For all that has been, thanks; to all that will be, YES.
– Dag Hammarskjöld
A new fitness center has opened in my neighborhood. This is something I’ve been asking the universe for in the last few years. Doing our morning walk in the cold weather has gotten less and less appealing over the years, so having some place to go to work out that doesn’t require layers of clothing is just the ticket.
This isn’t just an ordinary fitness club, this is the best fitness club I’ve ever come across. The reason is that the moment I walk in, I’m greeted with the message that this is a “judgment free zone” and a “no-critics” allowed attitude. These messages are displayed prominently on the walls and on each workout machine. The mission of this company is to create fit and healthy human beings no matter what shape our bodies are in and to provide an environment that supports well-being on all levels. While I’m working out, I see the sign, “JUDGMENT FREE ZONE” – it means there’s no room for harsh and demeaning judgment here or in any part of my life. I look down on the treadmill I’m walking on and see “no critics” and am instantly reminded that my inner critic isn’t useful here and if she shows up, I just kindly escort her out the door. These reminders help me make a shift from the tension of judgment to the ease of acceptance.
As life goes, sometimes the inner critic and judge (the CJ) announce themselves with booming voices and expect executive privileges, i.e. to be listened to and followed without question. At these times, if I struggle and tussle in any way with them, or think I have to believe what they are saying, I lose the battle. The only move that will free us from the bind of the CJ is acceptance and love. Accepting that the CJ is part of the internal “management committee” that developed long ago in attempts to protect me from a worse fate then being critical of myself. Love follows with its’ intention to hold everything with kindness and tenderness. Following acceptance with love melts the tension within and eases the way for joy and delight to spontaneously arise. Some days we might need an entire fitness club to support making the shift out of CJ to Acceptance and Love. That fitness club doesn’t have to be a brick and mortar building though. The shift can happen with free moving dancing, a brisk morning walk, a couple of minutes of full deep breathing, or any other movement play you like. Just hold in your bodymind that this is a JUDGMENT-FREE ZONE and keep a NO CRITICS ALLOWED attitude. And then be prepared for the shift into everyday joy and delight.
- Are you willing to create a “judgment-free zone” and a “no critics” attitude in yourself?
- Are you willing to focus on appreciating as a primary daily attitude?
- What movement practice do you like to do several times a week in the “zone”?
- How can you open up to a life free of judgment and criticism?