Complaining....

Winter has arrived! Normally this would be where I insert profanities, anger-induced temper tantrums, and a whole lot of threats directed towards the heavens. But, due to today's subject, I will just say, it looks magical outside. 

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I had a client ask me to meditate on the act of complaining. Is it useful? Why do we do it? How do we decrease it or at least understand it in our lives?

Gosh, aren't my clients neat? 

So, after researching and meditating both queitly on my mat and in my daily actions, I've noticed something....I complain a lot. I complain to be funny, I complain to elicit sympathy, I even complain to create friendships or bonds with people (mostly with other students who also don't want to turn in that pointless assignment. Stupid professors anyway).

I've broken down the reason I complain into two parts: the unrealistic and the lazy

In it's raw moment 'complaining' or frustration is simply our perception of a situation wherein we've rendered ourselves powerless.  Complaining doesn't give us clarity, rather it clouds the water and drains our energy. Where if we would have realized that either A - the situation is uncontrollable from my end, I can't change it, therefore, let it be. Let it flow. Or B - The situation is in our control, we are just not wanting to admit it or do anything about it. We want to stay in our comfort zone. We also want to justify staying there = complaining.

So...I say, take the power back! Make a change.  Stop holding on to a model of expectation. Either the situation is changeable or it's not. Either we sit with our reality instead of pretending it's something else, or we take control of our situation. Complaining is a neutralizer, our ego's excuse to not progress. "Perhaps I could do something about (insert situation), but at least I'm talking about it (insert complaint). Right?" Mmmm....seems like fishy logic. 

We reap the energy we put out into the world. I remember I used to hear in church as a kid, "you marry who you date." A simple, often times obnoxious statement to the obvious. But, I see it's applicability here. You end up where you invest your time. You reap what you sew. All that jazz. Where your attention goes, your energy flows.

With all the things I want to create in my life, an energy of neutralizing, stagnatizing complaining is holding me back INFINITELY more than I want to admit. So, let's adjust, shall we?

Complaining Challenge

Part 1: Daily Living 

I would like to challenge you to notice your complaining this week. Notice where it comes from and what category of complaint it fits in, the powerless or the unrealistic. I am using my hair band. Every time I complain I am putting my hair-tie on the other wrist. I started this challenge yesterday and I've noticed a lot of wear and tear on the ol elastic already. 

calvin and hobbs.jpg

Part 2: Practice - Notice 

Sit and breathe deeply for 3 minutes. Go ahead, set the timer. Sit up nice and tall, but comfortably. Try to focus on your inhale being at least 6 counts and your exhale at least 7 counts. 

After 3 minutes, keep breathing, but notice the pause between your inhale and exhale. Take notice of that beautiful stillness before having to inhale or having to exhale. 

Set your timer for 2 more minutes. In those quiet pauses between the breath, I want you to repeat in your mind, "My energy flows where my attention goes." 

At the end of the 2 minutes, notice where your attention goes. No judgement. No expectation. Just notice. 

Ok, I'm excited and also terrified to attempt this challenge. I think I have been allowing my energy to flow in a lot of complaint-based ways as of late. But, fear is one more way of surrendering power to progression. So, to hell with fear and bring on the hair-tie awareness!