When I think of conscious living, I often reflect on the words of Henry David Thoreau: “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” I believe conscious living is deliberate living: in other words, living as you choose, directing your own activities, being present, and owning your life. Certainly this isn’t as easy as it sounds, with so many allurements seeking to distract us, but we assure you it is doable.
This is one reason Katrina and I limit our exposure to time-draining activities and distractions. Living consciously implies that we’re aware of how easily distractions can sweep us away into imaginary hopes and fears. We can become brainwashed into believing our happiness and safety can be secured somewhere in the future, if we only had … you can fill in the blank. Living consciously protects us from such ensnarement.
Our busy world also teaches us to crave the company of others and to seek their approval by accommodating ourselves to society’s standards. Socially, we’re conditioned to cluster and to shun solitude. Yet, in moments of aloneness, we find ourselves, and often, through the lens of nature, we see our unity with all life. Living consciously gives us a great clarity as to what our real values are. Living consciously means that we are totally present.When we are totally present, the world around us takes on a vividness and clarity we had not noticed before.
Conscious living is living each day as if we have just returned home from traveling a great distance. Everything is very familiar, yet is seen with new and fresh eyes, as if for the very first time. This is what conscious living means to us.