What is Conscious Living to you? We speak to a couple of individuals leading the Conscious Movement in Asia, including Cristina McLauchlan - a lady who wears multiple hats including Founder of The Vibe Tribe and Brand Manager of MANA! - one of Hong Kong's most popular healthy, organic & zero-food-waste cafes.
"Conscious Living to me means that you are living in a holistic way. Looking at your’self’, your life as a whole entity. Observing what you think, what you eat, what you buy, what you do for movement, how you communicate with yourself and others, etc. Evaluating your decisions, the options that are presented to you. Making conscious and integral choices based on your authentic self, your values and most importantly your TRUTH."
What is your typical day like and what elements of Conscious Living is a part of your daily life?
I rise around 5.30am / 6am and the first thing I say out loud as I stretch is THANK YOU. Thank you for being alive and for this day ahead of me. I will then make a cup of tea. I blend some essential oils to either inhale or place topically on my skin, meditate for 20mins, then journal whilst I sip my cup of tea. This morning ritual will take approximately 45 mins. I then head to either the yoga studio, gym or outdoors for movement.
Most people ask me how often I practice yoga - I practice yoga all the time except when I sleep (but maybe I dream of yoga too ha ha ha!). I try my best to practice yoga off the mat daily – the 8 limbs of yoga. One thing I can authentically say I practice is that of compassion for self and for others, being the kind of energy I wish to have around me and creating ‘space in time’…slowing down.
What is Conscious Consumerism to you?
Conscious Consumerism to me is being aware that what you spend your money on equates to a VOTE. A massive VOTE. We ultimately create the systems we live in. If we wish to see change in the world, we first need to change our'selves'. What we purchase, influences the world we live in. For example, if we wish to see less plastic in our world, we need to purchase goods / items that promote this wish (e.g. water flasks) instead of single use plastic water bottles, and saying no to straws - we have mouths to drink and sip with; bring our own reusable bags to the grocery store or market; use reusable cups when we order our coffee, etc...these small conscious steps make a huge difference.
What do you think is key for an individual to start acknowledging that conscious living / consumption is imperative to oneself?
I am a believer that everything always starts with YOU. What you think you become, as Buddha said. If you are aware of challenges whether its in your life, with the environment, etc… how much do you really want to change the pattern? It all starts with you.
What are some key facts you’d like to share on some of the environmental issues we are facing with Mother Earth?
Wow, where do we start with this? There are so many environmental issues facing humanity and our world. The first thing that comes to mind is saving our oceans. Water has kept presenting itself to me over the past year and I have dedicated my activism towards preserving & protecting our oceans. Once our oceans become imbalanced…our Earth will suffer detrimentally. Run off pollution, overfishing, plastic pollution, etc. Again, we have a choice with our currency to make a difference.
Share a personal experience that inspired you to change the way you think about yourself, the world, and inspired you to want to do more.
My personal experience is pretty personal…but hey let's get real! A few years ago, ‘the universe’ auto corrected the path I was on. It was a rather painful auto correction though, in retrospect, one of the best lessons I have had in my life so far. It taught me a lot about fear and how fear can really get in our way on so many levels. What it taught me was about living in the moment and in the now for that is all that we ever have – NOW.
I was told the other day by a friend that I was brave and I asked her to expand that comment as I didn't consider myself brave...she said, "How could one NOT perceive bravery. Taking all these opportunities, putting yourself out there, unequivocally standing up for what you believe in = BRAVE". I was so humbled to hear that as I create and design each and every day as best as I can to contribute to the greater good.
What are some simple, little steps that one can take to adopt a conscious / eco-friendly lifestyle and to make a difference to support our surroundings & environment?
There are many steps, so like a baby, lets take them one by one. I would start with the very basic step of purchasing a water flask and refilling it with water from your home, water machines, etc...stop purchasing bottled water. (Share with us some simple, little steps you take via #TBWPxConscious - shoutout if you'd like to see Cristina's complete check list too! 😊 )
What do you think is the biggest thing or trend in the eco-living movement in HK (& beyond) that has changed over the past few years?
Plant-based eating is now a movement in Hong Kong and its great to see. Globally, we are learning more and more about the benefits that this way of eating has for human health and our Earth.
I am fortunate enough to also wear the hat of Brand Manager for MANA!, a plant based, zero waste food and beverage outlet in Hong Kong. MANA! has two great hashtags - #dietchangenotclimatechange #eatlikeitmatters; if we change our diet to a more plant-based way of eating, we support in decreasing animal agriculture, which is one of the largest contributors to climate change.
Many people tend to see the “Consciousness Economy as marauding ‘do-gooders’ who want to make the world better at the cost of business or profits” – what are your views on this?
My humble opinion - there is nothing to ‘steal’ or ‘attack’ and those that feel the do-gooders are doing so come from a place of fear of loss. I am a huge fan of the triple bottom line: social equity, economic, and environmental factors. "People, Planet, and Profit" with the goal of sustainability.
What are some of your favorite ‘conscious’ brands in the health, fitness & wellness space?
I am honored to have been ‘chosen’ to be a Conscious Collaborator for WE’AR clothing. WE-AR: where yoga meets fashion on and off the mat. WE-AR prides itself as an ethical and sustainable fashion brand, committed to the ethos of caring for Mother Earth in all the areas and practices of the business. They are based in one of the places I call ‘home’, Bali.
Who or what drives you and continues to inspire you to grow, push boundaries and sustain ‘your true voice’?
The people I surround myself with drive and inspire me. I am so very, very blessed to have such an amazing tribe of people all over the world. Jim Rohn famously said that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. Be mindful of who you choose to share your energy with, like attracts like.
Cristina also founded Conscious Cinema - a global platform using film as the medium. She strives to share & create awareness on conscious consumerism, and the imprint we leave on Mother Earth.
How else do you practice Conscious Living? We challenge you to partake in our exploration of the various aspects surrounding Conscious Living:
- What does Conscious Living mean to you? Drop us a note at: [email protected]
- Share with us Conscious Brands that you are aware of which are for the Environment, for Women Empowerment (i.e. Women-owned/led and supports Women Empowerment), etc. Simply hashtag #TBWPXConscious on any of your social media posts.