Appendix A

Self-Observations

All change begins with self-observation. People confuse self-observation with self-judgment. Judgment includes a critical element that is absent from self-observation.

Many people feel as if they are quite good at self-observation because they have an internal voice that is continually jabbering at them: “Oh that was stupid,” “You can do better than that,” “I don’t like this,” and so on. To self-observe means to not become attached to or to identify with any content of our experience, but to watch alertly, openly, passively. Many Americans hate the word passively—especially authors and advocates of self-help. Not acting allows self-observation to occur. We are already taking enough actions, be they physical or mental. ...

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