How to Stop Judging Ourselves & Others.

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{Read the fancy, full version on elephant}

Working to let go of beng judgmental is a lifelong practice—one that can start right now in this moment.

Become aware of your judgmental tendencies.

Recall that we are all ultimately the same.

To paraphrase a gem of Sikh wisdom: all souls shine with the light of God. When feeling superior or inferior to someone, which is the foundation of judgment, it is essential to remember that each of us is actually just a little piece of the universe walking around expressing itself. We are all interconnected and therefore judging ourselves and/or others is both useless and unnecessary.

Let go of pride.

Judgmental people have a sense of superiority and an inflated ego, whether conscious or subconscious. Pride is a fence that keeps us separated and isolated from each other. When you notice excessive pride arising within, swallow it, take a deep breath and let it go.

One surefire way to put this into practice is yoga asana. Challenge yourself with a difficult pose, and see how the mind goes wild with judgment. Notice and release. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

“If you keep your mind humble, pride will vanish like morning mist.” ~ Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

Cultivate compassion.

Whether we know about the difficulties of a person’s life or not, everyone has experienced adversity. Recalling this truth and cultivating compassion for people helps temper even our most outrageous bouts of judgmental thinking.

Be generous—give metta.

Metta, or loving kindness, is the act of sending good wishes for health, happiness, safety, ease and freedom to all beings without exception, including ourselves. It is a powerful meditation technique that can transform the practitioner, if not the recipient. Take a few minutes per day to practice metta.

“I notice that when I’m generous, accepting, and loving toward myself, all that’s reflected out into the world. The more I cut myself slack, the more I don’t judge myself for being other than I am, the more I’m aware of who I am, see it, honor it and respect it, the more I do all those things for others.” ~ Jeff Bridges

I am of the nature to grow old. There is no way to escape growing old.

I am of the nature to have ill health. There is no way to escape ill health.

I am of the nature to die. There is no way to escape death.

All that is dear to me and everyone I love are of the nature to change. There is no way to escape being separated from them.

My actions are my only true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground upon which I stand.

~ Translation by Thich Nhat Hanh

As always, this list is merely composed of my humble opinions, and it’s just a beginning. What other advice can you share for letting go of pettiness and judgment?

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