Thursday, May 7, 2009

It's All Good


I have been receiving "Blessing Way Challenge" emails from Kate Nowak who is the creator of the Blessings Experiment among many other inspirational works. It's funny how you always get the message you need at just the right moment...
As I actively engage in my own spiritual development, I notice that life has a way of way of bringing to us opportunities to evolve. Not all of them are comfortable. In the past few weeks one of the things that has surfaced is "judgment". I first recognized this theme while participating in a spiritual healers training weekend. What occurred that weekend and in the following few days were numerous events that allowed me to experience the feeling of being judged by others and my subsequent reaction, as well as being in the position of judgment towards others. What was interesting to me was my immediate observation of what I was experiencing in the moment. I was able to be the observer and notice that I moved through a series of thoughts and emotions in a matter of minutes, ultimately getting to a place of acceptance and peace...relatively quickly. In the past I may have held on to the feeling of hurt and resentment for a long time before coming to some kind of resolution and understanding. This, to me, is a sign of personal spiritual growth.....ever closer to living in the moment the Divine self that I am rather than in ego. Hurray!....progress. Right as I was experiencing these events, I received an email from Kate with the subject: Non Judging. Of course - how fitting. I share her some of her words here:
Whenever we judge anything, we tend to place a negative interpretation on it. We judge it as bad or evil or wrong and, in so doing, obscure whatever good might be inherent in it. If you decide, for instance that because your house has burned the ground, the quality of your life has been totally diminished, then you've judged the experience as a bad thing. And in so doing, you've essentially placed a limitation on the amount of good you're willing to let rise out of the situation. What good does come forth will first have to push past the mental barriers your judgment has placed on it. The time it takes for the positive aspects of the experience to be revealed will be totally dependent upon how much negativity you allow to build up around the situation. Essentially, you keep your own good from happening by your refusal to see it.

We do the same thing every time we pick up a newspaper or watch a television newscast and decide that the reports we've read about various people and events are bad. We place a judgment on them and feed into the negative energy already surrounding each situation. And sadly, because we live in a world where what we focus upon increases, our willingness to see only the negative aspects of any situation give it the energy it needs to continue.

That doesn't mean we're supposed to go around pretending that everything is wonderful and our world is trouble-free, however. It just means that we must be willing to refrain from categorizing the experiences and people outside ourselves in only negative terms. It means that we must be willing to look at every challenging experience, person and experience in our lives and tell ourselves, "There is good in here somewhere. And I will find it."
Kate signs her emails appropriately, "It's better to bless....and It's all good." These words and the events of my last few weeks inspired the piece at the top. What do you notice about how judgement impacts your life?...and particularly... how you judge yourself.
"This is the power of blessing: It elevates us beyond the trap of the rightness and wrongness of what has happened."
— Gregg Braden



3 comments:

Ivan Chan Studio said...

Beautifully written, thanks for this inspired post!

I'm in school right now to get my master's in counseling psychology. In my education and in Buddhist thought, there is the concept of a "witness mentality." It's a state of mind where one can observe and let go without getting the ego (defenses) involved.

Part of being able to let go is having dealt with the issues which are the foundation of one's reaction; resolution means no reaction.

It's important also not to judge the reactions we have as bad or good, I think. If we feel hurt, angry, or happy, there's a lot of information there, about ourselves and the person who's elicited the feelings for which we are ultimately responsible (and by responsible I mean "the ability to respond" and not "accept fault or blame").

What I've learned about judgment is that it's also the desire that someone behave differently or that something happen differently. It's different from discernment, which is about distinguishing.

In the end, I believe in more than looking for the good. I believe in making the good.

Thanks so much for sharing your post and your thoughts!

Take care,

I.

Scott Harland said...

This prompted me to some interesting reflections, Cheryl (as do many of your messages). It's rare enough to be able to embrace the highs and lows of exploring and developing our spirit-but your ability to express it so well makes it easier for me to explore these issues as well. Thanks. Look forward to some chats on this at the lake!

-Scott Harland

Scott Harland said...

This brought me some interesting reflections at a time when I'm thinking a lot about judgment as well. Your ability to embrace the highs and lows of exploring and developing spiritually and share it so well makes it easier for me to sort out some of my musings. I look forward to some chats about this and other topics at the lake soon!
-Scott

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