Monday, April 30, 2012


Well, not the REAL Zen.

My Zen.

That's right. I'm personalizing some Zen for myself. I'm using it to help improve my mental health. Specifically, the way I look at things. And then judge them.

Yes. I am guilty of judging. Not so much really big things (I don't judge people based on things like race and religion and it's easy, I've just never done that) but just the little every day judgements that I almost don't catch as being judgmental.

Like passing judgement on how another person drives. Or their choice of hair color. Or how they discipline their kids. see what I mean?

Anyway, when I 'Zen' my thoughts, I become aware of the judgement that follows my observations. And this is going to help me stop passing judgement. In theory.

Like when I see a female with bright orange or purple hair and I say or think something like, "EW! That's so ugly! What WAS she thinking?" Now I will remind myself that that thought wasn't very Zen and I let it go. I mean, who cares what color someone decides they like for their hair? Does that really need to be judged. Personal preference? It's her choice. Let it go. Easy peasy.

Or the man walking down the sidewalk with his shirt off. Exposing that keg beer belly to everyone passing by and I think (or say because rarely do I keep these things in my head regardless of whether or not someone is with me), "EW! Why doesn't he cover that thing up?!" But really, he's out there walking. And that's good. And maybe one day that belly will be a six pack. So... 

And when I talk to my dad and he tells me about the new cheeseburger pizza at Pizza Hut and I remark, "EW! That's just disgusting! People don't need to eat crap like that! Are they trying to kill people?!" Whether folks need it or not is NOT for me to decide. Nor is it up to me to determine Pizza Hut's motivation behind the pizza. Or for my dad to decide either. He was agreeing with me.

But then there are things that I just can't help myself. I judge. Harshly.

Like yesterday at the pond. There was this cutesweet lab with her owner. She's still a pup and I've talked to the owner before and he always seemed like a nice guy.

Anyway, he would throw a toy into the pond and cutesweet lab would go in after it and bring it back (which I tried to get Tucker to watch because while he will chase a ball or Frisbee he will then take it further from you instead of bringing it back so you can throw it again). Until she picked up a smell. And cutesweet lab wanted to smell it- imagine that...a dog who wants to smell something.

Well owner man didn't want cutesweet lab to smell the smell and he told her"NO!" in a loud voice. Cutesweet lab continued to smell, of course (because that's what dogs do). And then stupid ass owner man took that toy and started hitting cutesweet lab in the head. I judged. And I judged loud.

See? Things like that I just can't stop judging.

Like the mom who was letting her kids run around Wal-Mart like a bunch of wild things (judgement) and then yelled at one when he ran into the shelf and knocked something over. Really, lady? (judgement) Really?! (more judgement) Yeah. I judged. I judged her for letting her kids run around like a bunch of wild things. And then for yelling at the one who knocked something over. Idiot (even more judgement).

Sometimes I just cannot stop myself. But I'm hoping that getting my 'Zen' on will help me recognize, realize, control, stop.  It will help my mental health. Make me a better person. Keep me positive.

Of course, that's more likely to stop when people stop acting like morons. And start doing right by their kids, their pets, and other people in general. Sheesh.

This is the twenty-sixth AND FINAL day of the A-Z April Challenge. I thought I might try a theme this year and focus on my personal journey to health and fitness, including weight loss.

Today's letter is Z and my word for the day is ZEN.


  1. I think those are two very different things. Your first examples are things that really are personal preference (judge not lest you be judged). But the second set are examples of protecting the 'innocent,' standing up for what is right and good, etc. That is our God-given responsibility as humans. If those things didn't matter to us, I think there would be something seriously wrong.

  2. LOL! I love your picturesque way of explaining Zen. Put a smile to my face and I totally agree with you!

  3. Judy- I think that too, sometimes. And then I think- No. It's all judging and it's a no-no. But then I think, some things ARE bad and we need to hold each other accountable. My mind goes back and forth all the time. I might be crazy. :)

    Betty- Thanks! Glad you saw the humor! I was trying to be funny and yet profound. LOL

  4. we all judge--but if we treat people wrongly because of our judgement, then that is what becomes wrong--congrats!!

  5. Just don't be too hard on yourself - don't judge yourself! :) The fact that you're even trying to improve is a positive and wonderful way to go. :)

  6. LP-Good point. Thanks!

    MMS- Thanks! And I agree but it's not always easy stopping. If everyone would just behave...LOL

  7. First, the doggie is so cute!

    Oh, second, you know me and judging, it is so hard and I agree would people just stop being morons and make my life easier so I could stop the bad habit of judging LOL but seriously, I get it, the necessary evil of judging, it is knowing when and when not to?

  8. Oh, you've hit on something here. It is hard not to judge. I am working on just sending a silent blessing to the other person, but my first reaction is to be judgmental. Ah, I guess we are all just works in progress, aren't we?

  9. Good practice! If more people would stop judging based off of little things (like race) then I think the world would be a better place.

    As for what you do judge people about, I think those were reasonable situations.

  10. Lucy- I know you're right about knowing when and when not to. But I hate that I do it at all. A necessary evil- well put.

    BB- I've been trying that too! To send them a blessing or just saying 'God bless you' or something. But that judgement just pops right in front. Annoying. Works in progress indeed! Good to know I'm not complete yet! :)

  11. Ah, now we're getting into pet peeve territory. Like the folks who publicly discipline their kids, dogs or whatever, in a very loud voice so we can all hear what great parents they are and how caring and reasonable they are. I always think they just might be tempted hit the kid if there was no one around. Oops! Was I being judgmental?

  12. Stephanie- Why, yes you were. LOL Do you know that I've actually seen a couple of THOSE parents hit their kids? Luckily, other people sprang into action and I didn't have to slap the youknowwhat out of them.

  13. Hi Pam. What a great post for your last one in the A - Z Challenge. Congratulations - you;ve done really well with it. I love the thought behind the use of the Zen word. I'm going to try that myself. When I find myself getting uptight, I shall close my eyes, and just say "Zen" in a very calm voice! It can only be good if we don't go round judging people.

  14. Diane- Let me know how it works for you. It's actually brought me some awareness which is good. And some laughter, which is even better! Thanks!

  15. Jennifer! How did I miss your comment? I'm so sorry! Yeah, race/religion/etc. has never been an issue for me. But those other things- Yikes! :)

  16. So help me find my Zen Pam. Though I'm like you on race, religon and so forth that hair color...well I can't keep my eyes to myself but I do usually keep my mouth closed. The guy and the dog, I'd of probably taken the toy and bopped him on the head and the lady with the kids, I usually give the kid a slight talking to, as in settle down or you might knock over grandma here. They usually escape back to mom.
    It's hard Pam, but there are times you have to say something and other times best to look around for something else to look at.
    Take care Pam and thanks for stopping by. Blessings my friend!!

  17. My husband always says you can't fix I say might as well 'judge' it :)

  18. Well then I am in the same boat. I would have done all of the things you did too.
    Especially the guy hitting the dog.
    I wish I didn't do it either. I do though. My grandson who is 5 just realized there are people that are larger than others. He would say, " Wow Mom that person is really fat." In a loud voice. Finally she sat him down and said, " Don't say things like that because it hurt their feelings. You need to keep your thoughts to yourself. " A few days later they were going in a store and there was a large person ahead of them. She said, she was just dreading the comment, when my grandson looked up and said, " I am keeping my thoughts to myself. "
    I have laughed and laughed so I think after reading this post I will be trying to do that too. :)

  19. wonderful job and you made it; how's that Zen today? Actually, I use to be very critical of others and thorugh the years that has softened so much by trying to look at the 'other' side such as when a woman is very obese and wearing tight spandex, I think, 'she may be so pleased becuase she has just lost a ton of weight and so while it may look ridiculous to me, she may be feeling very that has helped tremendously!

  20. Zen - good word Pam! And I think we'd all love a bit of internal peace and a little less judgement going on in our heads. It's a nice goal!

    I have truly enjoyed this blog and my daily visits during this challenge. I have learned SO much!

    Congrats on getting it done my friend!

  21. Julie- I wish I could but I can’t even find my own apparently.  Excellent point- look around for something else to look at! Let me know what you hear from Mike!

    Cindy- Hilarious! Thanks for that laugh!

    Kim- I read this off to DoodleBug and she LOVED it! She’s going to teach kindergarten when she graduates so she’s really into adorable stories about 5 year olds! What a cutie!

    Tracy-That is so funny. I think that all the time. I wear Capri workout knit pants (not as tight as spandex) to run and I often wonder if other people are saying, “Ew! Look at her in those tight pants!” All the while I’m just glad I can get into them! LOL

  22. How people drive? Yes, guilty!
    Hair colour? couldn't care less, wear whatever colour you like!

    But, when it comes to disciplining kids, I don't really judge EXCEPT if they're hitting them, and that is something I just can't take, to me it's just plain unacceptable.
    and the same goes for hitting animals.

    Am I being judgemental? Probably, but I feel very strongly about the kids and animals one.

    Am I judging you when I tell you you're brilliant? I hope not, but I do think you're brilliant, and have enjoyed every one of these a-z posts as well as your health journey. It's inspirational, you're inspirational.

  23. Mimi- It seems we're all guilty on some level. The good news is, I'm not alone. LOL You're very sweet to say that! Thank you so much! And that was what we call a completely acceptable judgement. :)

  24. This is something I'm always working on! People and their driving habits, young men with their pants below their butts and screaming kids in a store..,drive me nuts! I try to be more tolerant and less judgmental but it is a work in progress!

    As for the @$$ hitting the sweet Lab......I'm seeing RED just reading your post! I'm with Julie...let's all beat him on the head!

  25. It is so hard not to react especially around abusive behavior. Congrats on completing A to Z, and on your continued healthy lifestyle! Julie

  26. Congrats on completing the A-Z!

  27. Great post! Sounds like a good one to work on.

  28. I try so hard not to judge other people, because I hate being or even feeling judged. I figure if I keep my judgement to myself, it can't hurt anyone. Usually, if I find something worthy of judgement, I say it in my own little head. :) You sound like you are doing a complete and total overhaul of YOU - getting healthy physically and mentally - so, so awesome. I wanna be like you. :)

  29. Good luck with your Zen, with NaBloPoMo for May and congrats on finishing A-Z!!


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