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Laura V. Hyde Gifts of the Soul
Spring/Summer 2007
by Laura Grace

Gifts of the Soul by Laura Hyde
Gifts of the Soul

Making Room for Love

If you don't like something change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't complain. —Maya Angelou

Do you know what most people wish for, what most people love and cherish?  Happiness, inner peace, creative work, and fulfilling relationships. Despite the focus on manifesting more "stuff," most of us desire what's real—something that fulfills our heart and soul and meaningful connections are right up there, at the top of the list.  Yet, many of us have relationships with others—children, siblings, parents, partners, friends—that lack understanding. We tend to focus on what's wrong with the personality or the behavior. We've shut down a part of our hearts so love can't reside. Our challenge, then, is to make that space available, to make room for love. It's difficult, if not impossible to experience a genuine connection when there's no room for it.  Love gets crowded out, and the best relationships suffer, when we make judgments, complain, criticize, blame and gossip. I've witnessed spiritual organizations with the best of intentions wither and crumble under the negative weight of blame and gossip. When we focus on the negative in others, we create tension, barriers and a loveless connection.                                                                   

Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk and one of the best known Buddhist teachers in the West, once wrote, "When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don't blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have problems with our friends or family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like the lettuce. Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade, using reason and argument."

Complaining creates negativity, and negativity causes the following experience:

  • Lowers your energy

  • Takes you out of your heart

  • Puts others on the defense

  • Pushes people away

  • Prevents you from being able to appreciate and love yourself (because you get what you give).

Often, we are completely unconscious of how often we complain. I've been practicing not complaining and believe me, it's easier said than done. However, when we stop complaining, we create a space for positive energy, for a loving a harmonious connection. Others change when we change, others soften when we soften, others love us when we choose to love them.  It's very easy to be negative. It takes much more inner strength to stop complaining and verbalize only the positive. Just imagine the amount of happiness, inner peace, and fulfillment you would experience if you stopped complaining, criticizing and blaming! 

So here's your chance. Today, I invite you to begin a "21-day complaint fast." You can be part of a huge movement that is contributing to a complaint-free world. In the past seven months, 125,000 lives in more than 11countries have been touched by this commitment. A Unity church in Missouri started this movement and the members have reported a noticeable and positive difference in the quality of connection between members. The complaint fast requires abstaining from complaining—about anything and everything—for 21 consecutive days. I was so inspired by this aspiration that I contacted the minister of this church. He said that the average time it takes to reach 21 consecutive complaint free days is 4-6 months.

At first, you may be shocked at how often you complain, but think about the amount of happiness, abundance and peace you will experience from letting it go. I believe in the positive power of such a commitment so much, that as the Spiritual Leader of the Circle of Spiritual Enlightenment in San Luis Obispo, CA, I invited all of our congregants to join me in the 21-day complaint fast. That was three weeks ago, and as of today, many have reported some miraculous results in their connections with loved ones, co-workers and friends.

A stone dropped into a pond creates a ripple that touches all the shores of the pond. You becoming complaint free will have a powerful, transforming and positive impact on everyone around you which will continue to spread. Remember, you are a creation of Love. You can clog your life with criticisms and complaints, but over time, the negativity gnaws away at your self-esteem, relationships, abundance, and health. So, today, be willing to create loving connections.  Let go of your resistance. Love is greater and more powerful than your judgments, complaints and criticisms. Are you ready to make room for it?

© Copyright 2007 Laura Grace. All Rights Reserved.

 Laura's Books:

Gifts of the Soul by Laura Grace              The Intimate Soul by Laura Hyde

Read Laura's Past Columns:

Winter 2006-'07- "Life’s Deepest Meaning: Teach Only Love"

Summer-Autumn 2006- "The Courage to Be Happy"

Jan-Apr 2006- "Turning Mistakes into Lessons"

Oct-Dec 2005- "Be Still"

July-Sept 2005 - "Balancing Your Wheel of Life"

April-June 2005 - "Imaginary Borders"

January-March 2005 - "Witnessing the Truth About Your Life"

October-December 2004 - "Letting Go"

August-September 2004 - "Progressing with Passion"

June-July 2004 - "Deepening Your Spiritual Practice"

April-May 2004 - "Life's Crossroads: Love-vs-Fear"

January-February 2004 - "Faith the Foundation for Every Dream"

December 2003 Column - "Touching the Heart of Others"

November 2003 Column - "Knowing How to Care for Yourself"

October 2003 Column - "Dreaming a Happy Life"

May 2003 Column - "Living the Authentic Life"

April 2003 Column - "Rising Above the Battleground"

March  2003 Column - "Healing Through Your Relationships"

February 2003 Column - "Are You Going with the Flow?"

January 2003 Column - "Living the Soulful Life"

December 2002 Column - "The Power to Change"

November 2002 Column - "Peace Begins at Home"

October 2002 Column - "Spiraling to Higher Ground"

September 2002 Column - "Cradled in Nature's Arms"

August 2002 Column - "Recovering Your Soul"

Laura V. Hyde
Laura Grace
is the Spiritual Leader of the Circle of Spiritual Enlightenment in Central Coast California, and a national author and speaker. Laura provides spiritual counseling and offers numerous workshops and retreats for awakening the heart and spirit. She is also the author of the books Gifts of the Soul and The Intimate Soul and a syndicated columnist for more than twenty publications. Laura is the host of the show "Relationship Wisdom" on Public Access Television. Please visit Laura at: www.LauraGrace.net.

As a spiritual counselor, Laura provides assistance in person and by phone. You may contact her for a free brochure at: laura@lauragrace.net.





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