When I shop for a car, I consider the features that interest me most, and offer me the greatest value. When I shop for kitchen appliances, I check product reviews and closely examine how well the product has performed for other consumers, and consider available options that make one a greater value over another. When I shop for just about anything, actually, I put thought into which specific product, by which manufacturer, with which features, options, or possible later upgrades may be available. I find it remarkable that over a lifetime I have put so much less regard or consideration into how I treat myself, and what my thinking and actions bring to the world…honestly, my value to myself, and to my culture and my planet, has to be vastly more worthy of consideration and great care than a toaster, a home, or a car. Just saying.

It's a big world.

It’s a big world.

Today, in the same small bit of my day that I hold dear, and keep well-tended as ‘me time’, I am considering what I do each day to treat the world well. My thinking isn’t limited to the people, but also to this big ball of metallic rock hurtling through space to which we all cling; what simple things can I do in ways that treat my world just a little more gently, with a bit more awareness for the limited resources we all share, and with an eye on living more sustainably? I am taking time to take a step back from the mirror, to look out the windows of my soul to the horizon of infinite possibilities… Can I do more, better, in my existing experience? Is that also part of taking care of me? I am thinking about something grander in scale than recycling product waste, or composting, or using environmentally safe cleaning products, or purchasing goods with environmentally safe packaging. I am thinking beyond electric cars and solar homes. I am thinking beyond going paperless. I am considering the wellspring of those ideas, the source of the shift in consumer focus that put those things in the marketplace; I am considering my heart, my will, and my commitment. I am considering the content of my thinking, and how to make my intention more real, more clearly manifested in my experience by way of my choices – and my awareness.

It is difficult to experience what is outside my awareness.

It is difficult to experience what is outside my awareness.

This morning, I consider what it takes to hold something in my awareness, mindfully, and to use that awareness to reinforce good choices; ideally, my thinking is that being more aware may result in good decision-making as a consumer, decision-making less driven by advertising, and more chosen by experience, careful evaluation, and well-chosen values. Yes, I think even being a consumer in the world marketplace can potentially benefit greatly from being more mindful. That’s probably more obvious than it felt to me when I first began to consider it this morning. 🙂

Reflecting on life, and the world; what is 'enough'?

Reflecting on life, and the world; what is ‘enough’?

I am looking ahead to living in my studio, and considering what I really need to feel content, satisfied, comfortable and safe? What is ‘enough’? Do I need a 10 ft solid mahogany Queen Anne dining table with a lovely glossy finish, and 8 well-crafted matching chairs? That seems more than a little excessive for a woman who doesn’t prefer big dinner parties, or crowds…but it was something I yearned for when I was younger, and I considered it pinnacle of dining style, myself. That isn’t where I am in life, now. Feeling the distance between self-then and self-now so clearly is sometimes a little strange, but it can be measured in goods, and changes in aesthetic. I recently saw a dining table I found myself liking very much, that suits me now: small, a merry honest birch and a natural finish, ample for two, adequate for four, and…simply enough.  I found it a healthy reminder to maintain a beginner’s mind, even about who I am and what I enjoy; I am not the woman I was 30 years ago. Hell, I’m not the woman I was last year…or yesterday. 🙂

Today is a good day to consider who I am, and how my journey may have changed me. Today is a good day to consider my impact on the world, and how my choices can be of greater value. Today is a good day to deliver on my promises to myself, and to take my future in hand, and craft it more carefully with my will. Today is a good day to participate fully in my experience, and to enjoy the place I choose to hold in the world.