Rarely there are books that can change your life or perspective on life. The Judgment Detox by New York Times bestselling author and self professed Spirit Junkie, Gabrielle Bernstein is one of those books. I was first introduced to Gabrielle Bernstein from Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday Session. You can watch that here:
I had heard about her before but it wasn’t until watching this talk that I understood what the hype with Gabby was all about. At that time I was going through a dark time in my life and felt it was divine intervention that I found her at that time in my life. A time that I was willing and open to receiving help.
As a culinary nutritionist I’m trained the therapeutic properties of foods and how to use those foods to prevent and treat disease. However as a health coach I believe it is my duty to look at the whole picture, not just what my clients are eating and if they are moving enough. I truly believe that if your spirit is broken, and if your connection to yourself and your values has been shaken, you can become ill, stuck and unable to be your best.
This is why I’ve included the connection between mind, body and spirit as an integral part of my weight loss programs and my 1:1 work with my clients. As someone who was overweight, I had to work hard to get past the negative thoughts and beliefs that were on steady repeat in my head.
Recently I read Gabrielle’s book The Judgment Detox. To be honest, at first I thought this topic about judgment wouldn’t appeal to me but picked it up because I had enjoyed her New York Times bestselling book The Universe Has Your Back which I read the previous year. That book had taught me so much about the power of shifting my mindset so I decided to give Judgment Detox a try….and I was NOT disappointed.
It’s books like The Universe Has Your Back and The Judgment Detox that have put me on my current path, and that will help you to release thought patterns and beliefs that may be holding you back in life. Whether you want to recognize it or not, those same thought patterns can be obstacles that need to be addressed to help you lose weight and create better health in your body. This book has very simple concepts, but the power is in its simplicity.
The reason why I felt it was important to share this is because as Gabby states in her book the repetition of judgment is habit forming. Since my passion and focus of my book Unbreakable is helping people to create healthy habits and release the ones that don’t serve them, I felt compelled to share what I learned recently about judgment.
You create your reality with the thoughts you repeat and the beliefs that you align with. When judgment is your belief system, you’ll always feel unsafe, under attack and defensive.
Gabby said it best when she said “ You create your reality with the thoughts you repeat and the beliefs that you align with. When judgment is your belief system, you’ll always feel unsafe, under attack and defensive.”
I liked that Gabby acknowledged that we don’t have to give up judgment altogether and that in many cases we need it. She says that it’s the habit of condemning and criticizing that we must let go of. The most powerful concept she revealed was “whatever we resent or dislike in another person is a reflection of something we dislike in ourselves or a representation of a deep wound we’re unwilling to heal.”
Can I get an Amen?!
I could say soooo many things about this but in this day and age of social media how often do you scroll through your Instagram or Facebook feed comparing yourselves to others, or feeling inadequate because you feel you don’t measure up or even worse judging someone? Hey – I’m guilty of this myself. Often other people trigger our wounds. Gabby says “we judge them when this happens instead of accepting that the discomfort is really about us.” This type of judgment is depleting your energy and weakens you mentally and physically, hence the important mind/body connection. I agree with Gabby when she says “healing judgment is extremely urgent right now.”
Through her personal healing Gabrielle created the 6 steps that you’ll find in the book. Steps that Gabby says that she still practices daily. I do now as well!
From Amazon: “The Judgment Detox is an interactive six-step process that calls on spiritual principles from the text A Course in Miracles, Kundalini yoga, the Emotional Freedom Technique (aka Tapping), meditation, prayer and metaphysical teachings.”
Gabby has “demystified these principles to make them easy to commit to and apply in your daily life. Each lesson builds upon the next to support true healing. When you commit to following the process and become willing to let go, judgment, pain and suffering will begin to dissolve.”
Below are Gabrielle’s 6 practices from Judgment Detox to help you to release the beliefs that hold you back from living a better life.
Step 1 – Witness Your Judgment Without Judgment
Let’s keep it real – we all do it. We all judge. This step is about accepting that and witnessing how that is making you feel. The key is witnessing the judgment without more judgment because witnessing or acknowledging your judgment can make you want to judge yourself for judging! Yup it’s a vicious cycle. Without this first step you can’t move on to the next phase of healing so this is all about taking inventory. Gabby says “The goal is not to never judge — the goal is to witness judgment, forgive the thought, release it and choose again. Eventually this will become second nature!”
Step 2 – Honour The Wound
“Underneath every judgment is a core wound. Even the most minor and seemingly insignificant judgments stem from our own shame and shadows. Remember: If we were happy and complete, we wouldn’t judge. Our feelings of unworthiness lead us to project judgment outward,” Gabby says in Judgment Detox. #micdrop
In this chapter, Gabby introduces a powerful technique called the Emotional Freedom Technique, also known as EFT or tapping, for judgment and shame. This acupressure technique that you can do yourself, was developed by Gary Craig and helps to heal energetic disturbances. The practice of EFT allows us to honor and heal our triggers and wounds that live beneath our judgment. EFT can help you to slow down and tune into what your mind and heart are telling you. “We have to feel to heal,” Gabby said. She goes on to say “the reason why you judge is because you’re avoiding an emotion that you don’t want to feel. Once you begin to tap on the underlying wound, you will release the energetic disruption in your body and will feel emotionally free.”
Ok so at this point you’re probably ready to click on the ‘x’ in the upper right corner but bare with me. I actually almost skipped over this chapter once I first read this. I was like ‘nah, I’m not doing this’ until I tried it myself. The lightness I felt after doing this was remarkable. So don’t knock it until you try it.
Also notable about this step are techniques for honouring and releasing shame and trusting your inner guide to support you on your healing path.
Step 3 – Put Love on the Altar
“The moment we ask for help through prayer is the moment we open the invisible gate to receive guidance.” This step was easy for me because I grew up with strong spiritual beliefs but when I read this I realized that it would be a struggle for those who don’t. If that’s you, Gabby wrote, “it doesn’t matter whether you believe in God, Spirit, or the energy of the universe. All that matters is that you’re willing to let go and be free. Your desire to be free from judgment is enough to establish a spiritual connection.” In this step Gabby teaches that ‘the desire to release judgment is in itself a prayer.” I loved that she said that “the presence of a higher power can do for you what you cannot do for yourself.
Gabby also talks about paying attention to the guidance that you receive and how to forgive yourself for and change your perception about your judgments so that you can see things differently.
Step 4 – See for the First Time
Wowzas this was the most eye-opening step for me. I had to close the book a few times and just sit with the things that came up for me during this step. So after you’ve prayed and cultivated compassion now it’s time to see those that you’ve judged through a new lens and see them for the first time. Gabby wrote “we begin to heal our judgment towards others when we accept that people are our teachers in the classroom that is our life.” Ummm…yes girl!
The first step is accepting them where they are. I realized during this step that the person that I had judged the most in my life was….myself. That really stung. Gabby writes that, “self-acceptance has the power to completely reorganize your experience of yourself and your life”. I couldn’t agree more. Over the past few years I’ve had some personal struggles that I’ve been working through and some days it can actually be quite crippling.
This taught me A LOT about honouring myself and my journey and perceived ‘shortcomings’ and instead redirect the focus to all that I have learned instead. Gabby writes, “when we accept ourselves, we clear the path to create a new story.”
Step 5 – Cut the Cords
After you’ve seen others [or maybe even yourself] for the first time, the next step is to cut the cords. Gabby believes that “we all have energetic cords binding us to people all over the world”. When you have a relationship with someone, even a business relationship, your energy becomes connected. If this relationship dissolves especially on a sour note that energy cord can still remain in tact. This can leave us feeling bitter or resentful and carrying those feelings around with us. Meditation is a powerful practice to help us to release that energy.
In this step Gabby shares 6 meditations with each one building on the last to help you release those attack thoughts. These meditations will help you to resolve past relationships and move forward. Mediation is something I practice regularly and is also something I recommend in my book as a self-care habit. In my book in the chapter on Habits of Successful Entrepreneurs, I referenced that Gabby’s most important habit is meditation. Meditation is a powerful ritual to help you with deeper healing and growth.
Step 6 – Bring Your Shadows into Light
“Liberation from judgment requires our willingness to forgive. Without forgiveness we continue to live in the shadows of our past and our projections of the future.” Gabby writes. This forgiveness doesn’t need to happen immediately “we simply need to be willing to forgive” says Gabby. The first 5 steps help you to become more compassionate towards yourself and others. This step is about letting yourself off the hook for the judgments that you have made.
Gabby writes “Our unwillingness to forgive (even in the most horrific events) is what keeps us in the judgment cycle. We judge others because we believe that it’s a way to protect ourselves from the events of the past… In the case of deeply traumatic events, we may feel more justified in our judgment of the perpetrator, but that judgment still blocks us from peace” I could NOT agree more with this.
In my book I talked a little bit about my father. There are people in my life that have hurt me but I’ve had to learn how to forgive so that I could find peace and move on, even if I wasn’t able to say this to them directly. Prayer and meditation can be SO helpful with this and are powerful forms of release. Gabby writes, “…when you welcome forgiveness, beautiful synchronicity begins to present itself.” Just be willing to forgive.
How to Live the Judgment Detox
This is a beautiful book with so many valuable lessons and techniques to help to open you up to receiving more of what you want in life. It can be hard sometimes to do the inner work but it is so freeing once you do. Working on myself and personal development is something that I work on constantly. It’s a life practice for me. Reading this book helped me to feel lighter and more joyful and to see myself as well as situations in my life through a new lens. This book is a sold start to helping you release judgment, especially self judgment quickly.
Through reading this book you may find that one or two steps are more easy for you to follow than others. That’s okay just be easy on yourself and honour that process. I firmly believe that your health, thoughts and our emotions like judgment affect our bodies in many different ways. To change your body, habits, and to improve your health, you need to change your narrative. The Judgment Detox will help you do that.
If you happen to be in or around the Toronto area, on May 20 Gabby will be holding at Judgment Detox workshop! In the workshop Gabby will be taking attendees through the 6 step Judgment Detox process. You can learn more and register here. I’m not an affiliate – I just want to spread the word and help people release any beliefs that may be holding them back.
For more from Gabby Bernstein, visit gabbybernstein.com.
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