Kelly Spencer - Happy Healthy YOU
(A wellness column by Kelly Spencer: writer, life coach, yoga & meditation teacher, holistic healer and a mindful life enthusiast!)
According to Dalai Lama, “Love is the absence of judgment.”
If love is the absence of judgment and we strive to be in a place of love as much as we can, how do we become JUDGELESS? How do we not assign a concluding label to the events in and around our lives?
When we appoint a “good” or a “bad” label to ourselves, others, or an experience, we cast a judgment. When we really think about it, we probably project hundreds of judgments out into the world on any given day. “It’s sunny. That’s good." “He’s mad. That is bad”. Heck I even pass judgment when I judge. “Judging is bad, you should stop it.”
Once we decide if something is good or bad, our natural response is to attach a feeling energy to it. For example, we are at a restaurant and our soup is served cold. If we give it a label as “this is bad,” then we become annoyed at the “badness” of this experience and we may even in turn treat the waiter with rudeness, annoyance and frustration. If we can allow a neutral observation, treating it as a just a factual experience, we can simply let the waiter know that are soup needs to be warmed up, keeping our energy in a higher vibrational place.
So what is the antidote to judging? Acceptance and neutrality!
There is a great power of assigning neutrality to our observations. Imagine yourself as a scientist recording the facts of current findings and using thoughts and words such as “isn't that interesting?” or "I wonder what that is all about?” Rather than designating that it good or bad, try allowing a middle-of-the-road consideration. That ol' saying, “It is what it is” holds that unbiased conclusion without judgment.
A lesson I learned many years ago is to understand that experiences are just those… experiences! When we are bitchy, hurt or annoyed, those are experiences that we are having. And rather than delegating them as bad or deeply associating with them (i.e. they were rude, therefore they are a rude person), we can observe with our witness mind instead.
One of my favorite methods to step back to witness when I am feeling a certain way, for example when I feel frustrated, is to try and imagine that I am sitting on the side of a river bank and a boat is floating by me and it is full of several “Kelly’s” showing different ways of frustration. Some are versions of me crying, some pulling their hair, some pouting, some yelling. I observe them and notice as they float on by. This assists me to pull back from the experience and look at it with a witness mind. It also makes me smile at the visual.
Blessed are those that can laugh at themselves, for they will never cease to be amused.
Some of the most painful and challenging times in my life have given me the most amazing outcomes. Situations that I previously labeled as very, very bad transformed my life into positive and powerful revolutions and self-discovery! Once I released the judgment of those I had considered bad or the situations I had labeled as awful, I became more empowered. Would I say those awful and distressing times were good? No, but they weren’t all bad either and the outcomes of those events allowed growth beyond my imagination.
But what is the root cause of judging, especially judgment of others? It is our ego. First, the ego compares the self with others, often putting others down to temporarily boost up the self. Ego moves into unhealthy competition mode in a competition that doesn’t exist outside the mind, trying to prove that it is better. “I would have never have done that.”
Then ego swiftly moves into the critical stage of criticism, which quickly leads to condemnation. “Isn’t he awful?” we say to others, waiting for affirmation of our judgment. Once we’ve reached this state, there’s no peace left in our mind and no love left in our heart. Our happiness is allowed to be complete dissolve, since it’s impossible to be truly happy while criticizing, condemning and judging. Here is the empowerment piece: the dissolving of happiness is completely allowed by us and therefore the opposite of maintaining our happiness is in our power.
So how do we become Judgeless? We practice. We can start small by noticing where we are placing labels. Noticing the label and noticing the emotion we attach to it. Perhaps looking deeper to where that emotion root is planted? You know the old saying, when we point the finger at another, there are three fingers pointing back at us.
As we bring more consciousness to the judgments we make, we can replace the perceptions with a neutral, observing witness mind. Then we can create more present moment awareness of life. Neutral observation and acceptance of what is, as is, offers the gift of allowing more time and energy to the appreciation of all the amazing moments in life and a detachment from analyzing and judging them.
“Judge nothing, you will be happy. Forgive everything, you will be happier. Love everything, you will be happiest.” - Sri Chinmoy
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