I fast from complaining.
I feast on appreciation.
What would happen if you gave up complaining? Before you can answer this question, you first need to become aware of this pattern of thinking. Here’s a few examples:
Neighbor: “Why does he always park his truck there?”
Other drivers: “I can’t believe he’s going that slow. Merge means speed up and jump in.”
Children: “All I want is just an hour of peace and quiet.”
Spouse: “He always eats with his mouth open” “She never wants to eat Mexican food.”
Coworker: “ I have to listen to her drivel every day.”
Politicians: “These idiots are spending my money.”
Computer / technology: “Every day, it’s something else. Slow connection…. ‘page not found’ error.”… “I can’t figure out how to do this and there are no instructions on the screen!”…….
Complaints take up valuable space in your mind!
These thoughts, and so many others like them, live in our minds, taking up valuable space. So today, just try to be aware of when you are complaining. At that moment of awareness, take a breath and release the concern as you exhale. It might be hard to do at first, but with practice, you will get better. Keep a picture like this rainbow close so you can gaze at it when you start complaining.
Break it into smaller parts.
Also if “giving up all complaining” seems daunting, then break it up into smaller chunks and focus on just one area each week: neighbors, drivers, children, spouse, coworkers, technology, the government. As your mind begins to fill with peace having conquered one topic, you will experience renewed enthusiasm and strength to face more difficult topics.
Nature abhors a vacuum.
And remember, nature abhors a vacuum, so into this new empty space in your consiousness, place thoughts of love, peace, kindness, and faith like this:
“I am strong.” “I am loved.” “I am filled with hope and enthusiasm.”
And the very best affirmation ever written:
“I fairly sizzle with zeal and enthusiasm and spring forth with a mighty faith to do the things that ought to be done by me.”
–Charles Fillmore, co-founder of Unity, said that at age 94.
Now just as we took “complaining” one step at a time, let’s look at appreciation and create a series of things we can give thanks for.
I feast on appreciation.
THINGS: Yep, i’m talking about stuff like cars, trucks, TVs, computers, phones, pads, bicycles, boats, houses, beds, bathtubs, swimming pools, trains, planes, tents, sleeping bags, fishing poles. Just think about it for a moment; shift your mind from whatever you are complaining about, and find just ONE of these things to appreciate. And remember, having nice things is not immoral in and of itself. It’s loving those things and needing them to define who you are that is wrong. All of these things can bring joy to your life and help you share joy with others.
- help your neighbor finish a DIY project by using YOUR computer or tools.
- give a ride to an elderly neighbor using your car.
- share a great movie on your big TV with family and friends.
- share with your neighbor the fish you caught using your fishing gear and boat.
- reach out regularly to distant friends using your phone.
Yes, appreciate these things and how they bring joy and love to you and your friends.
RELATIONSHIPS / COMPANIONSHIP
We are indeed social animals and love being together. But our social experiences can often be the source of our most painful issues. How can we improve this situation and fast from complaining about other people:
- Drivers – replace the complaint with statements like this…
- “I guess he’s a little afraid of driving fast and that’s why he can’t merge.”
- “She must be going some place important and that’s why she cut over so fast. I pray she gets there safely.”
- Coworkers: replace “I have to listen to her drivel all day” with
- “Tell me about your children” (or hobbies or birthplace or favorite food / book / movie)
- You can even say an affirmation for her: “The divine spirit goes before her making her day safe and successful.”
- Politicians: replace “Those idiots are spending my money.” with “I’m voting for her.” OR “I’m donating to his campaign.” OR “I’m volunteering to get that issue on the ballot.” Stop watching news—or more precisely—stop consuming news like everything broadcast is true and accurate. Stop complaining (passive) and start doing something (active) to CHANGE THE SITUATION.
- Spouses / family members: All too often we believe the truism, “Familiarity breeds contempt.” And fail to see that our family members are divine beings of love and light. This blog is not intended to be a treatise on family relationships—you’ll need Dr. Phil for that—so let’s keep it simple.
- give each other respect and space
- list and appreciate the things they do for you.
- consciously choose to do / eat / say things that you know make the other person feel good.
- use these tips to break the cycle of complaint.
- Children: “All I want is just an hour of peace and quiet.”
- The best way to bring children to a place of quiet is to be a catalyst for quiet.
- Instead of simply allowing “free play,” be the person who directs the children to “story time.” Reading aloud is a great way to bring down the energy level and introduce quiet.
- Offer to color or do puzzles.
- If you play an instrument, use it as a tool to focus attention and create a quiet space.
- Be the agent of calm rather than expect the children to go there on their own.
HEALTH / STRENGTH / VITALITY:
- regardless of your specific condition at this moment, appreciate your body for the miracle that it is.
- if you are experiencing illness or weakness, do just ONE thing to move in the direction of health and strength.
- give time each day for some kind of exercise. When you use your body to do things, you learn to appreciate how amazing it is.
- think about your five senses and give thanks for how they connect you to this beautiful world.
ABUNDANCE / PROSPERITY:
- regardless of your financial status, you do know that we live in one of the richest places in the world.
- appreciation of what you have always increases what you have because of the law of attraction.
- Again, regardless of where you live, this tiny blue dot in space is a beautiful space.
- You must, however, stop and notice. Use an alarm on your phone or watch to tell you to take a short break.
- We all carry phones now, so why not start taking pictures, just a few each day. Then at the end of the day and the beginning of the next, you can review your gallery and appreciate the beauty around you.
So starting right NOW, you can FAST from complaining and FEAST on appreciation!
is available to speak / teach / play music / consult at your
ministry / martial arts academy / convention / event
“pie chart” and “couple arguing” courtesy of www.openclipart.org
all other phots courtesy of William J. Babin private collection.