In the type of therapy I practice, there are three main tenets by which client and therapist work:
- Be curious.
- Be non-judgmental.
- Have no attachment to outcome.
These are definitely not easy to engage for most people, but with constant, gentle reminders they truly hold keys to allowing the work to unfold, for the client to get exactly what they need from session to session.
Working in this way offers a release on the layers of stress in the nervous system. We come to rest in this invisible place of trust, peace, and listening to the wisdom of what the work itself is about, with that curiosity, non-attachment, and non-judgmental headspace. In essence, we make friends with the trauma and offer an opportunity for alchemy to take place, allowing space for the work to guide the client where the greatest healing resides. Dropping judgment can allow one to make friends with oneself and with others. Judgment aka “the critic” sees but a very narrow, separating the view from a fear-based perspective. The critic keeps us alone in our corners because the critic is scared of not belonging, scared of connecting, scared of not being good enough. The critic chooses not to see the full picture because the full picture is SCARY. It’s safer to hide and not connect, no? But then what can happen? Isolation, loneliness, depression, etc. That’s no good!
So how do we get there when that’s all we know? Setting a conscious intention to release judgment is a great place to start. First thing in the morning say out loud or to yourself something like “Today during (this visit with my sister, dinner with parents, trip to the mall…) I utilize my power of choice and practice releasing any judgment.” See if you can do it, catch yourself when you do, just notice with curiosity, and let it go. This is the internal process of bringing what’s unconscious to the conscious. Once things are brought out into the daylight, they can be healed.
Speaking of daylight, this summer I have found a great place to practice non-judgementalism, THE SWIM PARK! Wow do our scantily clad human bodies create an opportunity for the good ‘ol inner critic to leap forward and take over. At the swim park, we are complete strangers walking around in undergarment-like clothing, displaying our cellulite jiggles, hidden tattoos, bulging bellies, and funny-looking bare feet. It’s a paradox of sorts, as we are all in the same boat in our bathing suits baring our skin, so what good does a judge do at a swim park? But no doubt it’s there, draining our somas of energy as much as the day in the sun. Practice releasing those separating, lower vibrational thoughts that the critic holds. What do we know about the journey of a stranger? What do they know about ours? Is there really room for divisive criticism in your precious headspace? Simply put, nope, there’s not.
My point here is this: when the inner critic is gone, we then may fully experience the full meaning and richness that the interaction holds. The practice of letting that go can open us up to a smorgasbord of opportunities and a buffet of possibilities. Notice the shift in your energy as you make this choice. There is freedom in living a critic-free life. Let the swim park show you the way.