How redesigning your environment helps you live consciously
Conscious living has become a buzzword lately in personal development communities. We often associate it with environmentalism and sustainability, but in reality, there is much more to the art of living consciously than our choices of consumption.
Striving to bring more awareness into every area of your living means that you refuse to sleepwalk through life and blindly follow the conditioning of society. It means you deliberately make choices about how you design your lifestyle, what information you ignore or listen to, and whom you surround yourself with.
In other words, when you live consciously, you stop being a cog in the machine and instead, you become the creator of your life. You question every thought you think and action you take and bring mindful intention into how you work, love, and live.
It’s empowering and liberating — a journey of self-taught learning that never comes to an end.
But surprisingly, there’s an area of conscious living that most people still pass by: our environments and their influence on us.
The Missing Element Of Conscious Living
According to Eastern philosophy, there are three elements that determine our destiny and shape our lives. The first one is about our conscious thoughts and the actions that we take. This is the area that generally appeals most to the rational, Western mind and that’s easier to comprehend from the point of view of practicality.
What you give is what you take, and your actions have a direct influence on your future. That’s pretty easy.
The second part has to do with our spirituality and the parts of ourselves that we were born with. This might mean a higher power, the collective consciousness, or simply the power of your subconscious mind if that resonates more with you.
The third one is what the ancient Chinese called our relation to the Earth, which in contemporary words is simply our relationship with our environment.
The stimulation we receive from the space that we’re in constantly influences us physically, mentally, and emotionally. However, we seldom bring awareness into the environment where we spend most of our waking hours, including our working space, our home, our route to work, and places we visit frequently through our daily errands.
Take a close look at these three attributes of your living space and you’ll be able to tell which parts of it still serve you — and which ones you need to change.
It’s pretty obvious that we buy most of our belongings because they serve some sort of practical purpose for us. It becomes so normal to have our clothes, home appliances, and furniture around that we rarely stop and think about how much “stuff” we actually own.
But just think about how much trouble and discomfort you feel when one of these items you depend on breaks in your house. Yet, so often we carry on with our busy day and ignore fixing these items or invest in accessories that help us store and organize them better.
If you can just save one minute (and some peace of mind) every day by not having to dig through the clutter to find what you need, imagine how much difference it could make to just improve one tiny thing in your apartment over a month or a year.
Try this exercise: walk through your home or office and make a list of every single item that causes the slightest annoyance to you or could be simplified and organized better: from small items lying around to every loose hinge and wobbly table. Then book a day in your calendar when you go through them and replace them with something that works better. Later you’ll look back and wonder how you could live without these changes.
Our environment keeps all our five senses busy from the fragrances around us, through the textures we touch, all the way to the sounds we can hear, and even the amount of natural and artificial light we allow in.
Pleasant sensations make us productive, calm, and balanced and have a huge effect on our emotional wellbeing. On the other hand, science proves that something as little as having dimmed light in the room is enough to reduce our brain capacity by 30%.
Optimizing our environment for the right amount of stimuli and investing in aesthetic pieces that uplift our mood can go a long way in changing our overall well-being over time.
Why is it that we get so attached to objects that mean absolutely nothing to someone else? Everyday objects often serve as a container of a particular memory or meaning. That’s why we hold on to old photographs, gifts, and other items that we don’t need, but which we have an emotional attachment to. Every time we look at them, we get into a particular emotion or mental state that we want to experience over and over again.
Similarly, symbols or geometrical patterns often show up in our environment that carry messages for our subconscious mind. They are often a reminder of ancient wisdom that we carry with ourselves through generations and generations.
In most living rooms, you’ll find the chairs and the sofa organised around a table in the centre, which is a modern-day representation of how our ancestors used to sit around the fire in a circle, a symbol of harmony and unity.
By taking a look at the personal associations we attach to certain objects and the message they deliver from the collective intelligence of humanity, we can be more conscious of the way our environment communicates with us.
So remember, through functionality, aesthetics, and meaning, our surroundings determine one-third of our destiny, so it’s worth designing it consciously.
Explore our collection of hand-crafted accessories and stationery which blend these three key attributes to bring harmony into your office or home.
What’s the first step you’ll take to design your environment more consciously? Or maybe you have a useful tip for optimizing your living space.
Either way, share it with us in a comment below.