Whenever you find yourself making a complaint to another person, stop and ask yourself, "What is the request behind my complaint?" What is it that you would like to be different about the situation?

After yoga today - incidentally, our yoga room over looks the view above - we were having our morning tea and chatting, and our teacher told us of a book she had been reading called 'A Complaint Free World'. Well as the subject happened to come up, I think we must have all been moaning a lot about the heat, and whatever else. ANYWAY... she explained about the book and how there is a 21 day challenge to go complaint free. That instigated a round table discussion how we all agreed that there were a lot of things we regularly complained about.

If you'd like your life to change, your relationships to get better, your family to thrive, start to hold back on the criticism, the complaining. John Gottman, one of the top marriage therapists says that, beneath every complaint is a deep longing. What is your longing, how can you reframe the complaint into a positive request?

What if we were all to change our mindset around Complaining. What? How? Well what if we changed our reactions and started to bring some curiosity to the person complaining? Don't get me wrong, I haven't been able to do this all along either. But when we can bring an attitude of curiosity to the other person, we can really make headway in relationships. You see our brains are wired for judgement and comparing. Sometimes just allowing the other person to have their voice heard, can bring about a positive change. AND, by listening to complaints we can actually work towards fulfilling the longings that the complaints were masking.

The challenge: Go 21 days in a row without complaining. Why? Because scientists believe that repeating the same behavior for 21 consecutive days can make it a habit. The average person takes 4 – 8 months to complete the 21-Day challenge. But stick with it! Just remember, you can’t complain your way to health, happiness, and success.

There is a bracelet that goes with the challenge. The idea is to put on the bracelet, and that starts you on day one. Then each time you complain, you change the bracelet to the other wrist and you go back to day one. The bracelet serves as a physical reminder that you are taking part in 21 day no complaining challenge. If you don't complain, you move to day 2 and, the bracelet stays on the same wrist. See how long it takes you to move through the 21 days.

I have a few of the bracelets that I can send out, if you are interested, they are $5 including postage within Australia. Email or phone me if you would like one.

One Minute Mindfulness

Student-led mindfulness practice from Denise Nobile on Vimeo.

A mindfulness process run by sixth graders at Somers Middle School, children taught by Denise Nobile’s practice every day. I invite you to join in, with them, no matter what your age.

A cup of mindfulness

Then, if you'd like to continue with a mindfulness practice, you can start with just one minute, each day, by simply stopping, bringing your focus to the present moment, and taking a few breaths. You don't need a bell as a reminder. You can use anything that is in your present moment. Bring your full attention to what is in front of you. Next time you're at a cafe, stop and notice your coffee cup. Stop and really look, did the barista create a pattern? Notice the cup and the colour, the smell. And then take a few breaths before drinking. Then continue with your day.

Embracing Ageing

I've put this image of the front yard of an old house we once rented in a sea side town in NSW, as I'm particularly fond of old beac...