observing with curiosity

Lately I have become very much focused on How to Combat the Destructive Soundtrack of Hyper-Criticism.  This was the main topic discussed when I saw my Needle Lady (a.k.a. my second therapist) yesterday for acupuncture.

An idea she discussed, which I had thought about in the past in my journey with my Food Issues, is that of considering myself with curiosity, not prescriptive judgment.  The idea is to observe myself, my thoughts, my feelings, not with judgment, but with interest, with curiosity.  So instead of bashing myself over the head for thinking/feeling/doing something that the Judge in my head finds unacceptable, I try to just notice what I’ve thought/felt/done.  Kind of like: “Huh, wow, I didn’t know I had those thoughts/feelings.  Interesting.”  Instead of:  “You shouldn’t think that!  You shouldn’t feel that!  How dare you?!?”*  Or: “Huh, I’m really wanting to eat right now, even though I’m not hungry.  I wonder what that’s all about?”  Instead of: “I shouldn’t want to eat!  I’m NEVER going to work through this food stuff!”

So this is what I’m trying now.  It sure is a lot more pleasant, when I can remember that it’s what I’m trying to do.  I’ll let you know how it goes.



*The Judge uses a lot of exclamation points when she talks to me.

8 responses to “observing with curiosity

  1. I call my judge The Voice. Are you going to keep a food diary? Not of what you eat but what you’re feeling when you’re having this war in your head. You might be able to find a common link and be able to focus on that area.


  2. That’s a great way to be gentle to yourself while still learning about what makes you tick.

    I bet you find very positive results from doing this. I’ll be curious to hear more about it.

  3. That’s kind of funny – it’s a similar to the way I’ve always operated. Thoughts go running through my brain, and it’s like there’s an outside observer saying “Wow, that’s like autumn leaves in a windstorm blowing through there!” It makes it easy to laugh at yourself. Sometimes, it’s a matter of “where did THAT come from?” and I try to follow back through my thought paths to see how I got from coyotes in the back yard to shopping. When you make it an intellectual exercise, you can take the emotion out more easily. I imagine it’s difficult to do so in regards to emotional eating, because taking the emotion out of an emotional situation is very difficult. I hope you can get this practice down, and it helps you.

  4. Can’t wait to hear how this works out for you. I am so glad you have found a brilliantneedle lady/therapist to go along with the other therapist.


  5. Interesting perspective. I hope that it’s helpful for you.

  6. That’s a great exercise, because it loosens the tight identification with both the critic’s voice, and also The Accused.

    Maintaining curiosity under field conditions can be a challenge, but it’s sure worth it. (I had such a cruel and insidious inner critic it was as if I was straitjacketed much of my life)

  7. It’s what the buddhists call “mindfulness” – you acknowledge how you’re feeling or what you’re doing without judging it.

  8. That’s the same technique we are taught in my meditation class. If you have a distracting thought while (trying) to meditate, acknowledge the thought and then recognize it is just a thought (in a non-judgemental, oh, hey, that was a thought! kind of way), and then clear your mind again. It really helps me, in more ways than just in meditating. Like you, I’m trying to use the technique for all that self-loathing going on in the noggin.

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