Non-Judgment Expands Our Hearts

Sometimes we can slip into judging others and ourselves harshly. This damages our hearts.  Whenever we focus on the darkness we bring gloom into our hearts, and our hearts contract. Our hearts wish to expand in love. They wish to live in a constant state of appreciation and only see the good. It is very important that we take care our hearts and protect them. Let us love our hearts and bring the beauty back into them so they may expand. Seeing others in a negative light is toxic for our hearts and slows down our spiritual evolution. Here are 5 ways to judge less, and in doing so take care of our precious hearts:

1) Form preferences rather than judgments

We may prefer a person behave in a specific way but we cannot judge them if they choose not too. Respect that person is on their own unique life journey, and they will learn lessons in their own time. We can only wish the best for them. When we experience some unwanted behavior, such as someone being rude to us, we know we would prefer the opposite. Thankfully we have a direct experience of how it feels when someone speaks to us in a resentful tone. We can then treat others as we would like to be treated ourselves. Observing what we "like" and "dislike" gives us clarity. The contrast we experience helps us form unique preferences and moves us forward on our path. Observing life and experiencing contrast is helpful and can be done without being critical and judgmental. We do not need to hold onto any negative behavior from others. Holding onto negativity poisons our hearts.

2 ) Negative behavior is linked with stress and misunderstanding - it is not who we are

A person who is stressed exhibits unnatural behavior. We can see stress exiting their system through negative speech and actions. Stress is foreign, like a virus. When it attaches to us it distorts who we truly are. Do not mistake a person for their stress. When people find ways to dissolve stress (through meditation, sleep, exercise, healthy eating and right knowledge) they are wonderful to be around. When someone is de-stressing do not take anything they say or do to heart. Simply be happy that the stress is getting released and hope they will feel better afterwards. Stress is always better out than in and people usually calm down after a short while.

3) Equanimity is the key

When we practice non-judgment, the type of thoughts we experience become irrelevant. Whether the thought is negative, positive or neutral, it’s just a thought, and we can observe it. The observational field is where our true identity is. We are the witness. Becoming the witness is powerful because we now have choices. We can choose to follow the positive thoughts, and not act upon the negative ones. Positive thoughts produce positive feelings and create positive outcomes; negative thoughts produce negative feelings and create negative outcomes. The thoughts we choose to act upon create our karma. We therefore make our decisions conscious and heartfelt. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was very wise when he said, ‘established in being perform action'. When we are grounded and then act it leads to less suffering for ourselves and others.

4) Don't try to please everyone

Ever walked into a room and seen people stare at you and wonder what they are thinking? People are human and form judgments about us depending on their stress levels, ignorance, history and belief systems. Sometimes people make snap decisions about us and sometimes they get to know us over time. People can love us one day and dislike us the next. People’s behavior is unpredictable and changeable. Forget trying to please everyone - follow your heart. Remember the heart sees the good in others even if they appear to dislike us. The heart loves unconditionally. Some people will see the good in us and others won’t. We cannot please everyone. Even if someone seems unable to see us, don’t judge them, it’s not personal. Part of life is learning how to see again, from the heart-space.

By Aruna Shields (CHP, CMT)