Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Peaceful in Paradise

Laurence and I just returned from an awesome vacation on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. We were at an amazing resort where everything was provided. Guests could swim in one of the beautiful pools, play on the water slides, snorkel in the ocean, shop, eat…the opportunities were unlimited.

One day I overheard three women complaining at the Lazy River water ride because it was past 10 a.m. and the ride wasn’t open yet. I found the irony of being impatient at the Lazy River was just too humorous. Suddenly I thought, Oh My Gosh, is that what I sound like?? I realized I had also been complaining –outside is too humid, inside is too cold, the line was too long at the snack bar.

Complaining is like a virus that invades our thinking and saps the joy out of the moment leaving us tired and weary. We notice other situations that are not working and the more we complain the bigger those things become. Webster’s definition of a virus is something that poisons the mind and spirit. Complaining gets us caught in a downward spiral of doubt and disappointment.

Emma Curtis Hopkins tells us “You will feel less spiritual inspiration when you are mourning, whining, and complaining, but when you praise and describe the Good you will feel full of spiritual fervor.” I decided to shift my focus and find all the good things to be grateful for. I thanked the cook at the restaurant for the delicious omelet she made for me. I acknowledged another employee at how patient she was with each customer. I noticed when I had the urge to complain and controlled my tongue to keep silent.

Turning complaints into compliments is a powerful technique to keep us connected in Spirit. It helps us maintain peace and harmony inside and out. And isn’t that the real paradise? Have an extraordinary month!