On being with judgment

My definition of judgment: noun judg·ment \jej-ment\: thoughts and words chuck full of all the many things I am not in this world, some justified, and some (most) not so much.

As moms, hearing and/or even just sensing judgement from friends, family, and strangers can sting, with perhaps the harshest variety of judgment originating within ourselves.

If you have four minutes, I want to lead you through an exercise on judgment that helped me transform the way I respond to judgmental people and thoughts. To things that want to cut me down to size. To the things that want to hold me back. To my doubts and all the many ways life tries to tell me that I am not enough (a belief I now call “BS!!!” on every time I hear it.)

I’d love to hear your response to the question I ask in this video in the comments and the ideas and experiences you have with judgment.


I want to let you know about a NEW playground I’m playing on that’s built for more than just mommy’s. It’s called GENERATION MINDFUL and I hope you’ll join me there. We have some work to do if we’re going to usher the next generation into a more compassionate world. But our love? It’s powerful stuff. Strong enough to make even impossible dreams come true. I hope to see you there.

Let’s connect on instagramtwitter, facebook and pinterest too. The manual is ours to write, but we don’t have to write it alone.

A Curvy Road

The beginning of my third decade on Earth brought with it our first child and there began my walk on the spiritual path of motherhood.

How to sum up this walk???

For me it’s been a spiritual practice in many things, but forced to name just three they would be acceptance, self-love and intuition.


Ever the fighter for control and/or having things go the way I’d like them to go, Spirit wisely threw me quite a few curve balls in my late thirties. I’d sum up the spiritual exercise of early motherhood and later, living through five miscarriages in a single word. Acceptance.

Being a first time mom and feeling the grasp I thought I had so firmly on life slipping through my hands. Living through loss after loss, accepting I had no control over whether, with each new baby, I would carry them full term or not. The experiences combined, motherhood and miscarriage… better than a college credit course in teaching me to allow.

I look at our experiences with loss now differently than I did while they were occurring. I still feel the sting of these experiences but can also appreciate them for what they brought me. As I see it life forced my hand, demanding of me to learn to be with what is rather than how I’d have it.

Non-attachment. Not an easy lesson, but a valuable one and I am still a student of (big-time). Life as “mom” gives me new lessons in sweet-surrender on a daily basis. Holding on to letting go. It’s become my mommy mantra.

Softening into life rather than fighting it when inevitably it doesn’t seem to be going my way. This is the lesson acceptance has offered and it’s been immeasurably helpful in parenting, especially of late now that we have two tween daughters and twin 2.5 year olds.

Two’s and tween/teens. All you READ about parenting these ages has to do with conflict and power struggles. The terrible two’s. The dreaded teen years. Thankfully we are not there (knocks on wood.) I think the resistance that might exist between us has been lessened by a great extent thanks to the lessons life delivered to me (be it with me kicking and screaming every step of the way) in learning to allow. The practice of pausing and allowing before moving head first into responding and reacting; invaluable of late for me. Thank you Spirit.


I look at self-love as coming to better know and love myself for the person I am while forgiving myself for the person I am not (a rather long list).

How can I love another if I don’t first love me? Good question, and one I found motherhood brought into sharp focus for me.

When life feels hard I breathe in “I love myself” and breathe out “I am enough.” This is my other mommy mantra, the one I reach too when life is feeling hard… and it’s been healing beyond measure.

Being enough. Life brings me many opportunities for me to practice self-love, breathing into my mistakes and letting go of the “not-enough” when inevitably I find myself judging (myself and those I love… that’s who we judge most harshly though, isn’t it?) or otherwise resisting life. This is a daily (if not moment by moment) practice for me and probably will be for the rest of my life. It is in modeling self-love and forgiveness I teach my children the most precious thing I have to teach them about love, namely, that I am love. That they are love.

That love is a noun… not a verb.


I see intuition as tuning in and trusting myself and the inner knowing I pose (we each possess) to guide me. I believe this inner knowing to be Spirit and I look to this place inside myself for very real guidance on matters large and small, in parenting and in life.

So many ways to go. Do I do this? Say this? Go this way or that? How do I manage this crisis, this conversation, this decision, thought, emotion? I would be LOST in parenting were it not for the practice of pausing. Were it not for the guidance I receive when I stop to ask,  listen and receive. All that is left for me then is to follow. Thank you Spirit.


Suzanne Tucker aka Zen Mommy hopes if you liked this article you will subscribe and/or join other mindful mamas here. To keep the lights on, Suzanne runs a holistic health center in St. Louis, Missouri with her husband Shawn. She is passionate about the connection we are and to that end offers Infant Massage, parent coaching and YogaParenting. If she can be a support to you on your spiritual path of motherhood, please reach out to her today!

How to Find Your First Love

Loves_GardenI recently fell in love with a book called Love’s Garden: A Guide to Mindful Relationships. The foreword was written by none other than Zen Master, Thich Naht Hanh, whom Zen Mommy and I have probably quoted from many times! The book was written by long-time couple and Buddhist Dharma teachers, Peggy Rowe Ward and Larry Ward.

I had the fortuitous opportunity to talk live and in person with Peggy… and that interview will be airing soon. One of the things I love about it is that the Wards share many concrete practices that nurture any relationship in your life… [Read more…]

How I Love You/Me

I am in love with the idea of breath. Here is a poem for you (and only you) that i wrote a bit ago and recently reworked on the breath. The lover in the poem is actually me loving myself… or if you are the reader then YOU… loving your “self” ~ the god/divine/spirit that lies within you. I hope reading this may inspire you to write a love poem to yourself. And if it does… PLEASE share it with me below. Pretty please? With sugar on top??!!? [Read more…]

How to Love Your Toddler

We focus a lot on being ourselves and that magical time, before we learn to edit ourselves and SHOULD ourselves. We have heard how important it is to let that inner six year old come out and play. Indeed, it’s the whole concept behind our work with WAG and with Looking Glass Lane[Read more…]

How to Be Enough

self_loveOne thing parenthood is good for on the path to spiritual growth is showing us our limitations. Last Friday I met a few of mine and let me tell you…they are a scary looking bunch. The sort of fellows a girl doesn’t want to find her self alone with in a dark alley.

Last week, I got feedback from a near stranger that nailed me right between the eyes. She took one of my greatest strengths – being a leader – and flipped it over to expose me for the equally poor follower that I am. This feedback wasn’t the easiest thing in the world to hear. It sort of knocked me off my feet because on some level, I knew she was right. She had seen a flaw in me and she let me know it, leaving me to [Read more…]

How Many Posts Can We Do About Love: 3

dove“Remind yourself that it’s okay not to be perfect.” — my daily Dove.

What a great reminder for me… to love ME enough to let myself off the hook! Not only do I not have to be perfect (in work and home) all the time but sometimes, being perfect is the thing that holds me back. It’s easy to get caught up in the quest for perfection and deny all the parts of ourselves that we judge to be embarrassing, useless, or unlovable. When in fact, it is those very things that make us human and allow others to connect with us, often leading to our most meaningful relationships.

Have you read Eat Pray Love? If so, then you’ll know it is this very idea that Liz writes about at the end. I’m not going to spoil if for you if you haven’t read it but if you have read it and have any desire to read my complete emotional purge, feel free to read “Ria’s Bali” on Blue Sky! What I learned from the experience of loving myself enough to accept my “shadow side” is exactly what I also shared with John, “When I let myself “breathe,” people breathed with me… like they were all holding their breath around me because I was ‘so in control,’ that they didn’t feel comfortable being themselves either.”

The idea of Wabi sabi, “perfection in imperfection” is what resonates with me today.

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Practical Mommy is Ria Sharon. Click the links for Practical Mommy’s recommendations for travel car seats, affordable and fun diaper bags (skip hop bag), and the best-selling crib brand, Da Vinci Crib.