Category Archives: Non-judgmental

Beyond Belief

 

“Don’t belong to anything. Don’t belong to anyone. Just Be. Feel your Being first and foremost, and don’t compare or compete. Just Be your Being.” ~ Mooji

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I have had the good fortune of having an ongoing dialogue with friends throughout the years who cut through whatever I may be espousing in terms of beliefs and are willing to throw down or splash around in the stream to get at what is really going on.

As we get older, it becomes easier to get lodged into a belief system and become stiff. I believe this is because we find a way to deal with what is coming down the pipe and we want that cushion to keep us protected.

My good friend Leyna recently sent me an Uplift article about what it really means to hold space for someone else.  It is a great article that reminds me to give those around me space without wanting them to take up my point of view.   It talks about allowing them to have their own take and feelings on life, without overloading them, judging them or asserting my ego into whatever is going on for them.

Leyna once said that she believed there were 613 commandments in the Torah, not so that we would follow each one to the letter of the law, but to get us to reach higher than we would have.  Sometimes if the bar is raised really high, it inspires us to stretch or jump up.

The article of holding space is not something we may be able or willing to do completely; it is a reminder that we can always open more, be more allowing of what is.

Leyna and I have often discussed the concept of “being positive”.

Leyna: “My process could be seen as “being negative” to say “negative” things – because fears and disappointments can be interpreted that way – but I see it as a positive process because as long as I don’t let fear have a home inside of me, it pushes me to move on and succeed. I did not prevail despite voicing my fears, disappointments, anger and doubts. I prevailed because of voicing them with as much courage and confidence I could to not run away from it, sugarcoat it or try to paint it into something it was not. This has been my way and it has worked for me.”

Surely as the old proverb says, “A sorrow shared is half a sorrow.” Leyna’s method of courageously looking at what is and refusing to run away from it, sugar coat it and most importantly, not be defeated by it, allows her to move continents.

The totality of our being, is the totality of being itself.  For me, that means that trying to adhere to any particular stance or view of ourselves is restrictive.  We choose limits to gain a measure of comfort and peace.  Everything comes and goes but what remains is the life within us.

I have certainly been guilty of overloading my point of view onto others and judging them for theirs.  That is not my defining point. As Leyna suggested, it’s what we let make a home within in us that sticks.  We can be motivated by everything coming through our ‘house’.

May your process be glorious.

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Snap dragons not snap reactions

“Come on, come on, let yourself be happy
Come on, come on, the world can get you down
Take the weight off of your shoulders
No more bitter town, no more bitter town.”- Catie Curtis
Catie Curtis
Julia and I opened for Catie Curtis this past weekend near Boston. Catie is a genuine person who sings about strength through vulnerability and embracing the unknown. We were moved by her focused but gentle openness back stage as well as her relaxed sincerity and generous spirit on stage. 
While backstage, we met one of her friends who was trying to resolve an issue that had just come up.  She was managing a dear one’s Facebook account who has recently developed dementia. Something had been posted that day by this dear one without full cognizance. This   friend of Catie’s had taken the post down and was trying to reach someone who had taken offense with the post and had gone off on a huge rant against it in the comment section.
My mother likes to say, “To take offense is to give offense.” Catie’s friend reached the person who had been offended and -explained what was going on with the author of the post. This person thanked her; and even called her back later to say that this reaching out really helped her because she recognized that her snap reactions and judgements were getting in her way.
None of us ever really know what if fully going on with ourselves, let alone one another.
Last night, Julia read me an article by Ken Wilber called Integral Spirituality, which will be the subject for another stream, but I got excited that it had been posted last year because another friend had recently sent me an article called the Rise and Fall of Ken Wilber, which talked about Ken being a ground-breaking intellectual who had written over twenty highly influential books that pushed the boundaries of transpersonal psychology and philosophy. A few years back Ken Wilber had faced criticism, reacted badly and had retreated from public view. He had even developed a rare disease that kept him bed-ridden.  It seemed that he was done, disqualified. Yet here he was with an article that is offering something that will really benefit those who read it.
Ken Wilber
The wandering point I am getting to is that it is easy for us to judge and to even write each other off. This is especially tempting in an age where we believe we don’t have time to investigate, or think we are getting all the information we need to come to a lasting conclusion about people and things around us from a single news story, headline, or hearing someone else’s opinion.
As my friend Paul Kane likes to say, “The time to give up on somebody is never.”  That doesn’t mean you have to vote for them or rely on them for your personal safety or guidance or even take what they say without a pillar of salt; but with discernment,we can still see the value inherent within.
May your value guide you towards a lasting happiness you can share.