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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Choices

It’s how we live; it’s how our realities are created; and it’s the name of the new 2-book set available from most online book retailers.

2-bookset_cover

I’ve combined my near death experiences and death escort experiences with the years of information received regarding relationships of all sorts (spouses, companions, friends, co-workers, and family).

Life is all about the choices we make in our everyday lives. How we choose to act and react to the stimuli around us and the actions and reactions of others. Sometimes we choose to react in love, and sometimes we choose fear. Every choice is a valid one, but each one also has consequences and spawns further actions, reactions, and choices.

Each of my books shows examples of how choices affect our lives–little choices and major choices–and how every day we are constantly making thousands of choices without even realizing it.

If you have enjoyed the articles in this blog, then you will love the books, I’m sure. I hope each of you finds something meaningful and helpful in my writings and I will continue to answer your questions as best I can.

Happy Reading!

(Check it out at Smashwords!)

Sliding Doors and Choosing a Path in Life

It's all good
It’s all good

Have you ever started out walking down a path, and then halfway round you see another path wandering off through the trees and decide to follow it and see where it goes? I think we all have. And we haven’t actually followed that meandering path, we’ve at least seen it and wondered about it.Most times (at least in my experience), that path eventually finds its way back to the main path that you started out on. However, following that side path usually made for an interesting, and (sometimes) a very memorable, side trip.

Life is very much like that, too, although most of us don’t recognize that fact. We all start out with a goal to our lives (sometimes we know what that goal is, and sometimes we don’t…but it’s there, all the same). Some of us follow a straight path right to the goal; some of us take a more circuitous route; and others do a little of both. Eventually though, we all manage to reach those goals that we set out towards (though, sometimes it may take more than one life if the route taken is extremely adventurous and full of wanderings).

Think about it…how many times have you been going about your day-to-day routine, ensconced in your little rut of everyday life, when something happens to change things. That something can be so small and seemingly insignificant that you don’t even take note of it, or it can be something more notable, something that leaves a more lasting impression.

For instance, your alarm fails to go off and you over sleep. When you awaken, you can decide to just call in and take the day off, or you end up racing around like a mad person trying to get ready to for work. By staying home, you avoid the large 4-car pile-up on the road you normally take to work, and you get to enjoy a splendid summer day hanging out in the woods following that strange intriguing path. The other choice of racing around and trying to get to the office as quickly as possible, causes you to misplace your cell phone, misplace your customer file, and get caught up in the traffic jam to the point that you miss your meetings and are unable to call and reschedule anything because you don’t have your phone with you. Your customers are angry, your boss is angry, and you’re this close to losing your job.

Sometimes when these incidents occur we don’t even realize that we’re making a choice. Many times it seems as if life, fate, or destiny is simply stepping in and we have no say in what happens. But we always have a “say” in what happens to us, even if we don’t realize it, because all the while we’re following our path, our rut, we’re laying the groundwork for other paths to occur.

Every day we make thousands upon millions of choices. Most of these choices are (to us) inconsequential and we make them without giving them a thought. But each of these choices joins up with the choices made before until… wham! We’re on a different path. Yet, because we’re not paying attention to most of the choices we make, it’s as if we arrived on this new path magically. One minute we’re happily ensconced in our lives following our little rut, and the next we’re in a life we don’t recognize at all. Then we look around and wonder “How did I get here?” or “What did I do to deserve this?”, while all along we’ve been pushing ourselves to this point through the choices we’ve been making.

One of the best examples I’ve ever seen of this concept is the movie Sliding Doors starring Gwyneth Paltrow. Gwyneth plays a young woman whose life is rather unremarkable. She works at PR firm in the UK, lives with her boyfriend of many years in a relationship that is as bland as her life. For the most part, she’s content with things, and those few things that bother her…well, that’s just the way life is (or so she believes).

Her day starts as all her days do, and then suddenly it takes a left turn. Based on her choices to a series of seemingly ordinary occurrences, her life changes dramatically…or continues as normal.SlidingDoors

The movie shows us both versions of her life—the one that changed and the one that remained relatively unchanged. The movie runs the versions concurrently, as if showing us two different characters…and, in a way, she is two characters, because the two versions of her are very different. Yet, eventually, as the lives progress and the choices are made, the two versions merge back together.

The goal of most people’s lives is on their main path, and eventually all the side paths guide you back to that main path so that the main life goal is reached.  This is what eventually happens in the movie, too.

The movie is an excellent depiction of how the same life goal is reached even when different paths are followed. It is also an excellent depiction of how small choices can make big impacts in your life.

Sliding Doors is a great reminder that no path you take in life is right or wrong, because all paths get you where you need to be, and make you who you are.

It’s all good

It's all good
It’s all good

I’ve always believed that who we are is a culmination of the choices we make, just as where we are in our lives is also. Every choice we make leads us down a path. Sometimes that path takes us where we wanted, planned, and hoped to go, and other times we find ourselves in some totally strange land living a life that we never imagined. None of it is bad, although some choices might be smarter than others, it’s all still good, because we’re not bad.Intrinsically, I believe in people, so just because they make some choices that lead them off on a wild adventure, or into the deepest forest of despair, or into the bad side of town where they hook up with shady characters, I still believe that they are basically good. Poor choices can be overcome by new (and hopefully) smarter choices. Just because someone wanders into the weeds, doesn’t mean they are lost forever.

So, it was with interest that I saw a posting by a well-known columnist that pretty much stated the same philosophy. I was a little surprised, I admit. Mostly because, while I’ve seen other writers hint at this philosophy, I’ve rarely seen someone of his caliber point it out quite so blatantly. Most will couch it in terms of God or Allah, but few actually state outright that we are responsible for our own destiny. That we can (and do) sometimes make poor choices, but those few choices do not define us, but rather it is the culmination of our lifetime of choices that make us who we are.

Click here to see Zig Ziglar’s article, The Choices You Make. Even JK Rowling gave a nod to how it’s our choices that define us and not our abilities nor our attitude. Instead, our abilities and our attitudes affect our choices, but they, in turn, are affected by the culmination of choices that we have made and which now define who we are and how we react to whatever life throws our way.

So, next time you start ragging on yourself because you said or did something you wish you hadn’t, stop. You did it, it happened, but it isn’t who you are. You’re a good person who made a poor choice based on circumstances of the moment. However, that moment is over, and it’s time to move on and make different (better) choices. No choice is so bad that it can’t be overcome. While it might take a lifetime of choices to redress, it can still be done, so never give up on yourself or anyone else. We’re all good people…some of us have just made a few more unfortunate choices than others.

Every path is right; Every choice is right

There is no wrong or right path, because they all lead to the same destination—who and what you are right now. Some paths may be longer or shorter, but no matter the length, and no matter how many twists or turns, they still always lead to who and what you are. You may think you took a wrong turning, but that only means you misunderstood the destination. You may think that the destination was getting married and having a family, but you find that by making the choices you did, by following the paths that you did, you have gotten married but had no children, or perhaps you haven’t gotten married at all.

But are you happy with and accepting of who you are? Did you enjoy getting to where you are now? And who’s to say where your next set of choices might lead—after all, is it ever really too late to get married? And does every family have to include children?

If you regret what you did or choices you made, then you can’t fully accept who you are, because you are a composite of your choices. If someone tells you that you’ve made poor, bad, or wrong choices, then you have to decide whether to accept or ignore their judgment. However, if you’re happy with who you are, and accepting of who and what you are, then their judgment shouldn’t matter. After all, they never walked in your shoes along your path, so how can they possibly know what led you to the choices you made?

Most people who would criticize another’s path, do so either because they see everyone as being copies of themselves and so everyone should make the same choices and take the same paths they would in the given set of circumstances, or because they wish they had the other person’s life with the other person’s choices. In other words, they dislike their own life, but rather than change it, they would live your life for you.

Every choice you make is a valid choice. Even those that create karmic bonds are valid choices. Some people need to color outside the lines to see the true image, while others only want to paint the images they see in the coloring book, staying within the lines and coloring very precisely. Either way is fine. Taking the path of creating karmic bonds may take you a bit longer to get to a “final” destination, but that’s okay, too, because in truth, the destination is in the journey.

Each of us makes choices, travels down our selected paths, and creates a person that is different every minute, every hour, and every day. And if we ever decide we don’t like who we are, we don’t want to be what we are, well…then make different choices, select another path.

We’ve all seen the person who makes the same choice day after day, and when the same response occurs to their choice they act surprised, maybe even angry. It’s as if they’re expecting something else to happen and can’t understand why it isn’t. But give them the same situation a week later, and watch as they again choose to respond in the same way, ending up with the same result. (Picture a head being repeatedly banged against a wall.) And you have to ask yourself, why don’t they make another choice; why don’t they try something else?

But while to us watching that person making the same choices over and over may seem foolish, it’s their choice; and it may just be that making that same choice over and over is a way for them to learn whatever it is they’re not quite grasping. Kids do it all the time, it’s called trial and error. Sometimes it takes more than one trial to convince someone that if they want a different response, they need to make a different choice.

Once they get it, though, they can now make a more aware choice when deciding whether to keep traveling the same path, or to try something different. Every path is a valid path. Every path leads to the same destination. And every path is great experience, for all of us.

The eyes have it

It’s just a small difference really, but in that small difference can lie day and night, life and death, or the whole world. The small difference I’m referring to is in the words that people use and the way in which they put those words together. Change a word here or there, and it changes the whole intention of the message. Or simply move a word from the start of the sentence to the end of it, and you’ve now said something completely different.

I work with words every day; I’m a wordsmith, so I should know all about the tricks and manipulations that can be done with words. Yet, when you’re on the receiving end of manipulated messages, it’s not so easy to see where the words have been substituted or how exactly the intention of the message has been subtly shifted. Also, sometimes the deliverer of the message doesn’t realize that the message has been shifted or changed; they are honestly repeating what they heard or were told. Other times, the deliverer may honestly believe what they are saying is true, so again, the keenness of the words isn’t completely understood by them, but is doubly felt by you.

Word manipulation…it’s the difference between a doctor saying “Do this and you won’t die…” and “Do this and you won’t die as fast…”. The first statement is a very positive message. It says “you’ll be fine…trust me.” While the second message says, “You’re dying, but we might be able to slow it down…”. That second message, if heard and truly understood, can be pretty shocking if you had no idea that you were that ill.

The words used to deliver the messages are very similar, but the underlying meanings are completely different. Many of us don’t hear the underlying meanings, so we don’t even notice their differences. In fact, many of us are lucky to pay attention to the primary message and notice the subtle differences there. I think it’s because we don’t really listen. We hear, sure, but we don’t listen. We take in the words, but then we translate them into a message that we find acceptable. It may not be the same message that is actually being stated, but it’s one that we want to hear.

But then that’s the power of words. We can twist, shift, and manipulate them to say almost anything, and we do. Whether we are crafting the initial message or receiving that message, we shift the words to suit ourselves. And if we don’t like the underlying message, we ignore it; we pretend that it wasn’t there.

And while images may be worth a 1000 words, even they (nowadays) can be manipulated so that the original 1000 words they represented say something else.

Yes, with all this manipulating and reworking of the words going on, it can sometimes be hard to know just exactly what it is someone is trying to tell you. So how to tell what the true message is? How do you figure out what someone is really trying to tell you? While listening closely is always a good idea, the best way is to read their eyes. The true message that a person wishes to convey comes from their soul. So, to know what they want to really tell you, read their eyes, because the soul never lies.

Being gracious

I was driving my friend home from chemotherapy, and out of the blue she said, “You know, the day I found out about this, was the day I was set free.”

What?! How can having a disease like this be liberating, I thought.

She went on to explain that by finding out she might only have a little while to live, it made her reprioritize things, and one of the things that got left off the list was politeness. “I don’t have time anymore to waste on fear, and politeness is just being afraid that you might offend someone.”

Oooookay, I thought, although I’ve never seen that definition in the dictionary, but I suppose you could see it that way.

She went on, “How many times do you stand and listen to someone you don’t really want to because you’re too polite to just walk away, too polite to tell them you’re busy, or too polite to tell them you just don’t care?”

I gave a half shrug. She had a point. I am one of those who will simply keep my mouth shut while someone yammners away at me because I don’t want to be impolite. But is that fear? Maybe it is, I thought, because I’m always saying ‘I’m afraid to hurt their feelings by telling them to leave me alone or that I don’t really care…’. So, instead, I just let them take up my time and yammer away at me.

“But what about being polite and gracious when someone comes to visit?” I asked her.

She looked at me and asked, “Is it someone you really want to visit with?”

“Well, not always, but I still feel as if I need to be gracious and a good host. I mean, I can hardly just tell them to go away because I don’t want to visit with them.”

She was quiet for so long that I thought perhaps she had fallen asleep, after all, the therapy did tend to wipe her out. Finally, she answered though, “If I don’t like someone or don’t really want to see them, I would treat them the way I would prefer to be treated: honestly. Rather than leading them on and letting them think that I really care or that I’m really their friend, I would tell them. But there’s no reason you have to be less than gracious about it.

But graciousness is different than politeness—graciousness comes from empathy and caring, while politeness is a mask that covers up how someone truly feels.”

At that point we got where we were going and the discussion was forgotten, at least by my friend. But I haven’t forgotten about it. In fact, I’ve thought about what she said a lot during the past months, mostly as I watched how others acted—smiling and saying “no problem” when, in fact, there was a definite problem, or acting as if they care when someone is talking about their pets or family when all they really care about is finding an excuse to get away.

I finally decided that I, too, would become liberated—liberated from the falseness of politeness. Now, I no longer sit still while people yammer at me about things I don’t wish to listen to. Now, I no longer give them the false impression that I care, when I don’t. However, I’m always gracious about it. And if someone seeks to establish a relationship outside of the work place and they are not someone I wish to be social with, then, again, I’m honest but Gracious.

While, I’m not 100% sold on the difference between polite and gracious, I am no longer afraid to be honest with myself and with others. But being honest with someone doesn’t mean you have to be rude or hurtful. Therefore, I always make sure I’m gracious while being honest, because my friend was right – it is much more liberating to be honest with ourselves and others than to pretend we care when we don’t.