Effective strategies for conscious living
Are you a seeker and questioner too? Or do you have all the answers?
What shapes our lives are the questions we ask, refuse to ask, or never think of asking. The question is the helmsman of consciousness. Our minds, bodies, feelings, relationships are all informed by our questions. The complex networks of neurons that make up a mind are as individual as our fingerprints. — Sam Keen in What You Ask is Who You Are
In the Beginning
When I was young it seemed that the adults around me had all the answers. Asking individual adults what they thought their purpose in life was, and what their ultimate destiny would be would produce identical answers. As a teen I disbelieved “the correct answers” I had been given, but by then I had learned that raising questions about them would lead to swift and painful punishment, so I kept my questions to myself.
Living, loving and learning
As a young adult I came to know the reason all adults I knew all had the same answers to all the questions I asked was because their answers were recitations of the same institutionalized religious dogma and doctrine. They were programed to live and die within the confines of the Christian creation myth, and to accept without question the values, ideology and politics of the generations who had gone before them.
If we choose to challenge the belief system we have been raised in and live our life in emotional integrity then we can go for it slowly or go for it quickly. What is most important is that we go for it effectively.
I became conscious thorough meditation. Meditation does not seek for information or make inquiries. It does not ask that a wish or desire be granted; it does not seek intervention on the mediator’s behalf, or the behalf of another person, place or situation.
The meditative state is achieved by stilling of the mind and body, becoming aware of vital stillness, and hearing within that still silence. It is the stillness of being naturally present before you become attached to thoughts and things; before you identify with thought-feeling-reaction.
I opened my mind reexamined my core beliefs and values and replaced those that were no longer useful with those that were my own answers to the mysteries of the universe. I came to know more about living, loving learning and dying.
- Ideas, theories and beliefs are not necessarily truths.
- A belief is not an idea held by the mind; it is an idea that holds the mind.
- We don’t see things as they are; we see things as we are.
Today I am keenly aware that my beliefs shape my reality. I continue to reexamine them at irregular intervals, when questions arise and new approaches to finding answers are required.
Are You Conscious?
We seek purpose when we are not in touch with who we really are. When you discover who you are (at the deepest place of your being) you will find your purpose.— Colleen-Joy Page
Living consciously is actually a lifestyle that few master. Being conscious involves asking questions, seeking answers and thinking about why you do what you do.
Without doubt it’s easier to repeat doing what we always do without questioning why we do what we do, simply because it’s what we’re used to doing. Conscious living means rising to the challenge to question and break out of non-productivity cycles so we can begin to craft the lives we really want to live by design.
The important thing is to question the life you are living so you really know and understand your life for what it is, then you can make course corrections whenever they are needed.
The important thing is not to stop questioning. — Albert Einstein
Effective strategies for conscious living
1. When we question, “What beliefs am I clinging to that are obstructing my progress? We are on our way to choosing to live consciously.
2. When we choose to break through old thought patterns by trying new ways of doing familiar tasks, we are choosing to live consciously.
2. When we incorporate techniques from one discipline to solve problems in another, we are choosing to live consciously.
4. When we choose to keep all the possibilities in play, we allow our brain to seek unique solutions. This is another example of choosing conscious living.
Two tried and true methods of cultivating a questioning mind that leads to conscious living are journaling and meditating. I do both. Do you?