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Archive for February, 2010

Some up and coming business people promote Conscious Entrepreneurialism; there’s conscious living, conscious business, conscious eating, conscious parenting.  But what does it all mean?  What’s at the heart of living a conscious life?

Believe it or not, conscious living is not the opposite of unconscious living – not exactly anyway.  In western culture we are conditioned to make decisions on just about everything based on how logical or smart something is.  We are celebrated for our ability to reason out a problem and come up with a logical solution.  And we are commonly “poo-pooed” for making a decision based on our feelings or intuition.

When we live consciously, we don’t abandon logic for intuition, but we do combine them.  That means, sometimes our decisions don’t appear to make sense.  For example, when my kids were little and everyone else was teaching their kids about stranger danger, I was encouraging my kids to say, “Hello” to the elderly man in the grocery line AS LONG AS it felt appropriate.  We would enter all kinds of situations where I would ask them how the person or the situation felt.  When it felt good, safe and nurturing I would encourage them to say, “Hello.”  If it felt yucky, threatening, hateful or scary – we left and they were told that that is the kind of energy to run from.  Some parents got very upset that I wasn’t teaching what made sense to them in a frightening world, but my heart and mind were in alignment and now I have two children who don’t even go near a friend’s home if it feels “yucky.”  They also have not missed out on opportunities for making new friends because they were allowed to talk to people they didn’t know.

The essence of living consciously is living with intentions and with an open heart.  Your mind may come up with some grand ideas, but those who live consciously run that feeling through their heart to see how it feels.  Most successful people will tell you their fortune came on the wings of a faithful leap.  They took a chance because it felt right, not necessarily because it made sense.  Yes, we can make mistakes, but we make mistakes every day trying to follow a linear thought based path.

If you live consciously then you don’t just eat veggies because you’re supposed to, but you eat beets because you feel you need them.  You don’t just take on a business partner because they have the cash, you bring them on board because your personality melds with theirs creating a powerful feeling.  You don’t just issue any punishment to your child for hurting someone, you teach them with an appropriate response how to deal with the fear that made them act that way and then how to apologize and make it right. 

It’s easier than you may think to live consciously; you’re probably already doing it.  Take a moment right now and assess how this article made you feel.  How does your chair make you feel?  How is the temperature in the room where you are sitting?  Be conscious of how you are feeling in every moment and make decisions about your life from that place.  You’ll find it not only feels good, but it makes sense too!

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Holidays produce some of the fondest memories we have with our children.  Valentine’s Day is no exception.  As you pick out Valentine’s for schoolmates, boxes of chocolate for mom and grandma and bake heart shaped cookies sprinkled with red sugar, you, like many conscious parents, may also be looking for more meaning or depth in this holiday to share with your children.  In fact, February 14th is a perfect time to introduce or reinforce with your children what it means to tune into your heart and your feelings.  More than a chocolate odyssey, Valentine’s Day reminds us to dig deep, remember to love ourselves and then express that love outward. The truth is, we can only love others to the degree that we love ourselves.

In addition to the crafts stamped with “I love you,” take this opportunity to help your child(ren) get in touch with the messages of their heart.  Consider adding one or more of these meaningful  Valentine activities to your memories.

1)       Spend a day using Feeling’s Language.  Instead of making statements like, “I am hungry,” or “I love you,” phrase everything with feeling language.  “I feel like it’s about time to eat.”  “My heart is full of positive emotions for you.”  “I feel like this is the perfect day for a family walk.”  “I’m overwhelmed with joy.”  “I’m blessed to have you in my life.”  You get the picture.

2)      Establish a Gratitude Jar.  Place a jar in a family common room along with slips of paper and colored pencils, crayons or pens.  Encourage every family member to mark down what they are grateful for at least once a day and put the paper in the jar.  At the end of the week take out the slips of paper and read everyone’s gratitudes.

3)      Have a Family Meeting and ask each person to state what they love about themselves (this can be things they think they are good at as well as qualities they like in themselves).  After the family member in the “hot seat” has expressed their self love, let all the other family members add the qualities they like about this same person.  Make sure every family member gets an opportunity to be in the “hot seat.”

4)      Download music that makes your heart sing and play it when you pick the kids up from school.

5)      Make a Commitment to only say, “I love you” when you are looking into each other’s eyes.  It has more meaning that way.

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