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.
Get yourself one of Pastor Will’s bracelets and send that church a huge donation. Then, any time you find yourself getting grumpy or you start to complain, switch that bracelet over to the other wrist, and then find 5 things to appreciate. Sincerely appreciate. Right then. Five things. It could be simple, like you appreciate how gorgeous that purple bracelet looks on your wrist.
Now, you can certainly continue this appreciation line of thought by just continuing to find things to appreciate. Like the smell of the jasmine. The face of your spouse. Anything. Allow the appreciation river to flow! You will find that once you start to think like this, it gets easier to find things to appreciate. Like attracts like. But find at least five.
If you find yourself starting to complain again, or get a little grumbly, switch that bracelet and find another five!
Now, I’m not talking about feeling grateful so much as I am asking you to truly appreciate something. The way something looks. The purr of your cat. The sound of your friend’s laugh. Feeling grateful is fine, don’t get me wrong, but it carries the faint scent of lack. It hold the vibration of, “Oh, even though I don’t deserve this good thing, here it is. Thank you for bestowing it on me, wretched soul that I am.”
But appreciation is noticing something that allows your heart to soften, to open, to scream with glee. It can have the vibration of “Wow, this is great. I love this. Isn’t this the best?” to “Ah, this is so good. So sweet. How lovely.” Appreciation is noticing what is in a way that allows you to fully receive it, to have it, and to enjoy it.
Get the difference?
Yes, the idea is to keep that bracelet on the same wrist for 21 days! I’m going to do it, too. I just ordered my bracelet but I’m not waiting. I’m committing now. Will you?
I challenge you to join me in creating A World Drunk On Appreciation. Come on, let’s do it!
Just as I was writing this my cat threw up something disgusting on the carpet. Eeewww! Okay, five things I appreciate: the UPS driver is delivering something. The air is the perfect temperature. My kitty is the most lovey-dovey kitty ever. I get to see old friends tonight. I love the intense gold color of my office walls.
Tag, you’re it!