What would your life look like if each decision you made came from a place of conscious intention? Would you spend less time lingering online and more time outdoors? Would you slow down to connect with those around you rather than getting lost in your to-do lists? The choices we make in each moment shapes the course of our lives, and as the saying goes, “How you do anything is how you do everything.” To live mindfully means to become a conscious creator of your life, to elevate the everyday ordinary into something extraordinary. By aligning our daily intentions and actions with our three layers of being – Body, Mind & Spirit – we activate a more meaningful life and connect with our higher purpose.
It’s no mystery that when our physical body is suffering, so is our mind and spirit. We must first nourish our bodies with fresh air, sunlight, whole foods, and movement each day to create an environment for elevated consciousness to thrive.
The consciousness of our bodies and minds are both the direct cause and result of the diet we eat. Eating, as our most basic and habitual act, defines what happens in our physical and emotional states of being. We can choose to heal our bodies, purify our minds and elevate our lives simply by the foods we consume. In Ayurveda, foods that promote a pure body and mind are called Sattvic foods. To eat a sattvic diet means to enjoy whole natural fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and grains that are grown in harmony with nature and prepared with an attitude of love. Avoid canned, boxed, and preserved foods that are lifeless and leave the body always craving more and the mind unsatisfied. Instead opt for local, organically grown foods that are available at your farmer’s markets. These high energy sattvic foods promote longevity, strength, health and happiness in body, mind and spirit.
The food and water we drink is just as important as the air we breathe. Did you know breathing is actually the second pillar of whole body nutrition? With each breath, our blood is actually cleansing and alkalizing as we inhale oxygen and exhale out carbon dioxide. Take a pause a few times throughout the day to notice your breathing. As you breathe, focus on using your diaphragm to inhale deeply and exhale slowly with control. Long, slow exhales also shift your body out of the cortisol-producing sympathetic nervous system and into the parasympathetic nervous system, where our bodies rest, digest and heal.
Conscious movement is the third pillar of holistic nutrition and the key to assimilating all the wonderful nutrients we take in. Get outside, move your body, breathe, connect with nature, and connect with your physical self!
We create our lives with every thought, every dream and every intention that comes to mind. Choose your thoughts and words wisely. Through conscious meditation and daily intention crafting, honor your most thrilling and potent dreams to connect with your deeper purpose.
Meditation takes us beyond the ego-mind into the silence and stillness of pure consciousness. This does not always look like the silent yogi sitting on a mountainside, eyes closed and deep in trance. Meditation comes in many forms. Running is a form of movement meditation, so is tai chi, and so is yoga. It’s all about where our intentions are at and how we connect in with the moment to find that still place. If you find stillness and reflection while doing the dishes, then make this your time to quiet your mind and step outside of all that mental chatter. Whether it’s 5 minutes or an hour, take the time you need each day to slow down, reflect, and deeply connect your analytical mind with your deeper intuitive intellect.
An intention is a directed impulse of consciousness that contains the seed form of what we seek to create. Like any seed, intentions can’t grow unless we nurture them. Only when we plant our intentions into the fertile depths of our consciousness, our intuitive intellect, can they grow and flourish. The best time to plant our intentions is right after we meditate, the time when our awareness remains centered in the quiet field of possibilities. Using pen and paper, write your intention down – whether it is to eat nourishing foods, to exercise outside that day, or to land the job of your dreams – the process of focusing your attention on your intention is the first step to fulfilling your true desires.
By nourishing body and mind with pure foods and mindful activities, we in turn nourish our souls. We peel away the layers of external clutter to tap into a deeper place of intuition. Through a daily practice of living the intentions we craft and honoring our work with gratitude, we begin to live a more spirited life.
Gratitude is a potent practice. But it’s just that, a practice! So pick up a new blank notebook, title it “Gratitude Journal”, and keep it by your bedside. Before you go to sleep, take 5 minutes to reflect on your day and write down (don’t just think it!) what you were grateful for. It could be as simple as “I’m grateful for the perfect cup of tea I drank this morning” or “I’m grateful that all the traffic lights were green on my drive to work this morning”. Don’t by shy to explore both the seemingly simple and the deeply profound moments in your day. It’s through this daily gratitude practice that we activate our being and connect with our higher purpose.
This piece was published in the quarterly mag OKIEMAMA | ISSUE3 // COLORFUL CULTURE, you can view the full article lay out here. Above photos taken by the mag’s talented Editor in Chief and photographer, Aimee Tietze Adams. Big thanks to her and all the contributors for making Oklahoma a more fabulous place!