism, veganism, zero waste living, all look at these questions and offer alternatives. And when a large, mainstream system is no longer sustainable, the fruits of conscious curiosity are these important alternatives.
At any time, we have the opportunity to choose differently, to break a cycle, to begin something new. Strengthening our consciousness equips us to make choices that reflect the kind of outcome we’d like to support. I love the idea of voting with our money – when we purchase, we are supporting the producer. So, the choice is ours, what do we want to support? And what are we currently supporting?
It’s the same idea with our time, what do we want to spend it on? Are we choosing passion or passiveness? I know how often, personally, I end up spending time on my phone mindlessly scrolling or doing a whole lot of not much, when there’s a blog idea like this one aching to be written. But it’s easier to sit and do nothing, and sometimes that’s all I want to do, however when I’m conscious of how I honestly want to be spending my time, the choice is clear.
When we choose to learn, we are active and connected. We are participating.  We come alive because we are inquisitively interested in our own life and the lives of others. Choosing to ask questions is a powerful precursor to change and teaches us a whole lot more than we could know by choosing a passive path; by simply continuing as we always have, doing as we’ve always done.
We are presented with so many choices each day, making these choices consciously is our chance to meet a fuller way of living, to make the impact we’d be proud of making, to contribute to the kind of world we wish to cultivate.
“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” —Maya Angelou
I think one of my favourite aspects of feeling more conscious, is the sense of being awake. There’s so much more presence, observation and connection to be enjoyed. I feel like I’m paying more attention and living with increased intention and purpose. I’m making decisions and choices that mean something to me, that feel right and in harmony with my convictions.
Being present and conscious of my actions, my surroundings, my interactions and my feelings gives me the gift of responding to these in a way that better aligns with my values. I enjoy more understanding and the journey of figuring things out, gaining clarity and solidifying learnings.
Self awareness is a brilliant beginning, and I think the adaptation of curiosity and willingness to consciously learn brings growing depth to this. Getting curious about ourselves, our place in the world and how we want to interact with it brings us into the bigger picture. It places us right in the moment. Being passive just leads us to drift by, nonchalantly accepting of ‘the way things are’, belittling our potential to make the changes we wish were made.
Choosing to be present awakens us. It brings us alive in the life we’re living, and this is incredibly empowering. And these days, it’s also, incredibly essential.
“The key to growth is the introduction of higher dimensions of consciousness into our awareness.” Lao Tzu
Consciousness, to me, is what this world needs from us and what we need from ourselves. If we can learn to get more curious, and challenge the norms and the societal script that doesn’t sit with us, we can be the ones changing them.
There is so much power and potential within each of us to ‘be the change we wish to see in the world.’

It’s time to wake up and respond to that fact.

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