MORNING MUSING: HOW LOVE CAN TRANSFORM A COMPLAINT

3 Nov

– a message from the heart from my dear friend ( and talented photographer) Susan Carey. I could not resist the urge to share this with you ( and with her permission) on this blog !

This morning I walked into my (fairly) clean kitchen and saw a container on the counter left over from my daughter’s dinner last night.

I’m used to dirty lunch containers, often smelly and crusty having been neglected in a backpack for a day or two, being left out for me to clean. It’s a common occurrence in our home and common frustration for me, so my first thought was “Great, here we go again, dirty smelly dishes for me to clean, I wish my kids would clean up after themselves!”.

I noticed the complaint in my mind and I recognized immediately that it didn’t feel good to have that thought and I could choose a different reaction. The thought wasn’t heavy, nor did it solidify into the energy of a complaint I could feel in my body. It merely wafted through me, up and out, like passing gas.

dirty food container

Instead, as I opened the container to clean it out, I felt a softening in my heart. I saw the remnants of the dinner I had made her the night before and packed up for her to take to her job. Both chicken legs had been devoured to the bone, every single thing I’d packed for her had been fully consumed, leaving only stems, bones and a dirty napkin. The napkin was filled with gravy from the chicken and I could imagine her wiping her mouth feeling sated and fed. My eyes welled with tears as I felt the honor it was to prepare the chicken that she loves so much, with fresh herbs from our garden and love from my heart. I felt grateful to have someone in my life who I love so deeply and who loves me and who I get to nourish with acts of kindness. As I washed out the container I felt blessed for the many gifts in my life that I often step over when I’m not paying attention.

This too was a gift.

***

Do you also have a message that you would like to share on this blog about complaining or not complaining ? Send me a message at christine@iquitcomplaining.com

Transformation in progress ! doing the challenge ( for real!)

29 Oct

Anike is doing the 21 days challenge to QUIT  Complaining and she is sharing with us her journey, the good, the bad and the ugly ! It’s all real and it’s Juicy !

In this blog my mission is not to preach what you should or should not do with your life ! ( Who am I to pretend that I even know what you should do ?). I just want to give you a chance to witness the transformation that occurs in real people’s lives when they embark on this journey to Quit Complaining.

Real transformation ICQ Anike day 6

Here is Anike message for today:

Well….coming to the close of my first official week of the challenge. I was very excited to report that I had gotten 2 days complaint free under my belt but I just blew it a few moments ago unfortunately, retorting an annoyance out loud about my home parking space being blocked – again. Well the good part of this challenge is that it gets you to finding solutions quickly because you know you can’t stay stewing. When my roommate gets back in town I will be sure to work out a workable parking system with him so that this does not happen again.

On another note I’ve noticed that the very early morning, when I first wake up, is oddly enough my most vulnerable part of day when it comes to complaining. I imagine this means that I need to meditate literally within moments of waking up to set my mind to a place of acceptance and willingness to ask for help to see the world as something that is working for me and not against me. I also really need to get enough sleep at all costs (which I unfortunately did not last night) because if I’m tired I’m much more subject to complaining. A good lesson to be reminded of and something I can generally fix.

The good news is that overall the challenge has done wonders for my way of being in the world. Any complaint stumbles I have had this week have only been to myself – meaning I’ve only said them aloud to myself not to another person, no other person was even around.

I have felt much more at peace for much longer extended periods of time than I have in years. In general it feels as though I’ve gotten an added two hours to each day because I’m not spending energy arguing with people in my head or finding fault with everything, I tend to see life as a glass getting fuller and fuller rather than emptying with a quickness.I’ve also noticed that ideas flow easier and that helpful coincidences seem to show up more and more.

It has not been perfect, I complained this morning after all, and sometimes I get concerned that I may be repressing things. It’s not that I don’t express emotion but I’ve found that I don’t go too far with it and I wonder if I should be talking through the real, complex emotions I do experience more. Ah well, I guess we shall see.

In the meantime, day 6 of the challenge, and day 1 of the 21 days of no complaining starts again tomorrow. Really hoping to get through the 21 consecutive days before the holidays begin. 21 days without complaining around or about my family? Now that’s a challenge lol!

We may not realize the weight we carry with us all day !

28 Oct

Found this story very relevant to the I Quit Complaining Journey !Thank you so much Melissa Rempfer for sharing it with me.

I spinned it in the end to create a visual for this blog. What do you think ?

“A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: “How heavy is this glass of water?” Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz. She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.” She continued, “The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything.” It’s important to remember to let go of your stresses. As early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don’t carry them through the evening and into the night. Remember to put the glass down!”

Glass of water quote

Am I complaining here ? (video)

27 Oct

I did this video to answer one of the main question that people ask me when they start their 21 days challenge to quit complaining:

Am I complaining here ? or Am I simply trying to set a limit or express a frustration (in a healthy way… of course) so that people stop stepping on my toes ?

This question is important because embarking on this challenge does NOT mean that you can’t tell people what is not working for you ( there is no way you will last 21 days otherwise ! ). So what are the criteria to identify a complaint ?  and how can you use them to embrace a new way of communicating with the people around you ( at home or at work !)

If I had seen my own book in a bookstore…..

26 Oct

I always saw myself as a pretty positive person.

If I had seen my own book in a bookstore, I would NOT have bought it, because I thought I was not a complainer….until the day I had a life altering revelation. Watch the video to find out more.

The source of our sufferings

9 Sep

In life the source of our sufferings comes from the gap between our expectations and reality. By doing this 21 days challenge to quit complaining I had to learn to put my attention on reducing this gap.

When I started my challenge I made the decision that complaining was not going to be one of my options to deal with a frustration. I made the decision that I was not going to be a victim of anything or anyone. I deeply wanted to stop resisting my life and start savoring it and I was truly curious to discover how my life could look like if I could quit complaining.

By doing this challenge I discovered  the bliss of embracing the present, because resisting it meant that I was putting  my attention on the gap and creating even more sufferings ( and more complaining). I discover that sometimes I could totally embrace  the traffic on the road, the mess in my house or something more important like the illness of my mother. I could be present to the present and not let my complaining pollute the moment.

I also learned that sometimes I was  faced with situations that I simply could not let go of ( It was too meaningful for me).  Then  I could choose to become entrepreneur of my life and do something different in order to create a different reality ( whether it was changing our family routine, taking action to improve my career or seeking alternative treatments for my mother).

Either by embracing the present or taking some actions to improve the situation I was little by little reducing the gap between my expectations and reality. I now know deep in my heart and guts that at every single moment, we can choose our battles and bring some savor and some force to our life. I deeply wish for all of you to learn this lesson, not in your head but in your bones ! IQC change

BEWARE THE PRESSURE COOKER EFFECT …

1 Sep

IQC Pressure cooker

“I Quit Complaining” may seem like admitting weakness, or being a yes-man. But to “quit complaining” doesn’t mean to “agree to everything” or “deny our disapproval.”

I noticed, as I was doing the  21 day challenge, that quite often I  would end-up complaining  after experiencing a situation for too long, or when a situation would recur repetitively. I complained because I would try  to bottle  my frustration, to try to see things positively, to assume responsibility, and stay quiet to  avoid acting like a hysterical witch… And in the end, after a while, I just exploded!  I exploded just like the lid of a pressure cooker that has been lifted off. So much  pressure had built up that it became unbearable and it had to come out !  While releasing the pressure, I would still fuss about the situation.  During those moments,  we tend to say that “complaining serves a purpose” or “ it’s not healthy to hold the pressure in, it’s healthier to let it out ! The question is : couldn’t we actually have avoided getting to that point?

I made the realization that when faced with a difficult situation, it’s important not to suppress my frustration, not try to keep it in, because in the end the pressure cooker will explode – and sometimes ( often times)  the pressure will explode unexpectedly and has nothing to do with my initial frustration!

Let’s look at an example from my own life: I’m frustrated because my young daughter is crying for me to carry her in my arms all day long. I cave in because I don’t have the courage to handle the situation and manage the crisis that will ensue if I say no, so I decide to stay quiet. I carry her and I do everything I can to make her stop yelling in my ears. I take it in stride …and at some point later in the day, my other daughter asks for something and my reaction is to explode!

I’m sick of this, it’s not possible, I can’t do everything, I’m tired, you can figure it out on your own!!!” My answer is completely disproportionate in relation to her demand because it’s linked to another long-standing and bottled up frustration. The pressure cooker exploded on my other daughter who hasn’t done anything. She takes the hit from the frustration I bottled in all day long because I wasn’t able to take care of myself and my needs. I couldn’t respect my limits and now I’m feeling sad and guilty for my over-reaction.

Another real life situation for those who  don’t have kids:

I’m working on a difficult project for many days – hours are going by and I’m far from being done. I could get some help, but I don’t know how and I’m afraid that it’ll cost too much (and it’s easier to get it done myself than to train someone to do it for me). I’m skipping meals, I go to bed late, I’m exhausted. I’m starting to get very  frustrated. In addition, it’s not the first time that this situation happens. On top of it, other people are coming to me to get some help. It’s not a lot, just one little thing here, one little thing there, so I say yes because I can’t see myself saying no. They are after all people I actually do want to help. After a while, I start feeling as though I’m stretched out in all directions. Finally, one day, at the end of the day, my computer breaks down and then I explode!  I start complaining and I’m really angry.  Computer problems are just the cherry on top, the trigger that makes the pressure cooker go overboard. But the pressure had been building up for a few days, progressively, and I didn’t do anything to try to reduce it as time went by. I let the situation get worse.

Doing the challenge helped me to realize the importance of releasing the pressure regularly as time went by. It’s important to be careful when I feel the pressure building up, to take care of myself, to set my limits, express my needs, say no when needed, ask for help,  release the pressure before it worsens and sometimes also change my point of view on the situation. It’s a constant challenge, at every hour, every moment, but it brings such serenity.

Listen to your body, acknowledge, and stop when you feel the pressure building up, heat coming on, your stomach in a knot…your body is talking to you and telling you that the situation is about to get even worse. What can you do to ease the pressure? Define three actions and plan to implement them within the next 48 hours.

Love & Respect,

Christine Lewicki

Want to you use this article in your newsletter, blog, or on your website? You can, as long as you include the following blurb:

“Christine Lewicki is a Bestselling Author, Speaker & Coach. She is committed  to help people quit complaining and become entrepreneurs of their lives. Download your ”I Quit Complaining Starter Kit”  on the blog www.iquitcomplaining.com

IQC Visual

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