After seeing Gabby Bernstein earlier this month, we have been been participating in the challenge she set of "40 days of non judgement".
Over this time we have been witnessing our judgements of others, and more harshly it has seemed, our judgement of ourselves. Although this challenge highlighted how far we have come in our own personal journeys in being able to acknowledge our judging, and choose again.
We have put together some of the key lessons we learnt along this journey, in a hope that it will help and inspire others about how quickly we are to judge.
Day 4 - Lisa
Wow, we didn't know how much we would find this a REAL challenge.
Despite all of my efforts to be a loving, kind and compassionate woman (which I am most of the time) I am amazed that I still judge.. and possibly more than I'd like to admit! However, the awareness this challenge has created has been wonderful and I know it is such a worthwhile exercise.
The one thing I have noticed is how I have judged others for judging! Get that.. So although I'm not participating in conversations where people are discussing others in a not so favourable way, I am recognising that I find it 'hard' not to judge the very person who is speaking unkindly about another!
I had this very experience a few nights ago and witnessed my judgement of the words being used and of course, this particular person. I felt very uncomfortable and somewhat frustrated which was a clear sign that I was judging!! So as I sat there I asked to choose again. I found that nothing came to mind but it did allow me to calmly back out of the conversation as I didn't feel great about the way it was headed.
The following morning as I took myself for a walk along the beach, I realised with great clarity how I could choose again. As I believe everything is either an act of love or a call for love, I could see that she was crying out for someone to recognise her pain. She had given so unconditionally to a friend and this had quite possibly not been recognised..or appreciated. Maybe she didn't recognise and appreciate herself enough either..?? Who knows... What I did feel was an instant shift from that place of judgement to one of acceptance and love. Hooray!
Day 8 - Emma
"It is not for you to judge the journey of another's soul. It is for you to decide who you are, not who another has been, or has failed to be." - Neale Donald Walsch
This is a wonderful quote and brilliant reminder of what we are doing when we judge - we are focusing our energy where (we believe) another has failed.
As the '40 days judgement free challenge' is ticking along I am learning more than I ever imagined!
My biggest lesson was a few days ago when I was chatting to my almost 80 year old father. He was sharing a story with me about a couple of his friends - which I perceived as him judging them...SO... I cleared my throat and neatly placed my invisible 'no judgement allowed' hat on my head and proceeded to explain how wonderful the world would be without judgement and that judgement actually defines us not the person we are judging...ok I now realise I was being very self righteous and not very subtle!
It didn't take long for him to feel uncomfortable, it was obvious I was highlighting what I perceived as one of his 'failings'. Yes, as it turns out, I was judging him!
I wanted so much to push the conversation... 'What if I could get him to see things my way?' I thought to myself 'what if my dad could forgive his old mate for always being late and view their friendship through loving eyes...'
I opened my mouth to share this with him and then the penny dropped! I stopped the conversation mid-sentence, I threw off my hat and put my loving glasses on and walked over and gave my dad a huge hug!
Day 10 - Lisa
Today I woke up with a sense of wonder, curiosity and freedom from what this challenge is teaching me! I am amazed by what is showing up and the lessons to be learnt.
But I'm not feeling overwhelmed. Instead I am recognising the kindness I am showing both myself and the other person when I become aware of judging. I know this ability to be kind and forgive myself has come from years of practicing self love. Hallelujah!! And the freedom I am experiencing from letting go of my judgements and choosing again is huge. I am so, so grateful!
So this morning I became aware of judging one of my 3 boys for "causing chaos"! One minute he had been telling me how happy he was and the next he was taking out his frustration on his younger brother. What I asked?! Why?! How could you?!
Of course I was judging his behaviour. Although I didn't recognise it as judgement as I 'reacted' to him, once he had gone to his bedroom for some 'time out', I sat down and my first thought was...this doesn't feel so good. Oh, hello judgment! So with this awareness, I chose again. I chose to be kind and loving- he was doing his best and he was calling out for love. So that's what I was going to show him. And I did! And it felt so good!
Day 18- Lisa
As I walked along the beach, I felt such deep gratitude for what this 'non judgement' challenge is teaching me and how much brighter and joyful I feel throughout each day. I know this path of 'undoing' and coming back to that place within us that is pure love is worth every step.
Yes it can be challenging and some days more than others but I know it is the way towards being more loving, patient, kind, compassionate, generous, creative...towards me which will then be reflected in how I respond to others.
Day 26 - Lisa
The last few days have been interesting and at times, awkward and painful. This challenge is raising aspects of ourselves that we may not always like, however we are grateful for more awareness, more forgiveness and ultimately more joy this will bring!
We are not always expressing our brilliant radiant beings of light which is our "true colours" (unlike what we've been led to believe which is that our true colours means the nasty or dark side of ourselves - "she showed her true colours!")
Sometimes we do selfish things...we have negative thoughts and judgements we do not admit...sometimes we react in ways that are not as loving as we intend.. But it's this side of ourselves (our ego) which is all part of the human experience. And we recognise that this part of us needs to be accepted too.
That below and behind any shortcomings always lives a beautiful radiant being!
Day 32- Lisa
Wow, I knew taking on this challenge would bring up lots of lessons (and challenges) but the weekend just passed was BIG!!!
So one of my beautiful boys has been expressing a great deal of anger in the past month. It has been a challenge to be around it as much of the expression has been directed towards me. So as the Universe would have it, in my time of real need I was directed to a gifted woman who heals remotely using kinesiology and Reiki. This was something I had heard about and when I was initially told about her, my intuition said YES.
Being one to act on my intuition, the appointment was made easily and quickly and she was able to work with him the following day.
So Saturday came and the day went more calmly and happily for all of us. Already I was feeling great about my decision. And then the notes of his session came. As I sat in front of my email reading over what had come up, I cried and cried.
He had such a desire to please and he was frustrated and sad that nothing he did was enough. Before I knew it, that voice inside me was telling me that it was my fault. If I hadn't expected so much from him, he would be happy. I loved him so, so much and couldn't believe that I was responsible for him believing he was anything but awesome.
But I had.. Or so I thought I had with my big, tall judgement hat on!
Until I realised...I was judging myself so harshly. And in that moment there was such a sigh of relief. How could I have done better than I did at the time. Aren't we always doing the best we can at any given moment..Yes!
In that moment I could choose again. I could choose to show myself love and compassion and most importantly, forgiveness. By doing that, I wouldn't be carrying around a huge suitcase of guilt and shame which would only make the situation at home more painful for us all.
So I sat there feeling grateful for the awareness of how he is feeling and knowing that I am the most beautiful mother for him and he is the perfect son AND teacher for me too.
And again I thanked myself for choosing not to judge.
Wow, what a massive 40 days they were, so many beautiful lessons learnt for both of us. It certainly wasn't as easy as it first seemed.
We would love to know if you did this challenge and how it went for you.