I’m totally stoked right now. I attended the All About Women Show in Toronto this weekend. I went for inspiration and connection as it pertains to growing this here project of mine and I got what I was after. That, plus four bamboo t-shirts, a classy linen jumpsuit, a set of silicone lids (I’ve ALWAYS wanted those), two headbands … and a reminder that I can be a really judgy woman.

Me? A judgy woman? I thought I was better than that.

A few days ago I was at a women’s networking group that I attend regularly. At every meeting, our hostess Elaina throws out a word and we see where it lands. Last week, she threw out the word women.

‘What comes to mind when you hear that word?’ Elaina asked. First up was Karen.

‘Creator,’ she said. Wow. That totally blew my mind. I’d forgotten that we’re capable of popping human beings out of our vaginas. Fact: I’ve actually done this myself. I know. I’m incredible. As I contemplated how incredible women are, I wondered why on earth so many of us lack confidence when it comes to undertaking far less challenging endeavours, like speaking in public or making a souffle, for example.

judgy woman 1

After mulling over Karen’s most positive contribution for a while, I chimed in with a slightly more negative take on the word.

‘Bitchy,’ I said. ‘Sorry, but women can be really bitchy.’ 

Of course, I was referring to other women. Not me. I mean, sure, I used to be bitchy, but that’s before I became enlightened and realized the importance of human kindness and acceptance. Hmmm …

Being a judgy woman is a precursor to being a bitch.

If you don’t catch yourself judging others, you run the risk of slipping into bitchy territory. Yesterday I caught myself on the edge.

I had really been looking forward to the show. I had a vision of how my day was going to unfold. I’d stroll the marketplace aisles to see what other women were throwing their passion into and strike up meaningful conversations with vendors along the way. When I got there, though, my first thought was, really, is this what women are all about?

In and around the aromatherapy candles, reiki masters, self-love advocates, business mentors and fashions made sustainably, locally and lovingly, were tacky purses covered in bling, cheap clothing made in China,  and other bits and pieces I felt had no place being at a show that was all about women, until I realized this:

The All About Women Show was intended to be All About Women — not All About Me.

– Related reading: Replacing judgment with curiosity

To embrace the art of kindness, we must embrace the art of acceptance.

I know who I am. It took me long enough to figure it out but I finally feel I’m becoming the woman I was meant to be. From my food and fashion choices to the hobbies I pursue and the values I hold dear, I am standing firm in my own identity. Perhaps it is the conviction with which I pursued my journey to self-discovery, though, that prompted me to fall slightly short of being my very best self.

In wanting so voraciously to own who I am, I pushed aside the beliefs and objects that reflect who I am not, and in doing so, I was (for a brief moment in time) ready to dismiss those to whom these beliefs and objects matter. That, my friends, is judgment.

Judgment doesn’t always look bitchy. It doesn’t always look unkind. And it’s reflected as often in the actions we take as it is in the actions we don’t take. Think about the smiles you don’t give, the conversations you don’t strike up, the openness you don’t express, the compliments you hold back, and ask yourself why. Are you simply not in the mood, or are you being a judgy woman?

judgy woman quote

I was being flat-out judgy.

And let me tell you, I am so glad the penny dropped when it did. As soon as I recognized the racket that was happening in my head, I embraced the afternoon as I had originally intended to do, chatting with vendors, laughing with strangers, even getting up onto a stage and dancing to I’m every woman — while remaining acutely aware that not every woman is me.

Viv for Today xo

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