No Whining Wednesday – It is Easier to Walk When It’s Not Raining

Wow. It’s been sooo long since we’ve had a No Whining Wednesday episode! I have officially fallen off. But, I’m back. If you are new to this blog be sure to click here to learn more about what NWW is all about.

The No Whining Wednesday Badge

 

I don’t open up much on social media. Not that I am hiding anything. It is just that social media, with a few exceptions, is not real. It is virtual reality. A place people go to hide their flaws, criticize others, and pretend that their lives are great. This is annoying and I find myself not wanting to be involved except in sharing my writing. I log in, post up and log off. Sometimes (every other month), I deactivate my Facebook account completely. Social media is good for business but it is an energy exchange like everything else. I have to cut it off like I cut off toxic energy. I have limited my use to business-related posts only with some motivation thrown in there. Today, I will make an exception and let you in, briefly, on what has been going on with me. I call this, “It is Easier to Walk When It’s Not Raining.”

For a few months, I have not been feeling well. I do not mean physically. I mean emotionally. I have felt unmotivated and uninspired. I had no real reason to feel this way. No one spoke badly of me (not to my face anyway lbs) and I have had no shortage of work. Instead, more opportunities came my way, but it seemed the more events I attended and the more work I did, the less excited I felt. I did not feel unexcited completely. I was and am thankful for the opportunities that come to me. I was just not over the top and I know I should have been. I know I should be. So, what gives?

Part of this reason is the lack of support I have received. This is only a small part (I know it is much deeper than this), but it is a part. As I reflected on myself and my work, it seemed the more work I did, the less support I received. Despite these feelings, I continued to book work, plan for school and post up about my events. I continued to send emails and update my socials. I continued to do this not to deny my feelings. Nothing goes away just because you ignore it. We must address things. We must address feelings. Energy/Spirits/Vibes must be rebuked, removed, accessed. I continued because when the sun is shining (metaphorically and literally), and the birds are chirping and the sidewalk is clear of obstacles it is much easier to walk. You can circle the block while humming your favorite tune and walk at your own pace. But when it rains, everything changes.

Walking in the rain is easier if you are prepared. If you have an umbrella or raincoat, boots, and good windshield wipers. But your vision is still blurry compared to when it is not raining and you will still have to walk or drive slower than usual. There is also the fear of being struck by lightning, trees crashing into homes and cars, and other factors we must consider during a serious storm.

When we are going through our most difficult times, we want to stop. I have wanted to stop tons of times these past few months. But we shouldn’t stop because these are the most important times. These times, when things are not going well and we feel down, are the times when we are being strengthened. These are the times when we grow the most. Anyone can drive or walk when it’s nice outside and nothing is wrong but not everyone can navigate a storm.

(Do not misunderstand me. I am not saying you have to be “fake positive,” when you are not feeling it. I am more so talking about not giving up when you come in contact with a bad storm in your life).

If you notice something beautiful happens after a good rain. Everything blossoms. The grass is greener, the leaves on the trees are fuller, and if you planted something, watch out! That something will grow tremendously. Therefore, instead of stopping when things are bad we should just keep going. We are not falling apart. As painful as it is, we are growing.We are being prepared, positioned, aligned.

If you have ever felt how I have felt, please do not stop. Just keep at it. Keep doing what you are doing. Be patient with yourself and have faith that your purpose will be revealed in time. It is always easier to walk when it’s not raining. As the saying goes, “everyone solid until put in hot water,” (Unknown).

It is the storms that ultimately reveal our strengths. From our level of preparation to our discipline and resolve. It is the storms that cultivate something in us and that prepares us for the next level.

Don’t run from the rain. Let yourself grow.

No Whining Wednesday – The Victory

Welcome back to another episode of No Whining Wednesday, the only day of the week where you do not get to whine, complain, or criticize. Now, if you are new to this blog or new to this segment please visit the first post HERE for more on what this post is all about.

The No Whining Wednesday Badge

 

“I am not a victim. No matter what I have been through, I’m still here. I have a history of victory.”

– Steve Maraboli

 

What does it mean to be victorious to you? To me, it means to endure. We may have many trials and stumbling blocks but if we do not give up, then we reign victorious regardless of the situation. Here’s the thing about the victory I’d like you to take with you:

The victory will change from moment to moment just like our mood changes from moment to moment. Today the victory can be a job promotion, a new baby, a published book, or a family meeting. At these times we are excited and overwhelmed with joy. But, the victory doesn’t have to be so elaborate. What we count as the little things are also victories. Tomorrow, you may find it hard to get out of bed. But choosing not to give up you decide to at least take a shower. Then, you decide to at least eat something. These are victories. These are accomplishments. These are examples that you did not give up. It may not be as exciting as other things but it is still a victory. You aren’t defeated.

The victory won’t look exactly the same from day to day. It will change just as you change. Someone making you laugh when all you wanted to do was cry is a victory. With this understanding, you have (as the quote says) an entire history of victories. Every step is a victory. I’ll leave you with another quote:

“You were born a winner, a warrior…and now that you are a giant, why do you even doubt victory against smaller numbers and wider margins? The only walls that exist are those you have placed in your mind. And whatever obstacles you conceive, exist only because you have forgotten what you have already achieved.”

Suzy Kassem

No Whining Wednesday – No Reflection in Boiling Water

I think I’ve been away from this blog the longest since starting these past few months! I miss you guys! Which is why I am taking time out to chitchat with you this morning (evening for some of us). The air in Georgia is cool but I am not complaining about the cold for the first time since ever. There’s a bite to the air that’s refreshing and the warm coffee I am drinking is hugging my insides. There is a gloomy cast over the city as I am writing this and it sets the perfect tone. If you are new to No Whining Wednesday, be sure to visit the original post here to learn more about this segment. I haven’t done an NWW post in a while so we are far overdo.

 

The No Whining Wednesday Badge

I read a quote earlier this week that stayed with me. The quote said:

I encourage you to try this for yourself. It will be fun and drive the point home. Set water to a boil. Once it’s boiling good, try to see your reflection in the water. Can you see anything or is the steam too much? Let the water cool and then try again. The cooler the water, the easier it will be to see your reflection. Even after the water settles, it is difficult to see yourself if the water is still too hot.

When you are hot, popping off and steaming, you can’t think logically. You can only think emotionally. You can only think with what you are feeling at the moment. This isn’t always bad (not all stress is bad…some stress is good because it gets you excited, motivated, and charged) but too much and it blurs your vision. Only after you’ve cooled off can you see the situation clearly enough to make a sound decision.

I came upon a Facebook memory the other day that fits this well. In the post, I said the following:



And I’ll leave it here. You got this.


p.s. The Gutenberg WordPress editor is not so bad! Perhaps a bit unnecessary since the classic is easier to use but not so bad. I used it for this post and I’ll do a short tutorial soon.

No Whining Wednesday – Don’t Leave Yourself Behind

Welcome back to No Whining Wednesday! It’s been a minute since our last one so I am excited to be back. If you are new to this blog or new to this segment, please refer to the original post HERE. In brief, this is the day of the week when we do not whine, complain, or criticize. How have you done so far? You know us. We complain before getting out of the bed!

The No Whining Wednesday Badge

 

How often do we attribute complaints to others? Probably about 95% of the time. Someone is always doing something to us, offending us or thinking badly of us in some way. But is it always others or is it us?

The truth is that it’s easier to think more about others than we do about ourselves and let’s face it, that’s a good thing on the surface. You don’t want to be a “lover of self” (2Tim 3:2). But balance is important in every aspect of our lives. It’s important to be there for others but it’s not cool to leave ourselves behind. I’ve learned that complaints are rooted in some form of unhappiness within ourselves. We aren’t the weight we want to be, we aren’t fulfilled at our jobs and relationships, and we are just not happy with ourselves in some capacity.

“As perfectionists, we tend to own other people’s problems. We tend to be fixers and doers. We are attracted to those that need help because of the accomplishment that we feel from helping others. This co-dependent behavior is unhealthy, and often leads to our own unhappiness.” – Source: http://imperfectionistblog.com/2015/04/be-there-for-others-but-never-leave-yourself-behind/

When you are not happy with yourself, everything annoys you and you complain more. The truth is like Dr. Phil said, we can’t control others. We can influence them. We can motivate them. We can inspire them, but we cannot control them. The only people we can control is our own selves. Spend some time with yourself and discover what it is about you that will make you happier and more fulfilled. Take some time to be a little bit selfish. I admit I have been. I have not written many reviews this year and I have not been as supportive as I know that I should. This is not because I have not wanted to. This is because I went through some hurtful things and I needed to make sure that I was good too (without projecting that onto you). I needed to refuel myself and do things that made me happy so that I can be there for others. I needed to take my own advice and keep myself just as full as I was keeping others. I needed to do this because being there for others without being there for myself meant leaving myself behind and leaving myself empty. And when you’re empty, what can you give? Only after you have dealt with you can you sincerely help others.

No Whining Wednesday – Control Your Thoughts

Welcome back to another edition of No Whining Wednesday where you do not get to whine, criticize, or complain for this entire day. If you are new to this blog or new to this segment, please go HERE to learn more about what this is all about.

 

The No Whining Wednesday Badge

It’s been a while since I’ve done an NWW so although I am traveling this week and preparing to release Renaissance (where did the time go?), I thought it would be nice if we can be reminded not to whine. OK, that’s not entirely true. I also need this! I want to whine about so much today that I decided that if I need a reminder, so do you for we rarely endure different struggles. In essence, we go through the same things, packaged differently. That said, I have the perfect quote for us. It’s something that has been on my mind a lot:

As those of you who have been following this blog for awhile already know (or my email list for that mater) I am big on discipline. I believe it is deeper than inspiration and motivation. I believe that it is deeper because inspiration only lasts a moment. It takes discipline to stretch it and to will ourselves to the next step. It takes discipline to forcefully pull ourselves up. Discipline begins in our thoughts and this is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. Not just thinking about but striving to put it into practice. How do I control the things I think about? How do we transform the ways in which we think? More so than the act of complaining is the act of thinking about complaining. If we can stop thinking about certain things, then we can stop stressing over certain things. The discipline to stop making temporary situations a permanent part of our lives by ceasing from making them a part of our thoughts. If we can’t control what we think about, then we can’t control what we do. Today, let us focus less on our actions and more on the thoughts that influence them.

No Whining Wednesday – What this is Really About

The No Whining Wednesday Badge

I wasn’t going to post anything today but I thought it would be the perfect time to explain what this segment is really about for those who don’t already know.

Although inspired by Iyanla Vanzant (learn more HERE) this is deeper than her quote. But before talking about what this is about, let’s talk about what this is not about.

This is not about being happy-go-lucky 24/7. That’s not what this is about. It is not about not stressing because stress is a part of life. It’s natural. This is not about not being at war because sometimes you must be. Trying to give people hugs in the time of war is just as dangerous as chopping someone’s head off at a time where all they really need is love.

Now, what is this about? What is ‘No Whining Wednesday’ really about?

This segment is all about control. Every single person has both good and evil inside themselves, and if you think that you don’t then you are just naive.

The evil inside of us however, must be contained. The evil that would rather blow up and pop off to someone, the evil that would rather curse you out, the evil that wants to repay evil for evil, the evil that takes it upon his or herself to exact vengeance, the evil that is without compassion, mercy, and love, we all know this evil and it must be controlled. This evil must be contained. Otherwise, these demons will corrupt your life.

We all have feelings and these feelings get hurt. That’s life. But we have a responsibility to stay committed to being the people we are. The good people we are because everyone has good inside them. For some it’s buried deeper than others but the light is there.

What I am saying is that we have to learn to control those negative emotions even when we feel that it is warranted. I know because I was that uncontrolled person. Cursing like a sailor, fighting and popping off. I was her. So I’m not telling you something I heard or looked up from some motivational speech because motivation is temporary. Inspiration and motivation is fleeting. It’s like the wind. It comes and then it goes and then it is back again. It is great to be inspired but inspiration does not last. Not without discipline. I can only speak for myself when I say that discipline is the most important thing. Discipline and self-control.

Sometimes you are not going to feel like being kind but if you can force yourself to think about the feelings of others before your own then you can will yourself to be kind. Sometimes people will hurt you and you won’t feel like doing nothing. Doing nothing feels weak, fragile, vulnerable, and exposed. But you will also soon realize that this is the strongest person. Sometimes you won’t feel like smiling and nobody’s asking you to do so all the time. I know I don’t. But, if we can forcefully drag ourselves to do it, we’ll be better for it.

No Whining Wednesday is not about being happy 24/7, otherwise there will be a No Whining Sunday through Saturday. What No Whining Wednesday is about is controlling yourself.

I dare you to forcefully drag yourself to do what is right today for no other reason except that it is right.

“That’s one of my principles. It’s another discipline that I encourage myself to employ – to, as much as possible, say the courteous thing, and then be it.”

– Maya Angelou


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No Whining Wednesday – Peace Under Pressure

Welcome back to No Whining Wednesday, the only day of the week where you do not get to whine, criticize, or complain. If you are new to this blog or new to this segment please do scurry on over HERE to learn more about what this is all about.

The No Whining Wednesday Badge

I’m excited about today’s inspiring quote so let’s get into it:

I’ve been loving on Ryan’s social media pages. His IG is hilariously funny with writer memes and as soon as I saw this nugget of wisdom I had to feature it for today. Whining, complaining, or criticizing really just comes from one source: Lack of contentment or peace. Whether this is because we are upset, confused or frustrated the point is that somewhere, for whatever reason, we are not content with our present situation and we are not at peace.

How do we overcome these situations? After all, it is not that stress is a bad thing entirely. It exists naturally in everyone for a reason. It is there surely to be helpful to the body in some way. How do we allow it to be what it is without over-stressing ourselves? Learning to identify the good in bad situations is one way.

This series I am writing, for instance, is probably the most challenging project I’ve ever written. There’s so much going on as I am writing these books. Personally, professionally, emotionally, mentally, its hitting me from all directions but I have to keep going.

I have been looking for the silver lining in every situation to help carry me through. The diamond in the ruff, the light in the darkness, the calm in the storm, the peace under the pressure. Here’s an example:

If I get not-so-good feedback on my manuscript, instead of focus all my energy on the negative, I look for something good. Unless the person is just a total (fill in the blank) about it, there’s always something positive that is said among not-so-positive feedback. After licking my internal wounds, I look to find the something good I missed and use it as fuel to keep pushing on.

Find the good and when you find it celebrate it. That’s peace under pressure. Don’t ignore changes that need to be made but celebrate the good as well. Be excited about it! Sorry. I don’t mean to yell, but you understand why I have to.

The good is a light. Take it and let your light shine.

But, dear non-writing readers…

….this is not about manuscripts and writing. I’m using myself as an example but this is about life in general.

The message is:

Celebrate your successes no matter how few or small.

It is not easy and sometimes it is good to vent. Good to let off the steam. The problem is when we do not balance this out with anything good.

See, I don’t want to get on my whole “balance soapbox” here but everything in life must have a balance. I spoke yesterday about being yourself on Social Media but even this is with a certain level of balance. You don’t just want to be all out boring. Or maybe you don’t care about blog stats. That’s cool. I get it, but there’s nothing wrong with paying attention to it sometimes. You don’t have to be obsessed with it, but it is good to know where you are. There’s nothing wrong with monitoring growth.

In life, we just do not balance things out as much as we should. We find ourselves venting too much and letting it rob us of peace. We find ourselves not celebrating the good and not forgiving ourselves for the not-so-good.

Today, we will strive to limit our number of complaints by looking for the good in not-so-good situations.