I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship. – Louisa May Alcott
In her book, The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin, recorded her incredibly though-out, well-researched strategies to boost her own happiness and, by doing so, the happiness of those around her. I enjoyed the book. I admired her diligence, persistence and creativity; and I learned a lot about happiness. I was also inspired to create my own project based on a similar design; not focusing on happiness, but focusing on conscious living.
A year ago, I was inspired to begin a blog to hold myself accountable to my desire for a more conscious life, both for myself and my children (my partner loves me either way, for which I will always be grateful). Through my research and writing for A More Conscious Life, I have been able to connect with others on a similar path, access and share numerous resources, and be continually reminded and motivated to live more consciously. And yet, I wouldn’t say that I am always living a more conscious life. I often I still find myself on auto pilot, reacting when I should be responding and repeating the same mistakes.
But it hasn’t all been for nothing. Over the past year, I have gained more conscious living strategies. I have:
- started a more or less regular evening meditation practice;
- become more aware of my moods and my ability to respond to them before they overwhelm me;
- created a family routine that works to meet everyone’s needs for connection and space;
- practiced mindful mantras so that they come more easily to mind in stressful situations;
- utilized more conscious parenting tools which allow me to appreciate my children for who they are in the moment and be less reactive (sometimes), and
- most importantly, heard from readers who have found comfort, solace or inspiration in my words or useful information in links I’ve shared.
But I still have so far to go.
I’m not striving for perfection, which I know is not possible. I’m just striving for better than now. And, to be cliché, I’m going to start my conscious living project on New Year’s Day – a day that represents for me, and many others across the world, a new beginning.
I’ve decided to call it, “A More Conscious Year.”
Gretchen Rubin bases many of her goals on solid scientific research and on the knowledge that habits take time – old habits to die and new habits to form. I hope to do the same. I’ve designed my project in a similar manner, selecting a theme for each month and a practice for each week in that month (months with five weeks will allow for a little extra time on the four selected practices). At this point in my life, I know that I need accountability and structure to follow-through with my plans, and this is my way to do that. I know that the themes and practices that I select will not be the same themes that others would select and much of my reflections will be personal, but it is my hope that this year-long project will inspire others to follow along or consider their own conscious living goals.
The themes I have selected are attributes that I would like to manifest more in my life. The practices are meant to foster growth in each respective area. I will elaborate more on the science behind each theme and practice throughout the year, but here is an outline:
1. January – Be More Mindful/Present
2. February – Be More Patient
3. March – Be More Empathetic/Understanding
4. April – Be More Flexible
5. May – Be More Intentional
6. June – Be More Joyful
7. July – Be More Connected
8. August – Be More Grateful
9. September – Be More Thoughtful
10. October – Be More Creative
11. November – Be More Generous
12. December – Be More Reflective
I look forward to sharing this journey with you. I will try to make it informative, useful and inspiring.
Thanks for Reading!
What about you? Do you have any conscious living or conscious parenting practices that have worked especially well for you that you would recommend as part of A More Conscious Year? Would you be interested in your own conscious living project?
Sharon, Author, The Conscious Parenting Notebook