Friday, September 26, 2014

Do Your Thoughts Rub You the Wrong Way?

There is a phrase, “That person rubs me the wrong way,” that basically means the person (though it could also apply to a situation) doesn’t make you feel good and, in fact, irritates you. You, at times, do this to yourself with your thoughts (most of us do). So, what works to shift this?

This topic reminds me of that old joke where the patient tells the doctor that hitting his head against the wall gives him a headache. He asks the doctor what can be done about the pain. The doctor replies, “Stop hitting your head against the wall.” Seems obvious, but we do this to ourselves in many ways and more often than we realize.
I’m always amazed when I do this to myself. It’s as though particular situations that crop up cause a form of temporary amnesia and I, at least for a little while, forget what I know about Source and how everything works based on past experiences that proved the Truth. If you’re nodding your head in agreement because you do this too, I ask you to pay attention to which situations lead you down this path. It’s likely the same types each time. These are trigger points bringing our attention to issues (or beliefs) that we haven’t as yet resolved in our favor.

Esther Hicks of Abraham fame has a video on YouTube, “Now Is Where All Your Power Is, Part 2,” where she likens feeding negative thoughts—any thoughts that take you out of feeling good—with rubbing your hand on sandpaper. You wouldn’t deliberately rub your hand on sandpaper for an extended period of time because it would hurt, remove skin, require healing, maybe lead to infection, and so on. But, you will rub your thoughts in this way: it’s a habit that seems logical because it is a widespread social, and especially familial, practice. It’s likely that nearly everyone you know does this from time to time. You may have worked yourself, or watched someone work him- or herself, into a frothy state of anger or upset about something that isn’t even happening at that moment, or is long or long-enough over. Focus is on what happened, rather than what can be done to improve circumstances.

A good example of this is replaying in your mind and verbally repeating events you’ve labeled “negative” that happened in the past. How many times will you need to replay and repeat “negative” past events before you feel better about them or change them to “positives” in the present moment? You may even do this when you anticipate negative events that “might” happen. It’s a hamster wheel experience.

What does this habit allow you to do? Let’s first look at what it doesn’t do or allow you to do. It doesn’t empower you. It doesn’t allow you to feel appreciation. It doesn’t allow you to feel aligned with what’s good in your life. It doesn’t open you to inspired ideas and creative solutions. It doesn’t allow more good in this specific circumstance to come to you; and if more good does pierce that energy, you may not appreciate it fully.

It does present you with an opportunity (maybe even Opportunity No. 5,798) to ask different questions about it such as: What can I learn about myself from this? If I don’t like what I learn, how can I shift that? In what way does this make me feel disempowered? How can and will I empower myself about this? What does this opportunity allow me to do, and will I do it?

When I catch myself doing this, and when I remember to ask myself two specific questions, I immediately cease to use sandpaper on my thoughts (although, sometimes it takes several repetitions of the questions and answers before I really get it!). The questions and answers are these: Q: “Where am I?” A: “Here.” Q: “What time is it?” A: “Now.” Obviously, this re-minds me to return to the “here and now,” rather than stay in my ego-aspect’s not-so-pleasant musings. Here and now is where any solutions I require will surface; and they’ll surface when I calm myself and my energy so that the solutions can reach me.

The tendency to use your thoughts like sandpaper on your psyche comes from knowing that whatever causes you to feel out of alignment, negative, angered, hurt, or fearful, wasn’t or hasn’t been resolved or addressed within you in a way that allows you to feel the way you want to feel. Maybe it’s something you can address in the present, and maybe what you need to address is what you’re doing to yourself (and perhaps others) in the present, through your mental attitude. “Ask yourself this question: Is my attitude worth catching?” - Anonymous

You may feel it’s logical or justified to place responsibility for how you feel or your ability to shift how you feel onto someone directly involved. How’s that worked for you so far? Maybe it worked in some way (like for manipulation), but do you feel serenely self-empowered when you do this? Your ego-aspect may feel justified and even somewhat satisfied if you put responsibility for how you feel on another. But, if you give any person responsibility for how you choose to feel, then that person has the power over you and your mental attitude, not you. If you practice this denial of your power, you know it’s not the truth—because of the resistance you experience when you do it. That resistance is a trigger to re-MIND yourself that the power truly is within you.

Here are ways to shift any thoughts about anything you use repeatedly like sandpaper on your psyche, whether from the past or now:
1.       Notice that you’re doing it. Notice what you’re allowing yourself to feel and be by doing this. Notice this without judgment, because self-criticism is another form of sandpaper—a very coarse form.
2.       Ask, “What part of this reflects something in me?” You may not like this fact, but anything you harbor resentment about is something you do in a similar way, even though it may appear as different, so different, you may not even recognize you’re repeating a pattern you detest in another. This level of self-assessment may not (initially or ever) feel good, but it is extraordinarily powerful on many levels. If you still practice the negative aspect, you’ll find you feel annoyance with the individual. If you’ve resolved it within yourself, you’ll find you feel empathy and or compassion for the individual involved. This doesn’t mean you have to put up with any crap from them, just that you don’t engage them or the situation in the same way as you would if angered.
3.       Ask, “What can I do about this that I will do?” You may know what you can do, but what can you do that you will do? One thing you can do is find something to appreciate about this. You can appreciate that you notice you’re doing this and that you can ask the right questions about this from a sincere desire to shift and self-empower (sometimes the right question is “What’s the right question to ask about this?”). You can appreciate how this process leads to deeper understanding and compassion of and for yourself and others. You can appreciate the feeling of relief you get when you empower yourself to stop rubbing your thoughts the wrong way and then rub them the right way.

You may also experience challenges about allowing what you say you want into your life. Any thought about what you desire that rubs the wrong way, will slow or prevent what you want coming to you as quickly and easily as it might or would otherwise. It’s like saying No or Not Yet. When this habit surfaces, you can diffuse it with this question: “Does allowing this thought pattern support me to move forward, self-empower, and feel the way I want to feel now?” If it doesn’t, you need to find a thought pattern that does.

If something needs addressing, address it. Otherwise, find and use a thought pattern that lifts your mind and emotions from the sandpaper. The most immediate relief is to stop doing it when you notice you’re doing it. It’s a good practice, one you’ll appreciate.             
Practice makes progress.
© Joyce L. Shafer

You are welcome to use this article in your newsletter or on your blog/website as long as you use my complete bio with it.

Joyce L. Shafer is a Life Empowerment Coach dedicated to helping people feel, be, and live their true inner power. She’s author of “I Don’t Want to be Your Guru, But I Have Something to Say” and other books/e-books, and publishes a free weekly online newsletter that offers empowering articles. See all that’s offered by Joyce and on her site at

Friday, September 19, 2014

What Does Being Authentic Really Mean?

Do you ever judge yourself as not being as authentic as you believe you should be? Do you know why you feel this way? Here’s something to think about.

I was reading about character vs. characterization in novel writing, and this led me to contemplate what it means to be authentic. When writers craft a novel, they need characters and need to develop the characters in a way that makes them feel real to readers. This means the writers have to know as much about the characters as possible, from eye color to habits to prime motivation in life. This is called characterization. Character is what is demonstrated when a character in a novel faces a challenge—shows their true colors, as the saying goes. It’s the stuff they’re made of, when push comes to shove. It’s the same for us.

It’s fairly easy to create a characterization, a presentation, of ourselves for others to see and believe: we can let them see whatever we prefer they see. With others, we can pay attention to what they say and do, and even what we intuit about them when we’re with them, which gives us more information beyond what we see. But all of this leads to the question: what is authenticity really about?

What if it’s really about how you feel about yourself, rather than what you say or do, or how you look? After all, any of us can at anytime say and do things that don’t feel authentic to us but we believe is what is expected of us, or dress a certain way, whether it feels natural or not. Do you believe that to be truly authentic, you have to spill every bean about yourself to everyone? Can you keep anything private or be discerning about who you share what with and still be authentic?

As I pondered these questions, I thought about the fact that the world is peopled with introverts and extroverts. People have traits of both, but in their individual quantities. Carolyn Gregoire wrote the following in an article for The Huffington Post: “As recently as 2010, the American Psychiatric Association even considered classifying “introverted personality” as a disorder by listing it in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5), a manual used to diagnose mental illness. But more and more introverts are speaking out about what it really means to be a ‘quiet’ type.” 

I admit that for a long time I believed that outgoing people (extroverts) were demonstrating the one and only way to be authentic; so, because I’m a more quiet type (80% introvert, according to an online test I took), I judged myself as not being as authentic as someone who says, or seems to say, whatever they feel like saying about anything, and to anyone, at any time. To all you introverts out there, if you’ve been feeling less authentic because you’re a more quiet type or because you feel a certain way and it clashes with what some believe is more “normal” or authentic (or commercially viable) behavior, you can relax and be yourself. You can gladly laugh at those online poster images that say things like “Introverts unite—in your separate homes.” You get the joke better than anyone.

Gregoire included a list of 23 signs of an introvert in her article, which I’m going to share here as well as some comments about extroverts. Keep in mind that some people you might call an extrovert may actually have a bit or a good bit of introvert in them, just as introverts have a bit or a good bit of extrovert in them. You may resonate more with some of what’s listed below than with others—we’re all composites when it comes to our personality. Here are the 23 signs (my comments are in parentheses):

1.     You find small talk incredibly cumbersome. (As an introvert, I’ll say that’s putting it mildly. Too much small talk can make introverts feel tired and annoyed—it’s like static on a radio to them. Introverts can and will engage in small talk, but it doesn’t take long for them to look for or wish for an exit. A number of aspects that follow can all be tied back into this one. Extroverts, however, will carry on conversations about anything and enjoy it well enough, if not a lot.)
2.     You go to parties -– but not to meet people. (Introverts, when they do go to parties, go to see people they know, to be with people who accept them as they are and they can be relaxed around. If they do connect with a new person in a real way, they’ll enjoy it. Extroverts tend to be “the more the merrier” types.)
3.     You often feel alone in a crowd. (Introverts don’t like crowds, or like them in small doses. They have to mentally prepare themselves for crowds. Again, extroverts tend to be “the more the merrier” types.)
4.     Networking makes you feel like a phony. (Introverts prefer deeper conversations that lead to real connection. They know it may take a lot of small talk first, to find someone who will engage in deeper conversations (see No. 1). And, yet again, extroverts tend to be “the more the merrier” types.)
5.     You've been called "too intense." (Introverts prefer deeper thoughts and conversations—they need them because that’s their nature. They’ll engage in lighter conversations, but only for so long. This doesn’t mean extroverts don’t enjoy deeper conversations, but they don’t fuel and feed many extroverts as they do introverts.)
6.     You're easily distracted. (This refers to an introvert being in an overly-stimulating environment, which stifles clear or deeper thought and engagement. Introverts may zone out in such situations, in order to conserve energy. Extroverts are comfortable in overly-stimulating environments; it fuels them.)
7.     Downtime doesn’t feel unproductive to you. (Downtime is a necessity for introverts. They need it to recharge their batteries and to stimulate their creativity. A whole day alone with a good book or some other downtime experience is like heaven to an introvert. Longer is even better. Extroverts tend to thrive on stimulation that comes from others and activities. They can take only so much alone time; introverts can take only so much social engagement.)
8.     Giving a talk in front of 500 people is less stressful than having to mingle with those people afterwards. (For all the reasons listed above and below. Extroverts are eager to mingle.)
9.     When you get on the subway, you sit at the end of the bench -– not in the middle. (Or prefer end or back seats wherever you go—like in a theater, for fast getaways, if needed. Extroverts like to be in the mix.)
10. You start to shut down after you’ve been active for too long. (Introverts are often more sprinter types than marathoners, activity-wise. Extroverts have a different kind of energy reserve.)
11.  You're in a relationship with an extrovert. (Introverts like to sometimes ride the “waves” with an extrovert. Notice I said “sometimes.” That need for quiet, alone time is always there—an introvert can actually feel or become unwell if they don’t get enough of this. Extroverts may or may not understand this need, may or may not think it’s a strange way to be. Life is for living, is an extrovert’s motto. The introvert lives life, just from a more inward perspective.)
12.  You'd rather be an expert at one thing than try to do everything. (Introverts like to and need to focus. It’s more about how well they function and feel best than about what they do; though, they need to feel aligned with what they do. Extroverts are more outwardly adventurous. An experience, for its own sake, may be more important than alignment with it, for an extrovert.)
13.  You actively avoid any shows that might involve audience participation. (However if picked, an introvert might get into it, if the participation is brief enough. An extrovert might deliberately attend such a performance and even volunteer, vigorously.)
14.  You screen all your calls -- even from friends. (Sophia Dembling, author of "The Introvert's Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World," said, "To me, a ringing phone is like having somebody jump out of a closet and go 'BOO!'" Introverts prefer to be mentally and energetically ready for phone calls (see No. 1). Plus, when deep in thought, which is often, they don’t respond well to being disturbed. Extroverts love to engage anytime. It’s stimulation that feeds them.)
15.  You notice details that others don't. (Unless an introvert is distracted by an overly-stimulating environment, they notice details; and these can be physical ones, but often are inner ones, like emotional dynamics. Extroverts, like introverts, notice whatever they attune to, but it may be more about what someone says than why they say it.)
16.  You have a constantly running inner monologue. (Introverts tend to prefer to think before they speak; and as natural thinkers, they think and process thoughts all the time. Extroverts are more comfortable with speaking first and thinking about it later. They’re also more comfortable acting without thinking it through first. Both of these aspects are something introverts sometimes wish they were comfortable doing, but the fact is they aren’t. Both of these are things extroverts sometimes wish they hadn’t done, but it’s their nature.)
17.  You have low blood pressure. (A scientific study said introverts tend to have lower BP than extroverts do. This makes sense, since introverts look for deeper meanings and have all that quiet alone time to do it in. Extroverts are out there, living on the edge, for the most part. There’s going to be a certain amount of stress in that way of living.)
18.  You’ve been called an “old soul” -– since your 20s. (Again, introverts tend to prefer to think before they speak, which can seem like wisdom to others (sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t). Extroverts tend to be more in-the-moment types—the time is now, to speak and act, which is sometimes wise and sometimes isn’t.)
19.  You don't feel "high" from your surroundings (Like, say, at big parties. Extroverts respond to their environments differently than introverts—they align with the energy, while introverts look for what and who they are in true alignment with).
20. You look at the big picture. (Introverts tend to be okay with details and facts, but can also engage abstract concepts, as well. Some extroverts are, again, in-the-moment types. What’s happening in front of them is what’s happening. Introverts tend to look for the undercurrents and dynamics.)
21. You’ve been told to “come out of your shell.” (Introverts come out of their shells when they feel like it, thank you. But they keep their shells close by. Extroverts have shells, and sometimes they visit them.)
22. You’re a writer. (Some introverts find it easier to communicate through writing; plus, all that time alone to think charges up their creativity. This doesn’t mean extroverts don’t write, but the ones that do likely have enough introvert in them to support this. Many extroverts would prefer to speak than write. The alone-time it takes to write might be too much for them. They may prefer to dictate their writings and have someone else type them up.)
23. You alternate between phases of work and solitude, and periods of social activity. (Too much activity can stress and tire an introvert. They know how much socializing, work, and downtime works for them. Some extroverts have to wear themselves out before they realize it’s time, or past time, for downtime.)

We cannot all be the same, or some of us aren’t needed. We need extroverts to enliven life and moments and stimulate the energy so it doesn’t go stale. We need introverts to keep things real, to provide the bigger picture, and to calm things down. Life is like a musical composition: We need the notes (extroverts) and the rests between the notes (introverts). If a composition is all rests, there’s no music. If it’s all notes with no rests, there’s no pause to breathe, and performers and listeners alike will pass out or gasp for air. To those of you who are extroverts, thank you for what you offer to the world and to introverts who benefit from “just enough” excitement from time to time. To those of you who are introverts, did you notice how many of the 23 are about being authentic? So if you were comparing yourself to extroverts, as I was, stop it. Both are authentic. Both are needed.

I think it’s more important that you feel authentic than “appear” authentic to others so that you then perceive yourself as authentic. Authenticity comes from within, never from outside of you. Who are you comfortable being in your everyday life? Who are you—what is your true character or nature—when you face challenges? It’s okay to be who you are and it’s okay to discover who that is as life presents changes to and for you. It’s okay to share as much of your authentic self with others as you feel comfortable with; but be sure to share it with yourself. Know thyself. Love thyself. It’s a good practice, one you’ll appreciate.               
Practice makes progress.
© Joyce L. Shafer

You are welcome to use this article in your newsletter or on your blog/website as long as you use my complete bio with it.

Joyce L. Shafer is a Life Empowerment Coach dedicated to helping people feel, be, and live their true inner power. She’s author of “I Don’t Want to be Your Guru, But I Have Something to Say” and other books/e-books, and publishes a free weekly online newsletter that offers empowering articles. See all that’s offered by Joyce and on her site at

Friday, September 12, 2014

Are You Thinking or Processing?

Surely, the mental energy you're giving current or old issues is accomplishing something, right? It depends on if you're thinking or processing.

When Bob Proctor and Leslie Householder met, he told her she was fairly balanced between right and left brain but was more of a creative type. She disagreed and informed him she was a math major, analytical, and that she constantly thought about her life and everything; that she was always in thinking mode. She admitted she was a processor. (Processing is when you hash out data and details, real and imaginary, whether to others or to yourself, more than once—often WAY more than once.) Bob responded: “You're not thinking. You're mind is busy; but you're not thinking.” Leslie said she, at first, wondered if she'd just been insulted then went on to process his comment for a year, until she could see the difference: “When you THINK, you create a NEW idea.”

A new idea. Not a rehashed old one. New means you've never thought of this particular “something” or thought of it in quite this way, or had this idea or seen whatever in this new light. Leslie added that Bob said her tendency to process instead of think was what prevented her desired positive changes from happening. And so it is for us all.

Shifting this can be a challenge because your mind may be well-practiced to replay and replay and replay (ad nauseum) what happened, how it might have gone (but didn't), a worse-case scenario, moments from the past, conversations you've had or wish you'd had or plan to have. And in all that mental activity, you never once focus on a new way to approach the issue or allow in an original idea.

You might also replay core beliefs and contrasts at the same time you strive to affirm new ones. Your conscious mind may affirm: “I attract/match my vibration with abundance, prosperity, and well-being.” Your subconscious, however, is attuned to deep-level programs running, evidenced by what you've experienced (your experiences “prove” something, don't they?). As author Barbara Berger points out, every thought you think is an affirmation. That should give us all pause.

The ego-aspect of your conscious mind says things like, “But, I don't see what I want right now. I want it yesterday. How long do I have to wait?!” or “I never have original ideas” and “EVERYTHING IS A STRUGGLE!” You begin to process, based on appearances, and your past, rather than think a new thought, which leads you to charge these thoughts with LOTS of emotion. Emotion is a signal you send out that gets matched with (attracts) an experience.

And your subconscious mind and the aspect of the spiritual Universe that manifests align with these thoughts you’re holding: “Okay; got it. You don't see what you want, even if it's in the room with you; and if IT is right outside your door, you'll keep the door closed. If it wasn't here yesterday, it's never coming. You want to know how long you have to wait. Let's find out how long because ‘Waiting’ and ‘Have Unlimited Access to It/Are It’ are two different programs (emotionally-charged feelings); and the one you believe more gets fulfilled. You're not open to receive original ideas, so we’ll replay old ones because that's what's available; and if we need to, we'll borrow thoughts and beliefs from others; because you never have original ideas. Everything is a struggle for you. I'll get to work on making sure you're proved right because I'm programmed to believe you are and act on it.” Yikes!

A new thought or idea comes to a calm mind, a mind open and receptive to new thoughts because it's uncluttered, free of the wasteful energy of processing and (gulp) panicking. This includes transforming an old idea that pops into mind into a new idea then charging it up with feeling it as your potential reality (it really could be). If your old thoughts haven't changed your reality experience yet, why not try new ones. What might happen if you thought about your life the way you prefer it to be?

Processing is wearing; it's exhausting. It tells you lies such as the ones listed above. I could say, “Hey, if you're going to lie to yourself, do it in your favor;” but you'd have to release processing and embrace thinking. And, you'd have to do this deliberately every time you head toward busy-mind rather than mindfulness.

One reason we struggle with this is demonstrated by a quote from Oliver Wendell Holmes: "The mind, once expanded to the dimensions of larger ideas, never returns to its original size." Your inner self knows what's described here is true. It also knows what it takes to make it true for you consistently: Practice. It's natural to be inclined to revert to the "usual" ways. But, once you've so much as entertained the idea of a new and better way, old ways no longer feel like a good fit: they cease to feel like a "comfort" zone. And, the idea that if you deliberately calm down and shift your energy, you create change or a more positive experience just seems ridiculous when you're stressed, even if you know what kind of results to expect if you follow the "usual" approach.

For the rest of today, pay attention to the conversations you have with yourself (and others). If you find that you slip into processing, pause and say to yourself, “Your mind is busy, but you're not thinking.” Higher awareness applied to anything creates different, improved experiences and results. If you've ever looked for a successful way to quiet your mind, this will help you do it. It’s a good practice, one you’ll appreciate.               
Practice makes progress.
© Joyce L. Shafer

You are welcome to use this article in your newsletter or on your blog/website as long as you use my complete bio with it.

Joyce L. Shafer is a Life Empowerment Coach dedicated to helping people feel, be, and live their true inner power. She’s author of “I Don’t Want to be Your Guru, But I Have Something to Say” and other books/e-books, and publishes a free weekly online newsletter that offers empowering articles. See all that’s offered by Joyce and on her site at

Thursday, September 11, 2014

There Are Many to Remember on 9/11

Today, many of us are remembering those lost on 9.11.2001. However, there are others we need to think about, as well—first responders still with us who need assistance—like my friend Mitch Trupia. 

Mitch went to the Twin Towers after the second tower fell and worked onsite for a number of weeks. He was injured when a partial wall collapsed on him. And like others there at the start, who believed when told that they were safe without masks, he didn’t wear one. Since that time, he’s been in and out of hospitals and doctors’ offices. In his own words, here is some of what Mitch is experiencing. You can read more at the link provided below:

Before 9/11, I had a successful production company where I specialized in design and construction. My company built stages and backdrops for major record companies, including Sony Music. Today, my bills are piling up. I've lost everything over the years due to illness. I cannot even count the amount of times I have been in the hospital for tests and treatment. Among the illnesses that I have, besides cancer, are asthma and other serious aero-digestive disorders, crippling migraines, and upper and lower abdominal issues that are terribly painful. I am also being treated for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) from when I was injured during a partial wall collapse while helping several firefighters one night. In June (2014), I had to have a malignant tumor removed from my thigh. While it is a cancer associated with Ground Zero, due to long World Trade Center Health program delays, I had to find a doctor and get a referral on my own for treatment. I now need more cancer screenings for my other organs: thyroid, brain, prostate, and lungs, and I cannot wait much longer.”

Mitch needs financial assistance for medical bills, treatments, and for living expenses—obviously, he is unable to work. You can assist him with recognized or anonymous donations on his Go Fund Me page. And you’ll get a personal thank-you e-mail from him. Every little bit helps. Even if all you can donate is $5, please help my 9/11 responder friend out—and up , and please share this with others who might like to help a 9/11 first responder who would benefit from kind assistance. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

When One Door Closes, What Do You Do?

Maybe a door that closes is small and made of plywood or huge and made of Australian hardwood, but it's still a door that closed; and you feel you're not standing on the side you thought you would be. Now what?

Inventor Alexander Graham Bell said, “When one door closes, another one opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.”

One kindness we can do for ourselves is to have dreams or goals, aim for them, move toward them, but remain flexible. Some things turn out just as we hoped. Some turn out better than we imagined; and others go in a direction opposite of where our target was or what we believe we want. Sometimes a door closes not because we were rejected, but because of something we rejected at the inner level. It’s very easy to say we want something and yet deep down we either don’t actually want it or don’t want it enough to do what it takes, or we know at our core that it isn’t right for us, or we doubt that we deserve it. The only person who can know which is the one that is a match for you at such a time is you.

The One Source has set up this Universe and version of reality so that all forms of abundance, prosperity, and wellbeing, on all levels, are yours—always and in all ways. But Source can only provide these to you as a result of your mental attitudes: that’s part of its set-up, so that all of us have ongoing opportunities to choose how we experience, expand, and evolve. If your mental attitude, likely instilled in you and reinforced by others, is one of lack or being undeserving, you possibly or probably, through your mental attitudes, reject your Good without realizing it more often than you realize.

I know someone who, years back, envisioned her target. Over time, she attempted to sneak up on it; sometimes she took aim, fired, and missed. Were she to be scored on determination and tenacity, her number would be quite high; but she forgot to remember her target was in a field shared by others and influenced by life. She forgot to be flexible. So fixated was she on her desired “door,” when another one opened that offered the best outcome, she couldn't see it for what it was and not only slammed the door, but cemented it shut.

Maybe each of us has done something similar. Her story is an example of someone who doesn't simply have a goal or dream, but an agenda. People with goals or dreams, keep their eyes, minds, and hearts open for and to others and resources that help make it happen, and they modify or adjust as needed. Those with an agenda manipulate, or try to, and get angry or despondent when things don't go their way. If the door they focus on closes, they fail to notice they're standing in a room full of doors where equal or better outcomes await them.

I paraphrase a quote we should keep in mind when events don’t go as we hoped: A “rejection” may be for our protection. Rejection does tie in with perceived closed doors. Whenever we face a major life change, it’s feasible that we might feel life itself has rejected us and our desired outcome. Ultimately, rejection happens in only one place: Within ourselves. What the closed door represents has all to do with feelings or emotions we may have to heal or deal with. At some point, we should recognize that the door is closed, perhaps even locked, perhaps for our own protection. When we acknowledge this, we can give ourselves permission to make a slow circle and notice the other doors available to us, ones we haven’t noticed before. For some of us, the only way we ever walk through the right-for-us door is if the one we’d attached ourselves to slams in our face.

Next time a door closes for you, plywood or hardwood, take the time you need to experience what you feel. Allow yourself to look for what can be learned or state that even if you can't see it now, there is surely something you can gain from your experience. Any form of rejection is always an opportunity to learn something about ourselves. Then, take a couple of deep calming breaths, draw your shoulders back, stand up straight, and look around until you find the door you are meant to walk through next. Go ahead. Take that first step. Your life, and the Good it wants to provide to you, is waiting for you to arrive. It’s a good practice, one you’ll appreciate.                
Practice makes progress.
© Joyce L. Shafer

You are welcome to use this article in your newsletter or on your blog/website as long as you use my complete bio with it.

Joyce L. Shafer is a Life Empowerment Coach dedicated to helping people feel, be, and live their true inner power. She’s author of “I Don’t Want to be Your Guru, But I Have Something to Say” and other books/e-books, and publishes a free weekly online newsletter that offers empowering articles. See all that’s offered by Joyce and on her site at