Gabrielle’s definition of judgment for this book is pretty straightforward: separation from love. The moment we see ourselves as separate from anyone else, we detour into a false belief system that is out of alignment with our true nature, which is love. Deep down we are all loving, kind, and compassionate beings. There are many spiritual terms for this truth, such as Buddha nature, spirit, source, and God.
While we all have different stories that caused us to separate from love, we all have the same response to feeling alone in the world: fear. Separating from love is a traumatic event, and when we’re traumatized, we feel unsafe. One way we respond to that feeling of fear is to fight back through attacking and judging of others. It’s an attempt to build ourselves up and lean on judgment as our great protector.
The Judgment Detox is an interactive six-step process that calls on spiritual principles from the text A Course in Miracles, Kundalini yoga, the Emotional Freedom Techniques (also known as tapping), meditation, prayer, and other metaphysical teachings. Gabrielle has 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 follow the process and become willing to let go, judgment, pain, and suffering will begin to dissolve.
Step #1 Witness Your Judgment Without Judgment
In most cases we don’t even realize how judgmental we are. This is partly because we judge ourselves for our judgmental behavior. It sounds crazy, but we do it all the time. We can be tempted to criticize ourselves for our judgment or to feel shame for our thoughts or behavior. Instead, when we take an honest inventory, we must honor ourselves for having the willingness to look with love at whatever judgmental choices we’ve made. The way out of judgment begins when you witness the judgment without more judgment. When we look at our judgment with love, we can begin the healing process.
In Step 1 you’ll get intimate with your judgment, identify the triggers underneath it, and get honest about how it makes you feel. You’ll be guided to uncover the stories from your past that spark your judgmental behavior, and you’ll come to understand how all judgment is a disowned part of your own shadow. 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.
Step #2 Honor the Wound
The next step in healing your relationship to judgment is to honor the shadows and bring them to the light. In this step Gabrielle teaches a powerful technique called the Emotional Freedom Techniques, also known as EFT, or tapping. EFT is a psychological acupressure technique that supports your emotional health. Gabrielle has found EFT to be one of the greatest ways to address the root cause of emotional issues that live below the surface of our judgment.
The practice of EFT asks that you tap on specific energy meridians on your body. When these meridians are stimulated, they tell the amygdala (the part of our brain that triggers the fight/flight/freeze response) to calm down. When the amygdala gets the message that it’s safe to relax, a major shift can occur in your emotional state. Gabrielle has created specific scripts to address many of our most common trigger issues. As you tap on the specific meridians you’ll be guided to address certain emotions that come up around your stress. This practice will help you heal the triggers, wounds, and traumas that live beneath your judgments. This process alone can have a huge healing effect on your life. Gabrielle teaches EFT in the second step of the Judgment Detox so you can feel significant relief from the get-go.
Step #3 Put Love on the Altar
Once you’ve witnessed your judgmental thoughts and honored the wounds through EFT, we pray. This is a practice of offering up your judgment through prayer. An essential part of this work is establishing a relationship to a power greater than you (however you might define it). Through the spiritual practice of surrender, you begin to dissolve judgment with love.
Some judgments are harder than others to let go of. Some may feel especially difficult or even impossible. This is where the power of prayer comes in. You don’t have to rely entirely on yourself; instead, you can call on a power greater than you for guidance and support. Offering up your judgment through prayer lifts the burden from your shoulders while signaling to the Universe that you are willing to see a person or situation differently, even if you’re not sure how to do it.
Prayer offers you a shift in perception, which will in turn help you see your judgments through the lens of love and compassion. If you have a hard time finding things you like about a person or a situation, you can call on compassion. When you cultivate a feeling of compassion, judgment cannot coexist. Compassion is the antidote to judgment. Instead of perceiving someone’s behavior or a situation as a threat, you can witness it as a call for love.
Finally, in Step 3 you take time to be compassionate toward yourself. Judgment wouldn’t be present if in some way you weren’t calling out for love.
Step #4 See for the First Time
Once you’ve prayed and cultivated compassion, you’ll be ready to shift how you see the people you’ve judged. We often judge others (and ourselves) by projecting old experiences onto our current circumstances. But when you practice seeing someone for the first time, you release them from the false projections you’ve put on them and the false beliefs that separate you. Instead of seeing another person through the lens of the past, you’ll see them as someone calling out for love.
We begin to heal our judgment toward others when we accept that people are our teachers in the classroom that is our life. Making that commitment lets us look at our situation differently. You’ll witness how you drag the past into the present, and then you’ll be able to choose again. You’ll learn how you can choose to look at a person (or a situation) as if you’re seeing them for the first time. Imagine how free you would be if you didn’t lug your past into your present with every encounter! Remember that we are all caught in the same cycle of fear and are all desperately seeking a way out. The way out is through love.
Step #5 Cut the Cords
Learning how to see others for the first time sets you up for the powerful practice of meditation. Some of Gabrielle’s greatest healing has occurred on her meditation pillow—because in stillness all separation melts away and oneness is restored. Step 5 contains visualization meditations, Kundalini meditations, and mantra-based meditations to help you heal your relationship to judgment
There are six meditations. Practice one a day for six days in the order in which they are presented. Each meditation builds upon the next, helping you relinquish attack thoughts and reconnect to your inner guidance system. Following each meditation you’ll be asked to free-write in your journal. This free-writing process will allow your inner wisdom to come to the forefront and reveal whatever you need to know for deeper healing and growth. You’ll be amazed by what comes through!
After practicing the six meditations, Gabrielle suggests you choose a favorite and make it a daily practice. These meditations will help you experience great relief and stay consistent with your Judgment Detox.
Step #6 Bring Your Shadows to Light
The final step of the Judgment Detox is to let yourself off the hook for the judgments you have made. This is possible when you understand that when you judge, you’re really just looking for love. It’s the true intent behind the attack. Deep down all you want is to protect yourself from not feeling loved. It’s also the intent of the person you believe has attacked you. We’re all simply looking for love.
In fact, attack, fear, judgment, and any form of separation are all just calls for help. When you’re in physical pain, you know that your pain calls for relief. The same is true for judgment. It’s a form of emotional pain that you want to relieve. You do not want to remain sick, sad, or fearful. In any given moment that you witness yourself in judgment, you can set yourself free by simply forgiving the thought. Forgive yourself for having the thought and even forgive the thought itself.
You want to be free. When you witness your judgment without judgment, accept that you have chosen fear, and remain open to receiving the help you’re calling for. You can liberate yourself from this pattern.
The Judgment Detox dissolves all boundaries with love. It brings us back to this truth: We’re all in it together. We all suffer. We all feel unworthy and abandoned. But identifying sameness in one another allows us to shift our focus from separation back to love. We share the thought system of fear and we share the loving mind. We share the same capacity to choose love over fear. As Gabrielle’s dear teacher Kenneth Wapnick said, “We see that we all have the same interest of awakening from the dream of unkindness and returning to the kindness who created us kind.”