On non-judgment during trying times

These are challenging times for all of us who are braving the constant onslaught of current events.

I have a dear friend, an amazing attorney and child advocate, who just doesn’t “do the news.” It allows her to have some necessary control over her psychic life to keep herself healthy for her own intense work in the world.

But that won’t work for all of us. We each have to find our own way of dealing with everything that’s happening in our cities, in our countries, in our world during these wired times in which we easily get word of it, whatever it is, immediately.

And currently it’s a lot.

Yes. Once again with feeling: we’re all going through a lot just being emotionally present to so much that’s so big and so painful and is happening so fast and unrelentingly.

Yesterday I saw my neighborhood grocery store check-out helper, a dignified African-American man about my age who hails from Brooklyn but lives here in L.A. these days. It was just after the shootings in Dallas, and clearly we were both feeling low. We didn’t even try to make small talk. Today I saw him again, and we each understood wordlessly, while double-teaming the store code for Persian cuces, that the other was doing better. It’s a process.

And I’ve been reflecting on non-judgment. It’s an essential part of coaching others, with the goal of avoiding laying our interpretations of motivation and meaning on them. It’s about creating space for others to truly “show up”, free of our type-casting or expectations, and tell and show us who they really are.

My current personal mental health discipline is to remember that it’s important outside the coaching relationship, too.

And yes, there are those who in certain matters really do feel like strangers to us, whether in our lives or beaming through our devices. (Think extended family + politics.) We truly may not be able to relate to where another seems to be coming from. And then of course the truth is that we don’t really know. It would take real time, patience, and work to know, if given the opportunity, and armed with the capability.

So in whatever types of relationships we’re in, and especially as observers of current events, how can we hold empty space—rather than filling it with our assumptions or our fears—in which our fellow humans are the complex, multi-dimensional central characters in their own poignant, perhaps even tragic life stories? How can we avoid making snap judgments that in effect mean we’re writing their stories ourselves through the point of view of our own filters, beliefs, interests, and issues?

I’ll make a case for not assuming we know the motivations or mindset of others. For instead compassionately witnessing this troubling season with as much heart and soul as we can muster. I’ll make a case for each of us being our own personal best in it, however quietly, while benefiting from some intrinsic meaning through that commitment. Through that discipline.


Coach Teresa Young works with clients to accomplish their passion-based goals in healthy, soulful new ways. She coaches by phone, in person, and via Skype outside the U.S.


Keep growing, interesting ones

Are you familiar with this bit of wisdom from Bob Dylan?

He [—or she—] who is not busy being born is busy dying.

We’re living in an amazing age, one in which another familiar phrase, “aging gracefully”, has more meaning than ever. The days are done when young people had all the fun. All the freedom. All the possibilities for multiple, age-neutral life phases.

It’s possible now for folks who are 50+, 60+, 70+, even 80+ to live dramatically different lives from one another. Some are acting out inherited beliefs in which it’s time now to be tired, to be unhealthy, to be in many ways done with exercise and self-care, with passionately held dreams, goals, and ambitions. Meanwhile, others are exercising longer, eating better, engaging in self-care like it really matters, and developing powerful skills like mindfulness and meditation that truly change the aging game.

An ever evolving, this-is-our-time approach allows the wisdom of our elder years increased space and time to develop. Then we can share that wisdom in relationship and in all kinds of satisfying creative contributions. We have our own difference to continue to make in the world, which traditional societies have always known, but modern culture forgot. These days we’re busy changing the game back again.

So I say this:

The early 21st century is a phenomenal time to be “maturing.”

Though of course the eternal fountain of youth remains undiscovered. No amount of self-care negates the reality of eventual aging, or the fact that bad things like disease or other misfortune can still happen to good people no matter how much yoga we do. We need ever greater inner fortitude as our birthdays accumulate.

In light of all that, bravo to all who continue to push with aplomb past all kinds of internal and external boundaries, intentionally living with the consciousness that we humans have never been exactly here before. No one has yet been 50+, 60+, 70+, or 80+ in the ways that are possible to and through us.

So go for it, my dears:

Grow on with your bad selves as, yes,
you keep getting more and more interesting.

In the process, on this wild, wonderful, 21st century journey, reach out for the expert holistic support that you need and deserve to keeeeep living fully.


Holistic Coach Teresa Young works with clients to accomplish their passion-based goals in healthy, soulful new ways. She coaches by phone, in person, and via Skype outside the U.S.

Dare to swap old beliefs for new possibilities

What do you believe, anyway? About life? About love? About work? About money?

Consciousness of our beliefs—of what drives us and stops us—is a courageous approach to modern life. We can examine our beliefs, reflect on them, and make choices that change our lives.

One central test of any belief is whether it’s fear-based or growth-oriented. Like believing that “love always fades to quiet boredom.” Maybe it’s been our experience so far, or we’ve seen it play out in the lives of others. It could be long-held family knitting-circle talk or good ol’ boy logic. But does it challenge us to keep risking for the delicious relationship we want? Or justify our own lack of heart due to fear of heartache?

And are we really free to choose? Consider that any reason why we aren’t is a belief, rather than some absolute truth. Consider that we live in an amazing era and ARE actually free to consciously choose our beliefs if we’re ready to do this important inner work. Consider that this work will move us forward in new ways. In ways that matter deeply to us.

Now go bravely cast off the hand-me-downs that don’t really suit you, and reach out for the support you need to do so!


Certified Professional Mindset and Meaning Coach Teresa Young works with clients to accomplish their passion-based goals in healthy, soulful new ways. She coaches by phone, in person, and via Skype outside the U.S.