How often do you label your thoughts and situations as good or bad? For me, it's all the time. What if I told you that'd considered judgmental thinking, but there's a way to practice nonjudgmental thinking? I have a Taoist story that I want to share that will help put things in perspective.
In this week's episode, we start with a boxed breathing exercise that sharpens concentration and reduces stress. This breathing technique follows the 4-4-4-4 breathing model where you breathe in for four seconds, hold for four seconds, breathe out for four seconds, and hold for another four seconds. This rhythmic breathing exercise is known to regulate body temperature and lower blood pressure.
Afterward, I share a Taoist story that reminded me about the importance of nonjudgmental thinking. Back in Episode 44 of this podcast, I talked about nonjudgemental thinking basics and how we label our thoughts as good or bad. In this episode, we will be directing our attention to how we categorize events that happen in our lives as "good" or "bad." To clarify, the goal is to stop placing those traits on events and start taking them in for what they are. In my mind, they are all lessons to learn from.
Meditation music provided by Chris Collins at indiemusicbox.com
DP the Unknown provides episode theme music titled "Here/If"
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Hello, my babies as I mentioned this is your girl MaJhane AKA MamMaJ my pronouns are she her and hers and you are listening to MamaMajISM. thank you for deciding to listen in on this talk of love and honest conversation so let's get into it. If you are new here, welcome, but also you probably aren't familiar with the term non-judgmental thinking this concept was introduced in episode 44 of the podcast while doing a mindfulness and self-esteem 7-week challenge. To begin, non-judgmental thinking is when you don't attach good or bad to a single thought. In this episode, we will be revisiting non-judgmental thinking but from a different aspect. By the time you finish this episode you will hopefully think a little differently and be encouraged to approach situations with non-judgemental thinking alright let's hit it
Okay, we are going to start this episode off with a story that sparked this revisit in the first place. This is an old Taoist story that was used to teach a very important life lesson.
“There is a Taoist story of an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. "Such bad luck," they said sympathetically.
"Maybe," the farmer replied. The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. "How wonderful," the neighbors exclaimed.
"Maybe," replied the old man. The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune. "Maybe," answered the farmer. The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son's leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out. "Maybe," said the farmer.”
After reading that story what did you learn? I hope one thing that caught your eye is that nothing is set in stone. I want you to think of this as that puzzle analogy if you're familiar. You know when you're like doing a puzzle up close it's hard to see what the puzzle is about until take a step back and see it in full. I feel like that's the same thing that happens in our lives when different situations occur we plays good or bad on a situation without fully knowing what the end result is really going to be. Which is fair because I mean if I'm hit with some bad news of course I'm going to assign it as bad news if it's bad to me but more times than not when I look back on a situation I realize like, “oh that actually turned out better for me than I thought it would.” And that is why this actually the story made me think about something that happened in my own life that I'll briefly talked about.
I think I might have mentioned it on the podcast before but my freshman year in high school I was a part of the Freshman Basketball team I was not good but as the season progressed I guess I got a little bit better. I got good enough to the point where at the end of the season when we had our end-of-the-year banquet I won the award for most improved. So that boosted my confidence completely I was like you know what I'm going to try out for JV next year. So My sophomore year rolls around I go to tryouts for JV and I also try out for ASb which is associated student body, which I don't know why I had to try out for that, but it was pretty much it wasn't the same process but I had to try out for it so there was a chance that I wasn't getting in. So the day finally comes that I get the news if I make the basketball team or not. Unfortunately find out that I did not get it and of course I was crushed because I'm like but you told me that I am approved like isn't that automatic in the you know but thankfully on the same day I got the news that I did get into ASB which is 1000 percent more my speed and I looking back it was it was just funny because I got hit with bad then I got hit with good news and is be ended up being the best alternative for me and really shaped my high school experience but I wanted to share that story because for a moment getting that no from JV Basketball was like terrible cuz I'm like well dang I want to be a part of school activities I want to make friends how can I do that if I'm not a part of this basketball team like how am I going to stay in shape if I'm not in the park apart of this basketball team. But when I got the yes from ASB I really didn't expect it to shape my high school experience the way that it did but it ended up being one of the best choices I ever made in my life to go out and try out for it. And I mean yeah like if I didn't it's tough to because I don't want to even now trying to talk about it I don't want to say oh this was good this happened it was bad that this happened because again that's practicing judgmental thinking and we're trying to practice on the non-judgmental parts of it but I so I can see how this could be a difficult practice but that's what it is at the practice you have to work at it right.
So when I think of the story of the old Taoist farmer when I think about my experience with basketball and it's being high school a couple of things that it makes me think is that we have to do a better job of spending less time trying to decipher what every situation is that gets thrown our way. Instead we should take them for what they are and enjoy the ride. You'd be surprised at the outcome once you give the situation time to breathe. I know we seem to be in really dark times with covid, with police brutality, with the racism, it like I mean honestly the list goes on and on where it is extremely difficult to not place like is that something is good or something is bad because we seen a lot of things that look pretty f****** bad you know. But whatever happens you know just try to remind yourself that when one door closes a window opens somewhere. That was corny but whatever. The scales will balance out and you know you will most likely grow from the situation it won't be easy but it will be so let it be.
The challenge for this week is to practice non-judgmental thinking with different situations that pop up in your life. This is not going to be easy and it's not something I expect you to master in a week. I know I haven't. All I ask it at the very least is that you give it a try and if you do need some tools on how to actively practice non-judgmental thinking go ahead and check out episode 44 for a refresher. That episode is still alive and I will probably do another revisit later on down the line with some updated activities or ways that you can practice not judgmental thinking. But it started here I'm pointing I'm pointing my heart and it also starts to hear I put it in my head. I'm putting up my braids but a lot of the times we are not our thoughts right we'll all the time we're not our thoughts so we got this we can do this just remember to be patient with yourself and know that the first step is just acknowledging. If you can acknowledge like oh I just you know passing judgment on a situation or on a thought I just said that this was good and and maybe it is good but really when were talking about mindfulness and we're practicing how to be mindful, really being mindful is just about being present in the moment it's not assigning whether something is good or bad because once we do that then our Focus moves to do this is a good thing how is it good for me how my benefiting from this or do this is a bad thing oh my gosh how's it going to affect me in the long run you know like when you start assigning things it it takes the focus away and that's not what we want when we are practicing mindfulness. We just want to be present in the moment and acknowledge oh I feel this way up I feel that way all I see this all I want this leaving this like just being mindful in the present moment I hear this you know that's what being mindful is all about being present is all about being present because once we start thinking about other things we are no longer present and that's really what I want to kind of get y'all understand but that's it for today thank you so much for tuning in it has been a pleasure per use and I will catch y'all next week bye!