How to Quit Smoking

fresh-air

If you are a smoker who wants to quit for your New Year’s Resolution and you don’t know how to do it, here’s a hot tip:

Check out The Easy Way to Stop Smoking by Allen Carr.  It is the highest-selling book on quitting smoking worldwide.  I have not read the book, but I have heard that Carr’s techniques actually make quitting smoking easy.

Carr was a hundred-a-day chain smoker for thirty-three years until he had a light-bulb moment and quit for good.  Then he spent the rest of his life on a mission to spread his message with the world.  He wrote multiple best-selling books, opened up clinics, created DVD’s, CD’s and more.

Interestingly, his philosophy is based on removing FEAR, and it can be removed by the time you finish reading one of his books.

So, in case you hadn’t heard….

Visit the Allen Carr website here; read some celebrity testimonials here.

From the research I’ve done, it seems his methods don’t work as well for weight loss, alcohol or drug addictions, but for cigarettes (nicotine or cloves), he nailed it.

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Goal Setting for 2013

It’s that time again!  New Year’s Resolutions are upon us.  Have you been thinking about all the terrific things you are going to accomplish in 2013, or are you the type that has decided making New Year’s Resolutions is a waste of time because you won’t stick to them anyway?

Me?  I’m a little of both.  I don’t know if I’ve ever stuck to a New Year’s Resolution, but with my Capricorn Soul, I MUST set goals and meet them.  It’s the Capricorn way.

In order to prepare myself for the New Year this year, I filled out a fancy worksheet on which I wrote down a thorough 2012 review, which included all my greatest achievements so that I could celebrate myself, along with plans for 2013 – all the things I want to learn and create, what I want to check off my bucket list, what relationships I want to develop, how I want to contribute, what kind of fun I want to have, etc.

It was too much.  By the time I finished making my lists, I could hardly read what I wrote down, and I didn’t really care to anyway.  I’ve become more of a ‘live in the moment’ type, and I know I’ll figure a lot of that out as I go.

Trying to keep track of a multitude of goals, let alone accomplish them, is stressful, and making too many goals is unrealistic.

I advise making a short list of goals (three to five things is enough), and also making sure that your goals are realistic.  Challenge yourself, but also set yourself up to succeed!

How Do You Know What Goals To Choose?

My guess is you want to manifest a future that your Soul is calling you to create.  I advise this too, of course, because it makes life easier and better.  If you don’t yet know what your Soul wants from you, you are going to have to ask It the question.

You can say, “Soul, what should my 2013 goals be?”

Sit with this question.  Meditate on it, dream on it, journal it, take a long walk and think it through.  When you come up with something that is Soul aligned, it will feel really good.  Light, not heavy.  Exciting and exhilarating.  Difficult and scary too, I’ll bet.

Getting really clear is so important.  Once you are clear about what you are aiming for, write it down.

Then be sure to ask your Soul to help you accomplish your goals.  You don’t want to have to do it all alone, do you?

Knowing vs. Doing

Coming up with your list of goals is easier than making them happen; I understand that.  My top goals for 2013 are seriously challenging and, as I’m sitting here staring at them in my notebook, I’m realizing what it’s going to take for me to accomplish them:  courage, hard work, discipline, transformation, commitment.

Those are big words.

The question I’m asking myself now is:  Am I up for it?

If you’re not up for taking actions to achieve your goals, then nothing will change.  That’s all.  You can always continue with life as you know it.

Personally, I want new experiences, so I have decided I am up for the challenge.

A symbol for Capricorn is a mountain goat climbing to the top of a mountain.  When I am working to achieve a goal, I think about that mountain goat.  It doesn’t fly up or run up to the top; it walks sure-footedly, step by step by step.

You have to break your goals into small, actionable steps.  The steps you are asking yourself to take have to be steps that you are able to take.  Your action steps are not your goals.  Your action steps help you achieve your goals.

For example, if you want to start an exercise routine and you have never done that before, your first action step might be to decide what kind of exercise you like.  This could be a tough decision for you, so you might give yourself a week to figure it out.  Write in your calendar for the first or second week of January, “Decide what kind of exercise I like.”

The next action step might be, “Decide where I’m going to exercise,” or, “Find a friend to take walks with,” or, “Locate a yoga studio.”

Writing your action steps down in your calendar, scheduling them in, is super helpful.

Every time you complete a step, you will feel a sense of accomplishment and it will create momentum.  These are good things!

You can also set up milestones, like, “Make it through a 20-minute walk on the first day,” or, “Walk for 20 minutes a day for one whole week.”

You will have to execute to stay on track.  As time goes by, you should have check-ins with yourself.  Look back at your original goal and ask yourself if you’re executing.  If you’re not, figure out what adjustments need to be made, what needs to happen in order to get things done.  Why are you off target?

Don’t beat yourself up if you’re off track, and do not give up.  Please!  Your next action step would be to figure out what is holding you back, and then resolve the issue.

In many cases it’s fear that’s holding you back, by the way.  It’s not laziness or being pathetic.  Learning how to break through fear is a seriously important step to take on the way to achieving many different goals.  The fear may be unconscious, and it will trick you, so just trust me on this.

Guilt and anger will mess with you, too.  They can all be dealt with.

Stay positive as you go.  When your mindset is optimistic and you believe you can accomplish your goals, you will be absolutely right.

P.S.  I love this list of quotes from lots of famous people who confirm what I just said!

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Book Launch + Holiday Sale!

 

My holiday highlight is finishing my book.  I am feeling blessed, I am feeling grateful, I am feeling lucky.  I was honored to have the opportunity to create this book with my wonderful coauthor, Linda Brady, and it would be both of our honors to share it with you.

I wrote this book for the purpose of helping others.  It all stemmed from my own personal journey that I have taken over the past six years, during which time I have transformed my life immeasurably for the better.  In the book, I share with you every secret I could think of to help you learn about our processes for transformation and healing, and how Linda and I coach others in our practices.

I acquired all the knowledge I’d been anxious to learn from Linda and wrote it down in a way that will give you education, understanding, assistance, wisdom and skill.  There are lots of actionable items in the book that can have a profound impact on your life if you use them.  There are personal stories.  There is sensible advice.

The book totals ten chapters, 100,000 words, 300 pages.  It is now possible to buy it as a complete package, and we are offering a holiday sale that will last until January 2, 2013.  Don’t miss your chance to buy it now for only $24.95.  In January, the price will go up!

If you are interested in sending it as a gift, email me at kim@soulestialservices.com to make arrangements.  I will email the book directly to a recipient along with a beautifully designed gift card attached.

Click on this link to learn more about the book and to buy it now.

The timing couldn’t be better to improve your life and the lives of others.  Every positive step you take to better your life has a ripple effect on the rest of the world.  In our book, I’ll walk you down roads that Linda and I have taken, and I’ll show and tell you things that could very likely impact your life forever.

And then, perhaps, you’ll pay it forward too.

Hope to see you inside.

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A Few of My Favorite Things

Puppy dog tails and warm, fuzzy sweaters,

Sunshine and rainbows

And big purple letters,

Holiday cards that the mailman brings…

Here are some more of my favorite things:

This song

Lightworker CardsIf you like to play with Tarot Cards and you’re on your computer a lot, you will love these!  I talk to my Soul through these cards multiple times a day.  I have this page bookmarked, and whenever I’m in need, I’ll ask a question of my Soul, click on the link and get a little guidance.  There are multiple decks to choose from.  Love!!

Cosmetic AcupunctureCosmetic acupuncture, aka facial rejuvenation, is one of my indulgences.  It keeps me feeling great and looking my best.  I’ve been doing it for years, and hope to be able to do it for the rest of my days.  Learn more about it here.

The War of ArtAccording to Seth Godin, The War of Art is the most important book you’ve never read.  It’s a simple, straightforward kick-in-the-ass book written by Steven Pressfield (my new online mentor) for writers, artists or entrepreneurs who want to do their work.  I would love to quote The War of Art in entirety, but instead, just a quickie:

“Sometimes I think of Resistance as a sort of evil twin to Santa Claus, who makes his rounds house-to-house, making sure that everything’s taken care of.  When he comes to a house that’s hooked on self-dramatization, his ruddy cheeks glow and he giddy-ups away behind his eight tiny reindeer.  He knows there’ll be no work done in that house.”

Sex tips from Kim AnamiRead this blog to get a sense of her style.  ‘Nuff said?  (swoon)

Curried zucchini soupThis recipe is so quick and easy, healthy and tasty… totally my kind of meal.  You can play with the recipe… substitute another veggie with an herb or spice that matches it, and, voila + bon appetit!

What are your favorite things?  Share with us in the comments section!

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Work With Me Personally!

I finished my book.  Hooray!

I am waiting for the perfect astrological day to launch the final product, which is coming up soon on December 17th!  I’m preparing special deals and offers, so save room on your holiday shopping list for us!  Our book will help you get set for the New Year.

In other news…

I now have more time available.  I am opening up my coaching services to the World Wide Web!  Yes!  If you have ever thought about working with me personally, now’s the time.

My services page has all the information about working with me one-on-one.

Here’s a quick glimpse:

Our conversations are Soul-to-Soul.

I incorporate a lot of energies into my coaching style.  I can be sweet, understanding and compassionate (my Libra energy), enthusiastic, aggressive and vibrant (my Aries energy), or practical, patient and down-to-earth (my Taurus Sun).  My (Moon in) Leo shows up as playful and creative, and I can assure you that my Gemini energy is ever-present.  I use my head and I’m smart.  I’m a thinker, a writer.  I’m good with words.

Click here to read more about my coaching services.

I just revised my About page too, since I realized I am a different person today than I was when I initially launched my website over one year ago.

I have been on a personal development mission myself this year (does it ever stop?), and I have been voraciously soaking up information from all the best places.  My book was like higher education.  I thought I was good before, but within this year I’ve taken a quantum leap with my knowledge, skills and abilities.

Try me out.

See my testimonials page here.

I would love to work with you!

Next week I’ll be back with more book news and some holiday sparkle.

Jingle bells and candy canes!

P.S.  Sign up for my email list and you’ll get chapter 5 of my book (called Soul/Personality Integration) totally free!

 

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Thanks + Giving

This week is a holiday week in the US with Thanksgiving fast approaching.  I am thankful for a lot of things right now… including my loved ones, my readers, and the fact that, since I report to myself, I can decide to take a little time off when I want to.

I am enjoying the festivities this week, but I still wanted to give you something that I recently found to be both valuable and worthwhile.

Last Saturday night, at about one o’clock in the morning, I was feelin’ fiery, so I sat down and Googled, “#1 TED talk” on my laptop.  (TED is a non-profit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, with recorded conferences plus an award-winning and popular ‘TED Talks’ video site.)

The first thing in my search results list that caught my eye was Brené Brown’s speech about “the power of vulnerability.”

Since “brown” is my color, I clicked on the video and watched her speak.  It turns out she has the eighth most watched TED Talk to date, with over 6 million views.

Brené is a researcher storyteller who is speaking my language, and I recommend you take 20 minutes to view her message below.

I also came across the list of the 20 most watched TED Talks to date, and I checked out quite a few of them, actually (it was just that kind of night).  Jill Bolte Taylor’s “stroke of insight” (which is the second most viewed TED talk, with over 11 million views) was incredibly moving.  I bet you could find plenty more on the list that would appeal to you.

Take a break this week.  It’s Mercury Retrograde anyway.  Give yourself some time to receive.  Enjoy a few videos.

Follow me now, yo!  Facebook!   Twitter!   How Can I Help YOU?   Find Out YOUR Soul Mission!

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How to Boost Your Brainpower

Image by mimitalks

Gathering and sharing information is a big part of my Soul Mission.  I am knee deep in learning this week and I am super excited to share.  I have immersed myself in a free online event called Brainpower For Success Summit, which started on Monday and continues throughout the week.

The summit is hosted by Jim Kwik of SuperheroYou, and the purpose is to teach people how to boost their brainpower.  This kind of training speaks right to my Saturn in Gemini and North Node in the Third House.  I am all over it!

Twelve experts are participating in the summit.  Today I will give you some highlights from the first talk I heard.  If you want to check out the summit for yourself, click here.

At the start, Jim shared what I found to be some really uplifting news:  Your brainpower can be improved.  It’s not static.  Your focus, memory, ability to read faster, creativity, thinking, and imagination are all skills.  They’re not just what you’re born with; you can actually learn to be smarter.  How cool is that!

Jim then had a fascinating conversation with Michael Gelb, bestselling author of How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci, and Michael also expressed that brainpower is designed to improve with use.  It doesn’t have to decline with age.  If you work at it, your brain will get better and better, no matter how young or old you are.

Michael shared some key ideas for improving your brain function, which are covered thoroughly in his book.  I took copious notes, and here’s a rough version of what I learned.

Curiosity – Young children absorb information like sponges because they are so curious.  Everything is new to them and they want to soak it up.  In order for us to absorb information the way they do, we have to reawaken and maintain a level of passionate curiosity throughout our lives.

Having a sense of purpose drives your curiosity.  If you are motivated to do something, that purpose will help you leverage your potential and impel you to be more curious.  German philosopher Nietzsche is quoted as saying, “To forget one’s purpose is the commonest form of stupidity.”  A sense of purpose brings out whatever talent you have that you don’t know you have.

→Keeping a notebook to record your crazy ideas, free-flowing thoughts and doodles is wise.  Michael mentioned that Leonardo Da Vinci, Thomas Edison, and many other great minds practice this habit.  (I happen to know that Eminem does this too.)  There is power in writing things down.

Think for yourself, demonstrate things in your own experience, become an original thinker.  Learn to discipline yourself with any important idea by considering multiple perspectives.  Become a critical thinker.  Look for information and opinions that are different than your own.  Challenge your ideas.  Seek different opinions and listen with an open mind.  You can’t say you’ve really thought about something unless you’ve considered something different than what you believe.

The more ‘senior’ in business someone becomes, the more important it is for them to seek different perspectives.  Don’t become a ‘yes man/woman.’  An expert has more perspective.

Sharpen your senses.  Consciously be aware of/attuned to exquisite beauty and make it a part of your everyday life.  There is a relationship between beauty and creativity.  However you can, surround yourself with expressions of whatever you consider to be the highest form of beauty.  It nurtures and informs your Soul and deepens your appreciation for the creative aspects of your life.  Fresh flowers, music, picturesque views deepen your sensitivity and your enjoyment of life.  Put more dolce in your vita.  Comparative appreciation is also valuable.  Try different types of music, art, chocolate, wine, etc.  Compare and contrast; talk about it with your friends.  We remember better when we have something to compare.

Embrace the unknown, the hazy and mysterious.  This is a principal of genius, it’s a practice, and it takes some discipline.  You’re not the first person who has felt ambiguity/lack of clarity/uncertainty.  Being in the depths of uncertainty is an inevitable part of any creative breakthrough.  If you’re really going to come up with something new, it means you’re going to be abandoning the familiar and the certain.  That doesn’t just happen instantaneously.  You have to cultivate Confusion Endurance if you’re going to take on big challenges.  Something new means change, uncertainty, possible confusion.  Sometimes it makes sense to be non-linear.  The one thing we can be certain of is that there will be uncertainty.

Balance art and science, logic and imagination.  Use both sides of your brain.  Do that by learning mind mapping, which helps you generate more ideas in less time, make connections you wouldn’t otherwise make, and access more of your brain by creative doodling, color and imagery - while honing the analytical part of the brain in choosing and printing key words.

Balance the body and the mind – learn to preserve one’s own health.  Our life choices make the biggest difference to our wellness.  Eat a healthy, wholesome diet, savor every meal, drink a little red wine in moderation (that was Da Vinci’s advice!), get regular exercise.

→Remember the importance of sleeping on a problem.  If you try to solve everything with your immediate, cognitive thought process, it’s a strain.  Your stress keeps you from being your most creative.  The creativity comes when you use your brain as hard as you can, and then surrender – let go, take a break and sleep on it.  You can rely on the incubation phase of the creative process.  It doesn’t work if you haven’t been working intensively on an issue.  The connections, the a-ha’s come to you at 4am or when you’re in the shower, when you’re relaxed, not afraid of embarrassment, when your brain shifts out of active beta waves into slower, more harmonious alpha or theta waves.

Then you have to write it down in your notebook and link it back to your active, cognitive, analytical brain so you can actually do something about it!  Creativity is not just going off in the imagination – it’s got to be translated into something really practical.  A balance between the relaxed and easy, and the focused, disciplined, critical mind is optimal.

Take breaks, quit while you’re ahead, move your body, don’t burn out, play is not frivolous.  We are most nearly ourselves when we achieve the seriousness of the child at play.  Da Vinci said, “Men of genius sometimes work best when they work least.”  Play is our birthright; we’ve just forgotten how to allow it to happen.

Playing chess or bridge will help prevent dementia, as will learning a new language, a musical instrument, juggling.  Learn something new for 15 minutes a day – the more challenging, the better.  The worse you are at it, the more awkward and difficult it feels, the greater the benefits are for your brain.  Doing something that stretches your capacity is the most valuable thing you can do to recruit new parts of your brain and improve your brain as you get older.  As a child, you are told to learn new things.  As an adult, you don’t have to do anything potentially embarrassing.  The bad news is, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut and not do anything new.  Iron rusts from disuse, and thus it is with the human mind.  Keep it active, just like you would to build any muscle.  Use it or it goes dormant.  You do not lose it – you can revitalize and awaken it at any age.  You need that challenge and that fun.  With challenge, you have change, and that’s how you awaken all those new connections in the brain.

Geniuses are people who are more connected to the greater mind, who know how to have access to it.  Pay attention to the subtle nuances of your intuition to get access to your greater mind.

Reading is so important – if someone has decades of experience and you can download it in a few days, that’s remarkable.  Learn to speed read!  (That’s Jim Kwik’s area.)

I love all this advice and I couldn’t agree with it more.  I am happy that I have many of these practices in place, yet the reminders to reinforce them are stirring and inspirational.

I do know I want to add one of these suggestions, in particular, to my collection.  Next up, I’m listening to Jim Kwik’s talk so I can learn how to speed read.

What do you want to do?  Pick something, and then act on it!

Follow me now, yo!  Facebook!   Twitter!   How Can I Help YOU?   Find Out YOUR Soul Mission!

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Feel Your Feelings

Feeling your feelings is one of the healthiest things you can do, yet many of us don’t bother doing it much of the time.  Why?  Because feelings can be awfully messy, and it’s so much easier to hide behind “fine.”

We need to be masters of our emotional lives, but instead, we’ve mastered distractions.  We watch TV, we use substances, we overwork.  We may even get depressed and zombie out, but that’s not feeling our feelings.  Practicing gratitude or positive thinking can, at times, be a diversion too.

I know it feels so much better to be happy, but ignoring our other emotions can be problematic in the long run.

Don’t you know people who are still mad or scared or ashamed about something that happened to them twenty years ago?  The reason people hold onto things is because they don’t know how to properly handle their emotions at the time they are happening.

There are five basic feelings.  They are:  mad, sad, glad, scared and ashamed.  All are part of the human experience.

When we give our feelings their full measure, they do not stick around.  Think about the last time you had a good cry.  Didn’t you feel a lot better after you finished crying than you did before you started crying?  People say laughter is the best medicine, and I say crying rivals it.

All feelings are like that.  Crying is a full expression of sadness.  Anger releasing is a full expression of anger.  When I’m feeling uptight, I beat up my punching bag.  I get the anger up and out, and when I’m done, I am much more fun to be around.  I have written about anger releasing in detail here.

Fear can be handled with courage.  In fact, fear is actually an opportunity and an invitation to be courageous.  You cannot be courageous unless you’re first scared, right?  You also cannot be courageous unless you know you’re scared.  Find and feel your fear first, then act on it.

Shame calls for a heartfelt apology and/or self-forgiveness.  If you took an action that you regret, you can take responsibility for it and take an action to resolve it.  Burying it does not resolve it; it makes it fester.

When we honor and value our feelings and take actions to resolve them, the result is that we feel lighter.

Emotions are not going to destroy us.  Sometimes it feels like they will, and that’s why we tend to repress them, but sooner or later there’s an implosion or an explosion because we can’t keep that level of intensity down forever.

The damage from repressed emotions can show up in our bodies, which is where we hold our feelings, and perhaps outside of us as well.

Feeling feelings takes practice, but we do get better at it the more we do it.

I recommend checking in with yourself at least once a day.  Close your eyes, go into your body and say, “What am I feeling right now?  Mad, sad, glad, scared or ashamed?”

Once you have the feeling, fully invest in it.  Find the information it is there to give you and decide what you can do with it.  Thank your emotion for giving you direction and decide to take an action.

This daily routine will help you get in touch with your emotions so that when the big stuff comes up, you’ll know what to do:  feel fully, discover the message, take an action towards resolution… repeat as necessary.

Follow me now, yo!  Facebook!   Twitter!   How Can I Help YOU?   Find Out YOUR Soul Mission!

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Listen To Your Words, Listen To Your Thoughts

Have you ever read a book or taken a workshop in which you were asked to list your most positive traits?  I’ve been asked to do that a number of times.  I used to find it difficult to come up with more than two noteworthy characteristics to describe myself, so I would always write the exact same things: I’m nice, and I’m a good listener.

Truth of the matter is, I’m a GREAT listener.  Always have been — it’s a natural born skill for me.  I guess the reason I excelled at listening was because I was generally so afraid of talking.

These days I’m better at speaking, and I have also advanced my listening skills.  Now I am not only adept at listening to other people talk, but I am also in tune with my own spoken words, and with my own thoughts.

You might call it awareness, or simply paying attention.  Whatever you call it, it’s helpful.

Listen To Your Words

Sometimes when I do coaching work, I catch myself giving advice to other people that is exactly what I need to hear.  Other times, I hear people say things to me that are exactly what they need to hear, only they do not realize what’s just come out of their mouth.

I recently spoke to a woman who was feeling unsure about what she wanted to do with her life.  During the conversation, she was praising someone else she knew, and the words she used to describe the other person were precisely the words I’d used to describe her Soul Mission to her.

I pointed out that those were words her Soul wanted her to understand.

Meaningful things can come up when we are in the midst of meaningful conversations, so that is when we need to have our antennaes up.

Additionally, some of us have favorite truisms or sayings that we use repeatedly.

For example, over the last couple years I have told my children, “Less is more” so many times that they think it’s true.  Now, when I start to get anxious about wanting more of a certain thing, I can almost hear my Soul whispering to me, “Less is more, Babe.”

What do you say to others that you need to hear?  Tune in, and take your own advice.

Listen To Your Thoughts

Given that thoughts are things, positive thinking has power, and all that stuff, it really is crucial that we pay attention to what’s going on in our head at all times.

I remember when I first started to actively listen to my thoughts.  It was at a point in my life when I had low self-esteem, and I was trying to get a grip and make changes in my life.

I had just learned about the importance of adding consciousness into our everyday living experience in order to be able to expose and break deep patterns.  Some people go through life thinking things like, “Here I go again, I’m always a mess, a failure, I can never do anything right, etc.”

I used to do that a lot.  One day I caught my own inner cruelty at the airport when I was headed out of town to visit a friend.  I stopped to buy her a box of chocolates at an airport kiosk, put my boarding pass down while paying for the gift, and forgot to pick it back up before walking off to the gate.

When I arrived at the gate and realized I did not have my boarding pass, I thought to myself, “Uggh, I’m such an idiot!  I’m such an idiot!”

That was the first time I caught myself thinking.  I regrouped with, “Really?  I’m an idiot now because I made that mistake?  No I’m not.”  I walked back to the kiosk and retrieved my boarding pass, feeling pretty smart for having the awareness.

A lot of our thoughts are so habitual that we often don’t realize we’re having them, but it’s important to remember that thoughts – particularly emotionally charged thoughts – are energy in motion.  Our self destructive thoughts tend to be emotionally charged, and they absolutely have an impact on our lives.

Catch them when you can and handle them responsibly.  It’s ok to be kind to yourself.  You’re better than you may think.

Follow me now, yo!  Facebook!   Twitter!   How Can I Help YOU?   Find Out YOUR Soul Mission!

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How To Stop Judging People: 5 Steps

“Don’t ever try to judge me, dude.  You don’t know what the f**k I’ve been through.”  Eminem

Lately I’ve been contemplating my judgments of others.  I started thinking about this because I decided to put myself into a group situation in which I was certain I was going to be judged by some of the people in the group.  While I wanted to be involved, I was also feeling really nervous about it.

To help myself find the courage to face the situation, I took a look at my reaction and I brought it back to me.  In other words, I asked myself, “Have I made judgments about the people who are judging me?”

Why, yes, it turned out.  Yes, I had.

I sat with this and went through a releasing process during which time I asked myself a list of questions about each person in the group.  The most important question I asked was: “Can I allow this person to be who this person is?”

Yes, I found out.  Yes, I could.

I cleared up the whole deal, faced the situation and had a great time.

Since then, I have thought more about judgments and about what happens when we judge others.  The most obvious thing that happens is: we get what we give.  I think we’ve all heard that by now, though it can still be hard to stop giving it.

Another thing I realized is that, on some level, we judge others to be safe, and we judge others out of fear.  Judging is elevating, judging is righteous, and it creates separation.  Sometimes it is easier to be safe than it is to be connected.  And when we put someone else down, we’re putting ourselves on top.

I do recognize a difference between judgment and discernment, or seeing and understanding the difference between one thing and another.  Discernment can be helpful; I’m not contemplating this so I can go out and become everybody’s best friend.  I simply want to be a nice person, and I think too much judgment can be toxic.

As such, I have developed five practices to help keep me in line with this.  I’ll share them here so you can try them out too if you like.

1.  When I catch myself silently passing a judgment about someone else, I’ll immediately think two nice thoughts about the person to override the criticism.

2.  I acknowledge that I can’t judge a person until I’ve walked a mile in his or her shoes (so to speak), and I consciously choose to let the person do things in his or her own way.

3.  If I get really crazy and overboard despite my best intentions (yes, it’s happened), I will apologize to the person’s Soul and ask for forgiveness as soon as I regain composure.

4.  Then I forgive myself for making a mistake.  After all, getting out of judgment means not judging ourselves either, right?

5.  The bright side to our judgments is this: it’s a chance to discover something new about ourselves.  I believe the things we judge in others are the things we most need to look at in ourselves.  I point the finger back to me when I judge, and while I’m not always happy to see what I find there, I am happy to find it nonetheless.

If you try this and you’re having a hard time finding the quality that you’re judging in yourself, just keep looking.  It’s there.  And if you really need to know it, it’ll keep coming up again and again and again.

Once we discover what it’s about for us, we can use the judgment as a powerful tool for learning and personal development.

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