Non-Judgement, Vulnerability and the Disorder of being Human

Happy Summer Solstice for those in the North! Open to the light now. There is plenty of it!

Allow me to state first and foremost that I do my best to speak from my own experience with my blogs.

This is not meant to be egocentric in anyway (although my Leo Ascendant and slight pre-aptitude for dramatics might have you believing that ;)

No, rather I do it that way to be someone who leads by example. That in my opinion takes great courage. And that is me really stepping into the power of my Leo Ascendant – by being the best and most integrous version of a Leo I can be. I feel it's part of my “growing up and accepting my destiny”.

In 2009 I intuited (during a Vipassana retreat) that I was to complete the Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training Program. Part of being a good teacher of yoga (and anything else), is to convert your message into something digestible for the listener or reader. The truth is always simple! Why fill it with jargon and abstract concepts that can not be applied practically in the here and now?

So when I relate my messages, I speak from my own experiences. Things that have happened to me personally that have made me ponder and wonder about this world, the people in it and how it all fits together. And obviously as a grow myself - I might change my opinions on things. Nothing is rock solid, not even rocks!

That way, you get to connect to the human part of me and not the mind part that speaks in metaphor and hypothetical scenarios. Most spiritual practices teach the virtue of non-judgement (which frankly can come across as plain old non-caring, if you, like me, have sat and spoken with someone who practices non-judgement with you during a personal time of turmoil). In order to maintain balance, I used to be one of those people who kept everything stoic and neutral for the sake of being neutral (a highly sought after disposition in spiritual practice indeed). I soon found I started to appear unapproachable, untouchable and insensitive. Part of non-judgement would be not caring what people think I suppose. However I still felt in myself that being what I call “Oh-SHO spiritual” left me feeling a little isolated and disconnected from myself and the people around me. I felt like non-judgement was taking me back into an extreme, creating black and white yet again for me.

Some may say “well Neutrality or Non-Judgement is a sign of spiritual maturity isn't it?” Well ........ perhaps not, and this is why:

Being in balance is a sign of spiritual maturity - it is a sign of emotional and physical health too.

But being neutral intellectually without that inner balance of emotions and energies is just us kidding ourselves into believing we are “there” and that the inner processing work is done. It's sometimes called spiritual bypassing and I see it everywhere – and I too used to be like that. But I quickly came to discover that my emotions did not go anywhere if I neglected to process them, and get them out - other than into my cellular memory which starts to take root as illness or disease.

And boy did those unprocessed emotions come back to kick me in the teeth eventually. I realised (eventually) that I had misinterpreted the need for non-judgement and neutrality to mean that I should be unattached with everything and everyone, even myself.

However we are born needing to attach to something (usually the Mother's breast) to survive. It is in our fundmental biology and is part of this human experience. There is a psychological concept called Attachment Theory, wherein John Bowlby speaks about the different mothering attachment experiences a child can have. Some are healthy, some are not so healthy. But all will dictate our attachment patterns later through life and how we relate to the world - until we become more aware of ourselves. And even then, those patterns are really challenging to change completely. However to empower you here, I would also include: Accept them, yes, work around them, yes.

Use them as an opportunity for growth - hell yes!

Here are the different forms of Attachment Style as per Bowlby's Theory, but with my own angle on the spiritual advantages of each one:

1. Healthy - The Universe is a safe place for me and Mommy and me are tight.

-This form of attachment offers a wonderful opportunity to show compassion for the others who did not get this themselves growing up - even though you may not understand what it's like to be unsteady, you can still show love and support and act as spiritual family for those who have none.

2. Distant/Avoidant - I don't need you, I don't need anybody - Mommy was never there when I needed her anyway. Cant trust anyone ever!

-This form of attachment offers you the opportunity to grow past your deepest darkest fears of inadequacy so that you can shine even more brightly but with a new-found sense of integrity and true unconditional love and compassion for others.

3. Anxious/Ambivalent - I need you desperately, and don't come near me. Mommy freaked me out when she left me, then confused me by coming back and being nice to me afterwards. Not sure if I can trust anyone, so I'll keep pushing you away if you get too close

-This form of attachment offers you the opportunity to deepen love for yourself and for others through unconditional giving and loving without attachment to the outcome.

4. Disorganised - I'm unpredictable, frightening/frightened and deeply confused because Mommy could never give me a sense of who I am, and so I don't know what unconditional love is, nor do I know what or who I am.

- This form of attachment pattern is the ultimate and widest opening for Universal Love and Light to enter. This lifetime is your key to attaining liberation. If you can do it here, now, you can do it anywhere!

These Attachment styles can explain a wide range of the mental unsteadiness we see in society nowadays. I personally call it “mental unsteadiness”, rather than “mental disorder”. It feels more compassionate and as the word “unsteadiness” implies, it is just a return to balance that is really required.

Why label it as a Disorder? The word itself implies that someone is

Dis-Orderly - or more punitively "out of line".

My point is, is that we are by default caught up in a plethora of human emotion. There is no escaping it - this is what we sign up for when we prepare for earth living. And I feel that while we are here - instead of stuffing what we feel into the “demonised and let's not go there” box, numbing it with antidepressants or other fun substances and trying not to let it show to anyone for fear that we might appear (oh heaven forbid) human(!) why not practice non-judgement with self first by loving those parts of ourselves and just allowing them a space and a voice, as Matt Kahn beautifully calls it, “loving what arrises”. As long as you are not harming anybody (including yourself).

And how liberating it is to think "my emotions are safe when expressed in a healthy and peaceful way". Say this to yourself a few times and see how it sits in your heart.

So yes, I speak openly about those times when I'm being human, making mistakes, having crappy moments where I know I'm not being the best version of myself! This is part of a personal practice of self love, something sorely missing from the world nowadays. Once again, I am leading by example and being the change I would like to see around me. Another brave thing to do - but I implore you to make a start! Being vulnerable in such a context allows me to just relax, to be honest, to surrender to the Universe and the goodness in others. It's not easy though – and I have had some less scrupulous characters out there try to take advantage of that, and a few others who have known me for some years on my spiritual path have attempted to use it as an opportunity to bolster themselves.

Note: That is not a judgement - it's an observation - ha ha!

Trust me, you quickly start to see who the REALLY spiritual people are when you start to be real and vulnerable with them. You start to see who the REALLY Non-Judgmental people are when you trustingly share something about yourself that could easily be judged.