Mindfulness introduced me to my inner judge. The judge was always there, but it took awareness to see it in action. Although it wasn't a pleasant discovery, it is helpful to actually notice the judge because it gives me space to work with it.
A key aspect of mindfulness is to be open and accepting, but that's hard to do with this inner judge. For me, the way in to acceptance is curiosity. Getting curious about the judgment--what am I feeling in my body and emotions, thinking, remembering, wanting, It helps me to notice what is driving the judgment and slowly loosens its grip on me, leaving me kinder to myself, more open to my children and husband, more interested in understanding another person's perspective, and more connected.
If you, too, struggle with judgment, try practicing curiosity. Consider using it if you get into something like one of these situations:
I'm a mom, wife, daughter, friend, and teacher who has long struggled with the desire to be the perfect person I imagine that I should be. Practicing mindfulness helps me find peace with my imperfect journey--being with myself as I truly am, loving my family as they are, and showing up for a messy world with openness and compassion.