12 Easy Ways To Become More Conscious

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Each day, more people are awakening to the realization that we are connected at a much deeper level—to each other, to the planet, and to the universe at large.  Consciousness is blossoming, and I truly believe we are living in a time where humanity will awaken to a new reality that is marked by peace, sustainability, social justice and love. 

But we are not there yet, and most human beings still feel completely isolated and alone (a phenomenon that has been referred to as “the human dilemma” throughout history, among other things).  Conscious living is not the norm…yet.

There are volumes and volumes written about the illusion the human mind perpetuates; the greatest thinkers in human history—Jesus, Buddha, Emerson, Descartes, Gandhi and countless others—explored the implications of the mind and theorized about a time of conscious enlightenment. 

Although many people are becoming intellectually aware of what “consciousness” refers to, they have not yet made the leap to integrating this type of awareness into their own lives.  The thing about consciousness is this: it has to be personally experienced for it to permeate an individual’s life, and there has to be a critical mass of people experiencing it to generate a cultural tipping point. 

In my opinion, there is nothing more important than this pursuit– it can be the very thing that saves humanity and planet earth!  With that said here are 12 excellent practices for starting yourself down a path of increased awareness and heightened consciousness: 

1. Start Being More Present

This means participating in whatever activity you are engaged with 100% focus and attention.  Remember, the “past” is nothing but previously experienced versions of what was the present, as the future is nothing but present moments that have not occurred yet.  There really is nothing but a continual NOW, a forever stream of “present” moments, and once you start realizing this you start paying more attention to the NOW and can become a very conscious person.

2. When in the Shower, Really Experience It

A simple and fun way to start integrating “being present” is in the shower.  Showering can be SO enjoyable, and I bet it has become a perfunctory activity in your life with much less enjoyment than it really deserves.  You will thank me for this: next time you are in the shower really feel the hot water pouring over your head and body.  Pay close attention to the sensation of soap and shampoo coursing on your skin.  Notice the showerhead, curtain and tiles as if for the first time.  This can be SO enlightening and enjoyable, and can get you on the path to living more consciously.

3. Start Noticing People in a Different Manner

Most of us are on “automatic pilot” when it comes to our mindset concerning the people in our lives.  Very rarely do we step out of our pre-existing perceptions of friends, co-workers and family and look at them in a different manner.  But noticing people’s uniqueness can be a useful gateway to consciousness– start becoming aware of their voice, the way they walk, mannerisms etc…as if you are perceiving them for the first time.  This will give you a fresh perspective. 

4. Notice Your Surroundings

Likewise, how often do you really notice your

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surroundings?  I challenge you to take one full day and begin noticing all the unique features of your home, car, office, or wherever you spend a lot of time.  You will be shocked when you start noticing colors, angles, sounds, etc…that you did not previously notice and were seemingly not there before.  The thing is, they WERE there; you have just chosen to be conscious of them today.  Learn from this exercise.

5. Take a Different Angle

To take this a step further, a wonderful way to bring about consciousness is to intentionally change your angle and view on things.  This may sound crazy, but next time you are home, stand on a table and start seeing your house in a different light.  When at the office, stand on a desk, or even sit under one, to change perspective.  How does this generate consciousness you may ask?  Consciousness is all about awareness, and when you start seeing things from different angles you attain a wider understanding of them, and become more aware in general.  Try it!

6. Take a Few Moments Each Day to be STILL

Stillness is essential for consciousness to transpire in your life.  Your chatterbox thrives on activity and action, and persuades you to constantly be saying, thinking or doing something.  Purposefully remaining still for a few minutes every day slows things down, and eventually helps you feel universal connection between all things.

7. Really Taste and Savor Your Food

Eating consciously is an AWESOME way to increase your connection with the universe.  I bet 99.9% of the time you eat you are not paying attention to your food.  And I mean really paying attention—how does it taste and smell, and what is the essence of it?  What is the sensation the food gives your mouth, throat and stomach?  How do you feel after you are done eating?  This type of food awareness can be powerful and ultra-enjoyable!

8. Pay Close Attention to Your Sense of Smell

I think smell is the lost sense of our time.  Unless something smells excessively foul, or outrageously delicious, we very rarely focus our attention to the sense of smell.  Another challenge—start smelling things!  For one day begin to notice how your office, car, and home really smell.  Start integrating this lost sense into your daily experiences, and gain a more well-rounded perception of the world you are ensconced.

9. Commit to Listening and Hearing Others

If smell is the lost sense, listening is the forgotten one.  When we converse with people, our chatterbox is always preparing us for a response—it is actually very rare to be really listening to another person.  Next time you are speaking to someone, notice this—see how your mind is busy at work forming a response to the other person’s language.  Once you become aware of this, let it go and try just being there for them.  Even if you have something relevant and pertinent to add, resist the temptation and just be there.  This practice helps generate real connections with those in our lives, and is a gateway to conscious living.

10. Start Paying Attention to Your Breath

The breath is an excellent place to start for realizing the universal connection between all things.  Even if you do not consider yourself a spiritual person, commit to sitting in silence with your breath for at least 5 minutes each day.  This is a very powerful exercise.  Notice it flow into and out of your body, and just be present to its existence.  Let the chatterbox in your head fade away and be present to the coolness of air rushing into the nostrils and the warmth of air exiting them. 

11. Feel Your Body Parts

Similarly, feeling your body parts connects your mind and body in a very unique way, and helps expand your general consciousness.  After taking a few deep breaths, start noticing your different body parts.  Just feel blood flowing, heart pumping, and anything else that crosses the field of consciousness.  Just be there with the body.

12. Meditate

Meditation is the practice of stillness and awareness, and helps create “gaps” of consciousness where the continuous voice of ego is put aside.  Quieting the chatterbox is hard work, and the more you feel as if you don’t have the ability to meditate, the more cut off from universal connection you probably are…and the more you need the practice. 

In my opinion, there is nothing more important than the awakening and realization of consciousness– both personally and collectively.  Start integrating these practices to heighten you awareness of the interconnectedness of all things.  Begin to live consciously.  THIS is the pathway to healing and salvation!
 

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18 Responses to “12 Easy Ways To Become More Conscious”

  1. Peter says:

    Good on you Todd – you are one day ahead of me in shaking off the Xmas turkey and posting a great article!

  2. Nancy says:

    Todd, it looks like a recipe for unconsciousness.Somebody could come in the bathroom and whack you black. Isn’t the desired sensitivity that which allows us to sense others?When does being wrapped up in myself become, say, world peace? Spiritual battling is how we grow. Retreating into a spiritual realm of non-violence only invites violent spirits, no?

    I wonder about Ghandi. Was he actually humble, or did he just look that way because he was self-absorbed? Was he humble because he won his spiritual battles, or was he just run down? I don’t know.

    You sound like a nice guy, Todd. I want you to win. Try fighting back (spiritually, of course).

  3. Todd says:

    Thanks for the comment Peter and Nancy. And to your points Nancy:

    Practicing consciousness while in the shower is just a practical way, and a personal recopmmendation, for attaining a moment of awareness. Even though I mention the sensation of becoming aware of the water, and of the tiles, etc…what really happens is that you begin to attain an awarenss of everything in AND around you.

    In this state, you would notice “someone coming in the bathroom” in a much readier sense than if you were stuck in the realm of unconsciousness– thinking about your money issues, relationship problems, and all the other nonsense we take as being the real us.

    This sense of being “in the now” is DIRECTLY related to world peace, and is literally healing and salvation from the inside out. Alternatively, you will always be looking for solutions and peace from somewhere extenally, somewhere on the outside, and it will never satisfy you, and never be real!

    As for me “winning”, lol, thank you and I had to laugh at that one. I don’t look at these views as winning or losing…I am just a guy living my life, i have this blog and it is what it is. I certainly have intentions, and this current article expounds my beliefs on consciousness…and I intend to be a part of the burgeoning collective consciousness that is transpiring….but it is certainly NOT a matter of winning and losing!

    Thanks again for your attention to this article Nancy…and I hope you try some of the recommendations and see if you start feeling a greater connection between all things!!

    -Todd

  4. Ellie says:

    Great post Todd!

    Several years ago I read Eckerd Tolle and did these types of things you speak about. Always – All Ways – the experience is enlightening!

    I was just speaking to someone today about being present in the shower… They were saying sometimes they are so caught up in the voices that are rattling through their head – they have to stop to think – Hmmm did I just wash my hair or put conditioner in it?!

    Thanks for the conscious reminder to be conscious!

  5. Hi gentle, wise bloggers

    As an outgrowth of your collaborative approach (several bloggers, working together)consider asking us avid fans of “wethechange” to add our ideas of easy ways to become more conscious.

    If that is of interest, here’s one that some that have helped me:

    Go slow to go fast.

    Look to their positive intent, especially when they appear to have none.

    warmly
    Kare. MovingFromMeToWe.com
    In a civilization when love is
    gone we turn to justice and when
    justice is gone we turn to power
    and when power is gone we
    turn to violence.

    Opportunity is often inconvenient.

    Remember the many
    compartments of the heart,
    the seed of what is
    possible. So much of who
    we are is defined by
    the places we hold for each
    other. For it is not our ingenuity
    that sets us apart, but our
    capacity for love, the
    possibility our way will
    be lit by grace. Our hearts
    prisms, chiseling out the
    colors of pure light.

  6. Todd says:

    Thanks for the nice comment Ellie– I just finished the Power of Now, GREAT book, and the impetus for this article.

    Kare, WOW, thank you for sharing this pice. Much appreciated and I will certainly check out your site!
    Todd

  7. Todd, every time I visit, I like what I find. Great article. I like what you said in answer to Nancy’s comment also. You made some very valid points here.

  8. Doug Ward says:

    Spot on fella.
    You’re going to love Costa Rica…especially the rural areas.
    Lots of us left the smoke and mirrors of the falling empire and now live with, and in, reality.
    I’ts glorious.

    Nancy. Try it. You’ll like it.
    Like your first thought of getting “whacked”….. No peace in that thinking.Try a martial art for a while. Anything BUT Tai Kwon Do.

    I take people on rain forest walks and it’s amazing what they DON’T see…..until I point it out. The worry if the camera is right, where is my passport, snakes, insects and other “fears” leave them blinded to the beauty surrounding them..

  9. Todd says:

    Thanks Doug…Costa Rica was wonderful!
    Todd

  10. Arnold says:

    A lot of this comes from the power of now. That a really good book to read, I strongly recommend it.

  11. Praveen says:

    Hi…

    I was reading this book ‘Practising The Power of Now’ and realised how important is to be conscious of things around us. But i needed some kind of exercises which would help in achieving the consciousness. In your blog, you have described exactly what i was looking for. This would help me a great deal. Thanks a lot.

  12. Teresa says:

    I have a newsletter that I’m sending out. I was wondering if I could use this article and quote you. I’ll give them this site address.

    The newsletter is called “Kinneractions”. Kin+Interaction. Kin=My brothers and sisters, neractions=comming together as one.

    I believe the more people read this.The better.

  13. huda says:

    I think u have an interesting opinion..hmm, it’s really good to be concious of our sorrounding, something that we rarely realize^^

  14. Ashutosh says:

    Nancy,
    Gandhi..Was he humble because he won his spiritual battles, or was he just run down? I don’t know,

    let me tell you if I may…

    “First they ignore you,
    then they laugh at you,
    then they fight you and then You Win.”

    These words of Gandhi suggest me that he was not run down, but was a man of courage, who faced himself.

  15. Kathy says:

    This is an excellent article and blog. I found it when i was looking up inflammation. Thanks for the perspective. I have been reading the Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and have been working on becoming present and changing my mindless habits. Thank you.

  16. Todd says:

    Thank you so much for the kind words Kathy, and The Power of Now is wonderful! Happy New Year, and I hope nothing but the best for you in ’09!
    Todd

  17. farouk says:

    nice article Todd especially in such a world where we live in the past and the future more than we live in the present

  18. windchime says:

    Great articles and site Todd thank you. I have read and listened to Eckhart Tolle and it has helped me a great deal, also good are the free meditaion audio mp3s on this site of the Australian Meditation Society, once you overlook the accents :)

    http://meditation.org.au/

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