Judgement is all around us. Judgement if you distance, if you gather, if you have a certain occupation, if you are a certain color, weight, height, gender, shape, political party, etc. We spend many of our lives automatically judging and automatically being judged.
Our minds are like a library. We have shelves and sections for everyone and every experience. I like to think of individuals of having our own story. We each have a book of chapters, experiences, and stories. When we come face to face with another, we often automatically put other’s “book” on a certain shelf based on what we see on the outside. This is judgement. Whether “good” or “bad.”
When we categorize everyone’s “book” simply by the title, cover, color, shape, size, and wear and tear, judgement occurs. Mindfulness can help us with this. When we mindfully experience the “books” that come in and out of our lives, we can better view the story they have to share. When we look inside and read their chapters, we offer a non-judgemental approach. We simply experience them. We can just be.
What many do not realize, however, is that we all categorize our own “book” or our own selves with this same judgement. We see ourselves and label ourselves in certain ways. We judge how we look, how we feel, how we act, how we dress. When we do this, we bring out judgement which leads to fear, anger, depression, isolation and an increased difficulty at eliminating judgement in our outer world as well. We so often fail to open our own story and really observe and get to know ourselves and our own journey for the beautiful journey it actually is.
Mindfulness is a great way to look at ourselves with a non-judgemental attitude and truly experience our being for what it is. Imagine taking a moment to sit down and just observe your “book.” Just feel the pages, smell the history, read the words. When we learn to experience ourselves without categorizing, labeling, and judging, we are better able to lovingly be with ourselves just as we are.
When we start to practice mindfully eliminating self-judgement and illuminating our true being, we can enter our world with empowerment and strength. When we eliminate our own judgement we then start to eliminate judgement of our outer experiences and interactions. So the saying is true: never judge a book by it’s cover. The cover is not the journey, not the story, not the being. Never judge your own book by the cover you have created. Open your book and truly be with your own experience.
Find a place of comfort. This practice is best done lying down but is also beneficial sitting in a comfortable place.
Begin by noticing your breath, without judgement. Where do you feel your breath? How deep are you breathing? Let your breath naturally deepen, experience the cleansing beauty of your breath.
Turn your focus to your toes. Really feel your toes. Every sensation. With each part of your body, just feel, don’t judge. If you have pain here, tension here, tingling here, etc. just notice. Our minds often begin judging if we feel these qualities. We worry, we get frustrated, we try to fix it or run away. Just notice what it feels like to lovingly notice. Send your breath to your toes and just breathe and be with your toes.
Do this with every part of your body moving up into the ankles.
The sits bones.
The lower arm.
The upper arm/shoulders.
The top of the head.
The mind. Do not judge any thoughts. They are just thoughts. Notice them, acknowledge them, let them float away.
Practice every day. Remember to breathe. Remember your book is beautiful no matter what it looks like or feels like. It is your story. A wonderful one.