A month ago, I volunteered in our daughter Eva’s kindergarten class with several other parents. There was one boy at my station who was struggling a bit with the craft project and couldn’t glue all the pieces into place before it was time to rotate to another table. His mom, who was volunteering at a different station, came over to our table and quickly finished the project for him.

 

I judged her.

 

After watching this woman complete her son’s project, I noticed myself thinking; “She’s doing too much for her son and it’s preventing him from learning to do things for himself.”

 

To be honest, I made an assumption (laced with judgment) that she was too controlling.

 

We judge other people all the time.

 

Recently, I was at a gym class with fast paced cardio and borderline dance moves (sometimes I feel like Beyonce, mostly I feel like a gangly teenager who didn’t quite make the dance team but keeps showing up at tryouts every year anyway. ha!).

 

This one woman in the front row was very distracting to me.

 

She was exaggerating all the dance moves in a big way while making aggressive eye contact with herself in the mirror. She also had knee high socks that matched the ones the instructors were wearing. I found her behavior annoying. My judgment about her was…

 

She’s trying too hard.

 

As part of the Tactical Magic Mastermind program that I’m teaching right now (for CWYL Grads), we’re learning a simple process to shift our judgments of others.

 

Owning our projections.

 

This framework is based on Byron Katie’s book Loving What Is and includes four powerful questions (highly recommend it!).

 

Today, I want to share the most simple version you can use every day.

 

The next time you’re judging other people, do this.

 

First, start by identifying your main criticism, judgment or complaint about another person. Write it down.

 

Step 1. Write down your judgment.

 

Example Judgment: That mom from kindergarten is too controlling and does her kids a disservice by taking care of everything for them.

 

Example Judgment: That woman in gym class is trying to hard.

 

Uncomfortable truth: Everything you judge about another is really about you.

 

All our judgments are a projection on some level or another. And, the best way to start owning your projections is to turn them around to yourself (with love and compassion!)

 

Step 2. Turn your judgment around.

 

So, take your judgment and turn it around to yourself by switching the pronoun to “I.” Then ask; “hmm, in what way is this true?”

 

Example: That mom is too controlling and does her kids a disservice by taking care of everything for them.

 

Turn Around:  

—> I’m too controlling and I do my kids a disservice by taking care of everything for them.

 

hmm, in what way is this true?”

 

Example: That woman in gym class is trying to hard.

 

Turn Around:  —> I’m trying too hard.

 

Ouch!

 

Sometimes, the truth hurts.

 

Our daughter Eva had a craft project spread out across our dining room table for three days last week. After dinner one night, my husband Brent asked her to pick up some of the gems and feathers that’d fallen on the floor. She was slow to respond, I was tired and ready for her to go to bed so I could relax. In my own impatience waiting for her to clean it up, I quickly scooped up the sequins without thinking. It wasn’t until my husband made a comment about how Eva was supposed to clean her own mess that I realized….oh, I am that mom in the kindergarten class.

 

I scoop sequins.

 

Maybe I don’t hover in the exact same way or complete my daughter’s project at school, but I do sometimes take on things that are Eva’s responsibility in our home. I can be too controlling and I do a disservice for my children by taking care of things for her them.

 

Yup, that’s true.

 

Suddenly, I realized why that mom’s behavior annoyed me. It was because I don’t like that part of myself.

 

Once I was able to see and own my projection, I felt better.

 

It’s the same with the woman at the gym. Sometimes, I try too hard and I’m annoyed with myself that I can’t just relax.

 

I am the woman at the gym.

 

Maybe I don’t wear matching leggings with the teachers or look at myself intensely in the mirror, but there are other ways in which I try too hard in life. I can be intense too.

 

After you own a projection, be kind to yourself. (SUPER important)

 

There can be a temptation to switch from judging or criticizing others to beating ourselves up instead. That’s not the point.

 

The point is to recognize that we’re not owning a part of ourselves and to give ourselves love and compassion around that area. Then, ask yourself; “hmm, what would I like instead?”

 

For me, I would like to notice when I’m taking on chores or other responsibilities that are not mine to do, and to just STOP. I want to relax and allow other people to clean up their own messes and learn from their own mistakes.

 

I relax and trust that we are all whole and complete and can take care of ourselves.

 

Now, we’d love to hear from you. What are some of your biggest complaints of judgments about someone else? And what did you learn about yourself when you turned those around by switching the pronouns?!

 

Comment below and join the conversation!

 

May you create work and a life you love,

Vanessa

 

P.S. Don’t forget to check out our brand new Morning Meditation: Surrender, Allow and Trust (S.A.T.)

 

 

 

Photo: Allef Vinicius on Unsplash

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