Introduction to the Dating Detox Day 2: Non-judgmental Noticing
We ask you to start today with the intention of non-judgmentally noticing thought patterns, shadow [unconscious beliefs], anything that’s in between you and allowing the love you want. Non-judgmental noticing allows for the freedom of choice.
Non-judgmental is really key here. For instance, I could notice a particular hindering pattern in my life. But then if I judge myself for having the pattern in the first place, I've just unnecessarily compounded the effects.
Let's say my pattern is to attract men that are only interested in sex - just physical, unconnected sex. Judgement in this situation might look like me noticing when the pattern comes up and then saying, “Oh, I’m doing THAT again. I’m hopeless.”
If the self-judgement becomes so strong that I feel shame about it. Then I might become blind to my patterns because it's too hard to look at it all the time. The blindness is why unconscious ways of being are sometimes called shadow.
Think of the physical shadow of your body. It's something that follows you around everywhere you go, but you're not usually aware of it.
All of this stuff are examples of being in a state of resistance. Being in a state of not allowing.
And when it comes to dating - being in a state of resistance is not gonna get you what you want.
We love this quote by Pema, who just really sums it up...
Here’s how you can start coming into a state of allowing. It’s simply about noticing I’m in a particular thought pattern, and saying to myself “I notice that I’m having the thought that I’m hopeless for attracting the wrong types of men.” This is very different from being IN the tunnel vision experience of the thought.
The difference is that you’re having the thought, but then you notice that you’re having the thought. When you name the thought to yourself, you're automatically stepping back from it. This is what starts a re-wiring process in your brain.
We personally like the sentence stem, “Isn’t it interesting that…” in front of the thought pattern we notice. Being interested takes away the judgment.
Assignment : Use our example: "Isn't it interesting that.... I'm worrying that I’ll never find the right man for me." Notice when you have these thoughts and list them down in your workbook or journal you can create a new thought to replace it.
Once you’ve become practiced at identifying these automatic, unhelpful thought patterns, now you’re able to choose a deliberate thought. One that’s more helpful and less resistant to attracting love into your life.
In the next lesson, we’ll go through an audio meditation that’s gonna help bring your shadow thoughts into light, while also practicing some self-compassion to start taking the edge off.
Your unhelpful thoughts are just thoughts. They are not necessarily true. And they’re definitely not you. So let’s stop beating ourselves up in our own minds and allow love in.
Non-judgmental Noticing Meditation. [audio - allow 10 minutes]
Audio Transcript :
Please begin by lying or sitting on the floor however you like. Make sure you are in an area that has enough room for you to walk around a bit. Today’s meditation will be a re-calibrating of your body to feel lighter and freer, to open up to more love. This is a moving meditation and a practice of meeting yourself where you are rather than forcing yourself to be elsewhere.
Sometimes people get in a pattern of denying darker parts of themselves or attaching so firmly to the darker parts that they marinate in them to the point of becoming a big soggy mess of feeling worthless and loveless… this is a practice of allowing these parts of ourselves, by simply noticing them without judgement. It’s kind of like with a screaming kid. If I yell at them to be quiet, they’ll probably get louder or, they may even become quiet but will be boiling inside and will just explode again later. But if I ignore the kid. That just makes them get louder too. In either instance, I am telling the kid that it is not OK to be in their full expression.
So what happens if I was able to give my undivided, loving attention to the child? Allowing the child to have their air time, non-judgmentally hearing them out, hearing their pain or fear, offering a simple non-verbal acknowledgement that says “I see you. I love you.”
This kind of allowing gives the child security in the world. The child can be their full self and still be loveable. So with this moving meditation, we invite you to play with this idea of treating your thoughts as you could treat a screaming kid. This will probably be a totally new way of paying attention to yourself...so let’s just see what starts to shift when you take the time to notice things about yourself, free from judgment.
This meditation will also have several moments of silence. In these spaces, please allow any associations, images, and memories to appear freely to you. This practice is about fully allowing--whether you perceive the associations as painful, uncomfortable, or anything else. Noticing what’s in your subconscious is going to help serve the process of freedom to attract exactly the kind of love you want.
Please come to a standing position. Imagine your mind and body as awesome channels for very important information. Take a moment to connect to your body through your breath. Breathe in. Breathe out. Feel your feet on the ground. Ask that your mind become an open vessel for thoughts, images, memories, and stories to come through with ease. This is not a meditation where the goal is to quiet your mind. This is a meditation on inviting and trusting all the messages that come through.
I’m going to say a word, and I want you to pay attention to the first things that come to mind when I say it. Dating. [pause]
What did you notice? Did happy thoughts come up? Did difficult thoughts come up?
Regardless of what initially came through. For a moment, just give total permission to the part of yourself that is holding you back when it comes to dating. Examples might be “I hate dating.” “No one loves me.” “All the good ones are taken.” “I suck at relationships.” Allow any images and memories to come, completely unfiltered. As they surface, begin to follow your body’s impulses. This may be a new practice for you...but just ask yourself how does my body want to move when I consider the weight or resistance I carry about dating. How is your posture. What does your head and shoulders want to do. Try walking around a bit, or going to the floor. Just really follow your movement impulses as you allow the part of yourself that’s holding you back when it comes to love.
I’m going to remain mostly silent for a few moments, but I’ll offer some more words that you can choose to follow in your mind’s eye just as you did with the word dating. See which words hold the most energy in you.
Break ups. Disappointment. Fighting. Cheating. Sex. Promises. Addiction.
Now considering each of the images that came to you, was there a theme there? What’s the main thing that keeps weighing you down? Usually there’s like one toxic core belief that’s there. “I’m not worthy.” “I’m unloveable.” “I can’t trust anyone.” Allow that one toxic core belief to surface. And again, follow any impulses when you say that statement to yourself. What shape does your body take when you live in that toxic core belief? What bodily sensations arise? How does your body want to move?
Take a deep breath. And let it all out. [sigh], Rest one hand on your belly, and one hand on your heart. That might have been a really difficult journey just then. Take a moment to acknowledge that inside. Thank yourself for being open to your mind’s wanderings. Really, say to yourself “Thank you.” Really feel yourself touching your own heart. Just acknowledging the discomfort and pain you have experienced in your life. Acknowledging that every thought pattern or belief you have made perfect sense given the experiences you have had starting all the way from birth. So right now, from the part of you that has unconditional self-love... Say to yourself, in your mind, “I see you. I love you anyway. I see you. I love you anyway. I see you. I love you anyway.” Relax your arms at your sides, if you like, and just be in this vibe for a moment.
Now we’re going to shake. Shaking can allow the process you just went through to move through. Starting at your feet, start to wiggle your toes. Going up to the ankles, shake each ankle one at a time. With both feet planted, start bending each knee one at a time, start to go faster and faster, feel the movement go up to your hips, faster faster, vibrating all the way up your spine, up to your shoulders, shake shake shake your shoulders, let your arms and hands shake, allow your head to move naturally with the shaking. Now bring some effort into your arms and begin shaking your arms as if you are trying to get peanut butter off your hands. Imagine anything that’s not serving you just flicking away, shaking off of you, and you’re becoming lighter and lighter. Now shake your entire body as hard and fast as you can for just a few more seconds. 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1. And now come to stillness abruptly. Try placing your hands over your heart again. Breathe in. Breathe out.
At some point in your day, secretly choose someone that you come across. Try someone you don’t really know. Hold this person in your heart as you just did in this process with yourself.
Try looking at this person, and seeing them as sharing a similar experience of having a toxic core belief. This person has a particular history that has set them up to have these beliefs just like you. This person most likely has or has had their own set of thought patterns that keep them from accessing all the love that is available to them at any given time.
As you witness this person, you may try saying in your mind’s eye, “I see you.” And if it doesn’t feel like too much of a stretch, see if you can even say “I love you any way.”