By Jackie White
It’s so easy to assume someone acts a certain way because you can “logically” see that they are just a jerk or stupid or ignorant or uncaring… You put in the descriptor. We all do it. We all decide that we know why someone is behaving a certain way but the truth is most of the time we don’t know.
We don’t know what might be driving their behavior because we don’t know their story. We don’t know that they were bullied as a child and now face the world with fear and anger. We don’t know that their controlling behavior is a result of a traumatic past that left them completely under the control of someone else. We don’t know if they are fighting depression every day and to keep their mind from racing they need to compulsively sweep their sidewalk.
“Thinking is difficult, that’s why most people judge.” ~ Carl Jung
Maybe it is that thinking is difficult and we just slap a definition on another. Maybe it’s we assume that we know because we need to have a story about the person. We like to have definitions like “the busy body” or “the neighborhood jerk” or maybe it’s the “ego-inflated co-worker”. We’ve all done it. I’ve done it. I’m not proud of it. So, how about starting today we take a judgment detox?
Let’s begin with why do we judge others?
More often than not, the things we judge in others are a reflection of the things we cannot accept about ourselves. The yardstick we use for ourselves is the yardstick we use for the world. The way you measure yourself is how you measure others, and how you assume others measure you. Ugh, that’s harsh, but in many cases true.
According to research by psychology professor, Dustin Wood, “Your perceptions of others reveal so much about your own personality. Seeing others positively reveals your own positive traits and how satisfied you are with your own life, and how much others like you.
Starting a judgment detox requires us to take a hard look at ourselves and our habits. We have to step back and catch our thinking and reframe it. In the book “Judgment Detox” by Gabrielle Bernstein, she states the first step is to look at your judgment and bring awareness to it. It is important to bring awareness to it yet keep some compassion for ourselves. We all make mistakes and get into not-so-good habits, so give yourself a break and release the guilt or shame you might have. A prayer she offers is “I forgive this thought and I choose again”.
After awareness, it is important to realize that when you judge others, you are not defining them, you are defining yourself. When you frame your judgment in this light, you might feel some resistance, but it is important to examine why you are judging. We all have things we need to work on and this is an opportunity to get honest with ourselves and be compassionate with others.
“When you judge others, you do not define them, you define yourself.” ~ Earl Nightingale
Next up, interrupt your pattern of judging by bringing compassion towards the person and forgiveness for yourself. Choose another response, move on and do better next time.
To summarize, the steps for a judgment detox are as follows:
“You never know what someone is going through. Be kind. Always”
It really is all about catching our natural desire to want to define someone and instead ask ourselves what could this person be going through that I am unaware of? Could they be struggling or maybe they are doing the very best that they can right now? Let’s hope others have the same grace for us, right?
So just for today, and tomorrow and for always, choose kindness and compassion.
By Erika Fehrenbach Prell
Mmmmmmm…mojitos. Nothing says summer beverage like a refreshing mojito. Lime, simple syrup, soda or sparkling water, ice, mint. To rum or not, that's up to you, either way, mojitos are the ultimate in summer refreshment. Well, as long as that mint is muddled properly.
I'll be real. I've had my fair share of mojitos, enough to develop a discerning palette for a good one. The difference maker is properly muddled mint. Muddling mint and other herbs or fruits is a way to release their juices and oils by mashing them, which allows for a better flavor than a whole mint leaf or fruit piece. Muddling is an art, applying a gentle yet firm pressing motion that releases the flavor without destroying the leaves. It takes finesse, practice, patience and time. Frankly, it's an extra step that many mixologists skip, even though it elevates the final mojito product as well as the enjoyment of the sipper.
Why am I talking about mojitos and muddled mint on a blog dedicated to your best life journey? Well, first, it's fun…lol…and, we are all about infusing fun at SoulShine. But also, muddled mint is a fun and unique way to look at failure in your life. Huh? Let me explain.
Failure is not looked at favorably by most of us; in fact, failure is often something we try to avoid at all costs. And, when failure happens, we try to move on as quickly as possible. Why? Many reasons but one of the most common is that failure is uncomfortable. Failure can trigger a negative pathway fueled by self-doubt and negative self-talk.
One thing you can count on is that your Inspiration Catalysts are going to challenge beliefs like this. You see, failure has an undeserved bad reputation. Failing means you are going after something big, something worthwhile…I mean, if it wasn't new to you or hard, you would already know how to do it, right? Failure reveals lessons…perhaps uncovering a different path or different way to get the result you want. Failure builds resilience as you get back up and confidence in your abilities when you push through to success. But, it’s up to you to make the effort to see failure this way.
You see, failure is not the enemy…it is the ultimate best life teacher. Like mint in the mojito, you need to properly muddle it to release its benefits to the cocktail of your life. Left whole, failure tends to sour your experience, leading to the path of negativity. Rather, taking the time to pause and muddle the failure releases failures true form, one to make you better. What do I mean by muddling failure? Taking the time and extra step to gently, yet intentionally, press into the failure…really lean into it for a minute. Look for what it can teach you, then apply these nuggets as you move forward. That’s the extra step that releases the failure’s life enhancing powers, and it’s definitely worth the effort!
So, let’s raise a glass and toast - here’s to muddling failures…and, perhaps, a few mojitos as well! Shine On!
By Jackie White
Oh man, how can we love ourselves without abandon when beautifully photoshopped, pinteresty, insta-flawless bodies, faces, and lives are constantly shoved down our throats? It’s an overload of perfection and it sucks!
We all know rationally that no one looks like that in real life. We know that the shots are set up to create an image, we know that,, so why is it so hard to let it go?
This is why: because we don’t love ourselves enough. Listen, there is no award for being so hard on yourself. You are perfect just the way you are. Oh, you don’t believe me? I’ll take you to task on this one. Let’s look at the top three rotten things women pick themselves apart about and let me help slay these dragons for you with some straight talk.
Weight: Let’s begin with the biggest evil, weight. You might be thinking that you have to lose weight. Ya, so does almost 50% of the American population. So, take action and show your body some love by caring for it through healthy choices. Choose to eat properly, drink water, dump the soda, quit the sugar, and move your body. Change your focus on getting healthy and get off the damn scale! When you do the right things, you will return your precious body to the health it deserves.
The Love Yourself SOULution: Don’t complicate this. We like to complicate because then we have a great excuse to claim “nothing works” and then go back to eating chocolate bonbons. Instead, eat healthfully, eat proper portion sizes, drink water, and walk 150 - 300 minutes per week (Psst: that’s 21 - 43 minutes per day), You can do that, and oh yea, your life does depend on it, so there’s that.
Critical Inner Talk: You can’t stop thinking about that stupid thing you said at work the other day…guess what, everyone has said or done something stupid at work too. Get over it. You can’t change it, so move on. This situation is all about critical inner talk that fuels worry or anxiety about things you can’t control. That which you cannot control, you have to let go or you will pay a price of exhaustion and an unstable foundation because you have built your house on a pile of worry. You cannot do that.
The Love Yourself SOULution: Love yourself first and work to calm your mind and focus your thoughts on peaceful intentions. Start a practice of meditation to calm your mind and settle your body. Replace negative talk with positive words, always without fail. Choose to longer accept negative inner talk.
Low Confidence: There seems to be an epidemic of women who are not confident in themselves. Do you feel lost in making decisions for yourself? Do you feel you are not worthy of certain things in life? If so, you are suffering from this and you need to step up on your behalf. Hey, if you don’t, who will? Will it be difficult? Maybe, but you know what’s worse? Shortchanging your life because you are afraid to speak up for yourself. Living life in that manner will result in regret, don’t stand for it anymore! If you are battling the critical inner talk problem mentioned before, you are likely feeding the beast that is beating down your confidence. If you suffer from both, it calls for double the love for yourself.
The Love Yourself SOULution: Begin a practice of gratitude by listing something you love about yourself daily and why you love that about yourself. Begin to change your physiology by walking and talking confidently even if you don’t feel like it. Put on some pump-you-up music to change your state. Feel how good it feels to walk with more confidence! When you practice being confident, you train yourself to choose confidence over shrinking back into silence.
Sometimes to love yourself, you have to love yourself with tough love. No one said any of this was easy and in case you didn’t get the memo, life isn’t supposed to be a walk in the park. What I can tell you is that the effort is all worth it because you will stop worrying about how you rank in this crazy world of unattainable perfection. Instead, you will be catching your totally imperfect reflection in the mirror and you will start strutting and singing “I’m too sexy for Milan, New York, and Japan”. Imagine that scene! I love it!
Make the time to love yourself today and every day. When you do, one day you will finally realize your worth and how much the world needs you just the way you are.
Feeling the Long Weekend Blues? 5 Tips to Get Back into the Swing of Life after a Holiday Weekend
By Erika Fehrenbach Prell
Phew! Anyone else feeling the long weekend blues? Long weekends, especially holiday ones like July 4th and Memorial weekend, seem to fall in the category of a blessing and a curse. Anyone else find themselves looking forward to the bonus time but then packing it with a bit too much? You know, too much fun, too much food, too much sun…too much, too much, too much. No shame in that game…it seems to be the way of things!
Cue the superhero music….da ta da daaaaa!! Never fear, SoulShine is here to save the day! As we come off of the July 4th holiday weekend, here are 5 Tips to Get Back into the Swing of Life after a Holiday Weekend. Enjoy!
1. Let It Go
Chances are, you may have derailed several health goals over the weekend. Guess what? That’s okay! Leave the holiday in the past. What is done is done, start new today. Do yourself a favor and avoid the scale - there is a good chance it will be up but this is typically a false increase as a result of the extreme changes in your usual routine.
2. Restart Your Routine
Speaking of routines, get back at it! This is the best way to serve your body and get over the long weekend hangover, so to speak. Hydrate with water, get moving with your favorite exercise, eat your favorite light meals, and get your rest! This will get you feeling back to yourself, and your best, in no time!
3. Take a Deep Breath
Coming off the long weekend and shifting into work week mode can bring added stress. All of a sudden there are piles of laundry, empty refrigerators, perhaps a car that needs unpacking…and one less day to get it done! Stop, take a deep breath. Breathe in all the fun that was had and memories that were made. Breathe out the overwhelm you are creating. Take it one task at a time, start with the most important one. And, ask for help! There is nothing saying you have to take care of it all!
4. Mindset Reset
There’s an interesting struggle that has been created between the work week and the weekend. You know what I mean…all those memes about Monday blues, Friday or weekend vibes, basically that the work week is the nemesis and the weekend is the hero. It’s understandable…weekends tend to be fun and carefree while the work week is structured and task-filled. But, it doesn’t have to be this way! You get to choose your mindset. Instead of seeing your return to work as a bummer, choose to see it as the vehicle that allows you to enjoy the next long weekend. Find ways to bring joy and creativity into your work week by finding projects that fuel your passion and energize you.
5. Plan Ahead Next Time
As you get back into the post-holiday weekend swing of life, bring awareness to the situation. Chances are, there are some areas where you can help the transition into and out of a long weekend go more smoothly. Examples might be making a to-do list for your day back, putting an “out of the office” response to emails, or going to bed early so you can get started a little earlier your first day back. Take note so you can plan ahead next time, you know, like at the end of summer with Labor Day.
We hope these tips help you bust out of the long weekend, holiday blues, and start fresh and new this week. Save these tips for the next holiday, too! Putting these ideas into place will help even out the rollercoaster that can come with long, holiday weekends, resulting in you enjoying this time and memories to the fullest. Shine On!
Jackie White has been writing about life and its ups and downs for many years. With a degree in Industrial Psychology and a life-long student of personal development she is intrigued by how each individual chooses to live their life. Jackie feels strongly that truly living your best life is imperative to attaining peace and fulfillment. SoulShine was borne of her desire to inspire and teach others to live their best life. This is her mission and her dream.