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Judges, Light Bulb, and Wise Yoginis

holding light bulb Pictures, Images and Photos

Friday night I went to my regular restorative Yoga class.  Everyone should go to one of these at the end of the week.  One and a half hours of pure relaxation and tranquility.  Afterwards I sat with one of my Yogini friends and talked forever.  She asked how my visit with my brother and his wife went.  I didn’t talk much about that visit here on Dirty Footprints, now have I?  Well, I’m still taking it all in I guess.  
My brother and his wife are my polar opposites.  At one point I just put it on the table and said “how the heck are we related?”  My brother and his wife just laughed and agreed, and that was that.
But you see…I carry these things.  I think about them.  I ponder.  I wonder.  Maybe you could say I over analyze.  So there I was telling my Yogini friend how bad I feel because they are so unhealthy.  They eat tons of junk food, smoke, don’t exercise, and drink diet coke with each meal and through out the entire day.  This killed me.  
“Why?  Why does this kill you?” the wise and wonderful Johanna asked.
“Because it’s not healthy.”
“For crying out loud…stop judging, Connie.”
Did you hear that?  Did you get that?  Did you see that light bulb turn on into the world?  Isn’t she amazing….I mean BAM!!! That’s what I needed.  Believe me, I’ve regurgitated this little story to other friends now throughout the week…and the consensus has been that they agree with me, and feel bad also.  But Johanna made an excellent point.  She’s right.  Connie–stop judging!!
I’ve been judging my brother and his wife all this time.  Who the f$#@ am I to judge?  My feeling miserable about their situation–which is really only my perception of their lifestyle–is A.) none of my beeswax and B.) not very Yogini of me.  
“Maybe they’re lifestyle makes them happy,” Johanna said, “maybe this is their karma to burn this life time.”
I can’t thank Johanna enough.  Her simple observation has really created a shift in me.  All day today I have become more observant of all the times I do judge—people I know, people I don’t know, situations, experiences I’m having, things I see.  What it all comes down to is perception.  What my perception is of something…and what the reality is of that something are two majorly different things.  
Here’s an example.  Hansel and I went to Sedona today.  You will see lots of interesting folks in this little ol’ town.  New agey people, tourists, hikers,  bored teenagers, wanderers, psychics, people who drive pink jeeps for a living, etc. etc.  I started to notice how many times I would see complete strangers, and I would instantly think something of them.  Judge them by what they looked like, or what they were doing.  Yeah—I can’t be the only one that does this…but maybe I’m one of the few that have actually become highly aware now that I do do this.
So, after having these judgemental thoughts I instantly tried to decipher what is the reality and what is my perception.
Yes, my brother and his wife eat a lot of junk food, do not make exercise a priority, and yes, they smoke (sorry–that one still kills me!!). But–it is my perception to think that their lifestyle is so horrible.  Johanna is right–this is their karma…this is providing them with the challenges and lessons needed for their own development.  I know, it’s a hard concept to digest–and, believe me, kind of a hard one to put in words.  
Furthermore, how can the mind be light and full of love when it is being crowded by judgements.  Judgements that have nothing to do with anything…they’re like pointless info-mercials taking up precious brain space.  Now that I am becoming more aware of all the times I judge in my own mind, I can start to drop this nasty habit–and instead, fill those moments with love for these people, places, and things!!  Open my heart and shed light on those I see, meet, and observe around me…not stand in a place that I think I have them figured out, or that I know best, or that I am some how better then this other soul just trying to have a human experience as well.
So, I’m challenging you.  Take today and honestly pay attention to all the judgements that zoom across your mind.  You might be amazed, how much energy and time you waste in negative thought–but never realized it before.  This negative thought–these judgements, even if we never express them verbally, they still exist in the Universe just by us purely thinking them.  I want my mind to be clear, not a petri dish for mental bacteria.  How about you?
(Thank you Johanna for being a bright light in my life.  There is great love here for you.)
Peace & Love.
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