A few decades ago, a new wave of health awareness swept through our culture. We began to see the wisdom of body care, wellness, fitness and exercise. Prior to the fitness and exercise boom of the 1970s, most people treated their bodies as if they were fixed machines with fixed programs that couldn’t be changed, modified or improved. People genuinely believed that they were victims to the bodies they had inherited. People didn’t realize that the food they ate had a huge effect on their body, and that the way that they moved their body had a phenomenal effect on their overall health. Most people believed that they had no control over their body, and whether it was sick or well.
We now know that care of our bodies can radically transform our health, our life experience and our life expectancy. We now know that our bodies aren’t machines, and are actually responsive to our lifestyle shifts in diet and exercise. People are changing their behaviour accordingly, and integrating a healthy diet and exercise into their lives, with dramatic results.
A similar wave is now happening in relation to the mind. One of the greatest contemporary discoveries of neuroscience is neuroplasticity: that we can use our minds to change our lives, our wellbeing and our moods. For more on this, read The Brain that Changes Itself by Norman Doidge (2007). We used to believe that our brains and our personality were set in place when we were born and that there was nothing we could do about it.
Conscious living is about becoming aware that we are not fixed in our mental patterns. We are not victims to our personality or childhood conditioning. These things create the shape of the canvas, but we are the artists that create the final painting. Conscious living gives us the power to live with the lights on. When we live from the ego brain, we are constantly reacting to the stimulus presented to us by the world. When we live consciously, we step back and decide how we would like to feel, and then create a life from that place. Conscious living is knowing that we can live intentionally and with vision. So ask yourself, ‘What do I want, and why do I want it?’