Everything we experience goes through a filter in our minds. Our minds are automatically trained to judge. We classify and categorize things in ways that attach judgment to our observations. Think of the language we use every day: good, bad, right, wrong, yes, no, should, shouldn’t, need. Do you use these words? Can you see the judgment?
Our minds are powerful tools. They can often focus on judgment that does not feel very good, leaving us unhappy, frustrated or even drained. It can lead us to places that we do not want to inhabit.
So, how do we change this? Jon Kabat-Zinn says that “mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and without judgment.”
When we focus on this, we offer ourselves an opportunity for freedom and peace. There are so many benefits to living in the present, paying attention to what is in front of us without judgment. It allows us to live more neutrally. It enables us to enjoy each activity as it is.
To get there, we must retrain our minds. We must first notice and become more aware of judgment—when it is present and what it is in response to. Understanding the judgment in connection to what is happening in the moment will allow us to learn more about what perpetuates the judgment.
Stay focused on the moment you are in. Be present in your own life with a clear mind. Start by noticing. Then, begin to transition thoughts from “I need to water the grass,” to an observation without judgment, “the grass is brown.”
These are helpful ways to reconnect with ourselves and our minds so that we can bring more peace and comfort to ourselves each and every day.
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