Holding Judgments Like Holding a Breath, Gently & Lightly

How quick do you judge either yourself or a situation, an idea, or someone, anything? How quickly do you notice that you are judging? And then what happens? How long are holding it? What judgments creates in your world? What are they becoming? What do you do with it afterwards? How they benefit you and others?

This week I experienced a very vivid moment full with questions, openness and ambiguity. I`m inviting you to explore with me.

One of the topics which I don`t fully understand, and most of the times I am not sure where to take it, are diversity, equality, inclusivity and similar important words in the common sphere, public consciousness and current affairs, especially in the west now. My intention is not to dive into this topic as my knowledge is very little in this regard, but rather, what just simply comes up into my or our awareness by hearing about this in relation to mindfulness, especially if we remove all our current attachments to it.

One of the reasons I settled with Mindfulness, also practicing it, and becoming a teacher now, as it is secular approach, and which means for me that I feel it includes everything and excludes nothing, spacious and open it has all the possibilities the present can offer.

However, in one discussion this week, what came up, and it is very important to say that the conversation had many other brilliant aspects, but just this is the one aspect I probably learnt the most. So what came up in the conversation is that the language of mindfulness and certain courses are perhaps not diverse enough, and probably it could be better and could be reshaped to be more inclusive for wider nations and cultures. The critique said that some phrases and words may be offensive or able to trigger identity based harm in people. For example, phrases similar like perhaps we could change calling “black coffee” or “white coffee” differently, even though the real meaning which is simply colour based as whether there is milk in it or not (hmm, at least I believe it is), it has nothing to with it`s other possible interpretation, at least not in my world.

After hearing this my immediate reaction was “what? this is just too much, we create and see things in something, which is not even there”. However, as the conversation went on, I was able to openly listen and hold my immediate judgment lightly in the back of my awareness and keep my curiosity and openness in the forefront.

As I was able to hold my judgment, it soon transformed into awareness. As no matter what I think and how I interpret something if others do it differently. So as a result by being woken up and harnessed with this knowledge and awareness, now my view and perspective has widen, so when I engage with a certain group of people I have the opportunity to be creative and perhaps either change some aspects of my language or just simply incorporate this knowledge into our inquires and possibly inviting others to perhaps gain their own awareness.

Sometimes it is easy to judge, blame or place the cause outside and wanting the outside to change, how I think though, that it is more complex than that. We have baggage we carry from our ancestors, wounds that are still open, so of course that we can be triggered and take things personally. So the key is both to understand and become aware of what else is there beyond our current knowledge and what else is there within ourselves which can be healed and formed, so that I won`t be hurt by something which purpose was not meant to hurt. We are only able to change ourselves, it is a much harder mission to change others. So how can we transform ourselves then as an effect to transform the world around us? How can we hold judgments lightly and then release it, like we are holding our breath to allow it to gentle come and go. Let the new breath in, allow the body to “use” it, and release, let it go, and again breathing in… breathing out.

Mindful Awareness Exercise

Based on the above topic, experiment. Think about today for example or become aware of any next moment`s of the day, when a judgment comes up in you whether when someone told you something, you had a conversation, you read something or you witnessed something. Maybe saying, “ohh, judgment is here”. Notice what comes up for you in your body, mind, emotional and feeling level. Take your time with it.

Then maybe ask some questions: “How true my judgment is? What else is here that I am not aware of? How important it is for me? What is here for me to learn? What can I learn now about myself? What can I learn about my friends, colleagues, others and the world? What else can I learn? How is this new awareness contributes to who I am now and what I do? How can I contribute with this to the world? What can I let go? What is here that if I let go, something better comes?….


What is here that I can learn from you? Please add your comment below. 🙂

Thank you, Gabriella

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