I first tried this exercise about 5 years ago, when I read PD Ouspensky’s “In Search of the Miraculous” about the Fourth Way and the spiritual mishmash that are the teachings of GI Gurdjieff.
I learned two vital lessons from that incredibly wordy book:
- Abstaining from complaining is the easiest way to call attention to one’s thoughts and feelings in the now, and in increasing authenticity and awareness of the self in the present moment. (It has the bonus effect of making everything look particularly rosy after a while!)
- There was, buried in there, the definition of the now moment. Because once you define the Now, the present moment, it has already slipped into the past. It is very hard to quantify. Somewhere in there, I figured out that the most tangible, manageable NOW moment is the time it takes us to inhale and exhale – a single breath cycle. (more on this later)
For now, I want to talk about the first one
There have been some fantastic changes in my world recently – I accepted a new position, Brett got a job at Grady, and so many more wonderful things! Yet, I find myself complaining all of the time.
When I realized that this was primarily out of habit, I was reminded of the Gurdjieff lesson, and decided yesterday that I was going to sign up to do this exercise again: no complaining for the next 2 weeks.
Now, it’s ultimately a “think before you speak” exercise, because it’s very hard to make small talk without complaining. But it’s also a “think before you post” exercise on Facebook, on Twitter, on this blog, and other places online.
I am running this personal challenge from October 24th to November 7th – so if you catch me complaining – call me on it, please!