I started the Conscious Living blog because I have noticed that most people are struggling to live lives filled with happiness and joy. Living a conscious life means you’re actively aware of your choices and actions. When you live life from a conscious living mindset you are driven by a clearly defined set of values and you have a deep awareness of whom you truly are. You living a life filled with intention and purpose.
In this blog I’ll share with you well researched insights into how you can develop a Conscious Living approach to your life and empower yourself to live a life of deeper meaning and connection. You’ll learn the daily techniques to become more aware and present and how to make decisions and take actions that empower you and which are aligned to your core purpose and meaning in life. You’ll move from a victimhood mentality to a growth mindset and therein you will find your personal power.
I want to you to rediscover the magic of life. To become your own miracle and to experience the joy and happiness that is your birthright. You don’t have to live a life cast in darkness, doom and gloom. You can make the shift in consciousness to a new mindset that brings light and joy into your life.
In this first blog in the series Conscious Living with Grant Driver I’d like to share with you three tips to kick-start your new way of living.
Listen to you Intuition
Pay attention to that ‘little’ voice inside of your head. Known as your gut instinct, intuition or six sense, this ability we all have to ‘feel’ about a situation, decision or relationship can be a powerful resource if you allow it to be. Pay attention to any thoughts that go through your mind when you about to make a decision. Are these feel-good thoughts or do they feel ‘heavy’ and draining.
Before you make any decision, write down the thoughts and feelings you are experiencing. Continue to do this for a couple of days. Then when the time comes to make the final decision review your notes, reflect on your thoughts and feelings and then make a decision.
Learn to Pause
I have learnt that when someone tells me something is ‘urgent’ its normally their perception of urgent and may well not be mine. I will ask the person why he or she perceives the situation to be urgent. This gives me insight into the other person’s frame of reference. And then I’ll draw my own conclusion as to the urgency of the matter. I have learnt not to rush any decision. I press the ‘pause’ button and give myself the time to consider all the options I have at hand. I’ve learnt to also say NO when I feel that someone’s request compromises my values, time or any other valuable resource.
Next time you are asked to do something for someone that is ‘urgent’ and you know it isn’t ask the other person if he or she would mind unpacking the request and focus on a mutually agreed deadline. And if you’re asked by someone to do something that you do not have the capacity to do at that moment, simply say to the person, “I understand that this matter is important for you but at this moment I am unable to assist you with your request’. If you feel you can assist the person at a later stage you can tell them you will consider the request when you have completed your priorities.
Prioritise the Fun in your life
In my coaching experience, I have noticed that many people do not actually make time in their lives for fun. By fun I mean doing something that makes you happy, relaxed or brings out your creativity. Schedule time in your diary everyday, even if its just 30 minutes to do something you love to do, is it reading, writing, drawing, gardening or walking.
This is your ‘ME’ time and you deserve it. There is a direct correlation between your downtime and your health. Making time to do something by yourself gives you the opportunity to reconnect with yourself. To mentally press the pause button and enjoy the pleasure of your own company.
Pay attention to any thoughts that may pop up in your mind. You don’t have to entertain any thoughts in this time that are worrying or disturbing. As and when these thoughts arise in your mind, mentally tell yourself to park the thought and you’ll attend to that matter when you’re ready to do so.
This requires self-discipline and overtime you’ll notice how this small amount of time that you yourself on daily basis will eventually not only have major mental health and emotional benefits but will also enable you to manage your stress more effectively and give you daily doses of blissful joy.
Mindless to Mindful
On average we have between 50- 70 thoughts a day! That’s a lot of thinking going on inside of our heads. The scary thought here (sorry couldn’t resist that pun) is that most of those thoughts are ‘mindless’ in other words unintelligent and lacking of any substance.
We swiftly move from one thought to another and within seconds we are on a trajectory that has a momentum of its own. We get so caught-up in these thoughts that they become real in our minds and influence our perception of reality.
Let me provide you with an example. Imagine you are driving to work and you thinking about your day ahead. You start with a thought that you have a meeting at 10am. Simple enough. But then that thought leads you to the next thought, which is that you haven’t really prepared for the meeting. Then you start to think about the fact that your colleagues are going to think that you are not competent. Then you start to think about what they will be saying about you after the meeting. You start to despair with the thought that you are letting your team down and so on and so forth. By the time you get to work you are feeling anxious and stressed. And boom! You have created a reality for yourself that is of your own doing.
That is the power of our thoughts. Thoughts create feelings. They work hand-in-hand to create your reality. When we are mindless we allow our thoughts to carry us in any direction they choose.
What’s the solution to the craziness of our mindlessness? Well it’s the power we all have within us and that is to be mindful.
Mindfulness is the ability to become aware and develop the habit of concentrating on your breath and being aware of what is going on around you at any particular moment.
It’s a discipline and habit that can literally change your life. The more you practice it the more you will see wonderful benefits. You will start to feel a sense of joy and a ‘lightness’ of your mind and spirit.
Mindfulness is a subject of its own but here’s insight into how you can use the technique when next you find yourself in a state of mindlessness and anxiety.
- Become the ‘observer’ of your thoughts. As thoughts enter your mind simply note them. By actively recognizing your thoughts you are able to manage them. As a negative or worrying thought enters your mind, simply note it and let it pass.
- Note your feelings. They are the by-products of your thoughts. Describe the feeling to yourself. This state of awareness will give you the power to search for another feeling. To do that change your thoughts to something that fills your with delight and joy. I call this ‘switching’ and it will give you a great sense of personal power.
- Then note your breathing. A destructive or worrying thought creates tension in your body. Your goal is to use breathing to relax yourself. Slow your breathing down to seven breathes a minute.
- Breathe in (count to 5)
- Hold (count to 2)
- Release the breathe out slowly (count to 8)
I’ll unpack more ideas with you on mindfulness as part of your Conscious Living journey in future blogs.
Until then I’d like to leave you with this wonderful insight by Pierre Teilhard De Chardin: “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”