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.

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!

4 replies
  1. Sherle
    Sherle says:

    Wow, Nancy! I love this. As usual, you are so on target…seeing that something positive must replace the not-desired action. I especially LOVE the distinction you make between ‘grateful’ and ‘appreciate’- I see how I can more easily go to ‘grateful’. So I’m stepping up now to offer my Appreciation list for right now: I appreciate having discovered you – a like-minded soul – online, and then amazingly being able to meet you in person; I appreciate the quiet in the house at this moment so I can get my work done, while the houseguests are being entertained elsewhere; I appreciate the perfect grapefruit I had for breakfast; I appreciate how deliciously and unseasonably cool it is this morning; I appreciate having a stack of books here that I’m eager to dive into like candy!
    Big hugs!

  2. Andrea Amador
    Andrea Amador says:

    Hi Nancy,

    You are onto something really hot here! It’s very exciting. I’m going to get a few of those bracelets, one for me and a few as gifts.

    I’d like to share something that worked for me in terms of using law of attraction.

    Wearing my hat as The Juicy Woman, I teach women who are emotional eaters how to reclaim their power over food, eat what they love and lose weight without dieting. One of the things that I do in my teleclassses is I teach the law of attraction.

    Similar to what you have suggested to do with the bracelet, I have another idea for you to consider.

    You know those tally counters that you can get in Staples or office supply stores? They count up and tally how many times you do something specific.

    Just like you said, when you flood the brain with what you do want, the rest of the stuff clogging up the works just overflows and disappears.

    I like to repeat to myself everyday an affirmation that guarantees that I will be in a place and space of gratitude, making constant preparations for accepting more grace and abundance in my life.

    This is what I like to say and spread into the universe:

    I go forth to meet my good

    It’s simple and direct and puts me in a place to be always looking for the good in every situation, no matter how glum it may appear. Because I’ve programmed myself to seek out the good in life, I can easily separate out what is considered by many as “the bad”

    Ok. I’ll bet you’re wondering what the deal is with the tally counter, right?

    You know how you can sit on the phone and wait on hold as you listen to music or announcements that are distracting. Here’s what I do in that situation. I take my tally counter and start repeating my affirmation “I go forth to meet my good.” I say that repeatedly and with each repetition, I click one repetition off my tally counter, I keep on doing this until my party returns to the phone. Instead of being all steamed up because I’ve been listening to distracting announcements or irritating music, I have paved the way for peace in my heart, since I am expecting something wonderful to occur on the line, it usually does. This practice keeps me busy and on task with what I really want as opposed to getting upset and distracted and thinking about things that I don’t want.

    If you or anyone else is having a challenge with those monkey mind thoughts that we all get, I’d like to suggest choosing and writing a simple statement that is positive in every way. Once you do that, then say it aloud or to yourself 1000 times a day. If you have the tally counter, then each time you repeat the statement, you press the lever on the counter. Here’s the thing about this that truly rocks, when you do this simple thing, just as with your idea to remember 5 things to be grateful for, you are reprogramming your brain to think differently. Your subconscious mind is soaking it all in, holding this all in you beneath the surface. As you progress along in your day, you will notice that you are automatically becoming more attuned and attracted to what you wrote down as your statement. That’s when major shifts will occur.

    I’m so inspired by your idea, that I think I’ll blog on this also. Thank you, my fellow belle friend, I appreciate you and your wonderful energy and wisdom in sharing this with all of us other appreciation and love magnets.

    Hugs and gratitude,


  3. Jef - The Law of Attraction Statergy Expert
    Jef - The Law of Attraction Statergy Expert says:

    When you hear yourself saying the following…

    It’s always hard to stop a habit or addiction, without giving yourself something to replace it with.

    Have it trigger an Abraham quote:

    “Today, no matter where I am going, no matter what I am doing, no matter who I am doing it with – it is my dominant intention to see that which I am wanting to see.”

    Just do this instead of switch the band.



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