Yesterday I grabbed Deepak’s book—I call him Deepak now—The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success off my shelf, deciding that it was time for a refresher. I also thought that, energetically, it would behoove me to read his book, since I’ve asked him to endorse mine; it may generate some sort of karmic reciprocity. Anyway, it’s a good book and it’s little, so I cracked it open and began with Rule 1, which says that everything is energy. Everything is One. We are all connected. There is no difference, really, between my desk and me, energetically speaking.
I read on to the practical steps to put this law into action. With this first law, the steps are 1) Meditate, 2) Embrace silence, 3) Take time in Nature and 4) Commit each day to practice non-judgment. This is so easy. I have this down.
So I woke up this morning and I said to myself, “Today, I will not judge anything.” I went downstairs, made my tea, and reminded my son that he needed to finish his chores before play time. And all hell broke loose.
My son, it should be noted, is a very loving, sweet, even-tempered little guy. He’s sensitive and kind and very spiritual. When he was tiny we called him a buddha baby, when we weren’t affectionately referring to him as a little blob (this because he never cried, never fussed, just sat arranging bottles of shampoo in a line on the floor). So it always comes as a shock when he flips into Alien Aidan: sullen, whiny, resistant, defensive; in other words, when he acts like a regular kid. It throws me. It especially throws me at 8:00 a.m. on a lovely Saturday morning before I’ve had my tea or my front porch bird-listening time and when I’m experiencing a tsunami of hot flashes.
After some minutes of turmoil, explanation, assistance offering and general law-laying-downing, I lost it. I raised my volume and I said something that included the word “freakin’.” (Now, “freakin’” is not a word I even like, or allow my children to use. It’s a dumb word, but I figured it was better than it’s logical, more desired alternative.) Thirty minutes after I so smugly vowed to practice non-judgment, I was judging away left and right: My son is obstinate. I hate his attitude. I don’t like the way my morning is going. Judge, judge, judge.
I could blame my hormones, and I do, but that’s really no excuse and I know it. I know how to parent my child in a way that smoothes out these little (and they are so very little) bumps. I know better. It is entirely possible that the whole scenario unfolded precisely because I vowed not to judge; the Universe gave me a wonderful opportunity to practice what I said I wanted to practice. Be careful what you wish for. (Side note: never ever ask to practice patience unless you are solidly prepared for an onslaught of “opportunities” designed to try your one, last, functional nerve.)
The whole idea behind the meditation/silence/nature/non-judgment thing is getting in touch with the larger force of which we are all a part. The purpose is to open and expand consciousness; to that end, perhaps I did okay, even with my slip. I am aware of what happened and aware of my words and that I chose an attitude which closed things down, rather than opening them up. I’m not judging myself for it. (Yes I am. Inside I am. I feel bad. I will apologize. It will be a learning opportunity for my son and for me. Okay, now I’m not judging.) I will simply say, as my sweet airy-fairy friends do, that “it’s all good.” But that’s a judgment too, n’est pas?
So how about my husband’s favorite phrase, the one that annoys the hell out of me but which I’ve come, grudgingly, to see is absolutely perfect:
“It is what it is.”
KATE INGRAM, M.A., is a writer, therapist and soul coach. Her first book,Washing the Bones: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Transformation, will be published in August. For more information, please visit her website, www.katherineingram.com.
Posted August 10, 2013