Friday, March 14, 2008

Will Bowen Wants A Complaint Free World

One day Will Bowen, the pastor of Christ Church Unity in Kansas City, MO, decided it was time to do something about the negativity he saw around him. So, being a minister, he laid out the problem and his plan from the pulpit.

The problem - too much complaining. "Negative talk produces negative thoughts; negative thoughts produce negative results," he told them. We don't even realize how much we complain and the effect it has on our emotions and the well-being of the people around us. If thought truly does create reality and all we do is complain, well? - ouch - that's a tough one to swallow.

Pastor Bowen put a challenge to his congregation - stop complaining, start being grateful and seeing the results in your life that you want. As the phenomenal performer Melissa Etheridge says in one of my favorite songs, "Love is what you get when love is what you speak."

The congregation that accepted the challenge were given purple rubber bracelets as a reminder of their pledge to stop complaining for 21 days. Pastor Bowen instructed that every time the caught themselves in a complaint they were to move the bracelet to the other arm. The hardest part- they were to being the 21 day count all over.

It took everyone some time, even Will Bowen, who says he moved his bracelets many times before he made it the entire time. He was stunned at how much he actually complained.

Because of national media exposure and the positive results of this challenge in their lives, the church started A Complaint Free World and to date has sent almost 5,000,000 bracelets to 80 countries.

Here are some words from purple bracelet wearers from around globe:

"Since I learned to live a life without complaining, I no longer have migraines." -Tom Alyea

"But by far, the greatest gift I have received is the freedom from depression! "-Patricia Platt

"In Mostar, we are "famous" because of war. And my goal is that my family and I will live without complaining. We are trying to live like normal people from all around the world and be happy for every new day. We try to smile because we have many fine years in our lives. ' - Zeljka Rubinic and family Mostar Bosnia/Herzegovina

If a woman and her family living in a war torn country can do it, certainly I can. I don't have a purple bracelet yet but a simple rubber band will do. I'm wearing it now. Wish me luck.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi, I have been catching up on reading your posts. I am heading out to buy Wake but will wait to read it when I have my tree house built and can curl-up up among the leaves. And no complaining, even if I have to climb 20 steps to get into the tree. :-) Again, I have enjoyed your posts and maybe someday I WILL have that treehouse. We have the perfect place for it! Come help me build. (I'll read Wake before that tho.)
Love, Mom Mc

Lisa McGlaun said...

Thanks Mom,

It's good to know that you are still reading. It does my heart good.

I'm trying the complaint free living challenge. So far I've made it 48 hours without switching my bracelet but now I'm back to day one..argg.

Love you,
Lisa

Kevin Goodman said...

Lisa

What a great story, I am so glad I read that. I am actually thinking about trying it myself. I am generally a pretty positive person - I would probably think differently if I became self aware of my complaints. I sure know a few people whom I would like to subtly direct to this article.

Kristyn said...

This is great! I'm a bit of a pessimist so complaining is part of what I do --which is actually why I appreciate your blog, it's always so positive!! I've often wondered what I'd be like if I stopped complaining and started being more positive. Those closest to me sort of snicker when I suggest it and say, "You wouldn't be Kristyn, that's what." They could be wrong, right? My husband seems to think a bit of complaining is in order. lol. I think this is awesome and may try it. But, I have to say, it may take me years to stop complaining if it takes the "average" person 4-10 months!

Lisa McGlaun said...

Kevin,

Thanks. I hope you can think of a way to show this to your friends. I can say it's made a difference so far for me. I've just made it through my second day (I've had to start over a few times) and it feels pretty good.

Lisa

Lisa McGlaun said...

Kevin,

Thanks. I hope you can think of a way to show this to your friends. I can say it's made a difference so far for me. I've just made it through my second day (I've had to start over a few times) and it feels pretty good.

Lisa

Lisa McGlaun said...

Kristyn,

Thanks for the compliment. I always love it when you leave commments and from what I've seen I'd never have known you were a pessimist...:)

Give it a try. It's been worth it so far for me and I'm glad I'm giving it a go.

Best Wishes,
Lisa

adrian2514 said...

Hey just stopping by to get my dose of green info. Always good stuff here! I am trying to compile a list of stuff I can do to reduce my carbon emissions. MTV had a commercial about it, and got me interested. I have been to www.earthlab.com and they have a ton of tips but I was mostly impressed by their page where they have their users send in tips: http://www.earthlab.com/life/tips.aspx Does anyone else know of other data bases that I can find these types of small things that lower my emissions? EPA or WWF maybe?

Thanks for all your info and drop me a link if you guys see anything worth my time.

Anna said...

Lisa just visiting, hope all is well. Happy Easter. Anna :)

Lisa McGlaun said...

Anna,

Happy Easter to you, too. I've been on vacation but now I'm ready to get back to work. Hopefully, I will have a new post ready tomorrow.

Hope all is well with you.

Hugs,
Lisa

Anonymous said...

I like your message. Keep up the good thoughts and messages. They are powerful.

Lynda Lehmann said...

Wonderful post, Lisa! If we are to transform the world, we have to start with ourselves. Negative thought patterns become so habitual and use up so much energy that could be better directed into POSITIVE action!

Thanks for the reminder to be mindful of complaining!

Lisa McGlaun said...

Dear Lynda,

I know what you mean about negativity. I feel so much better since I started this challenge. It's been a week since I've complained. I had a few false starts and had to move my bracelet several times but now I'm getting the hang of it.

Best Wishes,
Lisa

Lisa McGlaun said...

Anon,

Come back any time for a dose of positivity.

Thanks for the comment.

Lisa

Calandra said...

People should read this.