Rejecting Rejection

Choices Cover 03

Rejection is a way of life for an author…or for any artiste, for that matter. It’s one of those things that you either learn to cope with or you spend all your time depressed. My coping mechanism has always been to tell myself, “Well, that’s just your opinion. I happen to think my [book/story/article] is pretty darn good.” And then I move on to the next step in my path—writing something else, submitting the book/story/article somewhere else, or just taking a nap. I always try to ensure that when I do move on, though, that is in a positive way.

However, the first time my esoteric talents (I’m extremely intuitive) got rejected, I wasn’t quite so aware, nor was I quite prepared to deal with it. I took the rejection of my talents as a rejection of myself. And I believe that’s the trap many people also fall into when their writing is rejected.

I’ve always had a touch of intuitiveness, and after my car vs. bike accident this ability became even more pronounced. For instance, I could ‘hear’ thoughts, perceive emotions leftover in a room or house, or get an inkling of what was about to happen. However, since the accident, I’ve become pretty good at reading someone’s entire aura, including their previous lives—their histories, if you will. I can see the correlations between their current life, their health, and their past lives, and I can usually see (and understand) what lessons they want to learn in their life by having those past lives so prominent in their auras.

When I met ‘Phil’, it was just an ordinary day in my rather ordinary life at my rather ordinary job. We were introduced, he told me a bit about himself, and then he and the boss moved on to the next cube to meet the next person. For the next few hours, I didn’t give him another thought.

The team went to lunch to welcome Phil to our group, and everything was still normal. However, as we prepared to leave, I had difficulty with my coat and Phil reached over to help. When his hand brushed my skin, I got a rush of information, including the connection between us. This ability was still new to me, and in my joy at having this talent, I assumed everyone would want to know what I discovered. I was wrong.

Back at the office, I wrote down everything I could remember. And that night, I did a reading to fill in the gaps. Proud of what I had done and thrilled with this new information, I typed it up and presented it to Phil the next day. He looked confused, asked me what it was, and I told him just to read it and that I would answer his questions later.

I waited all day for him to say something, but he didn’t. So, I thought, okay…he’s digesting it. After all, it was a lot to take in. I told myself similar platitudes all week. Finally, Friday I could wait no longer. I asked him what he thought, and he scrunched his face in thought. Then he looked at me and said in his politest manner, “I don’t believe in that kind of stuff.”

I was crushed. I tried to argue with him, I tried to reason with him. I tried to convince him that it was real; but the hardness of his eyes never changed. He didn’t believe in past lives, he didn’t believe in what I had written, and (overall) he thought I was a kook.

He moved on to another part of the company soon after that (I hope it wasn’t because of me), but I learned two lessons that day:

  1. Not everyone is going to like what you do.
  2. Not everyone is going to believe in what you do.

For those who don’t like what you do, well, that’s on them. For those who don’t believe in what you do, it doesn’t matter, because you believe in what you do.

And for both sets of people, never force your products on anyone, but always make them available to anyone who wants to them.

Most of all, remember rejection isn’t about you. It’s about the person doing the rejecting. Psychopomp 3D - DLS - 8pxls - 2

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A review of “How to Self-Promote…”

BK_bookcover“How to Self-Promote Without Being a Jerk” by Bruce Kasanoff

Summary: This book purports to help you promote yourself and your service or product by showing you how to be the best you you can be.

Recommended: Yes

Review: the book is primarily a collection of insights based on common sense. Yet, even common sense isn’t always common or easily recognized when it pushes you to step outside your comfort zone.

This book holds your hand as you step beyond your self-doubts and venture into that world of “I am worth it.”

Unlike most similar books, Mr. Kasanoff actually explains how to take these baby steps. He doesn’t just tell you that you need to be generous, he explains some of the ways you can be generous and still end up promoting yourself. For instance, his first chapter (which is entitled, “Help This Person”) explains how you can help yourself by helping others (really helping others, not just going through the motions). He makes it seem so easy that you wonder why you hadn’t thought of it yourself. In fact, I found myself nodding along as I read, while thinking, “I can do that.” One of the examples he gives of helping others to help yourself is this: when the phone rings on a busy day, don’t get frustrated by the interruption. Instead, think about how you can help the person who is calling…really help them. When you help them, they remember you (in a positive way). Then when you need help, they want to return the favor.

All his chapters are like this. Each one helps you determine how to be the kind of person other people want to help, want to promote, and want to remember.

It’s a fast read, but one read-through isn’t enough. This is the type of book you will find yourself referring to over and over again.

 

 

The Slurvians are Among Us!

panicLast week I received an email from a grade school teacher and friend asking for gently used clothes and household items. She went on to explain that these “hammy downs” would be used to help “diss dressed” families. (Of course, if these families were dissed for the way they dressed, I’m not sure any of my contributions would help.)

Then, over the weekend I read a newspaper health column about the dangers of high blood pressure. It seems that if you leave it untreated you could be susceptible to “my grain headaches.” (It wasn’t clear to me whether that was related to being allergic to gluten, but it certainly made me rethink my choice of having cereal for breakfast.)

While this is only two of the most recent incidents, it made me realize that the Slurvians were here, and they were beginning to take over. In fact, if you take the time to notice, you’ll find evidence of them almost everywhere.

Go out to Google and check…there are 202,000 results for “lactose and tolerant,” 178,000 for “all in tents and purposes” (and that wasn’t including the camping stores), and 16,000 hits for “infer structure.”

It’s the Slurvians…they’re taking the English language and turning it into…well, Slurvian. They’re hell-bent on taking our beloved English language and twisting it into something strange and bizarre. They have no regard for tradition, rules, or structure. They can take the simplest of words and phrases and make them into something unrecognizable.

We have to band together and stay strong. It’s the only way to keep the language safe. The difficulty is in recognizing these Slurvians. They’re insidious and clever, yet completely normal looking. They could be your friend, your co-worker, or your next-door-neighbor. But, no matter how innocuous they seem, you can’t trust them. If you’re not careful, they’ll take over your writing and turn you into a Slurvian, too.

 

[With special thanks to Richard Lederer, who introduced the term “Slurvian” in his 1987 Dell book Anguished English.]

Can you hear me now?

liteningI lost my voice 2 days ago. I’ve looked everywhere for it, but it’s just not here.

I think it went on holiday…can’t say as how I blame it. I mean, it’s not like I ever really let it out much. Most of my communication is (and always has been) via my writing–letters, emails, notes, texts, stories, books. I seldom actually speak. I can go a whole week and only speak to one person (my husband)…and yes, I do have a full-time, 9-to-5, corporate job. However, even with the full-time employment, I communicate via email, post-its, and other means of written documentation.

It’s strange, to me, though. I thought I would miss having my voice, but I really don’t. A few more people (than normal) think I’m rather stuffy and snooty because I didn’t respond to their “hellos” as we passed in the hallway (well, I did respond, just not verbally…I twiddled my fingers or nodded to them). But overall, being unable to speak hasn’t really changed my life at all. My husband is enjoying the brief respite, and my cell bill may be a bit higher since I’m unable to use the phone feature and have to rely on texting and email instead. But, then (as I said), that was always my preferred method of interaction anyway.

I always wondered what it would be like to lose one of my senses–hearing, sight, speech–but trying to imagine it isn’t quite the same as actually experiencing it. I always thought, losing my sight would be the worst (no more books, movies, or nature sites), and sound the least problematic (I so love the sound of silence). As for speech or vocalizations, they weren’t really in the running at all. But now that my voice has gone on holiday for a while, I’m beginning to realize that I really don’t miss it at all.

I remember reading in Stephen King’s “The Stand” about how life is incomplete without communication. You can have a thought, but if you have no way to communicate or share that thought with someone else, then the process is incomplete. But there are ways of communicating other than vocalizations, and I’m partial to writing. So, if I were to lose the ability to write, text, or type, I might be more upset, but obviously losing my ability to speak isn’t that a big deal (at least to me).

Therefore, I’ll keep my sight and my hearing (still love my music, after all), but the voice…well, I just hope that it’s having a good time wherever it has taken off to…I imagine it sitting on a beach somewhere, soaking in the sun and drinking mai-tais. But hey, for all I know, it’s out skiing somewhere; racing downhill and screaming for all its worth. Whatever it’s doing, and wherever it is, I certainly hope it is enjoying itself. After all, I fully expect it to stick around for a while once it finally decides to come back home.

Ripples of Effects

waterRings-4x6We’ve all heard of the butterfly which, when it flaps its wings in Tokyo, causes rain in New York, but do any of us realize that each of us also creates ripples and waves in the ocean of reality that surrounds all of us?

Just like that butterfly, every time we make a choice, rings of consequences flow outward through the energies surrounding us. Eventually they impact the energies of the people nearest us, who then make choices that then affect those near them, and outward and onward. It’s very similar to what happens when you drop a pebble in the water. The rings flow outward until they collide with something; then sometimes the rings stop, but other times they simply split and keep going.

So, what if you drop several pebbles into the water? Now you have rings flowing into rings, flowing into rings. Each ring spawning another, just as each choice spawns another. For instance, let’s say that you get up one morning and as you come into the kitchen you decide to have oatmeal instead of toast. The extra few moments it takes for you to microwave and eat your oatmeal makes you a few minutes later in leaving than normal. So, in your haste, you skip kissing your spouse and settle for a quick “Bye. See ya later…” instead.

What’s the big deal? It’s such a small choice what can it possibly affect? Well, a butterfly is a small thing, yet it can cause rain in New York. But let’s follow our scenario and see where it goes.

The spouse has chosen to be miffed at not getting a morning kiss (consequence and chosen response). Because the spouse is miffed, they drive in an angrier manner than usual. This choice affects everyone they encounter on the road between home and office, and each of those people then makes a non-conscious choice to respond to the spouse’s angry driving in some way. They might decide to ignore it; they might decide to compete with it; they might decide to advance the anger into a rage. All are valid choices that are spawned by the ring of consequence from the spouse, and each of these choices kicks off its own rings of consequences. All of this just because you chose to eat oatmeal instead of toast.

It’s simplistic for sure, but it does illustrate how easily something you might not even really think about can affect more than just yourself. It also shows that what affects someone else, then affects another group of people, and so forth.

Each day you make thousands of choices, some large and noticeable by you and by others (such as whether you should buy the new car, take a vacation, or have a baby), while others are small and seemingly negligible and may be made without any real thought (such as sleeping in 5 or 10 minutes later than normal, wearing the green or blue tie to work, or having toast or oatmeal for breakfast).

Some choices are such habits that we give them no thought at all, such as brushing our teeth, kissing our spouse goodbye for the day, or the choices we make while driving to work and back. But each of those choices, from the smallest to the largest, to the ones we really ponder to the ones we do out of habit, is what creates our personal reality. Without all of those choices, our personal reality wouldn’t exist. However, some of our personal choices spill over and affect the people around us. Perhaps you were running late, so you didn’t brush your teeth today, and your bad breath annoyed your seat mate on the train. That annoyance made him snap at his secretary, who then complained to her friend, who missed a phone call because she was listening to her friend complain, and so on.

Each of us makes choices on how we will act, what we will do, and how we will react to someone else. And every time we make a choice, we send out rippling rings of energy, and those ripples flow outward until they connect with one or more someone elses. Then those people act or react to the energies and create their own rippling rings of energies. Soon the whole world is filled with these rippling rings of energy, mixing, interacting and merging, creating a global reality with each new wave.

So, if we choose to be kind and upbeat, full of positivity and happy energies, this creates a very positive energy that ripples outward and touches all those around you. And if those around you take that energy and decide to react in a happy and positive way, then they send out positive waves of energy, and pretty soon the whole world is just filled with nothing but positive energies.

Think about it…no more fear, no more intolerance, no more hate or war, just happy positive energies filling the world. Is it possible? Of course. Is it probable? Maybe not, but why not make a choice to give it a try, anyway?

What you see isn’t always what you think

What do you see in the picture shown here?

is it an angel or alien
is it an angel or alien

When I showed the picture to different friends, I got several different answers: angels, aliens, light reflecting on clouds. And whose to say that any of those answers was right or wrong?

If you asked three different people to describe something they all saw or experienced, you’d most likely get three different answers. Crazy, right?

Well, maybe it’s not as crazy as you think. After all, much of what we think we experience is based on what our minds tell us is real. And our brain’s output is based on imperfect, and often, incomplete data.

I’ve been watching a TV show lately called Brain Games. It’s all about how our brains perceive and interpret information. What I’ve discovered from viewing this show is that while we think of our brains as infallible, they aren’t…not really.

Our brains function just like those computers the CSI guys use when they enter partial fingerprints into it, and then try to get a match. Our brains take in all sorts of information through sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell; however, many of us rarely fully focus on the input that our body is sending us, so we don’t always get perfect data. We may only see part of what is happening around us because we’re focused on our cell phone, or on the taste of that meatball sub we’re having for lunch, or on the lyrics to our favorite song playing on our iPods. So, just like that partial finger print that the CSI computer is trying to match, our brains are trying to make sense of partial input.

Adding to the brain’s difficulty is the fact that the majority of us come with preset filters. We call these filters:  beliefs, prejudices, past experiences, fears, preconceived notions and convictions, and expectations.

Having these filters is not necessarily bad; in fact, without them we wouldn’t be who we are. However, they do skew and limit the output our brain can present to us based on the input we gave it.

So, if your filtering system (personality and thought processes) allow angels, then it’s easy to see how your brain may put together all the input you gave it and give you that answer. However, if your filtering system doesn’t go there, then you might be more inclined to receive the answer of light glare on clouds.

Neither answer is wrong, each person simply experiences a reality based on his or her information input and his or her filtered output.