I had no idea how much judgement plays a role in keeping us closed off, but this week’s Oprah and Deepak’s 21-Day Meditation Experience, Hope in Uncertain Times, helped me see the light. See what I learned below and see if any of it can help you learn how to stop judging yourself and others.
If you missed week one’s journey, don’t worry, you can find the recap here.
Life Takes Care of Itself
Yes, life always finds a way to take care of itself when we allow our awareness to expand. For proof of this simplicity, we merely need to look toward the way our body works. Our cells know where to go, when to grow, when to attack, and our body knows when to breath, digest, or swallow, without us having to control or dictate any of it. We simply stay out of the way and allow it to happen.
That’s exactly what Day 8’s meditation focuses on. Much like we trust our bodies to know what to do to keep us alive, we have to let go of our need to control every aspect of our life, and trust ourselves and our awareness to guide us to creatively organizing our life in harmony, toward our highest good.
Deepak Chopra calls this the infinite intelligence of consciousness. It’s the place where hope comes to life because we trust that our awareness will lead us to a solution. Our job is to be alert and in tune with our intuition, looking for signals helping to have life happen for us, vs passively waiting for life to happen to us. To help, Deepak suggests we look for and acknowledge any issues that need attention, hold a neutral intention for a creative solution, then let go, allowing our awareness to join universal awareness and show us what’s next. Being present, vs. worrying about the past or the future, is what helps us see how we can live the life of our dreams.
I Trust Myself
Day 9’s meditation made me realize that although I thought I was totally living the centering thought listed above, I have a problem trusting myself in several parts of my life. Ugh
And to be clear, the trust being focused on here isn’t the trust we give others based on whether they do or say what we expect of them. Deepak Chopra says that trust is fragile and unsustainable because it requires something or someone else to keep up their end of the bargain. So it’s easy to attach fear and doubt to whether they will or not.
The trust we need to focus on is tied to who we are inside. It’s tied to our core, our inner strength, our values, and abilities, and should in no way be tied to or be diminished by our ego.
Our ego is that voice in our head that tries to convince us “we’re not good enough” or that “we can’t do something” because we need to rely on someone stronger, more intelligent, more beautiful, etc. to achieve it. Unfortunately when we give into that belief, we let go of our belief in our power, our strength, our hope, and ultimately our trust in ourselves.
And while everything the ego is trying to convince us of is all tied to some real life rejection, betrayal or hurt, we have to acknowledge that all of those things are also past experiences, not our current truth. Trust me, I know how hard that can be, but I love how Iyanla Vanzant accurately describes this battle.
“There is no greater battle in life than the battle between the part of you that wants to be healed and the parts of you that are comfortable and content remaining broken.”
Yes, healing is a lot of work. But when we’re able to trust what the whole, healed parts of us already know – that we can take on everything that comes our way – then we can begin to trust that solutions and opportunities are always available to us, ready for us to manifest bigger and better.
I don’t know about you, but I feel my power and strength coming back to me and we’re only at the beginning of week two of this meditation experience.
Peace is My Greatest Strength
Oh insecurity, you creep in at the most inopportune times and keep us living a small existence. Sure we all look like we have our lives together, getting up, doing stuff, and doing it again the next day, but how many of us are actually moving toward the life we want, vs. merely living the life our ego, fear, insecurity, thinks we deserve.
According to Deepak Chopra “…nothing destroys hope more than feeling insecure.” Man can I relate to that, but had never made the connection until today’s meditation. Thankfully strength is the solution to insecurity.
Not the kind of strength built on taking away others power through domination over their insecurities, but the kind that comes from our inner peace. When we feel safe and secure inside, we no longer feel the need to build our defenses to keep others from seeing our true selves. That means being secure in not only presenting our perfectly manicured, styled selves, but in feeling just as secure about our imperfect parts too. Trust me, I know that the struggle is real, but totally doable if we tackle each insecurity one by one. For me that’s going to require several meditations and mental reminders as I go through my day to day, but I hope the success of clarity and peace will push me through.
I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to let my guard down and let go of any defensive posturing, thinking, isolation, and fear, so that I can be open to life and new opportunities.
So here’s to us no longer adding things to make us stronger against the world, but to being at peace with who we are, here and now, hopeful with what the world has to offer vs. being fearful of it. Because in our truth, there is strength.
Stop Being Judgy-Wudgy
Day 11’s meditation made me realize that yes, I am judgy-wudgy. I never wanted to believe I was because I convinced myself there was no way I could be because I support diversity, equal rights, freedom of speech, various charities and causes, etc. But today’s meditation helped me realize that anytime I choose to not be open, vulnerable, and compassionate to everyone who crosses my path, I am choosing to listen to my insecure, distrustful ego which would rather judge the person, than really get to know them. Ugh, I now realize why I don’t like judgy people, because I am one myself.
I don’t like being labelled as judgy because I don’t feel that’s who I am at my core, and today’s meditation agrees. At our core, we are compassionate, empathetic, and sympathetic. It’s our ego that makes us fearful and distrustful of others and of situations. Deepak Chopra said it best when he said that our true self doesn’t pick and choose who to be open with. We’re either open to everyone or no one. Total wake up call for me. To be truly open, I have to be open to everyone and everything that comes my way. As soon as I choose to be defensive and put up walls, I’m not only blocking that situation, but everything else.
So my mission, if I choose to accept it, is to truly live with the understanding that every human being is worthy of compassion, respect, kindness and hope. Fear, insecurity, and distrust have no place in this world.
Long road ahead, but one I’m willing to take on. How about you?
Change is Inevitable, Progress is Optional
Yes, it’s totally in our nature to be afraid of change, but here’s the cold hard fact. Change is inevitable. So we either let go of our fears and muster up the courage to take the leap, or we stay stuck, choosing to cling to our familiar old habits, rather than allowing new ones to move us toward the life we want, and deserve.
That’s exactly what Day 12’s meditation encourage us to do. Deepak Chopra says that holding on to self defeating habits, created because of past hurts, are what keep us stuck. To release their grip, he suggests we begin my merely acknowledging the old habits, allowing that awareness to let us sit with them, without judgement, saying “I no longer need this. I’m a different person now.”
Then as we go about our regular day and notice negative emotions emerging (anger, fear, anxiety, etc.), he again asks us to bring awareness to it and decide if it’s something we’ve seen before. If it is, then we have to be aware that it’s based on something from the past, which is trying to be relevant in the present again. Here, we’re again encouraged to sit a moment, without judgement, and restate “I no longer need this. I’m a different person now.” This re-connection to awareness allows us to release the holds the past has on us, to allow change to happen in peace, without any fear and anxiety.
I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to actually be the person I think I am now, in every part of my life. How about you?
Live in the Moment
Day 13’s meditation is all about why living in the moment is so important. It’s the only place where we can be renewed because we allow every part of us to be attentive to what is happening to us in the here and now, vs. allowing our response to the now, being determined by old habits or old conditioning. Easier said than done with our devices allowing us to be distracted everywhere we have cell service. It’s definitely a struggle, but I can see how this total awareness helps in bringing focus to fulfillment and an expanded life.
So the next time you have a conversation with someone or are taking on a task, try to focus on what it is they’re saying or what it is you’re doing with all your senses. Take it all in, without allowing yourself to be distracted by what your mind is trying to work out. Whether it’s about something that happened in the past, or something you hope happens in the future. It’s a definite process, but totally long overdue. Especially for me, that’s for sure.
Cheers to living in the moment.
Be a Light Unto Yourself
Buddha knew what he was talking about when he said “Be a light unto yourself.” Day 14’s meditation affirms that we all have access to the light of hope and awareness inside. Deepak Chopra says it’s already the place where every thought and feeling originates from. However when we allow awareness to it, in the here and now, it forms a harmonizing consciousness that can lead us out of struggle. That’s because this connection allows us to let go of conflict, self defeating habits, thoughts, judgements, etc., in favor of being open to and embracing everyone and everything.
Oprah Winfrey adds that means embracing others thoughts and actions, even when their light guides them on a different path than ours. Sure, that may be harder to do when they’re close family or friends, but when we try to control their actions by using our light to shine their way, we dim their light, and push them away from awareness, to a disconnected life. And that’s never a good place to be for anyone.
So instead of worrying ourselves about what those around us are doing, we need to bring awareness toward being a light unto ourselves, moment to moment. It’s the best way to keep that light shining, keep our connection to everything and everyone arounds, and allow hope and harmony to reign in our lives.
As usual, this meditation experience does not disappoint. So many take aways and learning experiences, I can’t wait to see what this week brings. But there’s only one week left, so if you want to stay on track follow me on Facebook for more posts or come back here next week and catch up on it all!
Which take away do you think will help you most to help you stop judging yourself and others?