Complaints on Not Complaining The Challenge Continues!

Okay, I’ve already gotten complaints about this Complaint Free Counter Challenge!
Isn’t that funny! Complaints about not complaining! I love it!

The point that some people are making is this: to not complain is a form of denial. For instance, if we don’t protest, if we choose to turn away from that which we feel is “wrong,” then we are living in denial. We’re being deluded, apathetic Pollyannas.

I don’t see it that way. Not complaining doesn’t mean not noticing. Nor does it mean you don’t take action to make changes you feel are necessary and good. I’m not talking about becoming brain dead. In fact, I’m advising that you use your brain to create, influence and enhance your life and your world. How?

By choosing.

The truth is that you can’t help but notice what you don’t like. Your mind is built to discern, think, judge and evaluate. It’s going to happen whether you want it to or not. That’s what minds do.

Where our power comes in is in our choice. We can choose to push against what we are noticing by complaining or protesting or silently grumbling under our breath. Or we can choose to focus on what we would prefer. And perhaps even take action in that direction.

Complaining doesn’t do anything except to give more energy and power and attention to that which you don’t like. So, you’re actually feeding the problem. You’re not just noticing it. You’re adding to it.

But if you choose instead to give your attention and voice to that which you do want, that which you prefer, like a solution, that’s empowering what you do want. And that’s not complaining. That’s creating.

If there’s something that’s a problem for you or the world, give your attention to the solution, to that which feels good, rather than give endless complaining energy to that which you hate.

I don’t believe not complaining is a form of denial. Nor do I believe that appreciating is a delusional and pollyanna-ish. It just makes good sense.

Complaining v.s. GossipingIs There a Difference?

Is gossiping the same as complaining?

Yesterday, I was doing great with my new challenge to stop complaining and start appreciating. Until I met my friend Jason for a mocha at the French Hotel in Berkeley. Jason and I don’t get to see each other very much so when we do, we talk about everything. Mostly about singers, singing, health issues, and what the heck we are doing with our lives. Simple stuff, like that.

Well, we fell into gossiping because it’s just too easy to do.  And I was wondering, is this complaining? If I am talking negatively about anyone, is that complaining, or is it just…noticing. And then commenting? Offering opinion?

Now, when we were talking about health stuff, we were complaining. I admit it! I complained. I talked about something unwanted and I gave it energy, and that, to me, is a complaint. But I immediately started appreciating. I appreciated Jason, who is such a love. And the mocha I was drinking was so rich with really, really good chocolate. And the photos on the wall of the French Hotel were so interesting.

But what about gossiping?

I decided, after really looking at it, that if you are talking about someone else in a negative way, that IS complaining. Because you are saying: I don’t like this and I’m going to give it tons of energy by talking about it.

Even if you’re having a great time talking about it? Even if it feels really good?

Yes. Even if it feels really good. Because you know what? It doesn’t really feel all that good. It only feels good because we’re connecting with another human being by talking. But does it ever feel good to say negative things about anybody? Maybe temporarily. As the words are flying out of your mouth. But the aftertaste is bitter.

What do you think? Is gossiping a form of complaining?

Stop Complaining Or Start Appreciating?My Counter-Challenge to Pastor Will

Could you stop complaining for 21 days?

About anything. No complaining about anything. Even internally. So, when you’re driving behind someone who’s going super slow, can you NOT internally curse that person or the situation?

I was watching Oprah a few days ago (yes, I watch her sometimes, usually when The View is on hiatus, as it was this week) and she had as her guest Will Bowen, pastor of Christ Church Unity in Kansas City, Missouri, who took a small idea and created a monster revolution.

In a Sunday morning sermon, Pastor Will (who’s quite a cutie, don’t ya think?) challenged his congregation to stop complaining for 21 days. He took on the challenge himself, and to help his congregation, he gave them all these purple rubber bracelets. You know, the kind Lance Armstrong started with his “Live Strong’ campaign so many years ago.

This is all part of Pastor Will’s campaign to create a Complaint Free World.

Here’s how it works. You wear the bracelet, and any time you catch yourself complaining, about anything, you move the bracelet to the other wrist. The goal is to go 21 days with that bracelet on one wrist, which means you haven’t complained in 21 days.

Well, this church challenge has grown like wildfire. People all over the world are taking up Pastor Will’s challenge and the Christ Church Unity is sending these purple bracelets out like crazy. As of today, 3,565, 251 bracelets have been sent.

There is no charge for these bracelets! If you want to send the church a donation you can.

But here’s my counter challenge.

It’s always hard to stop something, any habit or addiction, without giving yourself something to replace it with. And anytime we are saying “NO!” to anything, it just causes that thing to grow in our experience. Anything we resist, persists. According to the Law of Attraction.

So, how about, instead of creating a Complaint Free World, we create A World Drunk On Appreciation.

Here’s how my challenge works.
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You’ve Already Got What It Takes, OrWhy Public Speaking Experts Should Shut Up And Sit Down!

I couldn’t stop squirming in my seat.

Every word out of his mouth made me fidget with frustration. It was all I could do to not shout out loud, “Please shut up and sit down!”

I was at a conference listening to a very experienced public speaker talk about how to speak in public. And, like most “speaking experts,” he was spelling out all the do’s and don’t’s of public speaking. Outlining the right ways and the wrong ways, the good ways and even better ways to get your point across and wow your audience.

He even told us what colors to wear. How to stand. How to move. He told us to be sure to amp up our energy, get the crowd to say “Yes!,” and be responsible for the energy of the room.


Okay, I fully understand that this expert, like most speaking experts, are very well-intentioned. They really want to help you be effective and do your best. But this rules-of-the-road approach to public speaking is what contributes mightily to the fear, doubt, self-consciousness and feeling of “not-enoughness” that many people feel when it comes to speaking in public. It chokes people’s own, true, unique, wild voice, their own natural way of expressing themselves.

You already have everything you need to be an effective, charismatic speaker. You do. You don’t need to adopt certain tricks or mannerisms. Nor do you need to speak with an artificially amped-up enthusiasm or energized voice. You do not need to move in this way or that. Or use props or powerpoint. All of these suggestions, though well-meaning, keep us struck in the illusion that we need to be other than who we are right now, in this moment, in order to speak well in public.

Yes, it’s always good to learn from people with experience. But not at the expense of losing touch with the truth that we have, right now, to inherent ability to express ourselves fully, effectively, creatively and fearlessly.

You already have it all. Everything you need to speak in public. For instance:
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The Secret Continued

More stuff about The Secret.

It’s funny how something so positive can become so controversial!

Yesterday, when I wrote about my buddy Andy and his skeptical attitude towards the teachings in The Secret, I didn’t really tell you my impression of The Secret and the incredible marketing campaign that effectively made it the hit and hot topic of the day.

Then, today, I read Michael Port’s great blog post about The Secret, and I thought I’d weigh in on the subject.

When I first saw The Secret, I thought, "Well, it’s a little cheesy. And it really focuses on how to get stuff. And it has that ridiculous, pseudo-mid-evil thing going on that makes NO sense at all, except to give the false impression that this really IS a secret stored away in an underground cave somewhere. But, it’s a start. It’s a good start."

And what I meant by that was, hey, it can get people interested in using the Law of Attraction as a way to improve their life and well-being. What could be wrong with that?

My friend Julee hated it. She just thought it was over-the-top and stupid with all those Raiders of the Lost Arc kind of scenes that had nothing to do with anything. Julee, like me, is a big lover and devotee, so to speak, of the Law of Attraction. But both of us have moved past that fall-in-love stage with LOA (Law of Attraction) and have found it is so much more than "Think about it and it will come."
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Andy Wibbels v.s. The Secret

My friend Andy is at it again.

Now that the movie, "The Secret" is all the rage, with national TV talk show hosts such as Oprah, Ellen Degeneres and Larry King interviewing the "stars" of this viral marketing wonder, Andy wants to put it to the test.

In case you don’t know what the blazes "The Secret" is (don’t you watch Oprah?), it’s a movie created by a number of well-known teachers of the Law of Attraction. The big "secret" is, in fact, the Law of Attraction which, for many of us, never was a secret at all! People have been talking, teaching and preaching the Law of Attraction for centuries, including this century.

But I digress. I want to talk about Andy.

Andy is the original Secret Skeptic. Months ago, he wrote a stunning, "this-is-malarky" review of "The Secret" which won him a lot of flack and a lot of praise from bloggers everywhere. I, for one, thought Andy did an utterly fabulous job ripping into, as well as applauding, the ingenious marketing behind this movie, rolling his eyes at the DaVinci Code-esque themes, and then questioning the very premise upon which the whole movie was based, meaning, the Law of Attraction.

Now, those of you who know me know that I live my life by the Law of Attraction and I have for many years. I haven’t made a movie about it, but hey, who knows? The Law of Attraction is incorporated into what I teach, coach and talk about every day.

Nevertheless, I totally loved Andy’s review. Not because I agreed with all of it, but because Andy’s writing is sharp, persuasive, pointed and, in the end, laugh-out-loud funny. For instance:

I think what irks me is all ‘the trappings’ put around this abundance stuff – the idea that meditating on the results you want focuses your attention on achieving results and forwarding action and momentum – none of this is new or secret or strange. But it is wrapped around this core of ‘THINK THIS – GET STUFF’. I almost feel like the suffix should be ‘and then you work your ass off.’ That always gets left out of the picture – yes you do work you love – you attract the things you need and then… You Work Your Ass Off.

But since everyone is STILL talking about The Secret, Andy is inviting us all to participate in a little experiment. A 30-day experiment.

I am personally interested in how this experiment will pan out because if Andy has a bias against the Law of Attraction, won’t he just attract people who hold the same kind of bias? Won’t he "create" his own reality around this anyway? So, maybe, if people don’t manifest what they want in 30 days, it proves the Law of Attraction DOES work because that was the premise upon which the experiment was launched.

Hmmm. Interesting.

Stay tuned and find out!

I Want To Be Free!My Journey with Dr. ClaudePart Two

Well, what happened? With Dr. Claude?

I promised to write more and I’ve been sorely absent from this blog. But I am making good on my promise now.

I did have my session with Dr. Claude. In fact, I’ve had two sessions. Am I free of my unwanted condition? No. Did I learn about how to be free from certain unwanted conditions?

Kind of.

So why write about it? Because I feel Dr. Claude’s process could be very helpful for certain people who feel stuck in certain emotional states or habitual patterns of distress, like fear, anxiety, and so forth. His process is very logical. It works with how you think about the CAUSE of your unwanted condition. And it works in giving you the choice to either keep your unwanted condition or not. It’s all up to you.

For instance, if you have a fear of public speaking, you may have a million variations on that fear,  like, the fear of messing up, the fear of public humiliation, etc. But the unwanted condition is "I am afraid."

Dr. Claude then works with what anchors that condition in your experience by making clear the cause and effect relationship you are hanging on to. For instance, "I am afraid (the effect) because people will think I’m stupid (the cause of the fear). Or, "I am afraid because I’m not prepared."

That word "because" represents the way we tie the unwanted condition to something we see as the cause of that condition.

Am I getting too abstract?
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I Want To Be Free!My Journey with Dr. Claude

I’m starting a new adventure and I’m bring you with me!

There is a man named Dr. Claude Windenberger who has this fascinating process by which he can free anyone from any unwanted condition. Well, that is, if they are willing to be free of that condition.

Wanna know more? Well, I sure did when he called me how many weeks ago.

Dr. Claude called me up one day out of the blue because he had heard about me and Unconditional Confidence through Alex Mandossian’s TeleSeminar Secrets. It’s a long story. Anyway, Dr. Claude was intrigued because our business names are so similar. He calls his work Unconditional Freedom.

When he told me about what he does I laughed and told him, "If you can do what you say you can do, then my work has just become obsolete!"

Now, I may not get the semantics just right, but basically, Dr. Claude told me that by taking people through a very simple process which bascially consists of a series of questions, he can help people be free of any unwanted condition. ANY unwanted condition.

How could I not be fascinated? I HAD to try it. Just think what this could do for people who are afraid of speaking in public? Or afraid of anything for that matter. Could Dr. Claude free people from fear? Now, THAT would be fanstastic!
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Surfing for Stage Fright:Articles 4 You

I love Google.

Google sends me email. Wonderful little snippets on topics in the news or on blogs that pertain to my interests, like public speaking tips, self-confidence, self-expression, etc. It’s very cool.

Here are a few articles I discovered, thanks to Rhona-May Arca, a piano and music teacher in Canada who has a blog called Musings at Musespeak.

Stage Fright — by Drew McManus

Should musicians (or speakers, for that matter) use performance enhancing drugs? Does it put them at an advantage if they do? This article talks about the use of beta-blockers and such.

This topic comes up a lot when I’m working with musicians. To take drugs or to not take drugs, IS that the question?

I personally don’t have strong feelings about it either way. If taking beta-blockers helps you enjoy performing and doesn’t get in your way, then by all means. Take them. But I’d try them first when you’re not in a performance situation so you can evaluate the effect they do have.

Stressed for Success – David Templeton

This is a great article that focuses on the work and philosophy of Dr. Don Greene, a sports and performance psychologist who has written many books on performing under pressure, like Fight Your Fear and Win: 7 Skills for Performing Your Best Under PressurePerformance Success: Performing Your Best Under Pressure and Audition Success: An Olympic Sports Psychologist Teaches Performing Artists How to Win.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from this article:

"If you can do a piece in a practice room—efficiently and well—then you have the technical abilities to do it," says Greene. "But then if you go on stage and are not able to execute the piece, it’s not a technical issue. It’s a mental issue, an issue of how you deal with stress. A lot of people then will go back to the practice room to work on a problem that wasn’t there, namely their technique, when the problem wasn’t their technique—it was their response to stress…

"…The mistake I see is that they never switch over from practicing practice," he continues, "to practicing performance. And then they go out on stage—where the environment is very different—expecting to do something they’ve never adequately practiced. All that time they’ve been practicing doing something they’re not going to do. They’re not going to go out there and rehearse, stopping and starting and correcting. At some point, a musician should start practicing performance—making an entrance, playing the piece straight through regardless of what happens, and then getting up to make the exit."

First Performance Jitters — by Rex and Carolyn Sikes

I loved this article, even if it was hard to read on that dark background.

This is about getting your mind on your side, asking the right questions, the ones that will focus your mind on what you want rather then worrying about what you don’t want. Here’s a bit of the article:

"What I additionally do is ask myself positive productive questions which lead my mind in the direction I want it to go in. For example, I ask myself questions like ‘Just how surprised and delighted I will be to discover myself having a marvelous time? In how many different ways can I discover myself delighted and excited at having the opportunity to perform? How much fun can I stand and in how many ways will I find myself enthused?…

In other words I want to get my brain to work for me. I want to say things like ‘I wonder how quickly I will realize how excited I am’ (rather than I’m nervous). Notice also I am not make affirmations – in other words I am not claiming something to be the case when it is not – I am posing questions in a particular fashion, which direct the mind and don’t set up conflicts with what you know to be true."

Okay, that’s enough reading for now.

Thanks again to Rhona-May. I enjoyed discovering your blog.

The Summary & Appendix toThe Diva’s 7 Secrets!

This concludes the Special Report, "The Diva’s 7 Secrets to Speaking or Performing With Confidence, Ease and Charisma." A quick Summary, and a new definition.

In Summary

So, there you go! The Diva’s 7 Secrets to Speaking or Performing in Public With Confidence, Ease and Your Own Kind of Creative Charisma.

How do they feel to you? Do you feel you’re ready to start integrating these Secrets into your expressive life? Can you feel how they could transform your communication and public self-expression?

If you’re ready to go for it, I suggest you start by focusing on one or two of the Secrets that really resonate with you now. Let yourself play with them in your daily life. All of these Secrets apply to all aspects of your life, not just when you’re speaking or performing for an audience. Then, play with a few more of the Secrets. You’ll discover the ones that are perfect for you.
These Secrets are explored and integrated in the advanced Unconditional Confidence® trainings, so if you want some coaching around these Secrets, please feel free to contact me through this blog or website. I offer several teleclasses, teleclinics and individual coaching programs that will allow you to fully integrate and expand upon these Diva Secrets.

Now, I promised to share with you my new definition of the word, Diva. 

A Diva is anyone who is connected to their own divine, creative source and true spirit AND is able to freely express themselves from that state of connection, in their life, work or art.

That’s my new definition. How do you like it? I know, it’s a bit nebulous. It’s a work in progress. As you will read in the Appendix below, I tried to use the best of the original definition yet make “Divahood” available to everyone. Because everyone has the ability to connect with one’s divine, creative self, one’s true self, and express oneself from that place of connection. Don’t you think?
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