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Mindful Monday….no complaints for 24 hours. What is that all about?

A few weeks ago I started a No Complaints Monday challenge for people to become aware of how much they are complaining or judging throughout the day. Anytime I create a challenge it is usually because I am going through exactly what I am challenging people to do.  I had found myself in a “complainy” (yep made that up because it fit) mood and I know that complaints only bring on a lower mood, so I challenged myself first to be aware and then to do my best to stop the complaining and the judging.

This week with the challenge I got much more feedback than any other week and it has been interesting to listen to what people have to say. Sometimes we just need a little nudge to realize how detrimental the constant complaining about situations can really lower our mood and steal our joy. This challenge is for our own joy, not to change someone else’s behaviour. Here are a couple of examples that people sent me and one of my own.

The unmade bed!! 

A good friend sent me her morning scenario. She had just told her husband that she was going to have a no complaints day and his response was that he was going to have a great day too. Then she walked into the bedroom and the bed wasn’t made. She knew she had a choice.

  1. She is mad because the bed isn’t made and it ruins the first part of her day as she thinks about and all the things she will say to him when he gets home. Of course this is all playing out in her head while she makes the bed because she likes the bed made. Guess what? I can guarantee that he has not given one thought about the bed and is off enjoying his day.
  2. She makes the bed and goes on about her day, the bed is made and she has an enjoyable morning.

She is going to make the bed, either way, she can either have a joy-filled morning or a yucky one…her choice. As far as what they discuss about the bed at a later time is up to them, the point is why put yourself into a crappy mood right at the beginning of the day. It is fruitless.

The non-mask wearing customer!!

Another person sent me this message, “Karen, I am always so bothered when I see people in the store not wearing a mask. I had just read your post before I went out to shop and decided I was not going to complain all day. I wasn’t in the grocery store for 10 minutes and I saw someone without a mask on, I was just about to go into my complaining mode, in my head of course, but I stopped and thought they are going to shop in here without a mask, no matter how mad I am in my head that won’t change. It took me some time, but normally that makes my whole shopping experience horrible. This time deciding not to get upset about it all actually made my shopping experience better. I will try it more often.”

The MTO Office!!

My daughter was wanting to get her G1 license, so off we went to an MTO office an hour away because our local office wasn’t writing tests. As we drove up to the Drive Test center we saw a pretty long line up, but decided we’re here now. By the time she got to the door, it had been a 3 hour wait. You could hear the grumbling in line of how there must be a more efficient way to do this, geez this is taking so long, I’m hungry, I’m thirsty all of the normal things you would hear on a 3 hour wait. My daughter and I both had decided we would wait in line without complaint and our experience was quite joyful. I had a great conversation with the guy in front of us, the MTO woman coming out to make sure everyone was in the right line was an absolute gem. When we got closer to the door we listened to her as she enthusiastically congratulated all of the road test drivers who passed. My daughter got to the door and I went to sit in the car, when I saw her come out I got so excited, only to see her enter another line. I got out of the car and realized she had only paid for the test and we still had another 45 minutes to wait until she was able to write the test. We stood together and chatted as we waited for her test time to arrive. She was brought in for her test by one of the great MTO ladies and I went back to the car. Twenty minutes later she was at the passenger door with a grin from ear to ear…SHE PASSED!!

Our complaints could have made this a really crappy experience, but we chose to make it a great one.

Not complaining about yourself or others is a choice. Not judging is a choice.

In the end, it is a choice to live in peace. It isn’t always easy, I know that I can rant like the best of them and I can be extremely self-critical. But I am working on it, for nothing else but my own peace of mind. The fall out from that is being able to share that peace with others.

Let me know how you’re doing or if you’d like a little guidance with your No Complaints Monday.

In love light and laughter