5 effective ways to develop your consciousness
Developing one’s consciousness is the greatest gift somebody can give to themselves and others. Because the positive consequences are so amazingly practical and tangible at all levels of everyday life.
Here are 5 comprehensive ways to do it:
1. Know the other.
When interacting with other people – a friend, your partner, a colleague, a family member or an acquaintance-, it’s very interesting and mind opening to try to understand their reality.
Let’s say we are talking to this person and they make a remark we don’t like. Instead of judging it as inappropriate, dull, weird, silly, arrogant or whatever it is that first comes to our mind, we can try to understand their world: Where are they coming from, how are they seeing the situation or what could they be going through to say something like that.
We are so used to judging we don’t even realize how much we do it and how that affects our conversations and relationships.
It’s a great exercise to start noticing when we do it and as soon as we do, try to see the other’s perspective. And make of this a practice. This will inevitably make us much more open, tolerant and understanding. And hence we will feel much better than when judging and condemning.
2. Know yourself.
This is one of the key ones. How many of us studied degrees we never really wanted to, took jobs our parents would approve of, got married because “it was the normal thing to do”, have no hobbies or haven’t found our passion?
We are not really trained in society to know ourselves and follow our unique path, there is more of a tendency to follow the “usual” path. But how can that be fulfilling to all of us? As we really develop our self-knowledge we learn through self-study and trial and error what works for us, what we really like and want.
For example we might realise we are not developing our creative side, which is something very common in the intellectual professions. We might recall how much we liked dancing, painting, playing an instrument, singing, creative crafting, photography… And maybe enrol on a course or practice over the weekends, and let that side of us flow. It’s so enriching to develop our creativity and make it part of our lives.
3. Know what you eat.
What we eat is what we are.
How conscious are we of what we are putting into our bodies and how much it affects us? For example, in Spain there are different types of ham and their quality is very different. One of the main reasons is due to the different diets the animals are given, some eat only natural products and others eat processed products. This affects the quality of their meat dramatically, and it’s a great example of “you are what you eat”.
One way of raising awareness in this area is by simply noticing how we feel after eating certain products as opposed to others. Also, and specially, by developing the habit of reading the labels. When deciding whether to buy a product or not, or when deciding between two products: check the label. The ingredients are listed in order of predominance, starting with the ones used in the greatest amount, to those used in smaller amounts. You can compare if sugar is number 1 ingredient in one product versus number 4 in another, if all ingredients are natural or if there are artificial flavors and other chemicals, etc.
It’s not about being obsessed with what we eat, it’s about simply making conscious choices.
4. Read about consciousness.
Read about developing consciousness and awareness.
There are fascinating books and authors with different perspectives and teachings, find the ones that resonate with you the most. From the ancient sages to modern mystics, enlightened minds, geniuses and Truth “connoisseurs”, their minds help open and develop ours. David R. Hawkins, Lao Tzu, Anam Thubten, Thich Nhat Hanh, Byron Katie, Anthony de Mello, Eckhart Tolle, Jack Kornfield… to name a few.
Finally, another key factor to raise your level of consciousness is to learn and practice meditation.
The stillness, self-confidence, self-awareness, brain development and tranquillity one obtains through meditation are incomparable to any other activity. Certainly, it is such a valuable and efficient tool, that it is becoming a common daily practice for more and more people, as common as taking a shower, brushing our teeth or eating.
This time in serenity is needed to start or end the day from/in a place of contentment, regenerate the mind, let go of negativity, truly know a state of peace, develop our intuition and ability to manage our thought processes and feelings,… And, with time, watch how our wisdom and level of consciousness matures, grows and flourishes.
I hope you found some useful tips and that you give a try to some or all of them!