We tend to create labels, and with labels come roles. Roles lead to expectations and expectations lead to judgment. What would happen, if for one moment, we forgot to judge the experience?
EXERCISE: Get a pen and paper and write the first word or phrase that comes to your mind when you read each of the following scenarios of people/things, then read the article below:
1) A 200-pound dumbbell
2) An older man working at Starbucks
3) A man on the side of the street asking you for change
4) A guy/girl that has the same name as your ex
5) Speaking in front of 100,000 people
6) A child diagnosed with Cancer
It’s undeniable. It’s real. It’s the truth – beyond a doubt – that we are creatures of judgment. This is neither opinion nor mere belief, it is fact. Judgment is our source of navigation, and without it, we’d probably be very lost and confused floating around in this physical reality. It is through our ego in which judgment exists, and the ego is what continues to create a consistency of WHAT WE DESIRE TO SEE. Now, this is great when we are initially experiencing the world around us, but in time, the result is a sense of stagnancy. We find ourselves in the same patterns, the same situations with the same problems repeating over, and over, and over again. We ask the same questions, get the same answers, and find ourselves in a seemingly endless cycle of repeating reality – and eventually, we succumb to the that inevitable two-word phrase, “I’m lost!”
The other day I was at the gym, doing some dumbbell bicep curls, turning muscle in to iron – you know, the usual day of lifting…when I thought, “What if I didn’t know how much I was lifting? Would I be able to lift more?” This question was stimulating to me because I became aware of the sense of limitation that I was creating BEFORE I EVEN PICKED UP THE WEIGHT! Although I had never tried to lift particular amounts of weight, my mind immediately judged the experience AS THOUGH I HAD ALREADY EXPERIENCED IT. However, the fact is, I’ve never had that experience and my mind was literally filling in for an experience that was unknown to me.
Have you ever looked at an attractive person and suddenly thought something like, “I’m way out of his/her league” or “We would never work out”? I’ve found myself doing that sort of thing all the time! Immediate judgments that lack credentials to prove anything – it’s almost like a sub-class of insanity when you really think about it!
All this seemingly useless judgment led me to the question: “What if I forgot to judge?”
What if I forgot to judge? Ask yourself that. What if you just completely wiped out all past pre-conceived notions of any person, place, or thing and just lived. What would that be like? Who would you talk to? Would you look at the cashier at Starbucks differently? The person asking you for change? The 200-pound dumbbell? The child diagnosed with Cancer? Would you change the words that you used during the exercise?
We tend to create labels, and with labels come roles. Roles lead to expectations and expectations lead to judgment. When we expect to see something, our inner guidance system subconsciously creates EXACTLY what we expect to see, and so we perceive (and experience) something that is essentially not real but of our own creation.
Try this. If you’re in a public space, look around the room for someone you definitely do not know. Imagine what it would be like if you knew them. Imagine that you loved them as a friend – would you act differently? Coming from my own experience – yes – you absolutely will. And you want to know what the cool part about this subtle shift in perception? They will respond differently! Not always, but a majority of the time, they will respond from a place of love because love is our natural state – it transcends social norms and other barriers created by our human judgment system.
Now, look back at your list. Did your words suggest judgment or do they invite possibility? There is no right nor wrong, it just is. However, if you’d like to expand your potential for new, creative, insightful experiences, make it a point TODAY to turn that judgmental system off – even for a mere moment – to experience the vast array of possibility that has been provided for you in this human experience.
Sometimes it’s ok to be forgetful :)
Evolve with Love,
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