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compassion

Non-judgement day

I read this awesome article 15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy, and it’s gotten me thinking about a lot of things. The latest topic on my mind has been judgement. I’ve been noticing my own judgements more, and it makes me feel awful inside when it happens.

We all do it. “She looks awful in that shirt,” “I’d NEVER do what he just did!,” “He smells bad, he should try showering more often,” and so many others. Often, we are judging people or situations without even realizing it. We even judge ourselves on a constant basis. Not only that – but we’re often worried about other people judging us, and what they are thinking about us. Why do we do that? Because WE are constantly judging, and our own thoughts and behaviours are projected BY US onto others; Hence we constantly believe that others are judging us.. because we are constantly judging!!!

It’s not easy to become more conscious of your own judgements. Lately, I’ve been trying harder to think about all the stuff going on in my head, the words that cross my lips, and my reactions to things and people. Judgement often happens automatically without us even realizing. Our brains are so used to it, it just *happens*

I’m hoping that by being aware of my judgements, that I’ll be able to start cutting them away. Judgement is essentially the practice of putting myself above others, and that’s not how I want to be. That’s not who I want to be. I’m guessing that other things will soon fall in stride – like a lot less stress, less heartache, less worry, and the reduction of negativity in general.

I’m hoping that this practice will help me* on my path of things I’d like to give up to be happy:

  1. Give up your need to always be right.
  2. Give up your need for control*
  3. Give up on blame*
  4. Give up your self-defeating self-talk*
  5. Give up your limiting beliefs.
  6. Give up complaining*
  7. Give up the luxury of criticism*
  8. Give up your need to impress others*
  9. Give up your resistance to change.
  10. Give up labels*
  11. Give up on your fears.
  12. Give up your excuses*
  13. Give up the past.
  14. Give up attachment.
  15. Give up living your life to other people’s expectations*

2011 – New opportunities await!

Maybe I’m entering a new stage of my life….

empty-university-lecture-hallWhen I was a kid – I was always absorbing, asking questions, and kind of going with the flow. Parents and teachers were guiding me, telling me where to go, how, and when. Once I entered high school, I had a taste of knowledge, and began the typical teenage pull away from authority, from parents, from teachers. I wanted to be independent – but still depended so much on all of these people for answers, for support, for… well… everything. Then university started – and my REAL taste for independence occurred. I got my first chance at staying away from home and making my own decisions: if I was going to class, if I was going to do a reading, what money I was going to spend, and where… I really beginning to get a grasp on adulthood.

Then adulthood began. My first thought was :This sucks! I want to be a kid again! Doesn’t just about everyone have that moment? In any case, I plowed headfirst into adulthood – doing the things that were expected of my: getting a job, finding a place to live, exploring relationships. My mid- to late-twenties was really an information gathering time for me. Once I hit thirty – it felt like all of that absorption (from day 1 to my 30th birthday, really) had finally all come together and started forming a picture.

Up until my early thirties, I didn’t really feel like I had a full and complete view of myself, of things around me, of life in general. Now, at 32, I am finally really seeing into myself for the first time. I have finally come to a place where I accept so many things from my  history.

Regrets are falling away like sandcastles into the tide – as I am realizing that they do not serve a purpose. My past has become a history of valuable learning experiences. It is no longer a place to bathe. The future is unknown to me – and I am still learning how to not play the “what if” game. I think after thirty-some-odd years of experience, I’m finally realizing what’s important: NOW, this moment!

I feel like I’m finally on the right path. Forgiveness is so much easier. Happiness is always close at hand. Sadness seems to crumble more quickly than I remember. Why? There’s so much less to worry about! The two mottoes that I have had for at least the past 8 or so years are finally really becoming crystal clear to me. They are both very simple, but usually one or the other helps to solve problems or puzzles I am facing.

One: Never Give Up! This motto should be taken with a grain of salt. There are some who might take this to the extreme and possibly apply it to projects or problems that might end up simply giving a negative ends. But it’s important in some places: never give up on loving those around you, never give up on forgiveness, never give up on yourself!

My tattoo: It says "Never give up"
My tattoo: It says "Never give up"

Two: No matter what, everything will work itself out. This motto, I have found, is always 100% true. No matter what you are going through, things will work themselves out (either you will work them out, or something will happen to help the process). You might go through some real crap in the interim, and feel some real pain (which usually equals REAL GROWTH), but in the end… that’s right… it’ll all work out!

I’m seriously considering adopting a new motto that I learned in my latest meditation experience: This too, will change.

What does that mean? you might ask. To paraphrase S.N. Goenka: No matter what you are facing – be it a pain in your hip, or the loss of a loved one – this will change (either the pain will pass, or you will!). It’s very difficult to keep this in perspective when you’re in the middle of suffering, but it helps to provide a light at the end of the tunnel. There’s always hope 😉

So here’s to an amazing 2011 – filled with love, compassion, opportunities, adventure, and a NEW and FANTASTIC stage of my life!

The morning commute is fruitful

I had a sort of epiphany this morning. Actually, it was a direction I hadn’t thought of in terms of a subject. That’s one reason why I enjoy having  a longer commute to work, I often have the time to mull things over – and interesting things come to light!

So this morning’s epiphany had to do with Karma. I have always been thinking in one direction with Karma – which is that Karma happens to you as a result of you not being as compassionate a person as you could be. But I think Karma has another point as well. How did I arrive at this epiphany, you ask? (this little bit may help explain things better)

As I was driving, someone came up behind me rather quickly. I was stopped so kind of worried a little, as I watched them in my rear-view mirror, that they might hit me. I had a mini-dream in my head about what would happen if they did hit me, the damage that would be done to both cars, and injuries to the drivers. Not only that, but this accident would cause a traffic dilemma for hundreds of people and affect the days of all of them, not just us involved in the accident.

After my mini-dream, it got me to thinking. In that situation most people sit there thinking “why me?” People always wonder what they have done to deserve these bad things to be happening to them. Well, that was just it. That was my epiphany. Karma is also a way of the universe kicking you in the butt and saying “don’t forget compassion, don’t forget to love, don’t forget to be a good person.” It’s not always about things you have done in your past coming back to haunt you. I think maybe it’s a kind of pay it forward message from the universe, saying “Be a better human being.”

This is easier said than done, but understanding that this is part of the message is a step in the right direction!

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