Yesterday, at 12:30pm, I completed my 21 days of no complaining. It took me more than 45 days to complete the challenge. If you are not familiar with this project, it began with William Bowen. William created these rubber bracelets that are worn on one wrist. When you catch yourself complaining, you move the bracelet to the opposite wrist. The goal is to not complain and to keep the bracelet on one wrist for 21 days.
For me, this was all about awareness. My life shifted most dramatically on the first day, which I experiences many times. You see, even if you make it to day 20 and you complain, you have to go back to day 1. Well, day 1, for me was the most important. It was where I made all my big realizations about how I was really using my mind negatively in a spiral of complaints that I thought were innocent conversations or “venting.”
Now, I consider myself fairly conscious, and I work my spiritual practice continually; but, still I had to go deeper. What did I get from all this? It has most definitely transformed my life. I am able to reframe my experiences that would normally have brought on a complaint again and again. This has allowed me more understanding and compassion for myself and others. Also, my conversations are so much richer. We discuss the solutions, rather than dwelling on the problem. I am more open to the creative power within me.
I had a conversation with someone yesterday who was having some severe physical issues. She kept repeating, I do not know how to say this without complaining. I had to stop her because there is one thing about all of this that must not be misconstrued. Monitoring our complaint button doesn’t mean that we do not feel our feelings. If we are hurting, we must cry, kick and scream if necessary. However, there comes a time when we also must turn from the condition, reframe and find our own solutions. Mine rest in Spiritual Mind Treatment and deep inner work. We all have our own unique way.
What I have found through this program is that I complain when I think I am out of control or there is no solution. I feel trapped. It is an illusion for sure. We are never trapped. We are always free because we have choice. We have choice about how we react to every experience.
Becoming part of a complaint free world has shifted my life and my mind. I am more open to the new. I am more and more hopeful for the future for all of us. Right now, what I know is that the more we can focus on loving solutions for those challenges in our life and our world, the more the solutions will make themselves known.
Love and Aloha,