Natural Living Des Moines

Conscious Living by naturaldsm
September 18, 2006, 1:54 pm
Filed under: Lifestyle

I was listening to the “Organic Food: How and why to make the shift” episode of the Optimum Lifestreams podcast this morning. As the guest and host were talking about the whys and how of organic foods, I found myself mulling over the concept of Mindful Living, or Conscious Living.

It’s quite easy to go through life on autopilot, not putting a whole lot of conscious thought into everyday details like where we shop, what we buy, where our food comes from, or even what we do every day and how we treat those around us. I think the vast majority of Americans function on this autopilot level every day. It’s easy, that’s for sure, and we are so busy with our lives these days – projects at work, projects at home, acquiring bigger and better things, driving the kids to sports practice, watching TV and going to bars – that we don’t have much mental energy left for pondering the details.

But for some of us – and I would imagine all of you reading this – this autopilot is not good enough. Walking through life with our minds always somewhere else is not how we want to live. Accepting the cultural norm without question is just not acceptable. We have to question, learn, research, and ultimately make our own decisions. We practice Mindful Living.

I believe that for most of us, it’s not about using cloth diapers, or eating organic food, or avoiding plastics. Those things are all just extensions of what’s at the core, which is mindful living. Mindful living encompasses thinking about and researching many of the details of our every day lives and then consciously choosing, and consciously living.

Once a person consciously makes a choice – to eat organic foods, for example, all of the activities surrounding that choice rise to a conscious level. Grocery shopping, food preparation, eating. They’re not mindless activities any more, they are activities with a purpose. A spiritual purpose, maybe, or a political one, or something else entirely – depending on the reasons for making the choice in the first place.

It can be an exhausting way to live. I have often thought to myself that I don’t wish to know any more about a particular subject because I want something in my life to be easy. It’s a lot of work to make so many seemingly mundane decisions into truly mindful choices. But it’s such a fulfilling way to live, I wouldn’t really change back even if I could. And I’d bet most of you feel the same way.


2 Comments so far
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Very well said. It IS exhausting…but oh so rewarding. Living mindfully in one area of life does tend to spill over into others. For example, when I did my research on organic foods, fair trade, etc…I learned about the farmer’s wages (mostly in other countries) and how they are treated. This caused me to think about the farmer’s in Iowa and elsewhere. Which made me want to buy locally. Which made me research a CSA…it’s all one big circle of mindfulness. Or as we often say…the slippery slope of natural living.

Comment by Sara

For me, the integrity and authenticity of mindful living make it all worthwhile. It is a slippery slope – like a very long waterslide – except there really doesn’t have to be a big splash at the end. Suddenly I just find myself floating…bouyed by all the mindfulness of the journey. Until the next slide comes along…

It really is a great ride and I wouldn’t have it any other way either.

Comment by Angela

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