Judgement……what role does it serve in our lives and world? What does it illicit in you as you read the word?
I am fascinated in watching it in myself and all around as it seems quite persistent. Is it inherent or is it conditioned? Does it serve the health and well being of us all? Is it a nourishing (adjective:containing substances necessary for growth, health, and vibrance) element or something that deprives nourishment? What role does it play?
These are some of the questions I ask myself. (and I have come to appreciate using the concept of ‘nourishment’ as a barometer in my questioning)
And I find myself so amazed at how pervasive it is in most arenas of human interaction and thought and how rarely do I see it nourish people or situations.
I should clarify here that ‘judgement’ as I am addressing it is different from the definition of it as opinion or decisions based on one’s wise and practical conclusions. The judgement I am speaking of is along the lines of making someone else or yourself greater than or lesser than.
(To criticize or condemn someone from a position of assumed moral superiority. Or to sit in judgment assuming the right to judge someone, esp. in a critical manner.)
I support everyone’s right to opinions and celebrate it emphatically. This is an important detail so as not to confuse what it is I am questioning.
I am questioning our choice, each of us, to judge or criticize in most situations. I am curious how we feel it supports growth and health for all and what it serves within us when we engage or perpetuate it?
Do we judge things when they threaten the comfort of our own held belief systems? Do we feel a need to defend what feels safe and familiar within us and that which we are attached to? By minimizing the existence of other ideas, thoughts, feelings and ways of living are we somehow trying to create a sense of personal power in a world that is inconceivably diverse in human and natural design? Do we simply feel engaging judgement is benign and doesn’t really need to be questioned? Or perhaps it is our right to judge and criticize and is as natural as eating and sleeping.
Imagine for a moment if you can that you moved to a city where judgement didn’t exist. How would you explain it to other people and the purpose of engaging it? But even more so…..imagine how it would feel to be in a place where you would never be judged and where your own internal judgements dissipated. (remember that judgement in this context is not opinion or experience)
Can you sit back and close your eyes for one moment and see if you can feel that in your body and breathe it in even if you might not believe it is possible. What do you notice?
For me I notice that there is a feeling of relaxation and ease within me.
I think it is tricky sometimes because judgement and criticism can be slippery allies with opinion and only our own internal knowing can understand our intentions. I personally tend to dismantle down to the most subtle of thoughts and energies in myself so I can come to know more about my inner workings and offer new possibilities that allow for more nourishment for myself and others. In this practice I will even question my engaging in comparisons or how I speak information in social contexts. I can see how craftily and indirect the judgement in me can manifest because those parts of me have a perceived notion of survival on some level. It is pretty impressive and what I always come back to is love without conditions and compassion for those parts of myself. When I am able to witness ways they engage in judgement and all its derivatives, I can simply become curious, loving and compassionate for the ways they have learned to ‘survive’. And it is through witnessing and presence with them that the possibility of growing more into nourishing dynamic is possible.
That is me……at least today……
What does judgement or criticism serve or nourish in your life and can you ask the questions without judging what you notice in yourself?
Jacqueline is an educator, artist, author and so much more. She has led a rich and varied life dedicating herself to deepening her knowledge and to sharing that knowledge with others. In the movement arts she has trained in physical theater, dance and martial arts. These include: Butoh, yoga, Contact Improvisation, Commedia Dell-Arte and other highly expressive movement forms. Her teachers include Yumiko Yoshioko, Simone Forti, New Crime Productions, Contraband, Peggy Hackney and Martha Eddy.
As a musician she has toured and performed and also studied sound, chant and sound healing with teachers and artists that include Jonathan Goldman, Robert Gass, Russill Paul, Shefa Gold, Dave Stringer, Shantala and students of Jon Beaulieu.
In her ever present signature blending of movement, sound and rhythm, she was a senior member of ICM signed Jellyeye (Drum Theater) and created and performed extensively with them for 7 years. She was a founding member of MASS Ensemble (Music And Sonic Sculpture) and has collaborated with a variety of independent artists and companies over the years creating movement and music-based work for theaters and festivals as well as being an independent choreographer. She has traveled and studied in West Africa, southern India and studied percussion with internationally known artists Glen Velez and Hamid Drake. Her music has led her to play for a variety of artists’ CDs, music projects and U.S. tours.
While her arts training and performance work stands on its own it is also what compelled Jacqueline towards being an educator and facilitator. Throughout the years she has developed cutting-edge curriculums as well as her original Sound Body Wisdom mentorships and workshops. She has certificates from Emory University in Conflict Transformation, Moving On Center in Somatic Education, Johns Hopkins in Psychological First Aid, has trained in Neurolinguistics and certified as a CMT.
She has created workshops for youth and adults across the United States and abroad in such places as The Kripalu Center, The University of Michigan, Cleveland Public Theater, the Cultural Center of Chicago, Elat Chayyim, Power of Hope and in locations from the Middle East to Iceland. She has received several CAAP and NAP grants to study, create new work and design community projects. She has worked with schools, hospitals, community and private organizations offering Sound Body Wisdom, her integration of movement, mind body, awareness and voice practices. She has a free podcast available on iTunes as well as being the author of Touching the Invisible: A Field Guide for Living.
Jacqueline is a student of meditation and spiritual traditions and continues to travel and study to expand her understanding of her work and the role it plays in our evolving World.
Most of all, Jacqueline is a Human Being that cares deeply.