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March 27, 2023

Stop Judging Yourself

A few weeks ago I attended my first Daybreaker. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s a conscious, burning-man inspired, multi-generational, early-morning dance party. (Ph-ew!)

It starts out with an hour yoga class and then a party ensues that makes it difficult to tell whether you’re in a club at 2 AM, or that it is in fact, 7 AM on a Wednesday. The yoga class is heart opening and inspirational, beautifully soundtracked by the legendary, Above & Beyond. (Above and Beyond has actually DJ’d Daybreaker live, however we weren’t that lucky.) After the music began, people loosened up and we started to get after it.

In a previous life, I used to frequent clubs, raves, and festivals, and far too indulged in the party favors that are ubiquitous with the scene. They were fun times no doubt, however, if you stick with that routine for long enough you’re sure to meet it’s barriers, and feel it’s wrath on your well being. Years later, post a life altering decision to not drink or do any drugs, it felt like I was stepping back in time. Only this time there were no pills or powders, just a new perspective and appreciation.

Day breaker is a sober event. (which you’d hope for 7 am on Wednesday) So while people can stoke their caffeine and kombucha via the free drinks, there is no substance intoxication to be found. As the music turned up, we got to dancing. As time passed people grew more comfortable and freer with their bodies. Beyond the 808 kick, and trippy art installations, what struck me most was something that the MC periodically came on the mic to announce.

All he would say was, LET GO — Stop Judging Yourself.

I thought, “Wow. How good of a cue is that!?”

One “positive” side to alcohol and drugs, is that it gives us is the ability to let go of self-criticism and be free in our bodies. (Often to our detriment) But with being sober, it’s a whole new level of practice to access this nonjudgmental freedom. In essence, it’s a meditation. And the MC’s words were the main teaching of the practice.

Can we let go enough to be free, and express in the way our spirit is moving us?

It’s not easy.

I couldn’t get over this thought of 150 people dancing in a room together, all fearing what they looked like to others. When in reality, everyone else was fearing the same thing. If you could project a screen that showed everyone’s internal narrative, it would be hilarious. We’d see that the way we humans act is insane. No one is judging anyone, We are all judging ourselves.

We judge ourselves in almost every area of our life, and too often the strongest victim of criticism is the body. For some it’s where we hold the most discomfort. That means it is also the place where our greatest transformation can occur.

The body is as much of a place for self-realization as anything. We can find awakening in the experience of pure movement. We can find ascendance in transforming judgemental thoughts to self-love. We find freedom and release when we shift our thoughts to one of others judging, to one of loving others.

It’s not easy. Our body shaming runs deep. That’s exactly why it’s the work we must confront.

I hope this meditation will help you access new levels of awareness and appreciation for your body and who You are deep inside.

Listen here: Stop Judging Yourself

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