When our consciousness is in the right place, we experience the highest expressions of ourselves, of others, and the entire world. We have the ability to bring about blessings, healing, unconditional love, and freedom. We feel a sense of purpose and fulfillment, a sense of overwhelming joy and gratitude. Regardless of what is going on, situationally, around us, we can create these profoundly positive states with the power of our consciousness.
What is consciousness? Merriam Webster offers five different definitions beginning with “the quality or state of being aware especially of something within oneself” and ending with “the upper level of mental life of which the person is aware as contrasted with unconscious processes.” Even for the dictionary, it’s difficult to define.
The kabbalists teach that consciousness governs everything that happens in the world and in our lives. That the way we choose to observe any given thing is the way, we will then experience it. We create our reality through our consciousness. In other words, thoughts create reality.
Like many spiritual principles, it sounds empowering and hopeful and yet putting it into practice can be decidedly less straightforward. But why? With this question, so begins the shifting of our consciousness. We can start to examine everything we think and believe, and as we shift these varying perceptions, suddenly, the picture of our lives shifts right alongside it. This is how we work with consciousness; it happens in the minute, microscopic moments where we notice a thought that doesn’t serve us and make a slight shift in a more positive direction.
Just as the literal difference between consciousness and a conscious mess is only one letter, the difference between consciousness and chaos is only one thought.
Let’s imagine a typical conscious mess. The day begins with a sigh of exhaustion. The snooze button was pushed one too many times, and now you’re running late. The kitchen is a mess, the kids are arguing, you realize you’re out of coffee.
You sigh to yourself, “I guess it’s gonna be one those days.” As you move throughout your day, you carry that crunchiness from the morning into your work meetings. Perhaps that means you’re distracted, you make a minor mistake that you usually wouldn’t have, or you miss a deadline. Suddenly, your mind fills with fearful thoughts. “What if I’m no good? What if I get fired?” Mid-meeting, you realize you double-booked yourself and are now missing a necessary appointment.
This carries into your evening. Because you were running late this morning and over-booked yourself in the afternoon, your whole day got pushed back, and you’re ordering in for dinner. Your spouse makes a snapping comment about spending too much on takeout and, because you’re tired and irritable, you reactively respond, and a small fight ensues.
By the time you get to bed, you’re weary and resentful and can’t fall asleep. You sigh heavily again, hoping tomorrow is better, but worrying it will be more of the same.
Even imagining this scenario brings about an instant feeling of tension and stress. We have all had days like this and can agree that, in the moment, it feels insurmountable. The weight of an anxious, fearful, worried, judgmental, resentful, over-booked, and reactive state of being is massive, and shifting it feels impossible. But I am going to show you how moving from a conscious mess to consciousness is really as simple as changing a letter. Let’s go back to that “stressful” day and see how it changes with tiny shifts.
The day begins with a sigh of exhaustion. But you catch it, you take a deep breath before putting your feet on the floor and choose one grateful thought, “thank you for another day of life.” You’re running late; the kitchen is a mess, the kids are arguing, you realize you’re out of coffee. Before reacting, you stop. You move a few dishes into the sink and remember there is a small bag of coffee in the gift basket you got from a client. Your heart leaps!
As you move throughout your day, you carry that appreciation from the morning into your work meetings. You realize during the meeting that you made a minor mistake that you usually wouldn’t have, and you missed a deadline. You own this mistake and offer a creative solution. Your team is grateful, and everyone feels clear again. Mid-meeting, you realize you double-booked yourself and are now missing a necessary appointment. “Oops,” you think. “I’m upset that I missed this, but now I have a free 90 minutes to get reorganized!” You reschedule and use the free time to deliver the late project.
This carries into your evening. Because you were working later than you expected, you have to order in dinner. Your spouse makes a snapping comment about spending too much on takeout and, because you feel a sense of accomplishment for completing your work, you smile and say, “I know, we have been ordering in more than usual. I understand your frustration, and we’ll get back on track tomorrow, or we can figure out a way to share the cooking responsibilities.” Your spouse smiles and apologizes for the comment, and you share an intimate moment of understanding.
By the time you get to bed, you’re feeling productive and tired enough to fall asleep easily. You take a deep breath of gratitude for your day, your job, your health, your family, and hoping tomorrow is more of the same!.
By making one tiny tweak in the morning, you’ve set a ripple of positivity throughout the day. Because a choice to be grateful was made in the morning, it created more peace and gratitude throughout the day, even though the events were all the same. And remember, you can reset your day at any point. There is never a moment that is too late to reset your consciousness.
It truly is that simple. The more positive choices you can make throughout the day, the more time you’re spending in a consciousness of positivity. The more you’re able to have a consciousness of positivity, the more joy, gratitude, abundance, and blessings you call forth to you. Before you know it, your life has completely changed. And all it took was that one positive thought.
Use your negative thoughts as a guide, notice when you’re feeling fearful or worried and choose something more supportive. Even if it just a deep breath and a whisper of “thank you for this challenge.” You may not feel better instantly, but you’ll feel a little more hopeful, and it all grows from there.
It takes practice, but it is a practice worth dedicating ourselves to, mainly because it is our thoughts that create our reality. And what better way to spend our time than to practice choosing thoughts that feel hopeful, uplifting, and joyous instead of thoughts that perpetuate fear, anxiety, and stress. And life will give you endless opportunities to practice.
We are not meant to move through life without any challenge, struggle, or effort. However, we are also not meant to suffer. We are meant to transform, and we transform through the friction of going against our nature and growing into an even more expanded version of ourselves.
When we feel ourselves coming from that messy place, we can use it as a nudge to choose something else. We can clean up the mess of the mind by taking a few moments to place our consciousness on goodness, openness, and kindness.
It won’t take long before you start knowing, wholly and truly, that the Good is everywhere. All you have to do is shine the light of your consciousness upon it.
In what ways can you clean up your conscious mess with consciousness?