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SUMMER OF WELL-BEING WEEK 7

I’m particularly excited about our guest blogger today, because she addresses a subject I speak about, train about, and is at the foundation of my personal beliefs, which is taking responsibility of our energy. Below, Mina offers us a simple, yet very powerful practice for giving us back so much of the energy that is ours to direct toward productive and joyful tasks. I hope you accept her challenge!!

Mina refers to her Mastermind program, of which I am a member. I just love surrounding myself with like-minded women who want to create meaningful and powerful lives for themselves and for others. I was not able to take on her challenge during the Mastermind, due to my vacation, but I will take the challenge now! Please join us both in doing so!

Need to catch up on Summer of Well-Being posts? You’ll find them all here.

Here’s Mina!


MinaShahEnteC40a-A05aT04a-Z_iconAhhhhh Summer……….

When I hear the word summer I am reminded of clear skies, images of kids laying in the grass looking up at the sky, and the freedom of 3 months without school to do whatever my heart desires. At least as long as my parents agreed.

It would be safe to say that for most of us as children summer brought the feeling of being carefree and fun. Today for most adults, it doesn’t feel that way. The year-round responsibilities are still there and they have to be handled. Just because the kids have 3 months off doesn’t mean that you do, and if you don’t have children, the year-round responsibilities are still there in the summer.

So how does one experience the feeling of being carefree and having fun with all these responsibilities? How does one have a Summer of Well-Being?

If you look at the definition of Well-Being it is the state of being happy, healthy, or successful.

Happy.

Healthy.

Successful.

As a coach I have helped my clients experience happiness, health, and success. I’ve helped them do everything from lose the 35lbs they have been carrying for over 20 years to helping them hire an entirely new rock star staff and making their business more profitable. Having worked with thousands of people over the last 6 years creating happiness, health and success in their lives, there are quite a few things I could share with you today that would help you have a Summer of Well-Being.

However, I have a strong belief that less is more, so today I am going to share with you 1 Simple Thing you can do now to experience more happiness, health, and success in your life.

One thing that you may be doing without realizing. One thing that is affecting your life in a bigger way than you can possible imagine.

What is that, you ask?

It’s simple.

Stop Complaining.

What?

Yes, Stop Complaining.

Now, I don’t know you and I don’t know if you are someone who complains a little, a lot, or if you are just someone who is surrounded by complainers.

If you complain a little you will want to read further.

If you complain a lot. As in, you could land the gold in the Complaining Olympics – you definitely want to read further. You may even want to read this twice.

And if you rarely complain but are surrounded by complainers, read on and then find the share button on this page to send this over to the complainers you know with a smile and a wink. They deserve a Summer of Well-Being, right?

Now Why Stop Complaining?

Let’s go back to being a kid during the summer. Imagine you are with your best friend. You both have been playing outside and now you are laying in the grass, looking up at the sky, the breeze blowing, and you are trying to make shapes out of the clouds when all of a sudden you hear:

“The grass isn’t comfortable!”

“I think I wore the wrong shoes! These are too tight and they are hurting my feet!”

“Why is the sky so blue? It’s almost too bright!”

“Move over you are too close to me!”

Huh???

Immediately the blissful picture you have in your mind is gone. This is what happens when we complain, we prevent ourselves from enjoying all the awesomeness that is around us.

Go to any network or social gathering and you will find that complaining has become the #1 way to communicate. It can be as innocent as complaining about the weather, the traffic, the city you live in to all the way to complaining about your job, business, co-workers, spouse or a past relationship. The challenge is that this robs you from the very happiness, health, and success that you desire. Is this true? Is complaining actually that damaging? Absolutely.

Here are 3 Things that Happen when you complain.

1)  You give an inordinate amount of energy to the problem. The very thing you don’t want more of you are giving your energy to. Do you ever feel happy when you are complaining? Highly doubtful. Complaining is usually accompanied by the emotions of stress, frustration, and aggravation. You are giving your emotional energy to something you don’t want.

2)  You burn your time. Ever been cut off in traffic or have a client or vendor wrong you and then tell the story of what happened to 15 people over the next 24 hours? What could you have been doing with that time? Complaining burns your precious time and kills productivity.  Part of being successful is spending your time wisely. Where could the time spent complaining go?

3)  You lower the energy of those around you. You know those people in your life that you LOVE to be around? That light up your day? When you see their number on your phone you pick it up no matter what you are doing? Do they complain very much? Not likely.  People who lift us up are using their energy on things that are positive and uplifting, not replaying a recent horrible incident for anyone within ear shot. By complaining you become one of those people who lower others’ energy and you lower your own. Not exactly healthy.

So what happens when you Stop Complaining? What’s the upside?

SWMMMeme132I’ll share with you a real life example. Recently at a Mastermind group I lead we had 40 women from 2 groups participate in a 3 day no complaining challenge. The entire group started on a Monday and committed to not complaining for 3 days.

For some the challenge seemed daunting, and for others they thought it would be no big deal as they didn’t feel like they complained that much.  As part of the challenge they would post in our private Facebook group about their experience.

The feedback poured in.

“I think I complain more than I thought because my boyfriend was really excited when I told him I was doing a no complaining challenge!”

“I thought I never complained and after only 30 minutes of being at work I realized I had called the AC guy and been complaining the entire time on the phone!”

“I thought I was the negative one in my house and my husband was the positive one, but after not complaining for 3 days I realized he complains just as much as I do if not more!”

When the women came back at the end of the month each one had the opportunity to share what happened as a result of not complaining.

Across the board the biggest distinction was:

“When I couldn’t complain it caused me to think about what was actually bothering me and I realized the things that I have been complaining about, I complain about all the time, but I haven’t been doing anything about it!

and

I realized that I was using complaining as a way of avoiding dealing with the issue. When I couldn’t complain anymore I actually did something about it!”

I actually did something about it.

They say that for something new to come into your life, you must make space for it. A question I posed to the group in our Mastermind was, “When you are not complaining, what will you find yourself talking about instead?” By eliminating complaining these women now had the energy to solve their problems and focus on moving their life forward!

Here are the top 3 things these women experienced and the 3 Great Things that Happen when you Stop Complaining!

1)  You recognize what the actual “problem” is. Often complaining is usually a way to avoid actually dealing with a specific problem.  Most of the time people complain about the same 3 things. This could a number of things: work, their body, the diet they are on, the government, a family member, or that they “don’t have enough time”. By eliminating complaining you have the opportunity to be with the situation and see what you would like to do about it. You allow the space for a solution to come to the surface.  So let’s take a look in your own life. What would you say are the top 3 things that you complain about?

2)  You experience less stress and less tension in your body. Imagine if you were watching a 3 minute commercial where the entire time it showed the person complaining. At the end of it how would you feel? Probably tense, annoyed, and wanting to get away from it. When you complain, although you are not as annoyed as if you were watching someone else, you still experience the effects in your body. If you catch yourself complaining take a moment to check in. First, stop talking (just cut yourself off) and check in with your body. Are your shoulders scrunched up around your ears? Is your body tense? Is your face all contorted? Have you stopped breathing? If so relax your body. Your shoulders, arms, face, jaw… and then count back from 10. 10……..9……..8……..7……..6……..5……..4……..3……..2……..1……..

Then ask yourself the question: “What’s really important?” When you have the answer ask yourself. “How can I focus on that right now?”

3) You connect more deeply with those around you. This means, when people walk away from a conversation with you they feel neutral or great. Not drained. I shared with the women in the groups that eliminating complaining is one of the quickest ways to create a closer connection with your spouse. It’s important for women to know that because of the ingrained need that men have to make their woman happy and to fix things, when you complain to your man it makes him want to stab himself – in the eye – with a shrimp fork!

Seriously. If you are in a serious relationship there is nothing your man wants more than for you to be happy. If there is a problem he wants to “fix it” for you. When you are complaining there really is nothing to fix because it’s simply venting and clearly you are not happy. The man in your life feels helpless to help you and few things are more frustrating for a man. Please note, I am not saying you cannot express your day or concerns to your man. I am talking about the ongoing, non-stop complaining that is exhausting for both parties. When you stop complaining you get to have a more pleasurable experience with the people closest to you and create a greater connection. Most people have a person they dump all their problems on. What if you stopped dumping on that person? How would that change your relationship with them?

So I invite you!!!

I invite you to experience a Summer of Well-Being by starting off with a 3 Day No Complaining Challenge on Monday!

Call a few of your friends and decide to do it together. When you start to do this you will experience less stress, more connection, and solutions to what you were complaining about will finally have a chance to pop into your head.

I would love to know if you decide to do it and how it goes! Comment below and if you have any questions about how reduce complaining post them below. I am happy to answer them!

Wishing you a wonderful summer. One of sunshine, well-being, and no complaining!
Mina


Mary P
Mina Shah
Speaker, Trainer and Founder of Smart Woman Making Money
Mina Shah is motivational speaker, trainer and the Founder and CEO of Smart Women Making Money. Through Smart Women Making Money she teaches women of all ages the skill set necessary to confidently and courageously speak up for what they want and create the life they have always desired.
Website: MinaShah.com

 

 

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WELCOME TO WEEK 2 OF SUMMER OF WELL-BEING!

I’m excited to continue our conversation about achieving increased well-being in our lives on small step at a time. Today, I continue to blog about Ariana Huffington’s new book, Thrive, and the magic of wonder in our lives. And, on Thursday, you’ll meet our next guest expert, Davis Mitchell! You won’t want to miss her vlog, so make sure to subscribe if you haven’t already!


“We forget we’re mostly water till the rain falls and every atom in our body starts to go home.”

This thought provides me with a great way to begin today’s blog about Wonder, one of the ways Arianna Huffington suggests we can achieve the “Third Metric” of success in her new book, Thrive. Arianna believes that,

“Wonder is not just a product of what we see—of how beautiful or mysterious or singular or incomprehensible something may be. It’s just as much a product of our state of mind, our being, the perspective from which we are looking at the world.”

 

Singing in the Rain.

I am honored to be a part of a wonderful mastermind group, Smart Women Making Money, led by fellow speaker and coach, Mina Shahwho also will be one of our featured experts for our Summer of Well-Being. Last month, one of our assignments was to select a person in our lives who we wanted to spend more focused, purposeful time with. I chose my daughter, Nia, who is 9 years old, and not coincidentally, full of wonder!

I realize daily that spending more focused moments with her allows our bond to grow deeper, in a way that we are both seeking. One of the commitments I made to this goal was to say “yes” to her more, rather than hearing the words “not right now” float out of my mouth almost unconsciously. One of those moments in which I said “yes” was last weekend, when she wanted to ride bikes to the park. Instead of reading, or doing more work, which are both very easy for me, I said “yes” and off we were.

I enjoy these times together more and more. I notice how her confidence is building as she rides her bike, which takes me back to my childhood; riding my bike was one of my favorite past times! She rides with one hand instead of two, speeds up and brings her legs up onto the handle bars and says, “look at what I can do, Mom!” She feels strong, and I love that. We notice lots of little things we never would otherwise, like how all the lizards seems to jump out in front of us just as we are about to pass, a scary thought for Nia, since she never wants to harm another living thing. She sees and hears the birds and knows the name of each and every one. I’m supposed to teach her, I think to myself, but she is teaching me. Wonder is everywhere!

The best part of this ride, though, is what came next. We were at the park exercising and playing when it started sprinkling. Little by little all the people in the park disappeared into their cars and left. A downpour ensued and the only refuge we had was a small 3 x 4 space under the dinosaur slide. I don’t know how we fit under there, but we made it work! We took cover for a bit, until we realized the rain wasn’t stopping and our bikes were soaked anyway. Like excited little girls, giggling, we decided to go for it!

Out we ran to our bikes and off we were into the rain, heading back home. The water felt refreshing, and the giggling never ended! We rode through puddles, sang songs, and laughed at all the passerby’s feeling sorry for us. The best part was getting home and hearing Nia say, “Mom, we have to do this again!”

I wondered, “What if I hadn’t said yes?” Our experience was filled with wonder that I would not have had otherwise; an experience I wouldn’t change for the world.

This is just one example of how wonder can fill our moments and give more meaning to our lives. For many reasons, including the personal story I shared with you last week in The Accident that Woke me Up, I continue to redefine what success truly means for me, and create more and more moments to experience the wonder in my life.

The meaning of success also was addressed in this part of Thrive, when Arianna shares what one very expensive study showed about success.

            “And now we have the empirical data to back up what the songs and sacred texts have told us. As Professor George Vaillant, who oversaw the Harvard Grant Study, which followed the lives of 268 male Harvard undergraduates beginning in 1938, put it, ‘The seventy-five years and twenty million dollars expended on the Grant Study points, at least to me, to a straightforward five-word conclusion: Happiness is love. Full stop.’ It is the same conclusion reached without spending seventy-five years and $20 million by the English poet Ted Hughes: ‘The only thing people regret is that they didn’t live boldly enough, that they didn’t invest enough heart, didn’t love enough. Nothing else really counts at all.’”

This also reminds me of a video I saw on the Today Show, celebrating D-Day, where the then 18-year-old Coast Guard officer who led one of the ships full of “boys” to Omaha Beach emotionally shared, “There’s a fallacy that when men die they call for God. They don’t, they say Mamma.”

Wow. As a Mom, this was so powerful for me; making me crave more and more wondrous moments with my son and daughter.

Now, when thinking of success, I think no one says it better than Paulo Coelho:

“What is success? It is being able to go to bed each night with your soul at peace.”

 

When vacation causes more stress!

In Thrive, Arianna shares a study by Fierce Inc., which states that 58% of workers feel absolutely no reduction in stress from their vacations, and 28% return even more stressed than they were before they left.”

Yikes! I can relate to this, can you? It just so happens that as this blog posts, I’ll be on a boat with my family—on our way to a week-long vacation. You can bet that on my mind will be WONDER and how I can be open to it and seek it actively while on vacation, ensuring I’m not one of the statistics, this time!

Taking this further, I ask myself, and I ask you, “What’s the point of reading all these blogs and books that will help us live better lives if we don’t take action?”

I believe in action in small bites. Try something new. Assess it. If it makes you feel good, try to make it a new habit. Otherwise, seek the next small bite. For my vacation this week, this is what will be my inspiration,

“No matter where you go, there you are.” –Buckaroo Banzai

 

Life’s Secret Door to Wonder

I love that Arianna discusses coincidences, and being open to them, as a way to seek wonder in our lives. She shares,

“We don’t have to know what coincidences mean, or arrive at some grand conclusion when we encounter them. But they serve as sporadic reminders to maintain our sense of wonder, to stop every now and again and allow ourselves to be fully present in the moment and open to life’s mystery. They’re a sort of forced reboot.”

Because I study strengths and personality traits, I know that some of us are better built for expecting wondrous things to happen. Many of us naturally wake up each morning and say to ourselves, “I can’t wait to see what life shows me today!” I don’t know about you, but that life view certainly will create more wondrous moments versus, “Oh no, not another day!”

What’s your perspective, and can shifting toward expecting wonder and coincidences reduce the daily stress you feel and lighten things up?

This week, I encourage you as a part of your path toward well-being to challenge yourself to seek the wonder…the coincidences and see how your overall energy changes and lifts. I’d love for you to share with me below what you notice and new meaningful moments of wonder you’ve created.

I also invite you to subscribe to our Summer of Well-Being if you haven’t done so already. On Thursday you’ll receive a vlog from our next expert, Davis Mitchell, who will share another great wellness tip with you to consider incorporating into your life. I know you’re just going to love her! She is beautiful inside and out.

Davis Mitchell

I’d love to read your comments below.

Namaste, my friends!

Monique