Judging and Yoga

I grew up being told by my religion not to judge others. And I do consider myself to be a fairly non-judgmental adult.  How you live your life is none of my business unless it directly affects me and, in some cases, my children.

I generally don’t associate with people who are extremely judgmental, and if they judge me, I will break the friendship, cut them out of my life, or otherwise distance myself. I find that–most of the time–the people who judge others, whether by actual or perceived actions,  aren’t focusing on their own business enough. But then, hey, maybe that’s a judgment on my part.

I learned my newest and best lesson on judging from American Power Yoga 60 instructor, Kurt Johnsen. I’ve tried yoga many times before, but it’s never stuck until recently. This time, I believe that it is because of the instructor.  The APY 60 course is essentially 60 days of yoga classes, each day consisting of a 15-minute warm-up with life coaching lessons from Kurt and then a 45-minute lesson which is repeated six days, then a rest day before beginning the next lesson. Most of the life coaching and diet tips are already firmly in my regimen.

But I did discover something new when Kurt introduced the idea of wearing a bracelet band on your wrist to remind you not to judge.  The part that really caught my attention here was not the judging or not judging other people but the judging or not judging of situations.

He gave the examples of something bad happening which turned out to be a very good thing, and how life ebbed and flowed from seemingly good  situations to seemingly bad and how the exact opposite was justly likely come out of it.   He suggested not judging the situation as good or bad but that it just is, and wait and see how it plays out.

When I take these examples and look back at specific times in my life, things that seemed really bad–some of the worst things that ever happened to me in my life–turned out to be the best things because they put me in a much better road. They were life changing, yes, and at the time they seemed like they were terrible life changing things.  Later, those things opened doors to true happiness, that would never have opened otherwise.

Since being exposed to  Kurt’s advice, I have actively tried to observe myself judging events and situations, not as bad or good but as just…they are…just life…just events and situations that lead me forward on this journey.

Within the first three days after hearing this advice, I watched one situation played out, back and forth, ups and downs,  little rollercoasters causing my heart to pound and then leaving me nauseated.

In one particular situation, I received the good news of having full time help in an area where I have been doing the work alone. I was overjoyed. This is a good thing, right?

Finally I was getting the help I wanted and needed, but then I got the bad news. My new helper would not be allowed to work on certain projects with me for personal legal reasons. That was bad news, but then I found that I had another project, a huge project that could consume most of my time for the coming six months…and I could turn it over entirely to my new helper.

Great news right? I know, I know. It’s sounding like joke!

Then I found out that the new project was tied into –unbeknownst to either of us at the time–his personal legal situation so he couldn’t work on that project with me. However, that project–which was going to be so time consuming–suddenly went away.

And that was good news right? I mean, seriously, didn’t Grandpa Jones back in his HeeHaw days have a routine about this?  By this point, the good-news-bad-news shifts were plain funny.

All these up and down in a matter of few days!

I saw these same little rollercoasters going on in my romantic relationship during that time because now I was looking for events and situations that I was judging as either bad or good.  These also went from bad to good within a matter of hours and back to good again. What I learned from looking at this was not to get caught up in all those rollercoaster, hairpin-twist-turns, upside down and flung this way and that, but just to keep going forward and instead of being in a rollercoaster, just surf.  Just surf between the ups and downs, the seemingly good and seemingly bad situations. Don’t judge any of them as being bad or good, but just as being a matter of course, all moving me forward.