October’s intention of non-judgement is subtle, after all, judging a comment, a person or action are things that happen within a split second. Before we know it we’ve created a belief or a habitual thinking pattern that can be hard to shift. Thankfully, the practices of yoga and meditation can help us figuratively slow things down, so we’re able to take a step back and observe our emotions, thoughts and reactions. When do we judge others, and why? How does judging affect us, and how can we overcome it? Read on for some inspiration on living your yoga in the world this month, and infusing your actions with the intention of non-judgement.
To Judge Another….
We’ve all been there; judging another person based upon how they look, what they say, or what they’ve done in the past. Judgement however, is only based upon our own perceptions and life experience, and entirely made up of our own personal thoughts and opinions. To judge another person only limits our life experience, closes us off from making a connection with them, and ultimately prevents us from experiencing reality.
The primal act of judging does originally come from a useful place – once used for deciphering whether a plant was safe to eat or an animal safe to approach, our judgements are now reserved for comparing ourselves to other people, and how we might measure up to them. Judgement and comparison go hand-in-hand, and these reactions stem from a place of lack, fear, and essentially not feeling grounded and comfortable with who we are. The barometer for measuring ‘normality’ is entirely inaccurate – how do we know what ‘normal’ is, or how ‘normal’ we are compared to another? Should we even all desire to be ‘normal’ anyway?
Forgoing the act of judging altogether may take many years of mindfulness and practice, but there is something we can do when we catch ourselves judging another; we can choose whether to let that judgement blur our experience of reality, hinder our ability to be fully present and open to new experiences, or we can choose to observe our thoughts and emotions, and approach the situation with fresh awareness. Non-judgement is like taking off a pair of smeared glasses; we’re able to see a person or situation for what it really is, experience it as it really is, and be in the moment for what it really, really is.
Some questions to ask or journal when you’re feeling judgemental:
· Do I know the full story behind this person / event / object?
· Through judging this person / event / object, how do I decide to react?
· What does this judgement reflect about myself?
· Through judging this person / event / object, what do I miss out on?
Live Your Yoga This Month
October 10th marked World Mental Health Day, opening our eyes to the reality and suffering many people go through on a daily basis. We all have mental health, it’s just a case of how healthy our mental state is, and just like the rest of our physical and emotional health, it can change constantly. The current statistics tell us that there are about 8.2 million cases of diagnosed anxiety in the UK, with depression being the most predominant mental health problem world-wide. Practice living your yoga in the world this month by casting judgements aside and putting compassion, acceptance and a friendly face in its place.