Author - Kristen Gmerek

About author View all posts

Kristen Gmerek

Kristen is a writer, creator, and healing human who falls in love with stories each day. She is currently the Conscious Marketing and Communications Director for Mindful Market.

5 Habits of Highly Conscious People

We always talk about Conscious Consumerism and Conscious Business, but why not discuss who is behind these movements? 

Highly. Conscious. People.

These individuals are self-aware, in-tune with the world, and adaptable from moment-to-moment. Highly conscious people are not operating on auto-pilot. They are intentional about everything they do. And I mean everything. When you choose a life of consciousness, you choose a life of intentional, wholehearted, self-awareness. This alone changes the relationship you have with the world, yourself, and those around you. Some of the most successful, inspirational, and confident individuals are highly conscious people.

So… How do they do it? How do they turn auto-pilot off and consciousness on? Here’s how:

1. Self-Awareness Is Their Foundation

Let’s start with what self-awareness is… Self-awareness is the ability to go inward. Reflect on your actions, thoughts, and emotions. Self-awareness allows you to tap into your most authentic energy in all aspects of your life. With self-awareness as a guide, highly intentional people are able to show up in the world with more confidence and less doubt, more compassion and less apathy, and more hope and less fear.

2. They Choose to Exist Within Intentionality

The art of being intentional stems from practicing self-awareness and applying it to day-to-day life. Here is the secret…Highly conscious people don’t just apply intentionality to the big moments in life. If anything, their relationship with intentionality is strongest when they tether it to the little moments. Sipping on a fresh cup of tea. Looking out the window in the middle of the day to take in the scenery. Breathing deeply before speaking. Intentional does not always mean it has to come from a place of earth-shaking will. Sometimes it just means remembering to slow down, breathe, and ask your body/mind what it needs often.

3. Knowingness Is A Safe Haven

Knowingness is how highly conscious people approach challenge and self-doubt. It is within our own nature to question ourselves as humans, but when we find a safe haven in knowingness, we waste less time worrying and more time practicing worthiness. 

4. When Others Win, They Win

Highly conscious people have a self-awareness that allows them to see the world through wholeness. When others succeed, they too feel successful. When others win, they win. Highly conscious people don’t see competition, they see opportunities and inspiration to grow.

5. The Idea of “Negative vs. Positive” Does Not Exist in Their World

Many of us use the phrase “negative vibes or negative thoughts” to create differentiation between the positive, but highly conscious people see all of that as simply vibes and thoughts. They choose to exist in a world with less black and white, less negative vs. positive. Instead, they adapt their thinking and perspective to allow themselves to see all energy, opportunity, and challenge at face value. This allows them to remain conscious in all that they do, experience, and believe.

You will know when you have come across a highly conscious person by their presence. It is powerful, humbling, and comforting. The truth is, we all are capable of becoming these people. It starts with adapting these 5 habits that you can carry with you for the rest of your life.

Holiday Gift Guide Based on Your Astrology Sign

To all of the astrology lovers, the star gazers, tarot readers… This one is for you. It’s the holiday season and each astrology sign is responding to the new year in different ways. So why not find a gift that aligns with your sign and what you need right now?

Thanks to Mindful Market I was able to find all of the gifts that I think each astrology sign would benefit from this year based on their natural tendencies. Scroll down to find what your sign needs this year!

Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21)

You light up any room when you walk into it with your spirit and vibrancy. You edge on the side of daring and you like to mix things up. That’s why this Vegan Pink Champagne Lip Scrub by Smax Wax is the decadent, self-care regimen you are looking need.

Capricorn Capricorn (December 22 – January 19)

You are determined and inspired by the goals you set for yourself, but you also know the importance of taking care of your well-being. So for 2021, you want this Coconut Hydrating Mist by Buttercup Skincare Cosmetics. It’s the way you want to start your day so that you don’t have to worry about your skin while you take on the world.

Aquarius (January 20 – February 18)

You are deeply profound in the way you support humanity. That’s why you always go for the ethically-sourced option like this Chalcopyrite from Moonrise Crystals. It will help deepen your meditation practice, connect to your joy, and reinvigorate your self-confidence for the new year.

Pisces (February 19 – March 20)

You have a sensitive soul that moves in waves. Your greatest strength is fluidity and passion. This Violet Flame Meditation Candle by Enchanted Botanicals is what you have been seeking to enhance your connection to yourself and your emotions.

Aries (March 21 – April 19)

You love a challenge. But not a challenge like this year has been. Instead you want a challenge that energizes you. This Custom Yoga Mat by Big Raven Yoga is necessary to get you through the 30-day yoga challenge you just signed up for.

Taurus (April 20 – May 20)

You have been trying every single virtual yoga class you can get your hands on during quarantine so why not get this Homi Yoga Mat Tube by Mache so you can keep your workout equipment organized because let’s face it… Everything has a dedicated purpose in your life.

Gemini (May 21 – June 20)

Let’s face it, you wake up and don’t know what mood you are going to be in… That’s why you are ready for this Chakra Oil Set by Vibrational Skin & Soul Therapy to keep variety in your life. Now you can wake up and pick the essential oil that matches your mood without the hassle.  

Cancer (June 21 – July 22)

Your sensitivity and compassion could heal the world. This year has been a lot on everyone and you are ready to write it all down and let it go. This Waterproof Journal by Papercraft Miracles to ensure you have a safe place to write it all out and move forward.

Leo (July 23 – August 22)

Even though no one is going out on the town, you still like to look your best. That’s why you are absolutely willing to buy yourself some jewelry even if it’s just to wear to wash the dishes. These Rose Quartz Tassel Earrings by Sustainable Fashion are calling your name.

Virgo (August 23 – September 22)

You are one of the more practical astrology signs so your focus in 2021 is efficiency and necessity. This Eco-Friendly Starter Kit by Julie C. Textiles has all you need to step-up your zero waste grocery hauls.

Libra (September 23 – October 22)

Okay, okay, you are a little off balance this year and your wanting to reconnect energetically. You crave symmetry and that’s why a Reiki Session with Balanced Optimization.

Scorpio (October 23 – November 21)

Last but not least, Scorpio. You thrive on passion. It is the center of your Universe. So this Passion Potion by The Karmacy is all you need and then some.

What We Need to Bring Into 2021, and What We Need to Leave Behind

As we approach 2021, we want to acknowledge the things we have learned, the moments that have challenged us, and the lessons we hope to carry into the new year. Reflecting on the solitude and distance that has been a common theme this year there is a sense of burnout and fatigue. But I believe there are also moments where we have seen the resilience and strength of humanity unfold before us. Mother nature needs us more than ever, BIPOC need us to step up and acknowledge our privilege, high risk individuals need us to do our part and wear a mask… The list goes on… Since this year has been overwhelming enough, here is a list of things I think we need to carry into the new year and things we need to leave behind. 

What We Need to Bring Into 2021

The keyword here is “need”. We are boiling down to the essentials because that is what is necessary in order to change the course of our world and our own well-being. So what do we need to bring with us into 2021 to ensure a better future and a sense of evolved normalcy once again?

Reusable Necessities

There is too much proof. Too many options and too many excuses to keep going for single-use items. It’s time to carry more reusable essentials into our day-to-day lives for 2021. Enough of the plastic straws. Enough of the takeout napkins and utensils. We need to acknowledge that these little moments in our lives are creating a greater impact. This holiday season, consider investing in more reusable necessities. You can find plenty of options right here at Mindful Market.

Compassion

We need more compassion for our earth, for others, and for ourselves. This year has uprooted and exposed so many aspects of our world that have been hurting for a long time. Instead of clinging to defensiveness, we need to have more compassion. Be gentle with ourselves through hardships and acknowledge the hardships that others move through. 

Self-reflection

The more time we have had to remain home, the more time we have had to reflect on the meaning and purpose of life. Why are we here? What is my purpose? How am I taking part in improving the lives of others? Self-reflection is such a powerful tool and costs nothing. Bringing this exercise into 2021 will make all the difference within our steps forward.


What We Need to Leave Behind

The hate, the fear, the disconnection. 2020 has been a testament to how much we have numbed ourselves to the world around us. It has held a mirror up to our society and asked over and over again, “Is this the world you truly want to live in?”.

Plastic

Stop. Using. Plastic. I am also a culprit and it is a challenge since so many companies are still reliant on plastic to package products. The more we can do to stop investing in the plastic, the stronger the message we send to companies about what matters – Mother Nature.

Comparison

It has always been easy to get sucked into the comparison vortex thanks to social media. Productivity and accomplishment always seems to be the common theme, but if you simply moved through 2020 just focusing on survival, your mental health/well-being or both. That is enough. You are enough. Let go of the idea that what you see on social media is a standard you have to live up to.

Burnout

We are ALL feeling this in one way or another. I am not saying you can simply drop burnout on command, but you can start addressing its place in your life and find resources to balance things out again. Therapy, yoga, nature bathing, meditation, and journaling are a few of my favorite go-to’s when I am feeling the burnout blues. 

What do you need to bring into 2021 and what do you need to leave behind? Just some food for thought.

5 Health Conscious Food Products for the Holidays

December is here and that means the holidays are right around the corner. Although this year has felt daunting for many reasons, the one thing that we should continue to add to our list of gratitude is health. That in itself is a privilege for some of us, especially in the middle of a Pandemic. To keep our minds at peace and our bodies strong, health conscious food products are a must this holiday season.

What Are Health Conscious Food Products?

Health conscious food products have been on the rise in recent years. These products are founded upon the idea that food is a form of medicine and nourishment. Health Consciousness is at the center of such products and is a movement that epitomizes health when it comes to decision-making, including consumerism. Health and wellness have become defining elements in food culture, thus shaping the creation of food products that align with values that consumers just like you have begun to uphold. 

Today, food is not only a source of nourishment for people, but a way of being. 

5 Health Conscious Food Products for the Holidays

This holiday season we want to ensure you have the right health conscious food products for you and your loved ones. These products have been hand selected with some holiday spirit and health consciousness in mind:

1. Ellie Mae’s Gluten Free Whole Buttermilk Pie

Believe it or not this pie is non-dairy, vegan, AND gluten free. This is a health conscious dessert you can’t pass up for your holiday meal. Who doesn’t love a warm pie to celebrate a new season and a new year?

2. Columbia County 100% Sprouted Organic Pizza Crust

We can’t get enough of this crust! It is filling, low reactive, high in fiber and highly digestible… Not to mention, delicious.

3. One Love Chocolate Nut Bars

These bars contain all organic ingredients including cashews, almonds, cocoa, egg whites, dates, cashew butter, coconut nectar, and sea salt.

4. Veggie Korma Curry Sauce & Spice by Flavor Temptations

Need a new dinner idea? This vegetable curry sauce is the way to go. This sauce goes beautifully with a bed of white rice, quinoa or naan. 

5. Chaya Power by Xaman Be Well

Move over matcha powder, chaya powder is here. Found on the coastal regions of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. This powder is rich in iron, calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin c. You can put it in smoothies, juices, or sprinkled over yogurt.

This year, give the gift of health and well-being this season with Mindful Market; your one-stop shop for health conscious food products.

An Open Letter to Gen Z About Conscious Consumerism

To preface, we are bringing back the “open letter” trend from a few years ago because who doesn’t love a little nostalgia… So, here it goes.

Generation Z,

If there is anything we have learned from this year, it is that you are resilient. You have used your voice for good. You have endured darkness & challenges that most of us have not in our lifetime. That is why here at Mindful Market, we value your efforts to join the Conscious Consumerism movement. Because your generation has a lot to offer the world, including how we treat it.

But, Why Consumerism?

We know it may feel strange that we are calling on an entire generation to address consumerism, but the reality is, it affects everything in our world right now and your generation has a reputation of demanding change. From the environment to equal pay, consumerism and what products/services we buy into shapes the way businesses operate. For example, if you are always shopping for fast fashion, companies are going to continue to produce fast fashion. Yourbasic supply and demand lesson that you didn’t ask for… As you probably know, fast fashion is one of the greatest culprits of waste each year. Not to mention, a constant source of unpaid workers and hazardous working conditions to ensure fast production – thus “Fast Fashion”. So that’s why we are calling on you. To identify your role within this piece of the puzzle. Do you know how your clothes are made? By who? What businesses do you support? Have you ever researched their production ethics? Try it. Right now. And ask yourself, is this the type of consumer I want to be?

Conscious Consumerism is Cool

We promise this is not an attempt to give a stamp of approval like your dad does when you ask his opinion about a new trend. Instead, it’s a reminder that conscious consumerism can be what you make of it. We have been so inspired by some of you taking the opportunity to upcycle, thrift fashion, and hand make jewelry. All for the sake of creativity and saving the planet. But you don’t have to be a cottagecore vegan to practice conscious consumerism either. Taking a reusable straw with you when you go out to eat is one way to navigate consumerism consciously. Or researching brands that are practicing environmental consciousness and supporting those businesses wholeheartedly. We believe that you are the generation that will redefine conscious consumerism in your own way through curiosity and exploration.

As we close on this open letter, we want to thank you for all that you have done to pave the way for future generations as well as set an example for others. We believe in you and we can’t wait to see what you do next.

Sincerely,

The Mindful Market Community

The History of Conscious Consumerism

Believe it or not Conscious Consumerism is not a new “fad”. We can trace its roots back to 1954 according to Grow Ensemble. “Economist James Buchanan stated that individual participation in the economy is a form of pure democracy” and thus the Conscious Consumer movement was born. As a result, this movement began as a means to protect workers. It also took into account the environments they worked within. In the late 19th and early 20th Century, the movement grew stronger as “unfair labor practices, ensure product safety, encourage healthy competition in the market and implement financial regulation” (Jennifer Nguyen).

Part 1

As we approached the 1970s, even more proof that regulation and safety measures needed to be prioritized. With that in mind, research done by the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that 12.6 million people die from environmental health risks every year. Evolving the movement further into a dire situation that impacted the safety of workers and their lives. Not surprisingly, the research on Climate Change and Global Warming became popular in the late 90s and early 2000s. This perpetuated the Conscious Consumer movement ten fold. Now, it wasn’t just about people, but the world…

Part 2

It has been interesting to see the world’s perspective on this movement evolve. The intersectionality between climate change, women’s rights, race relations, and democracy have all played a role in shaping Conscious Consumerism. This Pandemic has also shaped this movement more recently, evolving the way that businesses and consumers sell and buy products & services. We are shopping online more, and also shifting our values to the safety measure being taken to keep products, people, and the workplace environment safe from COVID-19 – something most of us never thought we would see in our lifetime…The more we learn about consumerism, the more we evolve our consumer habits. When you shop your values, you are contributing to a historical movement to better our world.

5 Simple Steps to Make a Conscious Purchase

If you are new to the Conscious Consumer movement, it can feel daunting to step into this space and understand where to begin. Right now, this movement is not only affecting consumer habits, but global production, product development, and marketing tactics for large corporations. Thus, small businesses are making a comeback. The ideology that “what we buy has a direct impact on our world” is crucial.

With that being said, before you pull your favorite deodorant off the shelf at the grocery store, or order more hand sanitizer in bulk online; Here are a few questions to ask your internal conscious consumer… 

Where was this item made?

Consider where this company creates it’s product. Is it locally sourced or purchased? Well, this simple ask allows us to evaluate the carbon footprint this product may have on the world. According to Carbon Brief, “Around 22% of global CO2 emissions stem from the production of goods that are, ultimately, consumed in a different country.” 

How was this item made?

What ingredients are found within the product you are looking to purchase. Are they harmful to the environment? This includes the packaging that your product may come in. Also, a simple philosophy to live by is “the less plastic, the better”. That includes avoiding polyester at ALL costs because this is a synthetic plastic material derived from crude oil.

Does this item harm or hurt the world in any way?

Well, some labels that you should be looking for are the Leaping Bunny Certification, Fair Trade and the recycling symbol. These logos are located near the ingredients or on the main label of a product. As a result, they identify the ethics that went into creating said product and can help you evaluate companies that you can trust.

Does this item align with my values?

Ask yourself, what values do I want to uphold within my consumer habits. Do you want everything you touch to be vegan? Do you want to be as eco-friendly as possible? Are you looking to reduce the amount of plastic you consume? Are you hoping to support less exploitation of workers? Lastly, make a list on your phone and use these values to make your purchasing decisions next time you go to the store or find yourself online.

Does this item fill a void or fill a need?

This question is more of an emotionally driven question that can intimate a lot of us. After all, consumerism is built on our emotional response to products. In the age of social media, there is even more of a pull toward wanting more, having more, and “needing more”. Therefore, slowing down to reflect on the “why” of your purchase can help you discern from truly needing something versus purchasing something to fill a desire or a void. Lastly, it is no secret that purchasing things can give us a temporary mood boost. The keyword here is… Temporary. So, unless you are ready for another retail therapy hangover, we suggest you ask yourself this question next time you are looking for a “quick fix” with the help of your shopping cart.Be open. Be mindful. Be willing to ask the questions.

The Psychology Behind Conscious Consumerism

Have you ever wondered what happens within the mind when we pick up an item at a store, grovel over our options to “buy it”, “leave it” or “carry it around” and decide later? What about the shopping carts we fill at 1 AM when we are perusing the internet only to fall asleep and wake up the next day to see we did end up clicking the “Checkout Now” button after all. Believe it or not, these decisions tend to be “unconscious decisions” that Americans make within our consumer culture and the research is only growing to back this up. “Individuals engage in consumption related cognition, motivation, decision making, emotion, and behavior without recognizing the role that nonconscious processes played in shaping them”, according to the ScienceDirect Journal of Consumer Psychology.  

So what about the conscious consumer mind? How does that look different? And why are consumer habits starting to evolve and change across the globe?

Well, I have two words for you: Conscious Awareness

This is a space within our minds that includes “the things we are aware of being aware of” says Study.com. Our mind operates on a spectrum of consciousness. Some of the things we are completely aware of, some we are not aware of at all, and some fall somewhere in the middle. When it comes to Conscious Consumerism and Conscious Awareness, we are utilizing a greater percentage of our Conscious Awareness to make a decision surrounding what we buy and why.

Here are a few simple questions to ask yourself next time you make a purchasing decision to see how much of your Conscious Awareness you are relying on to make that decision:

  1. Why do I want to make this specific purchase?
  2. Is this purchase a basic necessity?
  3. What emotion am I feeling as I hold or look at this product? (anxiousness, excitement, neutrality, impatience, sadness, anger…)
  4. How will this purchase affect my day-to-day life?

Being a Conscious Consumer goes beyond knowing our values. It is a commitment we make in life to take a moment, connect with our mind, ask ourselves the meaningful questions, and create more decisiveness around Conscious awareness.

Why Generation Z is The Most Conscious Consumer Generation Yet

Chances are, the idea of brand loyalty will become more complex under this generations’ consumer habits.

As they rise to enter the workforce, Generation Z is also rising to become one of the most forward thinking and conscious generations yet.  Their unapologetic taste in unique and dynamic products will forever change the way we market, sell, and interact as businesses. Gen Zers are not brand loyal compared to Millennials and instead are finding innovative and adaptable ways to get the products they want and need at the best price.

“As evidenced by recent environmental and ethical rallies, today’s young generation is thinking about the future.”, says NPD.com. Generation Z is making decisions with their values in mind. Chances are, the idea of brand loyalty will become more complex under this generations’ consumer habits. Companies and small businesses will need to focus on building trust, evoking transparency, and aligning with the values that their target Generation Z customers hold. Since this generation grew up in a world that evolved around technology and social media, having a savvy marketing & social media presence won’t hurt to invest in either.

So, how are Generation Zers leading the Conscious Consumerism movement amidst all of this? It comes down to their incentive to make purchases. Despite wanting to keep up with an image, a unique trend, or a fast-paced world of social media influencing, Generation Zers still believe in making decisions that have a greater impact. That’s why fast fashion is dying, unethical brands are being “cancelled”, and the movement toward thrifting, resale, and renting clothes, items, and shoes is becoming the norm. This is a conscious consumer’s dream generation because despite the fast pace nature of their purchasing habits, thanks to the influence and availability of online shopping, Generation Zers want more for their future and the world.

It is important to understand that Generation Z is no exception to the rule that over-generalizing a generation can be dangerous. Thus, according to Alexandra Pastore, “Retailers who go beyond understanding how they are different than Millennials — in order to understand the unique needs within the generations and how to appeal to them — will have the advantage.”

Taking the time, space, and proactive approach to understanding Generation Z is just the beginning. However, knowing that we are about to see the impact of a new wave of conscious consumerism thanks to Generation Z may be the growth opportunity conscious brands, ethical companies, and small businesses have been looking for.

Enchanted Botanicals: Finding a Purpose Within Healing

“I have to go back to 2006. I was diagnosed with breast cancer. My son had just started his first day of 8th grade when I had my first surgery”, Deb began after I asked her when she found her purpose. Her voice was reflective yet strong. Deb had clearly found her beginning when she thought it was the end. Now, years later. Deb is cancer free and her son is getting married in September. “Here I am”, said Deb. She had found her way back to health and discovered her deep love and admiration for healing others.When I asked Deb about what her small business, Enchanted Botanicals specializes in, she replied, “I call it spiritual herbalism. I started making incense and that led to candles using the herbs from my garden.” 

Image of Deb’s Garden, Courtesy of Deb

Deb has studied Reiki, earth energy, energy lines, crystals, and herbs in an effort to create tangible resources for others to find what they need from nature. She has her own garden where she grows these herbs and uses her energetic relationship with the earth to find the right ingredients for each candle, cream, oil, and tincture. Because of what she has endured in her life, she truly believes that there is always a source of light to be found. Her goal is to dismantle the idea that each ingredient or crystal has one soul purpose and instead wants others to ask themselves, “What does it whisper to you?”, because each of us has an energetic compass. This compass allows us to heal and find what we need along the way.

Image of Deb’s Garden, Courtesy of Deb

As I continued to speak with Deb about her business, Enchanted Botanicals, I couldn’t help but notice the calm yet empowered energy in her voice. When you speak to someone about their life purpose, you can feel it deep within your soul. There is no doubt in my mind that Deb is doing what she is meant to on this earth and taking the time, care, and energy to bring more healing to those who need it.

Deb is one example of a small business owner with a story of strength, challenge, and hope behind each of her products. I encourage you to consider investing your support into businesses like Enchanted Botanicals. 

Isn’t that why we are all here? To invest in each other wholeheartedly?