A Month of Being Mindful

 

Happiness is this Oreo Iced Capp at Timmies

Happiness is this Oreo Iced Capp at Timmies

Today is officially the last day of my 30 days of no complaining challenge. While it was literally impossible to eliminate all complaining the month taught me to be more mindful of other people as well as play a more active role in solving problems. Honestly, I don’t know if it was the climb out of winter depression or this exercise but I had a very happy month of April.

I had less worries, but as a person that has suffered from anxiety/depression, being worry-free is simply impossible. I just focused my energy into getting things done or allowing myself more time to relax when needed. There was less of that in between period of pondering to myself or someone else whether I should or should not be doing something. Relevant to this, I read the following phrase in Amy Poehler’s Yes Please and instantly fell in love:

“The talking about the thing isn’t the thing. The thing is the thing.”

It’s the best because it implies dealing with the problem head on rather than complaining. It’s a phrase I need to write on a piece of wood and hang on the wall.

This was a great exercise to have for a month, but I am unsure if I am going to continue the same way. I will for sure be mindful and determined to find solutions but the occasional bout of unloading is not only satisfying, I believe it’s healthy. It’s day 30 and I am having the biggest tension headache and I think the biggest cause is not being able to actively off-load some negative emotions for an entire month. I’m sure I can sleep it off and tomorrow will be a new month and mark the challenge’s end!

Anyways, I tried that ridiculous Microsoft thing and I got 20 so no complaints here…

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15 Days of No Complaining

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Being mindful of others is important, just like in a game of Chinese Checkers!

As you know from my previous post, I am trying not to complain for the entire month of April. I am only half way into the month and it’s been a long and arduous journey. Complaining is so natural in our nature. Sometimes I don’t even notice it until after. I realize some relationships with other people are built entirely on complaining and this isn’t healthy.

I’ve observed how much myself and others complain on a daily basis. In the course of an hour, this can be hundreds of times. I haven’t completely eliminated it but I’ve become more mindful. Instead of complaining about someone, I’d consider other people’s perspective more when they did something that annoyed me. I’d also became more aggressive in taking actions to prevent things I’d later perceive as problems.

I participated in less gossip and in return people gossiped to me less. At first I felt a little bit left out, but keeping a positive outlook has actually made me a much happier, better (in my mind) person.

 

100 Days of Blogging

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I can’t believe that I’ve been blogging for 100 consecutive days in 2015 so far! It’s a goal that my best friend and I have both achieved together. In past years, we tried blogging for a month but always failed. Now to reach 100 days is definitely an achievement. We’re not quitting either. Let’s see if we can hit 365 (or more)!

I’ve learned a lot in these 100 days. I’m now less critical about what I put out. Having to post things occasionally leads me to take a bit more risks, and not be so worried if others will think it’s dumb or stupid. I’ve also become quite efficient at writing. The written posts don’t take more than 10-15 minutes. That’s not to say they are hastily done or sloppy by any means. The words have just come easier. I second guess myself a lot less. This skill has also translated itself when I sit down to write album reviews on Ride the Tempo.

I love blogging and I don’t think I could ever stop. It’s a diary. A place to air my thoughts. A place to experiment. A world that has helped me through some hard times. To know that one person is reading means the world, let alone the fact I now have over 400 subscribers. Thank you all.

Now let’s continue exploring the world together.

April: The Month of No Complaining

In February, the Complaint Restraint project took place. For 28 days people signed up to simply stop complaining. Jessica Hullinger of Fast Company wrote about this experience and provided some great tips.

I missed the month of the originally challenge because I read about it after the fact but I really wanted to take this challenge for a month and learn from it. I’ve had a hard couple of days and this will be very difficult to start and keep going but it’s worth a try to change my current (and future) mindset.

I will start by defining what I consider a complaint to be.

  • Observations will not be considered a complaint. Ex “It is cold.” Exempt also will be reviews of restaurants and music etc that make it onto blogs. These are considered observations/constructive criticism.
  • A sentence that contains the following words will be consider a complaint: “hate”, “don’t, fuck, shit, jerk” etc.
  • A statement that ruminates beyond a simple observation.  (Telling 10 people it’s cold)
  • Gossip, (non-constructive) criticism, whining, grudges, hurtful jokes

This might seem like an impossible task as complaining is inherent in our nature and sometimes we do it subconsciously. It’ll also be difficult depending on the people I surround myself with. Other people love to complain as much as I do.  I will do my best to reconstruct negative “complaining” thoughts into more positive and productive ones or simply drop them if they are unimportant. I hope to be more mindful of each situation

Example of looking on the bright side:

Forgot my lunch but then I found this at work #vscocam #easter

A photo posted by Tiana Feng (@tianafeng) on

Starting now… no complaining!

(This is not an April Fool’s joke)

 

One Month of Drawing

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I did it. I sketched 31 things in 31 days, doing sketches daily (for the most part) during March as part of Articulations Filler Up sketchbook challenge. While not all of the drawings were particularly great it taught me many things:

  • Not to be so self-critical. The reason I used to not draw much was because often I would trash everything I started because I didn’t like it. I also erased often leading to many unfinished works. Having to finish many in a short time left me less time to be critical
  • You can make art with anything. Living the example of my grandfather who made art on literally anything I also didn’t limit myself. Some days I drew with fancy pencils, other days ball-poit pens or lead pencils
  • Making time. My excuse for not drawing (or any other thing for that matter) was that I didn’t have enough time. Time is always available if I make an effort to try to set some aside.
  • Ideas come from anything. Don’t know what do draw? Draw the glass you are drinking out of, the beer you’re drinking. Literally anything is a subject.