Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Perceptions,labels and judgements
Have you ever caught yourself doing the following?
You see a good looking guy or gal, well dressed, visibly monetarily well off, muscular, good figure, confident stride, etc etc.
Those are your initial perceptions. Next comes your labeling process. He/she is successful, that coat must cost $1,000, he/she has all the things I want, why doesn't my body look like that, I work out. why can't my life be like that etc etc. Next come the judgements; he/she...what a bitch, well I just don't have those genetics, her parents probably have money etc etc.
It happens to a lot of people I know and I always tell them that they end up missing a lot of what is really going on and shutting themselves out of experiences and potential opportunities.
So next time your mind takes this route, try this.
Recognize and catch yourself doing it and then change the process.
First let your perception change to just plain observation. Now as you are just observing, there is no need to label. And when there is no label, you won't form a judgement and you can just be present and open to whatever comes your way. (I will be talking some more about this over the coming week.)
So take a look at my breakfast;
what's your initial perception? That doesn't look too appetizing? (perception) What is the orange blobbish stuff, it looks gross (label) I could never eat that! (judgement). My co-worker and FRIEND actually gagged when she saw this on my desk. Turkey salad, turkey, cucumber, tomato, scallion and mayo. Left over mashed sweet potato and turkey. I can promise you had my friend not immediately perceived, labelled and judged, I would have been able to give her a taste, and she would have thoroughly enjoyed it.....or not and then decide not have it again. Instead she shut herself out of the experience.
What do you think? Do you ever catch yourself in that process?