May 27, 2014
Freedom with Our Inner Critics: A Reflection by Dr. Lee Lipp

lee_lippThis morning I noticed that impatience, accompanied by inner critic thoughts, must have entered my house while I was sleeping last night. Not being awake to these visiting thoughts, I found myself entangled and fighting with them this morning as if thoughts had substance and were real. It was hard to remember that these were simply thoughts, not TRUTH.

A humbling experience—after all I’ve practiced relating mindfully to thoughts for about 25 years, and I know better than to fight with them! Most likely you have picked up that this morning’s critical thoughts were criticizing critical thoughts about these critical thoughts—sound familiar?

Photo: Clare Hollander

Photo: Clare Hollander

Inner critics seem to be an enduring challenge for many of us. We see them as enemies and just want them gone. If only they were gone we’d have freedom from them—right? However, trying to get rid of them simply doesn’t seem to work in the long run; they keep popping up in different forms. So now what?

We can practice becoming intimate with internal critics rather than trying to kill them or get rid of them.  Instead of trying to run away from or annihilate inner critics to be free from them, we can practice freedom with inner critics. Cultivating freedom by setting in motion a new relationship with inner critics is the focus of the workshop Freedom with Our Inner Critics: A Zen and Mindfulness Approach.