So, I can remember about a year or two ago hearing about these purple bracelets. Something about wearing them as part of a challenge to not complain. I didn't really hear the whole story, but I was intrigued, and then forgot about it.
The other day, I was trying to think of a New Years Resolution I could make that wouldn't only benefit myself (like "go to the gym four times a week" or "stop eating french fries"), but benefit those around me. Then I remembered a little bit about the "No complaining bracelets" so I started researching.
My research led me to finding out there is a book called "A Complaint Free World: How to Stop Complaining and Start Living the Life You've Always Wanted." It sounded a little whack, then I remembered it was a pastor who started this whole thing, and it comes from a Bible verse..
Ephesians 4:29 - Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
I remember hearing that verse in 6th grade and thinking it was talking about cussing. Haha. ANYWAY...
I downloaded the book on my Kindle for iPhone app and started reading, and let me tell you, I am SO EXCITED about this challenge, my resolution.
Here's the jist of it..
How it all got started: Rev. Will Bowen of One Community Spiritual Center in Kansas City, MO was teaching a series on Prosperity. Part of this series was helping the congregation to form a habit of gratitude by going 21-days without complaining. Studies show it takes 21 days for people to start forming a new habit. In an effort to make the lesson practical, the church purchased purple bracelets and gave them away encouraging them to move the bracelet to the other arm if they caught themselves complaining.
How the bracelet thing works: Scientists believe it takes 21 days to form a new habit and complaining is habitual for most of us. The purple bracelet is a powerful tool to remind you of how well you are creating your life with positive intention. Here are the suggested rules:
- Begin to wear the bracelet, on either wrist
- When you catch yourself complaining, gossiping or criticizing (it’s ok, everyone does) move the bracelet to the other arm and begin again.
- If you hear someone else who is wearing a bracelet complain, you may point out their need to switch the bracelet to the other arm; BUT if you’re going to do this, you must move your bracelet first, bc you are ultimately criticizing them for complaining :)
- Stay with it. It may take many months but when you reach 21 days you will find that your entire life is happier, more loving and more enjoyable.
Recently, I've found myself saying things that right when they come out of my mouth I think, why did i even just say that?? Like.. the other day I was watching 60 minutes with Matt and Andy Rooney has this thing that hangs off his lip.. and I was like "Gah, that thing on his lip drives me nuts!" Why did I have to say that out loud? It's ok if I thought it in my head, but it's just rude and critical to say, and I don't need to be critical.
I complain about things that are stupid.. like "Ughhh. I REALLY dont want to go to work tomorrow." or "my head is killllling me." I understand that I am going to think those thoughts in my head, and that's fine, but why burden other people with that? First of all, they dont really care whether or not I want to go to work tomorrow. Second of all, what can they do about it? It's not like I'm telling them so they can help me find a solution, I'm just complaining to complain. (that's another thing I asked matt about ... "Baby, what if I really am sick and need some medicine??" Matt's response, "Then you probably just say, 'Lamb, I have a bad headache, could you get me some advil?'" Then it's not a complaint, but a question seeking a solution. Not just "woeeee is meeeee i have the worsssst headache!")
The hardest part of this for me is going to be gossip. We all do it. It's so hard not to. But I am going to make a CONSCIOUS EFFORT not to say anything about someone that i wouldn't say to their face. I feel like thats how I know when it's gossip. I am married, I am happy, I live a good life, what business do I have talking about other people's dramas and issues? I love everyone I am friends with, and I wouldn't want them talking about me, so... I am going to KEEP IT TO MYSELF. That verse doesn't say "dont let any unwholesome thoughts enter your mind," we are all sinners. and that is going to happen, its just the words.. There have been a lot of verses on my blog lately but here's one that goes along with what I'm saying ..
Proverbs 12:18 - Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing."
Even if I have those unwholesome thoughts, I do not have to speak them into words. Keep reminding me of this fellow bloggers, I need you to hold me accountable!
Ok, so the book said that the average person who attempts the challenge usually takes 4 to 10 months to go the entire 21 days without changing the bracelet to the other wrist! I know it will probably take me that long, but I think it's worth a shot.
I am going to finish reading the book tonight. I dont know for sure that I will order that exact bracelet. The book says if you want you can just start with a rubberband or use a bracelet you like (if you have little wrists like mine and none of those livestrong things fit you right!) I hope you will join me in this!!! I think it's such a wonderful challenge! Let me know if you do!!