Notes from the Field: Non-Judgementally 

3 new members started in our Thursday DBT Skills group today. For mindfulness practice I played a song, “On my Way” by Valerie June. A cute blues tune.  I chose it for no other reason than it was jaunty and short. I also happen to really like Valerie June’s entire album. 

The women hated it. HATED THE SONG. And were very vocal about it. 

One spent the time picking out everything that was wrong with it. The other trying to analyze WHY I would play that song for mindfulness practice. Another heard only the word “June.” Another looked past her judgements and found something interesting in the instrumentation. 

I could not have picked a better song to underscore the “How” skill of non-judgementally. We were able to observe all the judgements that arose, illicited by a simple 3-minute blues song. The difference between observing the present moment with a “beginner’s mind” versus avoiding, categorizing or suppressing reality was an experiential discussion. All thanks to a little blues song. 

So often we take for granted that each moment is new, that each thought and sensation is fleeting. And by holding on to judgement, we block the wonderous  experience of reality as it is. We chose instead to be confined by our anxiety, preconceptions and biases. 

Today in group, for 3:29 minutes while listening to Valerie June, I was awake.