How to Live Consciously in Every Day Life

Live Consciously

Sometimes days, weeks or even month go by without even realizing that you actually live. Your mind is so full of all the demands and needs and wants that you chase after every day, that there is no time left to stop for a moment of consciously experiencing yourself. Does that sound familiar to you?

Live Consciously?

What does that actually mean? On the one hand it means that you are in the here and now and experience life directly. You give your attention to what happens in front of you, especially to other people like your family and friends, which not only improves your but also their quality of life.

What’s the Reason for Un-Conscious Living?

I think the biggest reason why we live unconsciously is because we are having so much “noise” going on in our mind that we lose the ability to break through it. With “noise” I don’t only mean unnecessary or negative thoughts and emotions, no I mean the layer of thoughts and emotions – the mind – in general. Not in a negative sense, but simply in a sense of classifying everything that could cloud your consciousness.

Your consciousness flowers when you give it more space and more silence in your mind. “You are not your mind.” is the famous first chapter from Eckhart Tolle‘s “The Power of Now” and that’s something to realize.

Who am I then? The next best answer is your consciousness then (but this is just another finger pointing at the reality of your being, which has to be experienced directly).

Consciousness and Mind

“But wait a minute”, you may say, isn’t that in contrast to what you wrote about focusing your mind fully and put all your attention on your goals?

The biggest obstacle to conscious living is the identification with your mind, which means with your thoughts and beliefs and on an even deeper level with your self-image. Maybe it is a bit strange to hear that because those are the things that define you in the world, right? And this is true.

I personally see the mind like the tool between spirit and physical reality. It is needed and good. In the beginning I had some troubles making sense of this potential conflict of mind and spirituality. But now it seems clear. You still use your mind and focus on your goals and on what you want to create, after all putting all of your attention on one thing only avoids being fragmented and creates clarity by itself. That is why flow can happen then.

But the difference is that you are aware of your conscious nature and you don’t lose yourself in your mind anymore. This is a big realization. The key is to build consciousness. So how can you do this?

How to Improve Conscious Living:

Live more in the Present. I know it is much easier said than done. But when you give your attention fully to what you do, especially with other people, and even more so with the people you value most, you are on your way already. Do what you do fully. If you work, work fully. If not, try to put your attention to what you do then.

Self-Reflection is a special way to remove roadblocks and break through to former unconscious thoughts and beliefs that limit you and hold you back. Self-reflection is also a great way to spend time with yourself only. You need some time in solitude to reflect. See my post on Self-Reflection: How to Do it Right.

Personal Development. I believe that any personal development you do with the intent to improve yourself is a step into the right direction. It will make you ask new questions and broaden your perspective on life and on your own role in it. This site is full of articles for personal growth, just start at the archive to find something that interests you further.

Meditation is the primer method to calming down the mind and increasing your consciousness. There are a lot of different courses and materials out there. I haven’t looked to endorse any of it yet, if you find something that you are convinced is really great, let me know in the comments.

About the author Myrko Thum

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6 Comments

  • Dan Garner

    November 8, 2012

    “But the difference is that you are aware of your conscious nature and you don’t lose yourself in your mind anymore”

    Great article Myrko. I love Eckhart Tolle, but sometimes it seems like you’ve got to read through a lot of stuff to get to the meat of his material. This article combined with some of the links really get to the point.

    Thanks,

    Dan @ ZenPresence

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  • Myrko

    November 9, 2012

    Thanks for the feedback Dan. I had some personal struggle before with this as you can recall by the different posts I did about that topic of mind/success vs. spirit. What I wrote here is my current conclusion which feels right to me and also makes sense.

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  • Felix Mack

    November 13, 2012

    Some people live with one foot in the past, and the other foot in the future. Dwelling about what happened yesterday, and worrying about tomorrow. They forget about living in the present. Your thoughts for conscious living are right on point. Thanks for sharing.

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  • Myrko

    November 14, 2012

    I reviewed the visit of Eckhart Tolle at Google (can be found here) and it’s interesting to see him taling about what he always says to an audience that is mind-oriented. After seeing it, I personally think the answer is again: balance. Balance between focussed mind activity and conscious being. Of course you can also have your consciousness shining through when you are focussed and very mind-active.

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  • Zack

    November 16, 2012

    Spot on and timely again Myrko.

    A lot of awesome opportunities to express being alive have come my way recently, especially as you say “with other people, and even more so with the people you value most.” Just yesterday afternoon I was on my way to a job to do for my aunt, busy thinking deeply about all that has transpired to make me notice this rich reality and a redheaded woodpecker about brushed my windshield, did a touch and go landing in a cut cornfield, and flew off. I can’t for the life of me figure what he was doing, but what he did was snap me out of my thoughts and refocus my attention on the fact that I was traveling down the road, moving towards people I care about. It was cool.

    As for meditation, I have a plug. The Therevadan Buddhist tradition seems solely focused on two types of meditation. Metta, which is a loving-kindness meditation, practiced, and understood, seems to have for me released me from the crushing reality that I am not perfect (which was a big problem three years ago), and accept faults and misconceptions that come along with being alive as merely, well, I guess parts of the terrain that any explorer must deal with if they are to conquer the peak. Also there is vipasanna, or insight meditation, which in concert with metta train to see exactly what that terrain is. The most beautiful thing, to me, about the Therevadan system, is its simplicity. “One must love themselves before they can love others” (metta) and “you are not your mind” (vipasanna) are two of the only postulate I have ever heard the monks utter, and it is difficult for me to consider these dogma. It seems that the Therevadan tradition views itself much more a philosophy and a practice, than a religion. This is so from the words of the monks. A philosophy based in loving-compassion. Well we are human, we need *some* postulates. :)

    Thanks again for the good work!

    Zack

    ReplyReply
  • Myrko

    November 16, 2012

    The bird was there to get you present ;-) Interesting read about the two meditation methods. Thank you for your input Zack!

    ReplyReply

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