Mindfulness: BE THOUGHTFUL, BE AWARE
Mindless to me is being aware of the world around you. It is being in touch with yourself and your actions and the impact they make on your surroundings. Along with events taking place around you, such as major issues and steps you personally can take to help these problems or raise awareness. This involves putting personal feelings and things we wish to not be true aside and being very real and honest about what is going on with ourselves and around us, whether we like it or not. Personally, this for me would be knowing that driving my car creates pollution when I am too lazy to walk not even a mile to the gym because I am too cold or simply do not feel like it. As well as using plastic straws because it is all that is offered, rather than just drinking it out of the already wasteful styrofoam cup they provide in dining hall services. These are examples of personal awareness of my actions and how they create waste and a carbon footprint on the world. An example of something going on around me that I am aware of is the heating of our world with global warming due to immense fossil fuel use. My major focuses on the fashion industry and this particular industry contributes to pollution through factory production which emits fumes into the air as well as toxic runoff into water sources. These habits have been passed down from generation to generation and continue to lack a clear solution or show any signs towards change while expanding at an alarming rate and causing environmental degradation. For our activity two this is the wicked problem I chose to pursue as it will relate to my life and interests with making more ethical fashion choices. According to sources, gallons of toxic pesticides are washed into bodies of water during cotton farming, effluents are discharged into nearby streams from the dyeing process, and poison gases are being released from cloth manufacturing factories, causing great impact on the ozone layer of our planet. There is an urgency to this issue to stop the already irreversible damage that has been created from this type of production for the article of clothing you are currently wearing, because more than likely it has gone through at least one, if not all of these steps of production before reaching the store. I am planning on researching solutions to aid this issue and towards more ethical fashion.
In direct relation to mindfulness, is sustainability. Sustainability is the maintenance of our world the way it is. Many people use the term sustainable when talking about sustaining a garden by watering it and tending to it, or a certain weight by dieting and exercise. These are small scale examples that show efforts that need to be made in order to maintain something, on a broader scale thi can be used to keep our world running the way it is. In order to be sustainable, we have to be mindful and aware of the issues around us that need to be tended to and the ways in which our world runs and what it takes to run. We read an article on mindfulness and sustainability and one major takeaway I had from it was the suggestion to practice meditation. The reading claimed that while meditation by itself will not solve an environmental crisis, it can help to increase one’s awareness of themselves and bring focus to emotional and cognitive habits, which will become beneficial when an individual finds themselves in a situation faced with the choices between sustainable and tempting unsustainable behaviors. In class, we practiced a few forms of meditation which was an odd experience for me. It was very interesting to see how the different ways you breathe can affect your state of mind and overall feeling/mood. One type can make you sleepy, while another can make you feel as if you just drank a cup of coffee. They felt odd and I do not think I performed all of them correctly, but I would be interested to try them more seriously and in a more focused manner. Marc Cohen discussed overall wellness having to do with “WE”-llness. When we are not just focused on ourselves. He says the universe is one and separation from the universe causes entropy and disorder to increase. He does a good job relating this to sustainability and overall happiness.