In February of this year, because of the type and age of my home heating system, the unit wouldn’t always work properly when it was below 32 degrees outside...which is COLD in the desert! Suffice it to say I couldn’t get warm for about a month, and swore that when I finally thawed out in the summer I wouldn’t complain about the heat!
Yesterday it was 114 degrees, and may end up being the hottest August in Arizona history. Nonetheless, I am happy to report, I have kept my promise! Not only have I not complained about the heat, but I’ve chosen to stay in town the entire summer, devoted to launching my business.
What has happened is miraculous....I have had the best summer EVER!!!
While, I “know” it’s hot, somehow I haven’t felt the heat in a way that brings me down, makes me unhappy, or compels me to be someplace else...as it has in the past. I’ve rollerbladed, taught my puppy how to swim, taken him to the park, gone to movies with my girlfriends, DVDs with family and started a new prayer and meditation practice (which is partly outdoors!).
It reminds me of Pema Chödrön’s quote from her book The Places That Scare You ; “Rejoicing in ordinary things is not sentimental or trite. It actually takes guts. Each time we drop our complaints and allow everyday good fortune to inspire us, we enter the warrior’s world.”
I must confess that while I don’t feel courageous, brave or warrior-like for not complaining about the heat, I sure am filled with the inspiration of everyday good fortune. In the last several months, I have developed a gratitude that far surpasses what I’ve mustered in the past by writing out a list of why I’m grateful. The appreciation for the world and people around me has moved from intellectual understanding to a place deep in my spirit.
As my friend Leah says, imagine what would happen if I didn’t complain about ANYTHING! 🙂 She is sooo right. The sky is the limit. Not until I put down my need to dis the weather did I discover how much the temperature controlled me! Again...freedom and joy found in the most unexpected places!
What in your life do you find yourself complaining about? Is there perhaps one regular complaint — that day by day — you could give up, once and for all?
I look forward to your thoughts and experiences!
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