Adding a “BUT” Turned Situation from Complaining to Resolved

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I don’t normally drive my older car because it has a (new) history of wanting to die. It has been in the shop a couple of times and we can’t figure out why. However, yesterday I drove it to work to make sure the battery got enough of a workout. I had no issues going to work.

But on the way home the engine kept sputtering like it was going to quit. I hit every light. I was getting more and more agitated as my car kept getting more and more agitated.

I was afraid. At the next to last light before my home I cried out loud,

“Oh, NO! I can’t believe it, This car is going to die on me.”

I realized I was in full complaint mode.

Here I was on day 16/21 of no complaining.  And now because I was complaining I was going to have to change my bracelet to the other wrist. Then in the midst of my distress I remembered how to choose the complaint that brings peace.

I added a “BUT” to my sentence. I added words of a positive solution.

“Oh, NO! I can’t believe it, This car is going to die on me.”

Then I continued speaking out loud with these words . . .

“BUT if it does die, I will be okay. I can coast to the side of the road. I have a towing package. I can call for help. This is not the worst thing that can happen. I am safe.”

And you know what? I calmed down. It was okay. And luckily the car didn’t die. 

Even while stressed OUT, I really was able to go from a non-productive compliant to a solution-oriented response.

Adding that BUT turned my attitude and thinking around. It helped me with my fear. And because I was calm, I was able to find a good solution. High Five!

Your Turn . . .

  • When you find yourself mid-sentence in a complaint, how do you turn that around?

Related Resources . . . 

Today is Day 18 of the #Write31Days online October writing challenge. My topic is 31 Days of Fruitful Words INSTEAD OF COMPLAINING. I know I will be challenged in more ways than writing every day. If you’d like to have more fruitful words coming from your mouth, please join me from October 1-31, 2016.

Go here for the landing page which has all the posts from this series.

Go here to see what #Write31Days is all about, the categories and the bloggers who are participating.

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Do More Than Count Blessings, Be a Blessing

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Do you count your blessings on a regular basis? Many, many folks do including me. This practice helps us look for the good in our lives and reminds us that there is a LOT of good there.

Weekly I compile my five favorite blessings from the past week. I even try to link up on Fridays at Living to Tell the Story with others who are doing the same. Reading their 5 favorite blessings reminds me that I have similar blessings in my life. And so my list grows bigger. My gratitude grows bigger.

I thought this was the best way to grow my gratitude. Then I read the following:

After several days of writing down my blessings, I read the lists and realized everything was all about me. Shouldn’t I be blessing to others?

After that realization, my journaling changed.

Not only did I list five blessings that happened for me, but also five ways in which I had reached out to bless others. . . .

By hunting for the blessings in my day, my mind was focused on the good, not on the disappointments.

By thinking of ways to reach out and help someone, my mind was focused on others, not on my own little problems.

~ Helen F Wilder ~ Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Power of Gratitude – 101 Stories about how Being Thankful Can Change Your Life

 What a great Idea. I know that I do kind things for others. I enjoy doing purposeful,  random acts of kinds. But I never thought to make this a daily practice.

I am going to do this and will start with one thing. I am a gung-ho- kind-of-person. I start projects, new habits, and goals at the Expert Level instead of starting at the beginner level. And too many times I quickly burn myself out.

Also I will include that one thing I do in my daily  journal.

Your Turn . . .

  1. What is your experience with counting your blessings?
  2. How do you pace yourself when starting new things? I can use some tips here.
  3. Is the idea of being a purposeful daily blessing new to you? If it is, will you try this with me?

Related Resources . . .

No Complaining Update: I am now on Day 15/21 of no complaining. I am going to add today’s idea, being a blessing, in addition to not complaining.

Today is Day 17 of the #Write31Days online October writing challenge. My topic is 31 Days of Fruitful Words INSTEAD OF COMPLAINING. I know I will be challenged in more ways than writing every day. If you’d like to have more fruitful words coming from your mouth, please join me from October 1-31, 2016.

Go here for the landing page which has all the posts from this series.

Go here to see what #Write31Days is all about, the categories and the bloggers who are participating.

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I am Not an Equal Opportunity Complainer

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Do you complain in all negative situations?

I realized today while doing a Bible study that I am not an equal opportunity complainer. I don’t complain in front of all people and in all negative or frustrating situations.

I complain when my expectations are not met in several areas: traffic, poor service and when technology is s….l…o…w… or not working.

Traffic – I realize that too many times I am in a hurry even if there is plenty of time to get to where I am going. I just want to be there NOW. So I complain about the driving about me. I do not give them the benefit of the doubt when they cut me off. This is plain ugly.

Antidote to Traffic

Live in the now. Enjoy this moment. To enjoy the moment-to-moment driving experience I can do the following: …  pray … sing along with upbeat music … listen to an audio-book … look for ways to bless other drivers … Decide to NOT take any bad driving around me in a personal way … Give drivers the benefit of the doubt.

Poor Service – I feel justified in my complaints since I’ve paid for this. However just complaining to complain gets me or the situation nowhere. However I can complain in a way that brings me peace.

Antidote to Poor Service

Solution Oriented Complaints. Assess the situation. Determine what a good resolution is. Ask for it in a calm, polite manner. Keep asking in a calm, polite manner until resolution is achieved.

However, if there is truly no way to rectify the situation, then accept it.

S….L…O…W… or non-functioning Technology. These situations exasperate me because I feel helpless and stupid, but mainly stupid. I will SIGH and mutter complaints. This always makes me feel worse.

Antidote t S….L…O…W… or non-functioning Technology.

Tell the Truth. Why I think and feel like I should know how to handle tech issues is beyond me.  I need to tell myself the truth. I am not stupid. I can get people to help with these issues. And the reason they can help is because they’ve studied and been trained.

Your Turn . . .

  1. Do you complain equally in all situations? If not, where do you tend to complain?
  2. If you tend to complain in the same sorts of situations, what can you do to counter your complaints. What is your personal antidote?
  3. Is there anything you would add to make my antidotes more effective?

No Complaining Update: I am now on Day 14/21 of no complaining.

Today is Day 16 of the #Write31Days online October writing challenge. My topic is 31 Days of Fruitful Words INSTEAD OF COMPLAINING. I know I will be challenged in more ways than writing every day. If you’d like to have more fruitful words coming from your mouth, please join me from October 1-31, 2016.

Go here for the landing page which has all the posts from this series.

Go here to see what #Write31Days is all about, the categories and the bloggers who are participating.

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Using H.A.L.T. to a Complaint-Free Life

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Our internal world influences how we see the external world. Some folks are better than others at handling their internal world. What is negative to one person is merely an annoyance or even a non-issue to others.

Have you heard of the acronym H.A.L.T.? These are internal influences I first heard about several years ago from a friend who has been successful in recovery for years and years and years (from alcohol). She said that H.A.L.T. is talked about in A.A.

When we experience certain internal “conditions” we find it harder to calmly address external situations. If we are unaware of their influence, we tend to act out. And in my case, I tend to complain instead of making choices that bring peace.

Because I know about H.A.L.T.’s influence, I can make sure I DON’T let myself get to H.A.L.T. But when I do, I can quickly take the proper steps to address these.

What is H.A.L.T. and what can you do?

Hungry– Eat protein as soon as possible.

Angry – Take deep breaths. Pray. Asses the truth of the situation. Let go of unrealistic expectations. Ask for what you need in a calm manner. Come up with solution oriented answers to what has angered you.

Lonely – Connect with someone. Contact a good friend and talk or put a date on the calendar for a “date.” Execute an act of kindness. Pray. Read something uplifting. Write a letter. Learn to be content.

Tired – Take a nap or go to bed for the night. Eat a healthy snack. Drink a glass of water. Meditate. Lighten your to-do load for the time being. Ask for help.

Another “H” that needs watching out for is Hormonal. Now that I am past menopause and don’t feel the ravages of hormones, I realize how many times I was affected by them. And I realize how many times I complained while under their influence. This is not to say the issues weren’t issues, but sometimes my reaction was stronger than the situation called for.

What I Learned From H.A.L.T.

  • Help myself live a positive life by being aware when I am hungry, angry, lonely, and/or tired.
  • When I am in any of these states, take quick, positive action.
  • Postpone any complaining until after the internal situation has been dealt with.

Your Turn . . .

  • How have you used H.A.L.T. to your benefit?
  • Are there any other internal situations that lead you to complain? If yes, what can you do about it?

Related Resources . . . 

No Complaining Update: I am now on Day 13/21 of no complaining.

Today is Day 15 of the #Write31Days online October writing challenge. My topic is 31 Days of Fruitful Words INSTEAD OF COMPLAINING. I know I will be challenged in more ways than writing every day. If you’d like to have more fruitful words coming from your mouth, please join me from October 1-31, 2016.

Go here for the landing page which has all the posts from this series.

Go here to see what #Write31Days is all about, the categories and the bloggers who are participating.

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Using Fruitful Words to Combat Complaining

fff-delicate-leavesIt is Friday and so I want to look back at my last week and share five of my favorite blessings.  Filling my head with good news, positive memories, and great outcomes help me stave off complaining. This is my No Complaining Month.

If you’d like to join in with Friday’s Fave Five, write a post and link it here to Susanne’s meme. She writes at Living to Tell the Story.

ONE. I bought a new bottle of shampoo. It smells yummy (coconut) and makes my hair feel so soft. Why is it that I run out of shampoo way before I run out of hair conditioner? Do you have that issue?

fruitfulwords125TWO. This month is #Write31Days. My topic and action plan is No Complaining.

  • My 1st goal is to not complain for 21 days in a row. I had one set back so I am on Day 12 of no complaining. I am wearing a Gratitude bracelet to help me stay alert.
  • My 2nd goal is to have only fruitful words come out of my mouth: praise, gratitude, positive solutions. I am grateful for this opportunity to make sure I keep a guard on my lips and that I have a cheerful attitude especially when times are a challenge (like when I am driving).

THREE. I am connected with a school in the Middle East that accepts kiddos with special needs. I am grateful for Facebook because we get periodic updates. This week one of the youngsters received a wheelchair from a grant. His life is a little easier now. And the smile on the student’s face is AWESOME. And because pf Facebook a bunch of us could share in the joy of this answered prayer.

all-at-ksfFOUR.  Last weekend I went to So Cal with a mom and her teens. Each teen brought a friend and I was the friend for the mom. We went to Knott Scary Farm and Huntington Beach. Both venues were a lot of fun. And I experienced a lot of firsts: funnel cake, white chocolate candy, Knott Scary Farm, and listening to the Bible on DVD. We listened to Mathew-Luke.

FIVE. MY BED. I really enjoy my job – a lot. But I also enjoy vacation days. We had Monday off and I did a lot of sleeping. I caught up from my time in So Cal. So the last item on my gratitude list is my bed. It is so comfy. And being able to wear pj’s ALL DAY added to me feeling sooooo relaxed.

Your Turn . . .

  • What is your favourite smell for a shampoo?
  • What do you do to keep yourself from complaining?
  • If you are on Facebook, what do you most appreciate about it?
  • I haven’t been to a haunted house in decades. The ones at Knott Scary Farm were the right amount of scary and fun. I did scream but not from fear, but because I was startled. When was the last time you’ve gone to a Haunted House? Will you go to one this year?
  • If you had a holiday on Monday, what was the most favorite thing you did?

No Complaining Update: I am now on Day 12/21 of no complaining.

Today is Day 14 of the #Write31Days online October writing challenge. My topic is 31 Days of Fruitful Words INSTEAD OF COMPLAINING. I know I will be challenged in more ways than writing every day. If you’d like to have more fruitful words coming from your mouth, please join me from October 1-31, 2016.

Go here for the landing page which has all the posts from this series.

Go here to see what #Write31Days is all about, the categories and the bloggers who are participating.

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Colouring Combats Complaining

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Do you color? Do you know an adult who does?

Coloring  books have become popular with adults.

  • One because it is FUN.
  • Two because it helps reduce stress.

The act of coloring can help adults to focus on the moment and let go of ruminating thoughts. Thus it is like taking a vacation from emotionally charged thinking. There is mental and physical peace in that kind of vacation.

I bought a Gratitude Prayer and Praise Coloring Journal. The idea is to help me put more fruitful words into my mind. I’m going with the theory that Gratitude In = Gratitude Out which would mean less complaining.

The first section I chose to color is Friends: Travel the Road Together. The devotional on the left side reminded me of the importance of community. On the right I wrote about 3 people I am grateful for. I spent 30 minutes coloring while listening to Yiruma’s Greatest Hits ~ Best Piano.

color-and-prayHow My Experience Rated

  • The 30 minutes went by quickly.
  • While I normally prefer silence when I am by myself, listening to Yiruma added to my relaxation.
  • For the first 20 minutes it was surprisingly easy to relax and think only about coloring and the beauty of the music. As thoughts came into my mind, I was able to let them pass on through without giving them much attention.
  • Then at about the 20 minutes mark some distressing thoughts kept rushing into my head. These were thoughts from Facebook about how ugly people have been to each other because of their differing political views. It was really hard to let these thoughts go. I have been avoiding thinking about this issue and I guess my freed up mind then took this opportunity to think.
  • I notice that I don’t like to color detailed pictures. First because I don’t want to spend that much time on something that is not permanent. And secondly because the lines are too small. It would take a LONG time to “properly” color these 2 page spreads. I want to do one section each time I color.
  • I will do this again.

No Complaining Update: I am now on Day 11/21. I think one reason I am so successful (now) is because I am really paying attention to my circumstances and words.

Your Turn . . . 

  • Do you color? If yes, what has your experience been like?
  • How do you think coloring (like this) would impact your complaining?
  • Have you jumped on the no complaining band wagon? If yes, how is it going?

Related Resources . . . 

Today is Day 13 of the #Write31Days online October writing challenge. My topic is 31 Days of Fruitful Words INSTEAD OF COMPLAINING. I know I will be challenged in more ways than writing every day. If you’d like to have more fruitful words coming from your mouth, please join me from October 1-31, 2016.

Go here for the landing page which has all the posts from this series.

Go here to see what #Write31Days is all about, the categories and the bloggers who are participating.

. at . 1 comment

Gratitude Bracelet Helps Stop Complaints

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How do you guard against complaining? It is so easy to complain. Too many times complaining is our first response. Such words seem to be on auto-pilot.

Will Bowen started this 21 day challenge.  He sells a purple, rubber bracelet stamped with the words, “Complaint Free.” Cute and effective, I am sure.

But I want to be more than complaint free. I want to be filled with solutions and GRATITUDE.

Thus I bought a silver (plated) bracelet with Gratitude stamped on it. And like Bowen’s challenge states, I put it on one wrist. Every time I complain, I switch it to the other wrist. My experiment is over when the bracelet stays on one wrist for 21 days in a row. Hopefully a new habit has been formed by that time.

To counter-balance the negativity coming out of my mouth, I will use fruitful words. If/when I complain, I want to think about the situation and say how I can be grateful because of the situation or in-spite of the situation. And if there is one, I want to state a solution.

Complaining is a basic foundation of many of our conversations. When we greet one another, we often complain about the weather, our busy lives, and how tired we are. I actually thought I was immune to that.

Unfortunately I am not immune to this surface, mindless chatter. On Day 3 (of #Write31Days), I greeted a friend and she initiated our conversation by stating how cold she was. I replied back, “And I am HOT! I hate being hot.” No solutions were offered by either, just the complaint.

I was embarrassed by how easily I added my complaint.

I moved my bracelet and spoke my words of solution and gratitude. . . . I am grateful that I can easily cool down with a fan or iced beverage. . . . I am grateful that in-spite of the heat, I won’t get a sunburn [I was indoors] and soon the weather will cool down.

I am now on Day 8 of no complaining. I started this experiment on October 1st. Because the bracelet moves around on my wrist, I am constantly reminded about my intention to not complain. I don’t normally wear bracelets. If you do, maybe this wouldn’t be a helpful remembering tool for you.

Your Turn . . . 

  1. Do you find that complaining is a mindless, automatic response more times than you’d like to admit? If yes, how do you combat that?
  2. How do the complaints of others impact you?
  3. Do you think something like a bracelet would help you stop complaining? Why or why not?

Related Resources . . . 

Today is Day 10 of the #Write31Days online writing challenge. My topic is 31 Days of Fruitful Words INSTEAD OF COMPLAINING. I know I will be challenged in more ways than writing every day. If you’d like to have more fruitful words coming from your mouth, please join me from October 1-31, 2016.

Go here for the landing page which has all the posts from this series.

Go here to see what #Write31Days is all about, the categories and the bloggers who are participating.

 

 

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