Ahh....curiosity vs. judgment...do we know the difference? When we feel curious about something, we are explorers...adventurers...children...with little to no preconceptions because our minds accept the perspective that the unknown can be exhilarating, joyful, and fun. The mind in this state doesn't latch onto what it already knows, it allows us to look ahead without attachment or plan...simply seek the experience.
When we approach something from a place of judgment, we intentionally bring to mind all that we have been, done, seen or experienced before, and skew our own experience with all that we remember...whether positive or more likely, negative (humans scientifically seem more readily able to recall negative events.) We insert the sum total of those experiences into one we have yet to have. And, when applied to our inner journeywork, for example, leaning into our own self talk, we may discover that judgment, not curiosity drives it.
Now, sadly, judgment slides easily down the slope of criticism for many of us in our inner self worlds. I'm not speaking here of judgment in the sense of having the ability to discern...I'm talking of judgment as being "judgy"...critical. Making value estimations of not only others, but of ourselves. And while we likely can all agree we'd like less judgy behavior in the world (which often is the foundation for the lot of cruel, vile treatment in the world) one certainty we have going for us is that we have the capacity to change first our own inner landscape, from sitting atop of judgment, and swap out the hilltop we sit on for one of curiosity.
In fact, it is the single most powerful thing we can do. For our own healing, and toward the transformation of our world.
How do we shift our own mindsets from having judgment as their base to wriggling our toes in the grass of curiosity?
Hint: recognizing where our assessments of our own worth come from. What judgments have we made of ourselves that form self-opinion? Forget for a moment that the world can be a sh**ty place...or that you'd be perfectly "justified" in your feelings of how someone else influenced your life or outlook. All true. And now, go deeper...toward you.
When you pick up on a judgment of self, sit with it. Do your best not to double down on it by criticizing yourself that it's there (ie Why do I always...or I'm so stupid for...). Also, do your best to stay with it versus trying not to feel whatever accompanying feelings pop up. Keep the discomfort close. It's ok to feel the breaking..the grief...the heartache or confusion. Let it come up and through you. We are multi-faceted, beautiful and messy human beings.
Now approach that same aspect of yourself with curiosity....Imagine yourself as a child, exploring a favorite place outdoors...stick in hand, kicking up dirt and rocks, feeling the sun's beams warm your squinting, smiling little face as you run around, playful. Free. Your beingness uncomplicated by any particular life lesson. Breathing this energy into your heart, look again at what you may have labeled as ugliness...and turn over the stone with your stick. Peer into the damp dirt it rested on. You aren't judging right? You simply look, wanting to see what's there.
You are now using the power of curiosity to be with yourself differently.
When we sit in this way with ourselves, our capacity to feel loved and accepted increases tenfold. Our capacity to express love and acceptance also increases, and not because we think we "should" in order to see ourselves as a good human being, but simply because we are more capable of radiating out love and acceptance from within.
And selfishly, this is how I invite you to help me change the world...by meeting your sacred self. By doing the journeywork. By using your own bravery to go inward instead of simply allowing yourself to be consumed by the outer world's flaws and travesties. By sharing this sacred version of yourself in our world to shift the balance. By being wholy you. Because you, you see, are sacred. Do you see? I do.
The theme of December's class will be discerning curiosity from judgment within. We invite you to this wonderful monthly breathwork class as a tool for your inner journeywork. You can save your spot from the Special events page here.