Consciousness: the First Step Towards a Sustainable Lifestyleby Isabelle on April 11, 2012
Last week during my walk home, I witnessed a man text-walk his way straight into a wall. Like a bumper car, he bounced off into the opposite direction and continued to walk-and-text on, completely unphased. It was comical, and a bit disturbing, that I was more affected by his ambulatory mishap than he was.
What I find alarming is the many disaster scenarios that can take place while we are distracted: breezing through a stop sign, forgetting that we left the stove on, dropping a CFL lightbulb filled with mercury, or in this case, walking into a wall — an object that doesn’t move.
A previous post mentioned that “inspiring action from stillness [begins] with small steps.” This is fantastic advice as it makes creating sustainable change less threatening and achievable. Though, what if one is already making small steps, without even knowing it ? They might not be the correct steps, too. Case in point: our friend the text-walker. These “steps” are mindless actions that many of us might also be conditioned to do.
In a recent Wired article on multitasking, author Garth Sundem states that research for his recent book unveiled that “ninety-eight percent of people can’t multitask — they don’t do either task as well.” Even more disturbing, this tale from the New York Times Blog about a distracted doctor and a surgery gone terribly wrong. So how do we slow down and make the tasks that we do productive, meaningful and more sustainable?
Perhaps the first step is to ensure that we know what we are doing, when we are doing it. This “consciousness,” or awareness, will then help to inspire small steps in the right direction (and at this point you will be ready to choose your DOT). Though what does that mean? Do you meditate every day, do you listen to Wayne Dyer during your commute to work, do you light sage and put healing stones around your house to center yourself?
Consciousness doesn’t have to be a spiritual journey, as the word may imply. Just ask yourself, what are you doing now? (Hopefully just reading this article.) Repeating this question to yourself frequently throughout the day will, at the very least, put your awareness in check.
Leading a sustainable lifestyle requires attention. Our speedy lives are catered to fast quick fixes – and knowing what you are doing when you are doing it could save you from quite literally walking into a wall.