I feel like I have always been a mindful person, even as a child, but it has not been until the last few years that I have developed a sincere practice of enhancing it, and this practice has become my spin on gratitude. I judge, and I am grateful that I do.
When I was single, and without children, I had ample time to explore meditation and mindfulness, and although I valued the concepts I did not create a regular practice of them.
Now, as a wife, mother, and career woman my personal time is limited and the thought of sitting and clearing my mind for even 10 minutes causes me to feel anxiety, stress, and guilt – there is so much that I could accomplish in those minutes; although, my growing maturity allows me to realize how valuable just 10 minutes of clearing my mind, regularly, could be.
I know that sooner than later I will have more time to explore traditional meditation and mindfulness, and I look forward to devouring the inner peace that comes with it.
For now, I have taken what I have learned and made it work for me in the form of minute-to-minute, conscious, mindfulness — and, I am deeply grateful for my negative self-talk because it was, and remains, the catalyst for the personal growth I am experiencing.
I will just say it, get it out there, and feel okay being vulnerable in it…..I judge, and therefore blame, criticize, and project onto others.
The drama that I would create in my head with my judgments use to felt natural, comfortable, and easy.
I now understand the negative cycle that is created when I spend my self-talk time (which is moment-to-moment) in unproductive judgment, criticism, and blaming of others and it no longer feels comfortable.
Ultimately, with this negative cycle, I end up projecting onto others what I want to disown within myself and nothing productive occurs.
That said, it still feels almost impossible to not judge, blame, or criticize others.
I learned the difference between right and wrong via judgments and criticism, and a belief system has been developing within me from the time I was born, and it encompasses what I was taught to believe about right and wrong. I also witnessed most adult examples around me, and society in general, being great examples of what it looks like to judge, blame, criticize and project negativity onto others. Unfortunately, somewhere in history, a lot of us decided that this is a normal way of being.
Considering this, trying to get to a place of non-judgment feels completely inauthentic to me, and frankly, the term that is often used, “Do not judge”, annoys me.
I don’t want to feel guilty or inadequate because I can’t seem to be non-judgmental; passing judgement seems as if it is alive in my cells.
Judging something or someone is natural. On one hand, it is how we keep ourselves safe and determine if something or someone is within our best interest to engage with. It is also how we develop, redevelop, and fine tune our ever evolving values and belief systems.
On the other hand, unproductive judgment produces criticism and blaming of others, our own negativity is projected onto them, and often they are unaware of it. The energetic component of this cycle creates all kinds of barriers within our relationships, especially our relationship with self.
Judgments, blame, and criticism of others are a projection of our internal self-talk, and our self-talk is full of a life time of self doubt, insecurity, guilt, shame, fear (to name a few), and an unbridled ego. I now refer to unexamined judgment of others as unproductive because it does nothing except leave me a powerless coward. I can’t change another person, and projecting my junk onto them is how a coward bullies.
I have found that when I allow myself time for deep introspection, and become completely accountable and responsible for my thoughts, judgments, criticisms, and projections, I find more clarity, compassion, and intimacy within myself, and therefore with others.
I spend time with my shadow side, the part of me that I don’t want anyone to see, and I get to determine if my inhibitions, insecurities and self doubt (aka: judgments, criticism and projections) are keeping me from unconditional love for self and others, and if so, how I can change that.
I also get to look at old beliefs that no longer serve me and redevelop a more mature belief system. And finally, I get to make considerate judgments about someone or something because not everyone or everything is in my best interest, and therefore I can productively determine what to do with the situation I am in.
This dedicated practice of mindfulness has been the single, most significant, catalyst of deep connection with myself, others, and the universe. It is continually happening within me, and I can now do it moment-to-moment without much effort.
That said, it certainly takes a lot of internal honesty, humility, courage, vulnerability, perseverance, and deep desire for change; not to mention a lot of “I’m sorry”.
Over the past couple of years my world has been opening in a way that feels incredible in all aspects. Almost like the Universe is welcoming me into this juicy, new way of living, saying, “What do you want? Let’s make it happen! I am here to support you because I can see that you are trying to be your best self, and this is so beneficial to the human race, thank you.”
“Be mindful of your self-talk. It is a conversation with the Universe.” David James Lee