I’m a strong believer of the idea that changing your thoughts, can change your life. Many people ask me: But, how do we do that? It has taken me years to think the way I do, so how can I change that into choosing only those thoughts that serve me?
Awareness and ruling out the judging factor are the main drivers to start changing your thinking patterns.
Ruling out the judging factor starts with being aware of your thoughts.
Notice as much as you can your negative thoughts about yourself, other people, groups, a place, a situation you find yourself in, something that is happening but “shouldn’t” etc. Notice the mind’s tendency to find fault with people and situations, to complain, to pronounce righteous judgment.
This is what the mind is used to. We observe, and we roll out our opinion: Good or bad, right or wrong. It’s done in seconds as the mind is powerful machine.
But what makes you so sure that your opinion is the right one? The mere sentence: Do you know what your problem is and then giving your own opinion about a person’s situation? It should be forbidden. We think we know it all, well, we don’t. People will just show and tell you a tiny bit about their personality and situation.
What is it in us that allows us to feel that it is our place to even comment, that we are somehow in a position to pass judgement. And, why is it that by judging others, in some small way, we feel better about ourselves; justified in our own skin. How can diminishing someone else help us feel more adequate about ourselves? If we believe that we are all truly equal, that we are not above anyone else, then what makes us qualified or entitled to criticize or judge?
Most of this comes from fear, insecurity and ego but more importantly, none of it comes from a place of love and, it does not help us…. If we believe that we are all truly equal, that we are not above anyone else, then what makes us qualified or entitled to criticize or judge?
It’s very interesting to see what kind of people have been brought on your path right now. See every meeting, every human interaction as an opportunity and be very aware of who is on your path right now. At work, at home, in your yoga class, … anywhere.
When you start training your mind in being very aware of your thoughts, all your thoughts, but especially the negative ones about yourself and others, gradually, the dimension of awareness will grow and those mental habits will weaken.
But don’t try to suppress your judgments. Have compassion with your mind. A judgment is harmless if you immediately recognize it as such, and don’t believe in it anymore. Then, gradually, awareness dissolves the judgmental mind.
Keep an open mind and heart towards all others. Maybe you don’t approve of their behavior but you cannot approve or disapprove another person. Namaste, remember? The Divine Light in me, sees and greets the Divine Light in you.
As long as we keep pointing a finger towards someone else, we don’t have to look at ourselves, it’s easy but we don’t grow. So here’s your daily challenge on your path to more awareness, as it will need discipline and giving yourself daily tasks to start changing your thoughts, but it is possible to change them.
What you can do tomorrow: Start your day at home without judgment; by not judging yourself, your children, your partner, your mother (in law). And then once outside in the world, see how long you can go without becoming critical, cynical, and judging others, thinking you are somehow a little better, smarter, thinner, luckier, …
Start to look at people for who they really are, unique individuals, just like you. Think about becoming more compassionate with yourself and others and see how that might fit into a situation or circumstance, how it might change the lens through which you look at your world, and at others.
Many people want to change the world and have a million things to say about others, but what if we, like a great man once said, would just all start with ourselves?