It’s the beginning of a new year which means there is no better time to start a journey of self improvement and there is no one better to guide you than renowned wellness expert, Spirit Junkie app founder and best-selling author Gabrielle Bernstein. She will be helping you navigate 2018 with her brand new book Judgment Detox. Her sixth book is all about learning how to be less judgemental through mindfulness as well as performing and sticking to new but simple routines to help elevate your life. We spoke with Bernstein about her new book and how to approach 2018. Reserve a copy of the book here.
How does the Judgment Detox work?
The Judgment Detox helps you become aware of your judgment and provides spiritual and
practice tools for healing it. The healing begins when readers understand the ways that they’ve
used judgment to avoid their deep-rooted pain. When we address the root cause behind our
judgment we begin to truly heal our perceptions of ourselves and the world. Each step builds
upon the next and is simple to apply. The other reason this process works is because it gets you
into the habit of auditing your judgment daily.
This six-step practice offers many promises. Petty resentments will disappear, compassion will
replace attack, the energy of resistance will transform into freedom and you’ll feel more peace
and happiness than you’ve ever known. I can testify to these results because I’ve lived them.
I’ve never felt more freedom and joy than I have when writing and practicing these steps.
The Judgment Detox is an interactive 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. I’ve 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.
What are some things that make us prone to judging right now?
Politics is at the top of the list. The 2016 election made the division more present than ever before.
Our divided political views are at an all-time high, and the separation is felt throughout the world.
Many people have retreated into their corners and are constantly defending against attacks and
attacking back. We’ve forgotten our commonality and we focus on what separates us.
Social media is another reason we’re more judgmental today than we were years ago. Every
time we turn to Instagram, Twitter or Facebook the judgment cycle begins. Social media makes
us judge others and judge ourselves. We scroll through images and posts and immediately
begin comparing ourselves to others and judging their views and choices. The opportunity to
judge is constantly at our fingertips.
Are all judgments a problem? Can we get rid of judging altogether?
The goal of the Judgment Detox isn’t to abolish judgment. The goal is to no longer believe in it
so that you can return to peace of mind as quickly as possible. By practicing the steps in this
book judgments can come and go quickly. That’s the goal. When you no longer rely on
judgment as a way of avoiding pain, it will no longer be a habit you turn to. There is also an
important distinction between judging and discerning, which I detail in the book.
Why do you think judgment has become such a default setting, both when dealing with
ourselves and with others?
Judgment is an addiction response to deep-rooted trauma. The first trauma is the separation
from love. From a spiritual perspective, choosing fear and separation over love dissociates us
from our truth. We become fragmented in this state of separation and lose our connection to our
inner being. We inadvertently turn our back on our inner being and become obsessed with an
outward projection of who we think we are. Feelings of guilt and sadness wash over us because
deep down we know we’ve turned our back on love. But we can’t fully understand our guilt, so
we do whatever we can to avoid feeling it. This is how the cycle of judgment becomes an
For those who don’t believe this attitude can work, what do you say?
In order for this process to work you must be willing to change your behavior. If you don’t believe it, you won’t receive it. Like any personal growth process, your willingness is required to make it work. However, you don’t have to figure it all out at once. The Judgment Detox is a six-step process in which each step builds on the last. It requires willingness and courage, but there is a lot of support along the way — and the rewards are massive.
What one thing can people do to start detoxing their attitude toward judgment?
They can start with step 1 and witness their judgment without judgment. Start by getting intimate
with your judgment, identify the triggers underneath it and get honest about how it makes you feel. This authentic audit of your behavior is a necessary first step. Without it, you can’t move on to the next phase of healing. The spiritual path to clearing judgment begins with your honest inventory.
If you could encourage people to make one change to their daily lives to bring about real
change, what would it be?
Be kinder to others. When you practice random acts of kindness, your entire life will change.
When you are kind to others you get an oxytocin boost and you feel great about yourself. And
kindness is contagious! Your act of kindness will inspire someone else to be kinder too.
Why do we need to detox from judgment?
Judgment is the #1 reason we feel blocked, sad and alone. Our popular culture and media place
enormous value on social status, looks, racial and religious separation, and material wealth. We
are made to feel less than, separate and not good enough, so we use judgment to insulate
ourselves from the pain of feeling inadequate, insecure or unworthy. It’s easier to make fun of,
write off or judge someone for a perceived weakness of theirs than it is to examine our own
sense of lack.
When we see ourselves as separate from others, we inevitably begin comparing. We see
ourselves as better than some people and inferior to others. This blocks our compassion, limits
our relationships and drains our energy. It feels crappy to judge others — if not right away, then
shortly thereafter. Detoxing from judgment allows us to become aware of judgment so it doesn’t
run our lives. We reconnect with our loving nature and feel an incredible sense of peace and
freedom. We recognize our oneness with others.
What are the negative health effects of judging/being judgy?
When you’re stuck in the judgment cycle you can feel physically and mentally drained.
Judgment causes inner turmoil, feelings of guilt and stress. Judgment may give you a high at
first — but the hangover really sucks. Judgment lowers our energy and weakens us physically
and mentally. It makes us feel alone and cut off from inspiration and love.
Is judgment ever healthy — can it ever clue us into something important?
There’s a difference between judgment and discernment. Of course we must discern what feels
safe, moral and appropriate for us. But judgment is different because it’s based on separation
What’s a spiritual running buddy, and how can having one help to ensure a successful
A spiritual running buddy can be someone you meet in a yoga class, a person you know
through social media, a lifelong friend or even a spouse. All that’s required from this person is
their willingness to support you and receive support as you both venture down your spiritual
paths. When you practice these principles with your spiritual running buddies, you bring
momentum to your practice. When one or more gather in the name of love, miracles arise. The
collective consciousness of love elevates your practice and supports your commitment. Maybe
you set up a local Judgment Detox book club or even host one online through a Google
Hangout. If you have friends and family who are on a spiritual path and want to heal their
judgment, invite them along for the ride!