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Self-Judgment Day

This has been the season of the grocery store scenario for several clients and while the items in the cart may change, their stories have a similar theme.

“Jane” was lost in the SUPER supermarket holding bananas and yogurt when she spied the woman with scallions smugly staring back at her, mocking her hapless state. The stranger had it all going on; organized, sophisticated taste and style, a spotless home, handsome husband, perfect kids AND she must be a gourmet cook. “Jane” assumed that the stranger managed to do it all while she could barely think about how hungry she was, waiting to peel the banana and get some nutrition into her slacker body.”

“Mary” finds herself playing beat the school bus to the stop. Her cart is filled with 12 cans of Spaghetti O’s, milk and cereal, the limited diet that her 3 year old will agree to eat this month. Behind you is a neighbor with artichokes, roast beef and what appears to be the recipe for an off-season holiday banquet in her carriage. It’s obvious the cans on the belt are not for the food pantry but destined for your home. Humiliating!”

These mythical creatures have pressed your buttons and in each case, triggered a series of thoughts that generated feelings followed by actions. It might prompt an explanation or in the case of the supermarket angst, a quick exit and a pause to rewind and be kind to yourself.

So what is it about assumptions and judgments? The average American has approximately 60,000 thoughts daily. Well, both “Jane” and “Mary” just assigned 1,000 of them to the scallion/artichoke women never having uttered a word or made eye contact with either.

When we are conscious of our thoughts, when we stop before we write the script, we can short-circuit the feelings that arise from being judged, abandoned, betrayed, and so on. What if the smug stare in the first instance was in reality, nothing more than a quick glance because she was trying to read the expiration date on the yogurt without her glasses? And what if the woman with the full cart wished for more in her daily activities than a gourmet dinner to prepare? Unless you are an entertainer, mind-reading is inaccurate at best.

• Stay present • Focus on the source of your thoughts. Is it accurate? • Remember that YOU are in control of your thoughts>feelings>actions


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