These days, we hear the word “conscious” thrown around a lot: “conscious lifestyle,” “conscious diet,” “conscious communication,” “conscious person,” etc. Even the subtitle of this web series is: “Conscious Lifestyle Tools for Today’s World.” But what does this mean, exactly?

We’re referring to different levels of awareness. On the most basic level, we’re motivated by our unconscious conditioning. This is operating when we react to circumstances or act out of habit. We’re not aware of what’s driving us.

The next layer deeper is our subconscious mind. This represents the internal forces at play, the imprinting we’ve accumulated since childhood, that shape our response to the world. We can access this layer by seeing what comes up during meditation, as well as by paying attention to our dreams.

The more conscious we become, the more aware of our options we become. Becoming conscious empowers us with freedom from our habitual behaviors and response patterns. It liberates us from the way we thought our lives had to be. At the same time, this awareness bestows a greater sense of responsibility, because our awareness of the effects of our choices is heightened as well.

Choosing a conscious path is a process, and it’s important to be gentle with ourselves and others in that process. How do you feel about the word “conscious” and what does it mean to you? In the comments below, please share an area of your life where you’d like to become more conscious? How will your life be different when you shine the light of awareness on this area?

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