Good question! It is a lifestyle in which one acts with compassion, awareness, mindfulness, and presence. We are all born with consciousness and have one shot on Earth to use it correctly, so nothing feels better than to live to the standards of being. This includes lessening our ego to care about others and their struggles, recognizing corruption and oppression, consuming anything that does not cause harm to others, treating our bodies well with proper nutrition and movement (amongst other things), getting in touch with our inner-selves, exhibiting a positive mental attitude, decreasing our carbon footprint, not taking our Earth for granted, and living freely without the approval of others.
Of course we all use our consciousness differently depending on personal levels of awareness, so we can’t diss people who do not see the world as we do but educate them on issues that might not have interested them before. That is why it’s so important to spread awareness about conscious errors like racism, animal cruelty, garbage excess, modern slavery, capitalism, food insecurity, depression and anxiety, etc., because it is only so long before these issues come to a head without mass attention.
In essence, there is no true set way to live consciously, but one that fits our collective moral systems is a cruelty-free, sustainable, minimalist, tolerant, and compassionate lifestyle. There’s nothing more fulfilling than to live according to your morals, so let your lifestyle be the change you want to see in the world!
Over 56 billion farm animals are killed a year solely for a familiar flavor, billions are in captivity for “entertainment” (circuses, aquariums, etc.), over 1 billion slaughtered a year for fashion, 200 million a year for “sport,” and the list goes on, all because we feel superior to these beings. These actions are completely unnatural, abnormal, and unnecessary, and cause a slew of other problems in the process. For example, animal agriculture is the leading cause of habitat destruction, ocean dead zones, water pollution, and species extinction. And don’t forget the health downsides! Animal products are very high in fat, protein, hormones, harmful chemicals, cholesterol, and its over-consumption has been linked to prevalent American illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, obesity, stroke, and Alzheimer’s. Fortunately, if financially able, we humans can thrive off a 100% whole foods plant-based diet and it’s tasty as can be!
It is hard to deny that the developed West has an over-consumption problem. As the biggest producer of trash in the world, Americans generally buy products (usually containing non-biodegradable plastics and artificial materials) they don’t need and toss them out when they’ve lost their luster. The high turnover rate of stuff-in, trash-out is daunting and contributes to our planet becoming one big trash heap. Ways to alleviate this issue (if the opportunities are afforded to you) are to live minimally with a few select items, avoid plastics, and reduce trash production as much as possible. Great alternatives to plastics are glass, stainless steel, wood, and organic cotton!
I get it, meditation seems like some impossible task that only hippies and monks can master. But what if I told you that any ol’ Jane can achieve a calm, meditative state? All it truly takes is controlled breathing, focus, and relaxation if possible! Doesn’t seem that hard, does it? There is definitely practice involved, but the benefits make the journey well worth it. Over time you will feel more mental clarity, instinctive positivity, better problem solving, a calm demeanor, knowledge of self, ability to live in the moment, and too many other upsides. So take 10 minutes out of your day (5 minutes in the morning and another 5 at night) to breathe deeply with your eyes closed in a dimly lit, quiet room and you will wonder why you never tried it before!