Shine! Don’t Whine!

Shine! Don’t Whine!

Leah Photo

Today, I am delighted to host on my blog my new friend, Sophia Bar-Lev, the best-selling author of PASTA, POPPY FIELDS AND PEARLS. Here is Leah’s post, enjoy:


Shine! Don’t Whine!

One of the characters in my upcoming novel, PIZZA & PROMISES, gives this advice to her nine year old daughter: Don’t whine! Shine! 

How about the same advice for 39 year olds?  49? 59? Even 69?

Recently I stumbled across an article in the UK newspaper, the Guardian.  The title was “We Are in the Golden Age of Complaining.”   The writer went to detail all the ways that our contemporary society has embraced complaining as a regular practice.

As we live in an imperfect world, there are times when a valid complaint may be in order. But instead of barking at a waiter, “How dare you bring me a rare steak? I ordered well-done!” we would realize a better result within ourselves as well as with the waiter if we said, “The steak is too rare for me. Would you please have them cook it until the pink disappears? Thank you.”  That’s not whining; that is expressing a legitimate complaint in a respectful way. Most of the complaining that is so prevalent in today’s society is what we call ‘useless complaining’; in other words, it accomplishes nothing but to bring on a sense of sadness and a dissatisfaction with our life.  One of the greatest steps we can take to improve our mental, emotional and physical health is to declare a moratorium on useless complaining.

When my character, Jennifer, tells her daughter, ‘Shine; don’t whine.’ her goal is to teach her little girl how to respond effectively to uncomfortable situations. 

Here are a few tips for ‘complaint recovery’:

1) Focus on the present and look for the good in it.  The past cannot be changed and the future is not yet here.  What each of us has every morning is a new day, that comes to us like a blank sheet of paper, waiting for a story.  Make yours positive.

2) Learn the art of adapting.  When your well-planned schedule gets interrupted or the weather refuses to cooperate with your plans for a picnic, adapt rather than react in a negative way.  Get creative.  Find ways to turn the interruption or disappointment to your benefit. 

3) Choose to be less judgmental, especially towards yourself! We all make mistakes. Being self-critical leads to complaining.  Being critical of others leads to judgmentalism.  Let go!  Remove ‘should have, would have, and could have’ from your vocabulary.  Be generous with sincere compliments towards others – and towards yourself.  Be gentle with yourself and others.

4) Accept people for exactly who they are.  Everybody has a gift to share with the world, a gift that’s unique to them.  Don’t try to compete with another’s gift; develop your own and embrace the differences.

Go ahead and SHINE!  Don’t whine!

Leah PhotoLeah's BookSophia Bar-Lev, who also writes as LR Houseman, is the best-selling author of PASTA, POPPY FIELDS AND PEARLS, and will soon publish its sequel, PIZZA AND PROMISES.  She is a former teacher and spent many years traveling internationally as an inspirational speaker and Bible teacher at conferences and conventions.   Her popular mini-book, HOW TO STUDY TORAH WHEN YOU’RE NOT A TORAH SCHOLAR, has been used by many women’s bible study groups to enliven their discussions and deepen their understanding of scripture.

To receive your free gift, “Tips for Living Free of Negativity”, visit her website at



IMG_7722 fwitter (1)Award Winning Author Helena Kalivoda, writes books that are inspired by her Soul. She takes you on a spiritual journey that combines her experience, wisdom and your desire to know more about yourself into books that are a must have for your collection.
To receive a free gift and to find out more about Helena and her books visit Helena’s website at Her author’s page is at


  1. Wise words with useful examples! Thank you.

    • Thank you for stopping by. Yes, examples are always helpful, aren’t they. I particularly liked tip #3: Choose to be less judgmental, especially towards yourself! We all could benefit from not being critical toward ourselves and being more appreciating and loving ourselves.

  2. Shine! Don’t Whine! I think we all can do with some more of that. I love your separation of ‘legitimate complaint’ as opposed to useless whining that achieves nothing. Something to look out for in every day life! Maybe the ‘secret’ is in your 3rd advice: if people would be less judgmental toward themselves they could be more loving and caring toward others.

  3. Learning to be less judgmental is a lifelong task but I believe we can achieve it because I have the pleasure of knowing some truly wonderful people who have. They inspire me to continual growth as a person. Thank you for the comments, Gudrun and Moreen!

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