Archive for the ‘sensuality’ Category

Feline Life Lesson #8 – Be Engaged

Be Engaged

Be Engaged

It’s time for Feline Life Lesson #8 – Be engaged (not GET engaged – no rings in today’s message, sorry).

There’s one thing you can count on with cats, they are always engaged in what’s going on around them – they are always present. Even when they’re sleeping it seems like they have a sense that stays awake and they are immediately in the moment, no matter what. This makes them a totally sensual being. Their presence, the way they completely give themselves over to whatever is happening in the moment, they are supremely engaged in life.

Some examples for you:

  • When there is a bird outside the window, my cats are there watching. They know there is a pane of glass between them and the outside, but it doesn’t matter. They will watch intently. They’ll make the guttural clicking sound of the cat in hunt mode. In that moment, there is nothing else to pay attention to other than that bird.
  • In cat land, there is nothing better than a good petting. They will lift their body to receive your attention. They will show their appreciation with a loud purr.  They tap  you on the arm if you stop before they’re ready. Some will drool, like my Izzy. There is no doubt that they are completely into what you’re putting out. Here are 3 and a half minutes of cats asking for attention.
  • Cats playing is a joy. They are definitely totally engaged. Until they decide they’re done, of course. Then they’re totally engaged in something else. Give a cat a new catnip or honeysuckle toy (they love the latter without the high from the former) or get out a laser pointer and watch them go!
  • Cats have excellent hearing. Their ears will swivel at the slightest change in sound and, if it merits attention, they will turn their head to face it as well to get a better sense of what’s going on.
  • Have you ever seen a cat that is so interested in the smell of something that they open their mouth? Cats smell with their mouths as well. When something really intrigues them, they will open their mouths to get a fuller sensation of the smell!
  • Many people say cats are aloof. In my experience, they are great listeners. My cats listen better than my dog. They come when called, they turn to you as soon as you make a noise or say their name.  They’ll even come for a cuddle when I rub two fingers together . They’ll listen to you talk and sometimes even talk back. And they talk to each other. Or give an opinion.

You are a Bad Kitty. To be even badder, practice more of feline life lesson 8 – be engaged.

  • Pay attention to what’s going on around you and really notice. When driving, be engaged in driving. When relaxing, be fully engaged with your relaxation (no making lists in your head!). Walk in nature and really notice your surroundings and what has changed since your last walk, what’s new or different whether it’s a new place or your neighborhood. Every instance of your day, be engaged.
  • Really feel touch. Give yourself over to a hug rather than going in for a quickie and getting out as soon as possible. Enjoy the feel of a loved one’s skin and hair. Notice the texture of your clothes. Give yourself over to the tactile sensations that surround you.
  • When you play, really play. Spend less time worrying about skill or perfection and just enjoy. If you watched Friends, you may remember the episode with Pheobe and Rachel going for a run. Pheobe ran like a child and loved it! Be a Pheobe.
  • Whether it’s a taste, smell, sound, touch or sight, really pay attention. Your senses give you so much information. Give into the entirety of what is coming into your body through your senses.
  • Listen, really listen, when someone speaks to you. Pay attention to their name (I’m still working on this one!). Listen for the hidden messages behind what people are saying and check in about your assumptions. Listen as much for information as for intent and emotion. When asked to do something, really listen and determine if it’s something you want to/are willing to do and give an honest answer.

Be engaged in your world. It’s so easy to allow ourselves to feel overwhelmed and want to cut off or retreat. This may seem counter-intuitive, however, the truth is being fully engaged will help you get over your overwhelm because you’re paying attention to ONE thing at a time. Give it a shot and see for yourself!

Happy engagement.

Hugs, Christie Mawer – The Bad Kitty

www.TheBadKitty.com

thebadkittyis@gmail.com

 

 

Feline Life Lesson #6 – Be Fearless

Be Fearless

Be Fearless

It’s time for Feline Life Lesson #6 – Be Fearless!

Cats truly are fearless.

When I was a kid we had a Siamese tomcat, Thor, who would ask to be let out when he saw a dog coming down the road. This was in the days when people still let their dogs run free in the neighborhood.  Thor would go out onto the step and wait for the dog. If it started to come into our yard, he would puff himself up and glare.  The dog never made it past the gate.

Cats love to be up high – sometimes hundreds of times higher than they are tall.  My cats love to hang out on the roof of the garage or shed.  They, like all cats, love to climb and explore.

Cats stand up to animals much bigger and more dangerous than they are.  They go through tight and dangerous places. They do whatever it takes to get what they want.

Check out these fearless cats.

 

How fearless are you?

  • Do you let difficult experiences stop you?
  • Do you worry about what others think of you?
  • Do you let your little voice talk you out of doing things?
  • Do you let the size of the obstacle affect your determination?
  • Do you quit before you’ve even begun?

Take steps today to be more fearless.

  • Practice FTF everyday. Make a list of what you need to do.  What scares you the most today?  Do your Feared Thing First (FTF).  You’ll get it out of the way. You’ll likely discover it wasn’t as bad as you thought it would be. It’ll free up your energy for the rest of the day as it’ll be off your mind.
  • Do something that scares you on a regular basis.  Everyone has different fears.  It could be jumping out of a plane.  It could be speaking your mind. It could be making eye contact. It could be taking a class. It could be a change of career.  Large or small, do something that scares you regularly.
  • Talk yourself INTO things.  When your little voice tries to talk you out of something say “Thank you for sharing, but I’m up to something else” and do it anyway!
  • Break things into pieces.  If something looks too large, break it into bite size pieces and do one thing at a time.  An obstacle  is much less terrifying when it’s seen as small steps.  My cat doesn’t jump right onto the garage.  He jumps onto the fence, then the shed, then the garage.
  • Listen to what YOU want, not what other people say. History is littered with examples of people who followed their passion, their brilliance despite what all others said and created incredible results.  For example, if you haven’t seen it yet, check out Alan Turing’s story about breaking the Nazi’s enigma code in WWII in the movie The Imitation Game.

Have fun, be fearless!

Christie Mawer – The Bad Kitty

www.TheBadKitty.com

thebadkittyis@gmail.com

Feline Life Lesson #5 – Love Your Body

Cats love their bodies!

Cats love their bodies!

Today it’s time for Feline Life Lesson #5 – Love Your Body.

Cats come in all shapes and sizes and colors, just like we do. Granted, I don’t speak cat, but near as I can see, they don’t make fun of each other.  And they don’t compare themselves to each other.

If we could speak cat, I doubt we’d hear anything like this:

Hey, Fluffy, you’re looking a little extra fluffy lately.

Calico? Really? What a goofy coloring. The cat gods must hate you!

Hairless? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!  You’re HAIRLESS!?  Ohmygod, that’s HILARIOUS!

Have you seen that Munchkin cat? His legs are sooo short. And the Manx – no tail. That just looks stupid.

Don’t sit like that, dude, it makes you look fat.

Grumpy cat really got hit with the ugly stick, didn’t he.

Yet, how often do we do that exact thing to each other?  And even to ourselves.  We constantly compare ourselves to those around us.  We look for ways that they are better or, sometimes, how we are better so we can tear them down. When we look for flaws in our body and other’s bodies, we separate ourselves. It makes it impossible to truly connect and be supportive and loving of each other.  Constantly worrying about if we measure up only tears us all down.

Cats take great care of their bodies.  They are continually grooming themselves.  If you’ve ever watched a cat groom, you may have noticed how happy they feel. It’s as if their tongue rubbing against their fur is the most exquisite pleasure they could possibly experience.

When  you groom yourself – shower, do your hair and so on – do you take the time to enjoy it?  Do you take the time to appreciate your body? Or do you try to get it over with as quickly as possible?  Are you thankful for the steamy mirror so you can’t see yourself clearly?

It’s time to be more like a cat and Love Your Body in two major ways:

1. Stop comparing yourself.

  • When you feel yourself making negative comparisons, find something positive.
  • Stop reading fashion magazines because, as Baz Luhrmann says, they’ll only make you feel ugly.
  • Look for ways you are the same as others – intellectually, spiritually, passions, etc so you can connect instead of being separate.

2. Appreciate your body and take good care of it.

  • Deliberately  look in the mirror and make a habit of finding things you love about yourself.
  • When you find yourself being critical, look for how that body part serves you (for example, your tummy may not be flat, but it digests your food and helps keep you healthy.)
  • Touch yourself deliberately. When you put on lotion, enjoy the sensation. When you wash your hair, enjoy the lather. Notice how your clothes feel on your skin. And so on.
  • Eat healthy and exercise, and do both in a way that YOU enjoy.

We are conditioned to feel like we will never measure up to the standards set out by society.  Realize that those standards are created by someone else and are completely unrealistic.  Watch cats and live by Feline Life Lesson #5 – Love Your Body!

Meow!

Christie Mawer – The Bad Kitty

www.TheBadKitty.com

thebadkittyis@gmail.com

Let’s Get Naked

Let's Get Naked

Let’s Get Naked

Sheila Kelley is the force behind the pole dancing trend for women’s empowerment and fitness. Her book, The S Factor, has inspired thousands of women, including me.

A few years ago she did a Ted Talk called “Let’s Get Naked”.  She talks frankly about how important it is for us to be ourselves, to honor our sexuality and to move our bodies.

She says it all so well, there’s no need for me to expand.

Just watch.

And then, let’s get naked!

14 Easy Ways to Show Yourself Love

Show Yourself Love

Show Yourself Love

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner.  It is a day of love and lovers.  The color red and hearts are everywhere.  The pressure is on for grand gestures of love toward your special someone. It can be stressful for those with a partner to outdo previous years. The pressure is on for singles. As they watch happy couples all around them, sadness may creep in that they don’t have someone to share the day with.

Whether you are in a relationship or not, l’d like to remind you of the most important person who needs your love – YOU!  On Valentine’s and every other day, you deserve your own love.

In honor of the day, here are 14 Easy Ways to Show Yourself Love:

1. Keep a journal of success.  Every day write at least one thing  you acknowledge yourself for.

2. Say something positive about yourself when you look in the mirror.  Stop the judgement machine and look for good things.

3. Accept compliments graciously. Your acceptance of the generous gift from someone else who thinks highly of you is a great gift to give yourself.

4. Pat yourself on the back when you complete a difficult task.

5. When you reach a goal, give yourself a small gift of acknowledgement.

6. Speak positively to yourself. Keep the negative messages in check.

7. Eat well.  You deserve healthy, tasty food in your body.

8. Wear clothes that flatter you and make you feel amazing.

9. Exercise. Activity makes you feel good in body and mind.

10. Participate in activities/hobbies/classes.  Find ways to do things that you enjoy.

11. Set selfish goals.  Be sure to keep things that make you happy in your life.

12. Ask for what you want. Use your selfish goals and your knowledge of what you need and want to ask for it and get it.

13. Get good sleep – and enough of it.

14. Have a good sex life. Whether you are playing alone, with a partner or several partners, get what you want in the boudoir.

It’s that easy – and that difficult.  Get in the habit of doing several things every day to honor how amazing you are.  These are only 14 easy ways to show yourself love. Whether you do them all or only a few on a regular basis, you will see a shift in how you see yourself for the better.  Isn’t that worth a tiny bit of effort?  Treat yourself this Valentine’s Day and continue with it every day after that!

Hugs, Christie Mawer – The Bad Kitty

TheBadKitty.com

thebadkittyis@gmail.com

To Be or Not To Be

To Be or Not To Be

To Be or Not To Be

I heard something the other day that really hit home.  It seemed so smart.  It made so much sense.  I just have to share!  The question is “to be or not to be.”

When speaking of experiencing emotions we say:

I am sad.

I am angry.

I am happy.

I am frustrated.

I am joyful.

Interesting.  We talk about how we all “have” emotions but when we’re in it, we say we “are” that emotion (am is the first person singular present tense of are).

What’s the big deal?

The definition of HAVE is: 1. to possess, own, hold or 2. experience, undergo

The definition of BE (am, are, etc in different tenses) is: to have presence in the realm of perceived reality; exist; live 

When we say “I am – fill in the emotion” – we are expressing that that is our reality.  It is how we are living, existing.

In many other cultures/languages they say “I have – fill in the emotion” which indicates that the emotion is a current experience that we are holding for that moment.  The big difference between am and have is that with have, you have the option to let go.

Using “am” makes it feel a part of you, like something that will never end.  For example, I am a woman.  I am 50 years old.  I am 6 feet tall.  It would take a lot of work to change these things and some, like age, are unchangeable.  Emotions, however, can change on a dime.  By using “am” to refer to them we are tricking ourselves into thinking the anger, sadness or even happiness, will never change.

Using “have” gives you choice.  I have anger right now.  I choose to be angry right now.  And I can decide in the next moment to “have” another emotion.  In the next moment I may “have” relief, happiness, frustration, excitement and so on.  “Have” gives so much more freedom around our emotions.  It promotes choice.  It gives the impression of the ability to let go.

Which sounds better to you?  I choose “have”.  My intention is to make a conscious effort to change the way I refer to my emotions from “am” to “have”. With the question to be or not to be, I choose not to be.

How about you?  Do you want your emotions to run you, to be your perceived reality or to be a temporary state of being that you are currently experiencing?  I hope to “have” my emotions along with you.

Hugs,

Christie Mawer – The Bad Kitty

www.TheBadKitty.com

thebadkittyis@gmail.com

Setting Selfish Goals

Setting Selfish Goals

Setting Selfish Goals

Here is the post from last year about selfish goals.  I must admit, I don’t think I could say it any better this year.  Set your selfish goals.  It’s worth it!

SELFISH GOALS VS RESOLUTIONS:

Did you make any New Year’s resolutions? If you did, there’s a good chance you’ve already broken it – or them.

There’s something about a new year that gives us hope for self improvement. The chance to correct all the mistakes we’ve made so far. The opportunity to be more than you were and closer to the perfection you envision. No pressure.

And then it all falls apart in a few weeks or, if you’re especially motivated, a few months.

The most common resolutions are:

- get fit/lose weight/be healthier

- quit smoking

- quit drinking

- spend more time with the family/work less

- get out of debt

- learn something new

- get organized/declutter

Been there done that? And how’d it turn out for you?

How about an alternative?

Set SELFISH GOALS.

What’s the difference you may ask.

- resolutions are big sweeping changes, selfish goals are little things to do just for you.

- resolutions can feel onerous and overwhelming, selfish goals can be fun and rewarding.

- resolutions are often a result of societal pressure like being a certain size while selfish goals come from a desire and passion to be and express your best self.

The difference can be subtle. Let’s break down selfish goals vs resolutions to make it clearer.

RESOLUTION: get fit/lose weight

SELFISH GOAL: What are the things you love to do anyway that you’ve dropped out of your life for various reasons? Try something like this on for size. I love to walk in nature. I’m going to set a goal to walk a minimum of three times a week. OR I love to dance. I’m going to take a dance class. There is no reference to weight or fitness. It’s about doing things you love which will have the surprising outcome of making you healthier.

RESOLUTION: quit smoking/drinking

SELFISH GOAL: Ask yourself WHY do you want to quit? If its because you should or someone is pressuring you, be prepared to fail. If it’s because you have a deep desire to live better and healthier, then break it down further. What will you be able to do/enjoy more when you’ve succeeded in quitting? Set goals around those things and it will give you motivation for the big quit.

RESOLUTION: spend more time with family.

SELFISH GOAL: This can be tricky. One aspect of Selfish Goals is they are about YOU. Setting a selfish goal that involves someone else can defeat the purpose. Often when we set goals that involve others we get defeated if they’re not on the same page. Ex: I want to go to Paris with my husband but if he hates to travel or can’t stand French people,will you let that stop you from going to Paris? SOLUTION: Before setting any family goals, find out what they want as well. Be sure to know what you want so that you don’t go along with the desires of others just to make peace. Now mesh the priorities of everyone as best you can. If they don’t want to be part of this goal, you may need to find other ways to satisfy this desire. Be prepared to be creative. Also realize that you need self time as well. Make sure your whole life isn’t wrapped around your family – especially you ladies!

RESOLUTION: get out of debt

SELFISH GOAL: Less debt is a noble goal. Unless you have a clear reason to get out of debt other than you “should”, it will never happen and will feel like a burden. Without the weight of debt around your neck, what would you be able to do? Travel? Buy better clothes? Give to charity? Set the selfish goals of what you will do when the debt is gone and remarkably the debt will shrink.

RESOLUTION: learn something new

SELFISH GOAL: What do you want to learn? Be very clear about the end result you want. Do you want to do something creative? Are you leaning toward something academic? Do you want to work alone or in a group? How much time/money are you willing to spend? Once you answer these questions, you can look for things that satisfy your needs. Being selfish in this way will guarantee a higher level of success with your endeavor. Most of all, be sure you’re having fun with it!

RESOLUTION: get organized

SELFISH GOAL: Why do you want to get organized? The why will help with the how. Cleaning out your closet is an onerous job. But when you do it to make room for new clothes, it feels more exciting. Organizing your office seems like the worst job ever. But when you do it knowing that you will feel more creative, it gives you energy. Always look for the why and the how will come. Being selfish in this way will create more motivation.

A University of Bristol study suggests that 88% of people fail their resolutions. Not very encouraging. Change to Selfish Goals that bring you joy, feed your passion, ramp up your energy and in general make you feel great, you will succeed.

Have fun being selfish!

Christie Mawer – The Bad Kitty

www.TheBadKitty.com

thebadkittyis@gmail.com

Ask for What You Want – Feline Life Lesson #3

Ask For What You Want

Ask For What You Want

The next several posts will be related to a new book I’m working on.  The title – at this time – is Feline Life Lessons.  The short life lessons will be accompanied by cat pictures.  The pictures will be of my cats and those of my friends/followers.  So, if you have cats and some good shots of them, if you feel inspired by the lessons I will cover over the next several posts, please send them along.  You will, of course, get full credit for your pic(s).

ASK FOR WHAT YOU WANT - Feline Life Lesson #3

Cats know how to get what they want.  We may not speak the same language, but the messages are still clear.

Attention?  They will touch your arm, rub against you, look at you and “ask” (meow).  My Izzy is a pro at pawing at me until I pay attention.  Marlowe will climb on me and start to purr.

Food?  They will run toward their food bowl or where the food is stored when you go near.  Some will nudge their bowl or knock it over to show it’s empty – or not full to their satisfaction.  Marlowe will stretch up and reach out to me.  He’s tall enough to touch the top of the countertop when he is at full length.  Izzy paws at the cupboard and wanders around the kitchen howling.

Clean my litter?  Complaining near the box or using another spot are a pretty clear indication.  Izzy will pee in my closet or poop near the box if it’s not clean to his satisfaction.  Marlowe isn’t as finicky.

Go outside?  Not everyone lets their cats outside.  When I first got Marlowe (a beautiful chocolate Siamese), I didn’t want him to go outside.  He made it very clear that this was NOT cool.  Siamese are famous for being very vocal – not only in quantity but also in quality.  He would walk back and forth from one door to the other yowling at the top of his voice.  Finally it was either let him out or throttle him.  So he got what he wanted.

Do you ask for what you want?  The only way to get what you want is to ask for it.  It sounds so basic and yet so often we expect our mind to be read.  “If he loves me, he should know what I want.”  “I really want that promotion.  I’m sure my boss will see that I’m the best person for the job.”

When we don’t get what we want even though we didn’t ask for it, we get all bent out of shape. “I can’t believe he got me THAT!”  “Really?  I’m am so much more qualified than she is!”

I have news for you, if you didn’t ask and you don’t get, it’s your own fault!  So start asking.

The other side of the coin is asking for what you want and still not getting it because you weren’t totally clear.  For example, I turn 50 next year.  I’ve told my partner that I want to have/do something special for this milestone.  So far I’m not really clear on what exactly that is.  I can leave it in his hands and get what I get – and maybe end up disappointed.  Or I can get clear on what I really want and be sure he fully understands.

To get what you want:

  • know what you want – be clear with yourself first
  • ask for what you want – be absolutely clear and detailed
  • be sure you are understood
  • if any detail is unclear to the person you are communicating with, repeat it until they understand; realize that you may need to word it differently if it’s unclear to the other person
  • if it is a request that will need to be accomplished over a period of time, check in on a regular basis to make sure things are still going according to plan.

Let’s go back to my 50th birthday.  Sure, it might be fun to just see what happens.  He knows he can collaborate with my sister and best friend.  If I choose to go that route  and “hope” that he does something I’ll be impressed with.  If I do that, I’ll have to be prepared to be happy with whatever I get.

It’s your choice.  Ask for exactly what you want or hope for the best because you don’t want to have to tell people what you want.  It’s your call.  If you opt for the second option, be prepared to be disappointed and don’t blame anyone other than yourself.

I would rather be a cat and be clear and get what I want.  It’s a lot more satisfying.

Live Feline Life Lesson #3 and ask for what you want!

Hugs,

Christie Mawer – The Bad Kitty

www.TheBadKitty.com

thebadkittyis@gmail.com

Feline Life Lessons #1

Don't Take Anything Personally

Don’t Take Anything Personally

I had an idea for a new book.  It would be little life lessons and pictures.  The title – at this time – is Feline Life Lessons.  The short life lessons would be accompanied by cat pictures.  The pictures would be of my cats and those of my friends/followers.  So, if you have cat(s) and some good shots of them, if you feel inspired by the lessons I will cover over the next several posts, please send them along.  You will, of course, get full credit for your pic(s).

Today, Feline Life Lessons #1: DON’T TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY

My chocolate Siamese, Marlowe, has this lesson down.  He likes to sleep with me at night. He will snuggle right next to me. If he was bigger, you would say he was spooning.  He usually wraps up right behind my knees.  Unfortunately sometimes he curls up before I’m completely settled.  In these cases he will get moved, bumped and even knocked off the bed while I’m trying to get comfortable.  It doesn’t faze him at all.  He just keeps coming back and laying down.  Eventually, I will be settled and so will he.  He also likes to sleep on my chest when I’m on my back.  When I roll over, he won’t get huffy, he’ll just change his position to match mine.

If he was a person, he’d get all bent out of shape.  He might think, or even say, “What?  Don’t you love me?  What’s going on?  You don’t want to snuggle?  Did I do something wrong?  Well, then, maybe I just won’t snuggle with you anymore.  Jerk.”  As a cat, he doesn’t take it personally.  He knows at some level that it’s not about him.

This last week I had to take Marlowe to the vet.  He’s about 12 years old and this is the first time I’ve taken him.  I give him his shots myself so there’s never been a need.  The last time he was at a vets office is probably when his previous owners took him to get fixed.  I took him in to get a cyst removed from his side.  You’d think he would be pretty pissed at me for that.

Nope, he didn’t take it personally.  He didn’t hold a grudge.  He was happy to be home and be able to snuggle and get his love.  Even if he did have to wear an embarrassing cone and weird sweater, he realized it wasn’t about him.  It just needed to be.

So take a lesson from Marlowe.

  • It’s not about you.  Others are wrapped up in themselves.  Any perceived snub is about how the other person feels, what they need.  Not about you.
  • A thing is what it is.  There is no need to read anything into events.  Like Marlowe’s cyst, sometimes a thing just needs to be and to be dealt with.  It has nothing to do with you.
  • Expect the best of others.  In general, there is usually a good reason for what is happening.  It’s not about you.

I look forward to sharing more Feline Life Lessons with you.  Live like a cat and see how your life improves!

Hugs,

Christie Mawer – The Bad Kitty

www.TheBadKitty.com

thebadkittyis@gmail.com

 

 

Judging Things by Their Skin

Do you judge a building by it's skin?

Do you judge a building by it’s skin?

Recently I was listening to an interview about architecture.  One comment stuck with me.  “We judge a building by it’s skin.”  In other words, if a building is made of brick, we call it a brick building.  If it’s concrete, we call it a concrete building, a wood building and so on.  It doesn’t matter what’s inside, we always describe it by it’s appearance.  We are always judging things by their skin.

My sister recently painted the outside of her house.  Her neighbors told her that they were thrown off because for years they’ve been telling people to “turn at the pink house” and now their house if no longer pink.  Here in Edmonton we have a city hall with pyramids.  Unless you’re from here, you don’t know what’s inside – or rather under – those peaks so you would call it “the building with the pyramids on the roof.”

What we see on the outside is what we refer to.  It’s the easiest thing to see.  What is true for buildings is also true for people.

We tend to describe people by their appearance.  The blonde.  The tall one.  The one in orange.  The one with the beard.  The Asian.  We respond to what we see.

But, like buildings, that’s not really who we are.  And often our outsides don’t really match our insides.

I have the unfortunate genetics that cause my mouth to naturally turn downwards.  When I am wearing a neutral expression, I look angry no matter what my actual mood.  I have been told many times that I look mean.  I’ve been told that I was not the aloof, grouchy person that was expected once someone got to know me.  My boyfriend is always telling me that I look nasty when I’m concentrating.

I know this about my face so I make an effort to smile, even slightly, as much as possible. And I can’t do it 24/7 either.

I’m certainly not immune judging things by their skin.  I’ve met many people that I thought were one way from first impressions and discovered I was completely wrong.  Whether it’s the way they dress, how they speak, their face, their gender, their race – there are a lot of outer features we use as guides to make an initial judgement.

There’s no use in judging yourself as a bad person for using these visual cues.  It’s a normal, natural way that your subconscious uses to keep you safe.  The step to take now is to be aware of it.  Once aware of judgement, it’s much easier to look beyond it and determine if it’s correct.  Sometimes it is correct, sometimes it isn’t.

Years ago, I noticed that when I was driving past someone that “looked sketchy” because they were aboriginal or wearing biker gear or simply seemed shifty, I would lock my doors.  Once I noticed I was doing this, I became aware of it and was more willing to be less reactionary.  Yes, there are situations when it’s good to be cautious.  And, on the other hand, driving through Edmonton on a sunny afternoon is probably pretty safe.

It’s easy to judge that a young man with his pants down around the bottom half of his butt is a slacker.  It’s easy to judge that a woman in a short skirt is looking for sexual attention.  It’s easy to judge that someone in frumpy clothes doesn’t care about themselves.  It’s easy to judge that a 40 year old is more responsible than a 20 year old.  It’s easy to judge that someone overweight is unhealthy.  It’s easy to judge that someone dressed up or in really good shape is overly concerned about perception.

I’m sure you can come up with people or situations where all of these judgments have been proved wrong in your own life or by someone you know.

After becoming aware of our judgments, the next step is not to try to irradiate them.  That is impossible.  The next step is to test them.  How do you do that?  Simple.

TALK TO PEOPLE!

It’s when we get to know someone that we find out if our initial impressions were true or not.  And, very often, they are not.

  • Acknowledge that it’s natural to judge things by their skin.
  • Notice when you do it.
  • Test your judgement by getting to know people or simply by asking questions.

It’s easy, and hard.  And so worth it.  We miss out on so much by making assumptions and not testing their truth or falsehood.  Take a step today and test out one of your judgments by getting to know someone a little better.  Just like a building, we are so much more than what’s on the surface.