Working with judgment

Working with judgment


By Sheri Covey / Ortho Bionomy Instructor



“I am aware that I am less than some people prefer me to be, but most people are unaware that I am so much more than what they see.”  – Douglas Pagels

“I think that my job is to observe people and the world and not to judge them. I always hope to position myself away from so-called conclusions. I would like to leave everything wide open to all the possibilities in the world.” – Haruki Murakami

Ortho Bionomy has inspired my life on every level. It is a body work that follows principles rather than technique.

One of the principles that demands reflection and endless growth is our idea that we can work with clients with non-judgement. This also ties in to working with our own self-perceptions. It creates opportunity to find healing in a manner different than what we expect.

Non-judgement demands that we be present with ourselves and allow. We don’t label. We try not to think, “This is their fault,” or, ‘If only they would…” We allow the person we are working with to be in that moment of their journey and their healing. This is following the ideal of non-judgement.

Years ago, I was working on a woman and she turned to me and said, “You need to get grounded.” I shrugged. Grounded was a new age term that had been presented to me. I remember glancing out the window at the mountain peaks around my office at that time. How could I be like that? Mountains are grounded in the deepest meaning of the word. Grounded for millions of years beyond my life span … I didn’t see myself like a mountain. I saw myself as a human with unlimited gifts to move and flow into life.

“You should try meditation. It might ground you,” she repeated with a confidence I found thought-provoking. Was this a suggestion or a judgement? I decided to observe myself and see if I noticed what she was referring to. I wonder now what I would have become if I had taken her advice as wiser than my own experience. I listened. I tried on her suggestion. I found out something remarkable about myself.

Grounding is not my way of living. I am not saying I am not solid or stable. I am just not a person of grounding. I am a person of movement. I draw my strength from the ground, nature and the lovely energy of animals. I am not grounded in her well-meaning interpretation. It took me years to work through her judgement of me based on her perspective of grounding. Was it based on what others had said to her and what others felt was important? Was her education and understanding influencing her perception of who I was?

Either way, I am so grateful I didn’t listen to her.  

Some of us are not meant to be grounded. Some of us are meant to laugh and fly. Some of us are meant to meet others so deeply from our heart that they cannot continue their life in the same manner.

I started to study how I moved in the world. What did that mean to my work and my life?

I noticed that my nervous system does better when I get up and move every day. I walk to awaken my place within myself. I notice the land, the trees, the ravens that often greet me as I follow the trail in their backyards. I notice what I am thinking about: what has caught my worry, what does my day hold? I notice the sunrise. The sky. My dogs, tails wagging, trotting near me. I scratch their ears and send them love and I am so grateful for their energy in my life and my family. I come home organized and clear.

Grounded? Maybe. Peaceful? Not always. Busy? That is a given. Judgmental of what arose that day within me? No.

 My dear friend of 25 years ritually gets up every day and makes her favorite cup of tea and silently moves to her small wood table on her porch and sips her tea and watches the sun rise over Santa Fe landscapes. She takes a long pause and savors her life, her surroundings and her own being. Both of us land in the same place in opposite manners. Conscious awareness of what is happening within us. Awareness moves away from judgement.

How do you find that awareness within yourself? What do you need to do, be or feel to notice yourself? Listen to what you notice – not what they tell you. Try not to judge what you discover. Embrace your experience of you.

Sheri Covey is an Advanced Instructor of Ortho Bionomy and owner of the Rocky Mountain Ortho Bionomy Center. Read her monthly on 


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