Lately, I have found myself thinking a lot about the judgments I make about myself as well as other people. This series of thoughts came about after watching a student in one of my classes consistently push themselves into and out of every pose offered in the class. Each time this person entered a pose, their face would grimace their breath would either stop or become very effortful. And yet, when it came time to exit the pose, this same person would stay in the pose – especially the challenging poses – longer than anyone else in the class.

Having my own opinions about the adage of “no pain, no gain,” I couldn’t help but wonder – i.e. pass judgment – over what I saw. Specifically, I couldn’t understand why this person was forcing themselves to do more than they were comfortably able. My own judgments in this situation continued to say, “this person isn’t strong enough, flexible enough, aware enough, _____ enough to do or not do this pose.” As one who strives to have a class that is open and welcoming, I was shocked by my own thoughts and opinions that basically said that in some way, this person wasn’t “enough.”

This revelation has led to the following question that I offer to you as I attempt to answer it for myself:  where in your life are you passing judgments on the very same people, situations, or events you say you want to support, love, and care for? And can you begin to see what is the impact of this judgement?

In the case of this student, I am aware that the unconscious thought was that this person was somehow “Not Enough,” and I responded in kind through my actions. But the same question needs to be asked when passing judgments about our relationships, our work, and even our bodies. What is the impact of the judgments we make about life? Do these thoughts enable expansion and growth, or do they retard, limit, that growth and expansion? What ever you happen to find, I encourage you to be kind and gentle with yourself, just as I am attempting to do the same.