My efforts at being mindful have taken me on a profound journey… with more rewards than uncomfortable experiences… except at the beginning when I discovered how much my attitude (emotional reactions, beliefs and physiological responses) ruled me rather than vice versa.  Luckily, I had a teacher who coached me through the process, emphasizing that “unbecoming realizations” were simply part of “awakening.”  She gave me hope while my inner judge railed:  As you gain in non-judgmental awareness, you will gain in personal freedom and strength.  I have found that to be beautiful and nourishing… and true (See my Lost Purse story if you’d like an example).

Last Friday, you had the opportunity to determine one way to look at your personal Values-in-Action.  Today, I’d like for you to visit them again, adding an additional feature to your awareness: Notice your self-talk when you “put others down” or feel disapproval for any reason.  It is likely that the negative response comes from your value system. While there are certainly appropriate and inappropriate ways to act and interact at home and at work, more often, our “should” and “should not” reactions mark a clash in values.

Instructions:

  • Today, catch yourself when you notice yourself making a judgment of someone else, whether that is someone you interact with in person or observe in the media.
  • How does your body feel when you are in the midst of judgment?
  • Listen to your self-talk, the talk that is “automatic” and not part of critical thinking.
  • Take a moment to return and rest in your breath.
  • What values are at the root of your reaction?  See VIA list here.
  • What values might the target of your judgment be expressing? See VIA list here.
  • If you notice a clash in values between you and the target of your judgment, can you accept that your values are different and one is not right and the other wrong?
  • Listen to your self-talk and body as you consider the “different” and not right and wrong response.
© Copyright 2013 Maria Hunt
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