Today, I’m excited to be offering you the next episode in our journey through the Five Practices of Freedom on the Live Your Freedom Now podcast. These practices have the capacity to act as roots to stabilize your embodiment of the freedom you crave from the Dominant Dogma that rules the way you live in the world and relate to yourself. Last week we took a closer look at Playful Curiosity and this week I am exploring with you Non-Judgement and Awareness. I especially want to offer this up to those who feel like they have learned how to be their own biggest critic and want to transform that voice to be their biggest source of freedom.
So, let’s get to it! In today’s episode, I’ll dive deeper into:
- The second practice of freedom: Non-Judgement & Awareness
- A short pause practice with me to tune into your surroundings with neutrality
- Why learning and practicing non-judgement offers you a route to a more safe inner relationship to the self
- Inner shame spiraling and where that judgements lands you on your Freedom journey
- Navigating jarring realizations about yourself with compassion and my story of having to witness my own findings, as I exited the Church, in order to free myself from that Dominant Dogma
- How non-judgement and awareness can support how you respond to yourself, even in day to day living
- Practicing the pause needed to sit and witness yourself, and how that allows you to enter into choice around taking more aligned action to Live Your Freedom Now
- A handful of journal prompts to help you root into this practice
Listen to the episode wherever you like to listen to your podcasts.
Hello hello, freethinkers, today I am writing to you from my back porch. My back is leaning against the sliding glass door behind me, my collection of potted plants are huddled up all around me, and my matcha is sitting on the rough wood floor to my left. I’m writing a bit earlier than normal, so the air is crisp and chilly (my absolute favorite!) and birds are welcoming the morning with their songs. I have a slight headache, but have taken time to hydrate, take my morning supplements, and stretch out a bit, so my hope is the pain will subside shortly. I feel hopeful today, and any day where hope is my starting place feels good. With a wild and ever shifting world around me, hope has a similar sensation to the crisp and chilly air for me. It’s invigorating and empowering and I’m grateful.
As I take a moment to pause and notice my inner and outer worlds, I encourage you to do the same. Notice what time it is, where the sun or the moon are is at if you can see them. Notice the way the objects around you are placed, where the light hits, and where the shadows fall. Notice the textures of what is holding you and what is around you. Notice how your body feels in your chair today, how your heart feels, if there are any tender or tense spaces in your being. Not judging what you see and are experiencing, simply noticing it. Allowing it. Honor it with your brief attention and presence. This is a practice of freedom that you can utilize at any time. A practice to attune to your space, and come home to your power.
Today, is week two of our five week journey through each the Five Practices Of Freedom so as you listen to this podcast, you can not only evaluate the Dominant Dogma I’m sharing about in the latest episode, but you can integrate this practice into your daily life, evaluating the Dominant Dogma in your world, then intentionally choosing how you desire to embody the freedom you crave.
These five practices have been crafted over the past four years while I have mapped my own journey along with the pathway I noticed from each of my coaching clients. It’s a cyclical pathway where you shift your perspective from the Dominant Dogma surrounding you, reclaim inner capacity, and cultivate new more expansive pathways to move forward. The practices can loop and overlap and because of this there is no right or wrong way to engage on this journey. Utilize the practices as they feel good for you, and remember the primary goal is always to live your freedom, right here, right now. Take what serves you, leave the rest, and always put your safety first.
Ok, let’s dive into the second practice: Non-Judgement & Awareness
A large part of this Freedom Journey, this self-reclamation journey, is cultivating safety for your own unique process. Just like in a close friendship or partnership, cultivating safety with yourself includes developing a non-judgemental relationship with self.
As you move through practice one, playful curiosity, this second practice is an invitation to approach what you find with non-judgement. When you have a realization or uncovering, instead of jumping into a reaction, ask yourself, “How does this make me feel?” Maybe even ask yourself, “What about this feels off?” and write down the answer.
Often when we ask questions we find answers that cause our inner dialogue to ramp up in one of two ways: The first is it’s attempt to keep us safe. The voice screams, “This is not ok, stop asking questions, danger ahead!” This voice is present because at one time, your current strategies DID keep you safe. The systems, beliefs, and patterns you embody are there because they at one time allowed you to belong in the subculture and culture you were raised in. However, these patterns may not serve you anymore, instead they are creating a loop of the same thing over and over which because you are listening has likely resulted in pain for you, others, or the planet and you want to break into something new. It’s important to then notice this old voice, not judge it or make it bad because it has served you in the past. Let it know it’s ok, remind it of how old you are now, and keep making your way through the freedom practices.
The second voice is the voice of judgement saying things like, “How did you not see this before?” or “Why did you not stand up for yourself?” This voice is present because you care. Because you are breaking out of the old, stepping into the new, and a very real grief needs to be processed. And that is what this practice helps to mitigate, because that inner voice is not your core essence, it’s parts of you that are seeking to keep you safe and share that there are emotions to be processed along the way. The key is to not let these voices take over, as that can turn into what Brene Brown calls a “shame spiral.”
Non-judgement is stopping the shame spiral.
In later practices you can take aligned action, but here, in this practice, simply hold space for your findings. If needed, take a walk, return to your play practices, utilize a guided meditation or get out and laugh with friends. Be aware of what you find and create a safe space (whatever that means for you) for all your sensations, experiences, emotions and thoughts.
This practice is really a practice of emotional intelligence. One where, when you notice your beliefs, your inner dialogue, and your circumstances, you respond from a place of groundedness instead of reacting. With that said, keep in mind that emotional intelligence or emotional maturity is a learned trait. Not something that some people are gifted with and others are not. It’s truly a practice to invite whatever comes up in your experience, and notice it without judgment.
Something that tends to come up when I lead folks on their Personal Freedom journey is the fear of uncovering things they never expected to uncover. Like realizing they made a mistake or discovering that a belief they have held is harming others. This practice is not saying difficult things won’t come up, but it is being present for those findings without judgment.
One of the spaces I experienced this in my own journey was in relation to my past Evangelical behavior as a leader in my church and as a bible camp counselor.
During a particularly intense time of my own Freedom Journey, I was unraveling the realization that the Christian Church is not what it states it is, and that many of its doctrines and dogmas are in fact harmful, controlling, and manipulative. Specifically, I uncovered the reality that the church utilizes the same tactics seen in abusive relationships. Tactics of control, manipulation, love bombing, and withholding. I came to recognize how the Church had, in a sense, owned my body, my mind and my spirit, teaching me I was a sinner if I had sex before miarrage, dressed imodestly, and did not honor and meet the needs of my husband. Not only did I recognize this for myself, but I had to come to terms with the fact I perpetuated these harmful beliefs by enforcing them in church, singing about them on worship team, and teaching them at bible camp to children as young as six years old.
The importance of non-judgement was real.
In order to fully process this so I could step into my Freedom, I first had to witness my findings. Not judging myself, or others for what had happened, simply witnessing what had happened to me, feeling the feelings surrounding it, and then allowing clarity and healing (overtime) to come through on the other side.
Because this can be a difficult practice to embark on, I want to offer you another example, one that many of us navigate on a daily basis (and that beautifully showcases how these 5 practices can last a lifetime in some areas, and five minutes in another!).
Let’s imagine you are preparing to meet your partner’s close friends for the first time. You’re a bit nervous because you know they have been really close for YEARS and are essentially family. Your inner dialogue starts as you’re getting ready for the gathering. You look in the mirror and hear, “You should probably dress up more, this is not fancy enough.” You quickly change your outfit then look in the mirror again.“Gosh, I thought this fit better, I should not have eaten so much for lunch!” That’s when you stop. You know what’s happening here. It’s your inner dialogue sneaking their way into your evening. You take a deep breath, close your eyes, and do your best to zoom out from the situation and ground into non-judgement, “My partner loves me for being myself. Nothing more, nothing less…and I deserve my own love and acceptance too.” You take another deep breath allowing any remaining judgment to pass through your system while you physically shake it off. Then you look back in the mirror, smile, and take the aligned action of confidently heading out the door.
Whatever position you find yourself in, whether you are claiming freedom from systemic oppression such as a government institution or religion, or if you are claiming freedom from the inner dialogue in your mind, this practice is your pause. The silence which allows your clarity. The complete acceptance of where you are, who you are, and what has happened to and around you. Not judging what comes up for you, being able to honor it and feel it, is inviting in the alignment your body needs to take action in later practices.
As you begin, or return to Non-Judgement & Awareness in your own life, here are a few journal prompts to support your journey:
First, ensure you have your responses from the Playful Curiosity journal prompts, then, utilize these prompts to continue uncovering your internalized Dominant Dogma to embody the freedom you crave.
- Based on my experience with the practice of Playful Curiosity, what Dominant Dogma feels particularly present in my life right now?
- What do I need to hear/remember so I can hand back this Dominant Dogma and move forward toward the freedom I crave?
- How can I examine that belief with a sense of compassion for myself, knowing that I developed it to keep myself safe?
- I choose to allow this information and sensation to move through my body by…
And that is what I want to leave you with today! If you begin these journal prompts, I would love to know! Tag me on instagram @megscolleen or shoot me a dm and fill me in on how this lands with you! Additionally, if you want support on your Freedom Journey I would love to invite you into a one-on-one coaching series.
If you desire support in handing back old narratives in your life to embody the freedom you crave, I would love to support you on your journey.
I typically start coaching folks for a period of 3-6 months where we meet bi-weekly via zoom or phone call and in each call we enter into a beautiful mix of honoring the past, tending to the present, and ultimately cultivating beautiful capacity within you so you can embrace your most free self.
Whether you are struggling with anxiety, navigating a life change, or breaking free from toxic Dominant Dogma, I’m here to facilitate breakthroughs and coach you step-by-step so you can embody your freedom, right here and now!
You can learn more about my 1:1 coaching and book a FREE Clarity Call at megscolleen.com!
All right, I’ll see you next week!
Freedom is yours,
“Not judging what comes up for you, being able to honor it and feel it, is inviting in the alignment your body needs to take action.”
“Just like in a close friendship or partnership, cultivating safety with yourself includes developing a non-judgemental relationship with self.”
“Non-judgement is stopping the shame spiral.”
“This practice of non-judgement and awareness is really a practice of emotional intelligence. One where, when you notice your beliefs, your inner dialogue and your circumstances, you respond from a place of groundedness instead of reacting.”
Mentions & More:
- My first podcast episode on Playful Curiosity
- My 1:1 coaching series! Book a FREE clarity call with me to get started: https://megscolleen.com/book-a-free-call/
- My Instagram! If you work with some of these journal prompts or feel compelled by what was shared in this episode, please feel free to connect with me there.
- Brene Brown talking about shame