Make Room for Magic | iHanuman


Love, Service, Devotion, Yoga

Make Room for Magic

If you want to have a beautiful garden you have to nurture what you want (the flowers) and remove what you don't want (the weeds). Otherwise we all know the weeds will take over. The mind works the same way. If you want to have joy and appreciation in your life you have to plant those seeds, but you also have to actively remove what you don't want: the negative thoughts filled with doubts, insecurities, and fear. One way to move your mind away from negativity is to become aware of the amount of complaining you do.
Complaining is ubiquitous! Most people complain 15-30 times a day without evening realizing it. Complaining keeps you focused on the problem, rather than looking for the solution. It is damaging not only to our emotional health, but it increases the stress in our lives that is a major factor in nearly 2/3 of all disease.
Complaining also is the opposite of healthy communication. If you are complaining to one person about something another person has done, you are speaking to someone who cannot solve your problem. Complaining keeps you powerless and makes you a victim.
Even though I did not think of myself as a complainer, I decided to take the 21-day challenge proposed by Will Bowen in his book "A Complaint Free World" and go without complaining for three weeks. I have been humbled by the experience!
The first pattern I noticed is how much I complain about the age-related changes in my body. As someone who has been working on becoming more conscious this caught me up short! However, the good news is that it was not too difficult to change. Instead of noticing how stiff my back and hips felt when I walked the dog, I focused on all the things to appreciate: the beautiful landscapes, the experience of being outside, and the sweet humidity in the air (especially after being up north!). I also turned my attention to what has improved with age: greater insights into what is important, improved communication with family and friends, greater ability to live in the moment, clarity about what is important, an ability to apologize much sooner when it's needed, greater ability to let things go when needed, and a quicker recognition of negativity and ability to focus in a different direction.
And an amazing and magical thing has happened! My body feels better than it has for years: less stiffness, more energy, and greater ease of movement. It appears that focusing on what is going well, and not drawing more attention to what is not has changed my physical experience! I feel better as a result.
Try the 21-day challenge and see for yourself! Put a band on one wrist (wristbands available from or just use a rubber band). Each time you complain (out loud) change the band to the other wrist. The physical action of moving the band makes you more conscious of your automatic mental patterns. The goal is to go for 21 consecutive days without complaining. In that amount of time you have created a new habit. The average length of time to achieve this goal is 5-7 months! For support in your efforts, enlist some friends and family members to join you.
Magic happens in the garden when you prune the weeds and make room for the beauty of the flowers to blossom. Magic happens in life when you prune the negative, complaining thoughts and focus on the things that brings you joy. The magical result is happiness!


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