Discerning, a way to happiness
Let the wind of discernment disperse the clouds of judgement and criticism away so the sun of unconditionally love can shine bright in the blue skies of your mind.
Do you find discernment difficult to grasp? so do I… My teacher in energy medicine finally shed some light on this subject. What stuck in my mind was that practicing it makes you happy.
Recently, I was listening to the recordings of these classes and going over my notes so let me share some of my findings and feel free to share yours with me!
What is discernment?
I understand it as the ability to recognize differences without judgement. Placing a value is judgement like deciding something is good or bad. Observing a characteristic or a fact like is saying the sky is blue is discernment.
Let’s say you hear an idea from a friend and you think what a weird or crazy idea. That is judgement… Now, take a minute and and reflect why do I think this is idea is crazy? why does it make me uncomfortable? what do I feel? shock, surprise, maybe envy?. Saying the idea is surprising or simply I don’t know what to say might get a better respond from your friend, right? an idea is just an idea.
How do I practice it?
Here are some ways I practice:
- Observe what is happening and throw the value scale out of the window.
- Be flexible and open. Life is always in flux.
- Be curious! you might find a way to learn rather than judge.
- When you make a statement, avoid qualifiers or adjectives that don’t reflect a property of what you observed.
- Say what you feel, being honest is a useful policy.
- If you don’t know what to say, don’t say anything. Don’t make something up! you can forget…
- Be kind and polite, it goes a long way!
How do I use discernment in my yoga practice?
Become an observer of your practice! At the start, check how you feel. Recognize where your breath, body and mind are and do not place a value. This information plays an important role in respecting your limits. Realizing that we are not the same everyday, taking judgement out of the equation, and finding challenge and ease at the same time in each pose. Makes a big difference!
Explore your limits with curiosity and without fear. We grow comfortable in our practice and sometimes stay under the respect-your-limits umbrella, especially when we have an injury. Testing just to explore and see whether you can go a bit further. If is not available, draw back and acknowledge what you found.
Avoid comparisons… if something I learned in comparative anatomy is that we are all created different! Different builts allow different movements and limits… I have very long arms so in a forward bend I actually have to bend my elbows when my hands rest on the floor… a friend of mine with very short torso and shorter arms will never be able to touch the floor with straight legs. It is just impossible! So lets just recognize what is possible and what is not…
How do I use discernment in my diet?
Make choices for foods that help you stay healthy! most of the time… I have a weak will so I just buy healthy and nutrient-dense foods for home. That way the choice is already made. Now, when I go out is another matter. I do indulge… what can I say I am a sugar junky.
If are you going to eat or drink something you shouldn’t have… go ahead without guilt! Honestly, you might cause yourself and indigestion if you do. Instead, do something to balance the excess. Ate to many sweets? eat lots of vegetables with your meal to eliminate cravings and drink enough water. Drank too much over the weekend? re-hydrate with coconut water and a bit of fasting or drinking cleansing herbal teas. You get the drift, right?
The most important think is to be realistic in your goals and eat to be healthy not for other reasons.
How does discernment leads to happiness?
In the absence of judgement, can you guess what comes naturally?? that’s right, peace and calm!
With discernment, you will find less reasons to be upset, angry, afraid, sad, disappointed, jealous… and when you do not feel any of those, what do you feel? genuine content and sheer joy. The sustainable one, the lasting one.
It will also help you take away the power from triggers as you stop giving a value…
Now, discernment won’t make you a vulcan like Spock that doesn’t get upset or afraid. However, by observing you can recognize the emotion and can let it go easier.
I am just a beginner and somehow the more I learn the more beginner I feel. Will love to hear your discoveries…