When I first started learning to live in the present moment and becoming more aware of the thoughts in my mind, one thing I began to notice was how my mind was constantly evaluating things. These evaluations ranged from comparing myself to other people to certain expectations and standards (e.g. – what I “should” do or that “I am not good enough”). I also became aware of many thought patterns including –

  • all or nothing (sometimes referred to as black and white)
  • overgeneralising
  • jumping to conclusions
  • labeling and mis-labeling, and
  • “should” statements.

As I began to become more aware and noticed these thoughts and patterns (you can see 10 Forms of Cognitive Distortions (Faulty Thinking) here), I noticed I was seeing life through mental filters, not as life actually was in the present moment. I then decided it was time to pay more attention to these judgements.


Starting to Cultivate a Non-judging Attitude

Cultivating a non-judging attitude toward whatever experience or thought occurred in my mind or body has helped me develop greater awareness of myself and what patterns were stored in my subconscious mind or blocking me from my true self. This doesn’t mean that judging doesn’t continue to happen, it does, however it is accepting and seeing what is there and not trying to push it away – just paying attention to the experience of life in this moment.

This experience could be – the in-breath or the out-breath, the sensations within the body, a sound, a thought, a perception or judgement that you have made or maybe even a smell. Just observing whatever you are choosing to pay attention to without getting caught up in labeling the thoughts or judging the judgements. Then if your mind wanders, just notice it and bring your attention back to the moment, as that is part of living in the moment!

Interestingly enough, when I have been stressed, I realised I was not in the moment. Instead I was thinking about of of the things that could happen, instead of just in-joying the moment for what it is. I continue to accept this and allow it to be that way – without judging myself. I know the more I catch myself out of the moment, that is also helping me get back to the moment. It is all part of developing awareness or becoming conscious.


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