Think – Day 22 – Instead of judging ask, “What function is it serving?” Awareness unlocks the door to freedom.
How did it go with your ‘Awareness Alarms’ over the weekend?
Did you set them??
If not – why not pause and set them now? It literally takes all of 3 minutes to do!
You can set them on your phone, tablet, iPad, or computer…whatever device is easiest!
(Review Day 20’s message for instructions)
I prefer my phone because it generally goes with me everywhere, but do what works for you!
Whatever you do though…don’t discount the power of setting 5-7 daily ‘Pause and Breathe’ reminders without actually trying it.
This really has great power to be transformative…especially when you combine it with affirmations.
Now, a bit more on judgment today…because the inner judge is generally EVERYONE’S greatest obstacle in awareness and happiness.
“It is not helpful to condemn our present behavior patterns as “bad”; it is helpful to see what function these habits are serving, so that if we learn a better way to achieve the same end, we can do so.”
“We never repeat any behavior which isn’t serving some function or purpose.”
“It is difficult to become aware of the function of any pattern of behavior while we are in the process of blaming ourselves for having a “bad habit.”
“But when we stop trying to suppress or correct the habit, we can see the function it serves, and then an alternative pattern of behavior, which serves the same function better, emerges quite effortlessly.” – Tim Gallwey
There are MANY ways we tend to do this whole judging/non-awareness thing…let’s just take eating for one super common example.
Many of us are emotional eaters. I definitely am so I can easily speak to this example.
It’s easy to see this as a ‘bad habit’ and just want to suppress it or correct it.
But awareness, and non-judgment – removing the label ‘bad’ – allows us to observe it for what it is.
What purpose is the eating serving?
Is it filling up an inner void or feeling of emptiness?
Is it comforting the pain of self-condemnation and allowing us an escape from our inner tyrant if only for a moment?
Is it a tool for escaping thinking about the overwhelming task load in front of us?
If it is doing any of these or other similar tasks, it is probably doing a great job at serving that function is it not?!
It’s not inherently bad or good then to eat food to deal with emotions.
Emotional eating quite effectively produces a short-term remedy for serious problems we face.
When we are able to observe it without judging it, this opens the doors to other possible remedies that may serve us even better!
But when we are in the modes of rejecting what is, hating ourselves and our habits, or suppression & denial of our challenges, we keep ourselves closed to other options.
We hold ourselves in a state of resistance and we block our own progression.
And so the pattern of eating remains as our only available solution!
Here comes the beauty of practicing awareness without judgment!
Freedom can ensue quite rapidly and with ease once we become aware.
In the case of the eating example, when I personally become aware of my actual needs that the eating is attempting to solve, I also become aware of other possibilities to solve those needs…
…Like sitting back in my chair and just breathing
…Like just kicking my feet up and pulling out my journal to check in with myself.
Those are just two highly effective options that fill my need for comfort and shine the light of awareness on my inner shadows.
Both of those are more empowering tools than eating food…and they have zero damaging side-effects.
There are many others tools like that.
The key is that when we are AWARE and observing ourselves non-judgmentally, only then do these other possibilities even become visible to us.
Without awareness all our energy is spent fighting what is.
So…keep on practicing. Breath. Non-judgment. Non-striving. Acceptance. Let go.
With each moment of practice your awareness ability improves.
Make Today Amazing!