I find myself being judgy quite a lot. You know, the voice in your head that decides whether or not someone is doing something right. I don’t like this about myself. I’ve been told I am the least judgy person so and so has ever met. Boy, aren’t they glad they aren’t in my head. The thing that throws me the most is that I am judgy a out weird things: choices of games you play, or whether you follow the news.
Again, I don’t like this about myself, and this is, in its own right, is a judgment about myself. So, I’ve been trying to practice non-judgment. I already have a mindfulness practice, but non-judgment of myself has been hard. And I’ve realized that what I judge myself for are the things that I judge others for. Interesting, right?
Don’t know what non-judgment is? I’ll let Jon Kabat-Zinn explain it to you:
So how do we stop judging? I don’t think we do. But we can become more aware of our judgments, where they are coming from, and if they are helpful or not. In a mindfulness practice, I try not to judge my thoughts or my emotions. When I am done, I judge my thoughts and emotions in a way that allows me to grow and change as a person rather than to tear myself down or criticize myself.
However, I’m not always good about this. Sometimes, coming out of my meditation, I find myself being quite harsh about what I am and am not doing, accomplishing, finishing. It becomes a cycle and it takes a lot of work to stop it.
I’ve noticed that the more I focus on kindness and love the less I focus on judging myself or others. And the more I practice mindfulness, the easier this becomes.
Don’t have a mindfulness practice? Here are a few tips and tricks to get started!
- Take a few breaths. Don’t try and change the way you are breathing (non-judgment, remember?), just feel your breath coming in and out. Try to do this for 2 minutes. When you are ready, open your eyes.
- Sit facing a blank wall in a comfortable position. Begin to slow your breathing and allow your eyes to softly focus on the wall. As thoughts move into your head, project them onto the wall like a movie screen. Allow it to project for a moment, and then swipe it away, making room for the next thought. Try not to linger on any thought for more than a few seconds; let them come and go as naturally as possible. After a few minutes, close your eyes and focus on your breath. When you are ready, open your eyes.
- Visualize a river of white light running down the center of the body. Notice the places in your body that you feel tight or heavy or even painful. These places are the rapids. Now visualize your river slowly widening, until it engulfs your whole body. Maybe it becomes wider than your body. As the river widens, it starts to slow and the rapids get smaller and smaller. Allow the river to widen and flow for a few minutes. When you are ready, bring your attention back to your breath and slowly open your eyes.