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By Jill Hope

I remember several years ago when I was going through my fertility journey and I was attending some classes at a spiritual fertility clinic. There was a clearing ceremony in which I decided to participate.  The idea of the ceremony was to release any disappointment, anger, fear, resentment, or any other negative influences from your life.

One of the things we had to do during the ceremony was to write down what it was we wanted to clear.  Then we had to share it with everyone else and burn our paper, leaving the burden behind once and for all.

One of the people participating in the ceremony was one of the owners of the clinic.  When it was her turn to describe what it was she came to release, she said it was judgment.  She wished to be free of her judgment of others.

I remember feeling really shocked and surprised when I heard her say this.  Here, I had seen her as this enlightened, evolved person, a role model for the rest of us, and yet she still fell into judgment.  I couldn’t believe that someone like her could pass judgment on others.

What I since came to realize was that although she still fell into judgment, she was able to recognize she was engaging in that, and was prepared to take steps to walk away from it.  I think the more evolved or enlightened one is, the more easily one can recognize when they fall into a negative pattern, such as judgment and then take steps to correct it.

It took a lot of courage for her to admit she struggled with that trait, especially given her position relative to the rest of us; a role model for how to survive the fertility journey and be a better person for it, regardless of the outcome.

What about you?  Are you aware of how often you judge others, such as your kids, your partner, strangers you stand behind in the grocery store line, even yourself?

Judgment is passed down from generation to generation.  By becoming aware of your own shortcomings in this area, you will begin to break the cycle of judgment in your family and start moving into a higher realm of consciousness and being.

So, how do we become aware?  I’ve recently become much more aware my own judgment of both others and of myself.  What I’ve come to notice is that when I’m engaged in a negative, judgmental thought about myself or someone else, I feel it in my body.  I get an almost ‘sick to my stomach’ feeling.  I know the thought I am having is not truth or light.

Once I connected the act of judgment to how my body felt while having the thought, I was more easily aware of when I was falling into the trap. It was then that I could stop the thought.

Create an intention for yourself this week to become aware of when you are having judgmental thoughts, whether they are directed toward yourself or others.  Then, when you notice yourself having the judgmental thought, check in with your body and see where you feel the emotion.

When it comes to judgment, even the most enlightened among us can fall prey to this toxic emotion.  However, the more we practice being aware of our thoughts toward others, the more easily it is to change a bad thought habit and be more conscious in our thoughts and actions.  And it is through our own awareness that we can influence others’ awareness, creating a ripple effect of less judgment and greater consciousness within all those whom we spend time with.