The Universe Played Along And Taught Me A Valuable Lesson
We’re in the home stretch with this series. Just a couple more focus areas to go!
Last time I talked about the power of taking a breathing break in A Minute Of Breathing A Day Keeps The Doctor Away. This time, I want to tell you about how the Universe played along with my 13×4 during the 11th week and taught me a valuable lesson.
If you haven’t noticed already, telling my mind something specific every day… one thing at a time, one week at a time… has engaged my subconscious mind in ways that hard to ignore. It’s the RAS that is often involved here. The RAS is something that I’ve written about before. It’s the Reticular Activating System. In the video below (or click here to view it), Tom and I talk about the RAS.
I’ve found my RAS to be extremely helpful in staying focused. I’ve realized that I’m telling my RAS every week what I want it to notice, so I need to be careful. If I’m emotionally charged about something I don’t want or am worried about, it will show me that too. I think that’s why this next focus area has presented such a challenge for me this year. I must be clear when thinking about what it means to me.
Focus Area #11
F-ocus: Release Judgements
A-ttitude: What is my approach to this focus area – what do I/we want it to be?
My accountability partner and I have been supporting each as we move through the cycles of our 13×4 systems this year. We customized our own wheels, and when she saw that I had chosen this focus area she was surprised. She said, “You are one of the least judgemental people I know. Why are you choosing this?”
I assured her that I still had a long way to go on trying not to judge people. I think of the many times when I get annoyed while driving. One of my pet peeves is other drivers not indicating with the proper signals that they intend to make lane changes. When it happens, I tend to think of and/or utter expletives and sometimes even curse them.
So I told her that I have not yet mastered what I am striving to master.
S-tory: What is a story that illustrates the power of having this focus in my life?
When I was a child, I was taught: “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgement.” (John 7:24). It kind of confused me at first. So, do we judge or not? And how do we know what is “right judgement”?
I have come to realize with time and wisdom that there is there is a time to judge, such as when it will serve in protecting yourself or others, and there is a time not to judge. There’s a light side and a dark side to this whole judgement thing. And it really clicked for me when I read what Miguel Ruiz teaches in his book The Four Agreements, which is “Don’t make assumptions.” It made sense because when I would make assumptions, 9 times out of 10, I would make mistakes.
When I focused on releasing judgements about others during that week, my RAS kept noticing all sorts of things dealing with making judgements. For example, one of the newsletters I subscribe to featured an article about this very topic during that week. That was weird in a cool way.
It was also pretty weird how during this particular week, a brand new client during our first session came right out and asked me to make a judgement about him. He wanted to know what I thought about him when I first saw him… what was my first impression of him as he walked through the door? Specifically, did he look too old and should he use hair color to look younger? He insisted that my answer – and how honest I was – would give him a sense of whether I would be the right consultant for him. Talk about being put on the spot. And that it was during the week of “Release Judgements” was not lost on me in that moment either.
Before I answered him, I smiled and told him that I found his question highly ironic because of my particular personal improvement focus area that week. Of course, I proceeded to give him my answer (which was not about his hair color but about his energy, which came across as frustrated and tired – a far more important indicator of how young he appeared than how much gray hair he had).
Clearly the Universe was challenging me, “So, you want to learn about making and releasing judgements, huh? Well, here’s the thing, girly girl, you will always make judgements about people because it’s part of being human. Here’s a chance, though, to judge someone with compassion. Here’s an opportunity to notice your judgements and say them to this person in such a way as to help him.”
Yes, I know… watch what you ask for!
So, I get it. It’s not that I’m going to release judgements totally when I master this focus area. It’s that I’m going to acknowledge that I have a tendency to make assumptions and then strive to question my own assumptions. It’s also about embracing a more compassionate point of view of what I have been tempted to “judge” whether I’m sharing it aloud or not.
T-ool: What is a tool I/we can use to maintain this focus area?
At 9am every day, a message popped on my calendar that said, “Release judgements.” Nothing fancy, just a reminder to my conscious and subconscious mind – and, apparently a message to my RAS!
Angela Loëb helps people rediscover and use their gifts so they bring who they are to what they do in life. http://about.me/angelarloeb ___________________________________________________