Add as bookmark

The Inner Moaner

by Vicki McKenna(more info)

listed in personal growth, originally published in issue 174 - September 2010

Mrs Richards: And another thing - I asked for a room with a view.

Basil: Well...may I ask what you were hoping to see out of a Torquay hotel bedroom window? Sydney Opera House perhaps? The Hanging Gardens of Babylon? Herds of wildebeests sweeping majestically....
Room 22 Fawlty Towers by John Cleese and Connie Booth


Sometimes it seems as if we are all drowning in a sea of complaints. Wherever you go you can witness the deluge in full spate. Whether shopping ("I bought this jumper and its full of bobbles a week later!"), eating out ("waiter there's a fly in my soup!"), on holiday ("my hotel window looks out onto a brick wall!") etc. etc. - an endless litany of moaning. I realize that it might seem more appropriate to complain when you find that the hospital has amputated the wrong leg or you have been wrongly convicted of a heinous crime, but even then I would suggest that the low level constant whinge of the Inner Moaner is not going to be helpful.

The main features of your Inner Moaner (and we all have one) are a resistance to the circumstances you find yourself in, feeling victimized and thus having a very bad time. None of this is good for the flourishing of chi dragging you down, making you feel tense, unhappy and stressed out. And even if you are in hospital or prison and feel quite justified to be moaning, you will not be helping yourself to move forward by endlessly complaining at the unfairness of your lot.

From my acupuncturist viewpoint I see that the Moaner is associated with a weakness in the Earth element. If you feel full of self pity and are thoroughly determined that your circumstances are not what you deserve, then you may well be weakening your Earth element by your resistance and your victim stance. To help keep the chi of Spleen and Stomach (the organs associated with Earth) flourishing you need to behave like a survivor - strong and competent and able to handle the vicissitudes of life..

Last spring I felt very much in touch with my Inner Moaner, as the volcanic ash cloud disrupted travel, forcing me to cancel my plans. "Why this, why me, why now?" were some of the thoughts circling my mind. Feeling sorry for myself, I noticed that I very clearly wanted, and expected, things to be other than they were. Instead of a cloud of ash sweeping across the UK I wished the volcano had remained dormant so that I could get on with my planned trip. In this egocentric way I was determined not to accept reality, and in so doing gave myself a miserable few minutes. Fortunately my Inner Daoist - that part of me that is supportive and wise - came to the rescue and reminded me that here again was an opportunity to realize that I am not a God able to control volcanic eruptions, but I am a survivor who can handle my Moaner and align with my Centre.

Handling the Moaner

If you observe the customer service desk next time you go to your local supermarket you will see that arguing with the complaining customer does not work. It only makes him stroppier. And it's the same with the Inner Moaner - resisting it only makes it stronger - it thrives on resistance; all you will get for your efforts is a very angry inner complainer. So...instead of resisting the resistance of your moaning self let your Inner Daoist handle the situation by allowing a bout of self pity. Once you embrace your inner moaning self, like a parent with an unhappy child, the quiet acceptance and firm centredness of your Inner Daoist will alleviate the anxiety of the Inner Moaner. Notice then how you move on from moaning to being centred and rooted in the here and now.

Once I allowed myself to indulge in a gripe about the unfairness of the universe I felt back in touch with my capable Inner Daoist. Once I accepted my Inner Moaner I then found myself accepting my environment, feeling at peace with it and letting go of expecting it to be anything other than it was. And in that calm, centred space I knew that life is of course always happening perfectly - even when we grumble and say it isn't.

Feeling Fully Alive

Here is an exercise to connect you with your Earth Element and your Centre. Whenever you feel a moan coming on try out this routine.
  • Find a tree in your garden or in a quiet corner of a park and stand comfortably in front of it with your shoulders relaxed, feet apart, knees slightly bent, and arms to your sides. If you can't get outside then imagine a tree. If you cannot stand for long then sit;
  • Breathe in deeply for a count of five. Exhale deeply for a count of five;
  • Now allow your Inner Moaner to vent freely, accept without judgement its inner litany of complaints. Then when you are ready, quietly be still with the energy of the tree in this moment;
  • Imagine roots extending from your feet deep into the ground to connect with the roots of the tree;
  • Breathe in and feel the energy of the roots filling your body with strength, health and healing;
  • Affirm; "In this moment I feel fully alive, strong and centred. I can handle whatever comes my way";
  • Feel the energy, the chi flowing up through your feet and permeating every cell of your body. Feel it as a sensation of warmth and well being flowing up through the centre of your body, especially at your solar plexus. Stay aligned with this vibrant field and connected with your roots for ten to fifteen minutes.


  1. No Article Comments available

Post Your Comments:

About Vicki McKenna

Vicki McKenna BA Lic Ac trained at The College of Traditional Chinese Acupuncture in Leamington Spa with Professor Worsley from 1981 gaining her Lic Ac. in 1984 and has been practising acupuncture in Scotland since then. Her book A Balanced Way Of Living; Practical and Holistic Strategies for Coping with Post Polio Syndrome is available from 


top of the page