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What started out as a site to update on our daughter's cancer has thankfully grown into a site to update on our beautiful family of four. Enjoy our journey...

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Making a life change...

Earlier this week I came across an article that has inspired me to change my life. I am going to live (or try really hard!) in a VENT-FREE zone!! This means that I can no longer complain about things. If something is bothering me, rather than vocalize my frustration I will write it down. I will also journal a solution to the problem. The concept is that I will learn to A- solve my problems or B- let them go.

*excerpts from the article*

"venting fast" -
It's not for the fainthearted, but it's a powerful way to create a better life.

What is a venting fast?
-stop complaining about anything, to anybody
-(on paper) describe what is bothering you
-think of what you can do to change the situation
-DO IT...divorce the man, cuss in-front of your fundamentalist sister, put off lunching with the passive-aggressive "friend" until the end of time

This fast requires will power, but it also requires courage.

You have three options when dealing with stress...
1 - Explosion
2 - Venting
3 - Harnessing the power of frustration

Regina is a mexican-American whose white-racist parents-in-law treated her abominably. She complained about this to her husband every day. When I asked her why she talked to her husband, she said she was starting an information chain: She would force him to force his parents to change. How long had Regina employed this strategy? Twenty years...and the effect to date? NADA.

When Regina stopped complaining about her in-laws, her emotional steam pressure quickly rendered her unable to tolerate their company. Once day, when her father-in-law made a racist comment, Regina stood up and took a cab home. She was terrified, but said she had to do something. The ensuring argument between her husband and his parents was the beginning of overdue but impressive change. Faced with the choice of being respectful or losing their son, the bigots began showing respect.

Make no mistake, this fast is risky. You'll only have two choices when dealing with emotional buildup: explosion or positive action. The first will damage you, your relationships, and your life. The second will fundamentally alter the status quo.

Prepare to find this terrifying.

If you try a venting fast and survive, you may find yourself heading in a new, exciting direction. You may even decide to commit to an entire life without complaining. "I have a rule, I am not allowed to white about anything I can change. And since I can always change my attitude, I don't expect to find a really hopeless situation in this lifetime."

Today was my first day of trying this and I resolved three issues that normally I would have "vented" to a friend about. I am learning to be active in my life and not be just an observer. It isn't easy, and any of you who think that it is need to try it. I invite all of you to just try this for ONE day.

I've recently discovered that I have changed. I use to be the person to do nice things for my friends and family out of complete randomness and selflessness. Now, I barely make time for my friends. I want the old me back, and this is a step I have taken to move my life back in that direction!

My second change comes in my newest and most important TO-DO list! My goal is to have a list of things to complete this month, and hopefully each month, to help others...and to give back to others. Please feel free to make suggestions to add to my list, and ultimately the richness of my life.

If I want greatness to come into my life, I need to start putting greatness out. This is something I am determined to do...

*if any of you would like the entire article, please let me know...I think it is a great way to look at life and our "problems".


Anonymous said...

WOW!!! That is quite the article. I think many people should try this out!!! I just want to let you know that you DO plenty to help people out! I think you make time for your family and friends...I love you just the way you are..but good for you for trying to be a 'better' person!!!~amanda

Stacy from Michigan said...

You are an inspiration...if the world was only filled with good people like you...trying to be even better...just imagine!! I would love the entire article...I often find myself picking up the phone to vent about something small and meaningless...thank you again for making me think!! Have a good day and God Bless!!

Anonymous said...

It's a great concept. I have a purple bracelet from a complaint free world. The idea is when you complain you are to switch the bracelet to the other arm. It is suppose to make you more aware of random complaining and create responsibility for solution. Good luck with your new added direction. Bob wants to know if Chad is joining you on this venture??? ;o)

Anonymous said...

Hi Brenda and Family, wow - this is really an eye opener for us all - I would love the whole article! Before Deqlan was diagnoised I used to complain alot about the small things in life that seemed so big to me.... But at the end of the day there are so many more productive things to do with your day that venting is not one of them! I take my hat off to you for coming up with this idea and im starting my diary tonight and im sure i will be a better person for it! Hoping Charli is doing very well and please say thank you to your mom or your mom in law for always leaving comments on Deqlans blog page - we so appreciate it! And yes I agree with your friends - you do so much for other people, organisations ect to raise awareness that I am sure you have changed more than one person life already without even knowing it! My email address is Lots of Love, Megan - Aunt to Deqlan - South Africa