By: Jenn Lormand ACE- CPT, BS. Exercise Physiology, Author of mommymovement: new baby. new body. new life.
Several months ago we were in mass listening to a woman talk about going down to Central America and helping families build huts. These missionaries showed the people how to form bricks out of clay, bake them in the sun, and then use them to build their own hut. She talked about a conversation that she had with her daughter that accompanied her on the trip. Her daughter said, “Mom these people have nothing, and yet they are the happiest most grateful people I have ever met.” The mom said, “That’s right. When you HAVE nothing and EXPECT nothing, you APPRECIATE everything.” That resonated so deeply with me. I walked out of church feeling guilty.
We have so much, but always strive to attain more. Now if you really know me, you know I’m not a stuff person. I drive around in a 2007 dented up (but paid for) mini van, and I shop at discount stores for my clothes (because my mother taught me to never buy anything full price). I felt guilty because I’m always looking ahead to the next thing that I need to do to hit a goal that I have set for myself, my business, and sometimes my family. I felt guilty because at that moment I knew that I didn’t fully appreciate all that I had and all that I have done, because well…that is how my life was supposed to go. Does this ever happen to you too?
This time of year the word gratitude gets thrown around a lot. So much so, that I think we have become a bit de-sensitized to the true meaning of it. The definition of Gratitude is the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful. Sometimes we read that and think yep okay I’m grateful for what I have, I donate some non-perishable food to the food bank, and I give some money to local charities. I don’t want to minimize these awesome acts of kindness because they are GREAT! But what I’m talking about goes much deeper than that. Being thankful means ceasing to complain. This is a challenge for many others and me. We can sometimes get caught up in our own problems and forget that most of the problems we face are relatively small compared to what other people may be going through. So, I’m asking you to join me in a Complaint Free campaign this holiday season. I have laid out the steps to this campaign below:
Step #1 Recognize how often you do complain. Here are a couple of mine from the past day. I’m so cold…I’m so tired….this feels so hard…I can’t do that…..this light is too long… this person is taking too long to make this U-turn….. hurry up boys we have to go!..And my list could go on and on, but I won’t bore you with all of my nagging.
Step #2 When you hear yourself complain, turn it into a statement of Gratitude. Here is an example: “I’m so tired, but… I’m grateful that I know I have a warm bed to go home and fall asleep in.” This is called reframing and it is very powerful. We are all human, and yes that means that we are going to complain, but catching ourselves and turning that negative into a positive is a Game Changer! We can create a new neural pathway in the brain and actually begin to change how we think about things. The only thing I will warn you of here, is that whatever gratitude statement you choose YOU MUST BELIEVE IT 100%. We cannot lie to ourselves- so if your bed isn’t warm and cozy at home you will have to make a statement that is true and that you believe. It could just be ‘I’m grateful that I’m not sleeping outside like the homeless people.’
Step #3 Share this idea with your Family and Friends. I titled this article help me change the world, because I think small things like this create a ripple effect. I love random acts of kindness. I love paying it forward. But I have to say if we want to change the world, we have to create different mindsets. When you turn on the TV, you hear about all of the scary and horrible things that are happening in the world. I know for me, it makes me feel very small and helpless at times. But I also know that my whole perspective can change in an instant (more to come on this thought next week).
I believe that this small but not so simple task can begin to change our lives and those around us. I want to know if you will join me in this challenge. Please go over to our FB page and tell us you will join our #Complainfreecampaign. Please update us on any changes you notice within yourself and your family. I’m hoping that this will CREATE the best Holiday season for you and yours! I know it will be for me and my family.
About the Author – Jennifer Lormand ACE- CPT, BS. Exercise Physiology, Author of mommymovement: new baby. new body. new life.
My love for fitness started at an early age. Growing up with asthma, I was driven to fight through those challenges. Exercise and fitness was my avenue to diminishing my reliance on asthma medications and treatments. Fueled by my passion to help people succeed and as a graduate in Exercise Physiology with a focus on Kinesiology, I am applying my love for fitness with these sciences to develop leading-edge one-on-one and group training programs to meet the specific needs of our clients, designed to push each other physically and support emotionally the needs of clients.