We can all think of times when we were willing to take risks. Usually, there is a sense of wellbeing behind that. When we feel good, we feel like we can take on the world and when our vitality suffers, we tend to play small.
I’m not saying that we should aim to take stupid risks, like doing a back flip off a rock into a river with boulders. I am talking about taking a stand for what’s important to you…THAT kind of risk
In the past I’ve been so physically ill that I couldn’t take risks. I hid. Over time, I found a group of people who would accept me, and I put my efforts there. My nervous system couldn’t handle reaching out, so I played it safe.
Now, I am stepping into the virtual realm and seeking other, bigger ways of connecting with people. I am in the unknown, but these risks I’m taking are only possible because of all the work I’ve done to heal my body.
In that process, I experience rejection, and I have to develop a thicker skin. Simultaneously, I have to learn how to play in a new game, and games aren’t always fair.
Most people think that success is good, and failure is bad, but this is way too simplistic to encompass living an inspired life.
I’m sharing this with you because within the span of twelve hours, I got two emails rejecting what I had to offer. One said, “We regret to inform you that we are unable to include your proposed lectures in this year’s program.”
And then a new client that I spoke with yesterday, canceled his appointment because he looked over my website thoroughly and found “no comment on [my] evidence of qualifications.”
WHAT?! That’s a first.
Now, if either one of these were isolated incidences, I might not be as triggered, but because they came on top of each other; I am feeling it. It hurts. And I really don’t have to justify my hurt either. Even one rejection alone would sting, but the double-doozey of rejection burns a little deeper.
I talked to a colleague the other day. She expressed how sad she gets when someone unsubscribes from her email list. Sometimes she knows them! “How could they not be interested in what I’m doing?” she asks.
We all face rejection. Right now, I’m talking about rejection in my career, but what about love? There’s a biggie – a hurt like no other.
On the one hand, bravo, you’re in the game – keep going.
On the other hand, you put yourself out there. You weren’t accepted. It stings. You took a risk, and it didn’t go as planned.
People have all kinds of unhealthy, unconscious ways to respond to rejection. They pout. They get mad. Some people pretend that it doesn’t affect them. They keep smiling and continue to go skipping through the imaginary field of daisies. Denial. Denial. Denial. Some people go out and drink alcohol or smoke a joint.
Shit, some people take prescription drugs because they’ve had years of unresolved rejection. Thousands of little things happen, or maybe a big thing happens, that we push down. I mean, isn’t that THE definition of depression, feelings of severe despondency and dejection?
My premise is this…let’s stop saying that these things don’t matter when they actually do! Then, these hurts don’t get suppressed, thus turning into something they are not.
Since my commitment is to live in a model of wellness, I’m going to share with you what I do. And it doesn’t involve replying with a nasty email or drinking a bottle of wine or smoking a fat doobie. All those things may feel good on the surface, but not so much in your soul.
#1 - I go on a walk. Yep, that’s right. I put on my shoes and start moving. Movement is a potent form of medicine for anxiety, anger and fear. If I’m walking with my husband, I may vent (God bless that man). Or I may visualize violence and destruction. “You’re an idiot!” And then a nice hit to my third eye with the palm of my hand. Ok. I feel better now.
Some people will say, “Oh, chill out, Charlotte. What’s the big deal? It’s not personal. You’re awesome and those people are morons.” Great. Thanks. Maybe that helps a little, but not really…because it is personal, and they aren’t morons. Something happened to me. It’s like a tornado isn’t personal, but when it hits your house it is! This is an important distinction. Rejection is personal and it’s not.
#2 - Give it some space. This is what we call a “Tincture of Time” in holistic medicine. Time does heal. There is a time to move and then just to let it be. Watch. And see what emerges. What unanswered questions remain? What’s unresolved?
#3 - I may employ a few of my favorite herbs to help support my nervous system. Sometimes rejection hits, and I can recover. Other times, I need help. The beautiful thing about appropriate plant medicine is that it can help bring you back to yourself. What I mean by this is that when life rattles me, and I get that hit to my solar plexus after reading an email - BOOM! I don’t need to stay there in that rattled state. I can turn to an herbal ally.
In this case, I make some homemade Mood Juice! It includes equal parts of these four herbs: Schisandra, St John’s Wort, Skullcap, and Damiana. I based this liquid blend on MediHerb’s tableted formula Nevaton, which is available through qualified healthcare professionals. These are just some of the many herbs that support a healthy nervous system. The real point is, you have herbal allies to help you along your path to wellness. If you still feel a little lost or resistant to buying herbs, check out my blog post, Herbal Knowledge is Power.
All of these herbs are nervine tonics, working together to calm and restore nervous system function. This formula promotes my ability to live in the present moment and conserve my energy. It is important to remember that herbs normalize function, so this is a vital tool to both feelings of being revved up and in the dumps. I have noted that this formula is particularly supportive to the grieving process, which is exactly what we are talking about here: loss.
#4 Once I have put my rejection in its proper place by honoring my emotions, moving, giving it some time, and then leaning on my herbal allies, I consciously choose expansion. I choose learning. I choose inquiry both within myself and the other people involved.
So I start looking: does my new website reflect my years of education? Is there a grain of truth to this person’s perception that I am not qualified to help him? I emailed this particular person and wished him well. I hope you find what you are looking for.
Then, I move on to the other issue. Could I have done a better job at submitting my speaker proposal? What can I do differently next time? Who can I talk to who has done this before? This way, I start the process of resolution around the rejection - with my integrity in tact.
When we move beyond the pain to a place of humble curiosity, rejection is a mighty teacher.
I remember that we sit in a very large matrix of life where everything is connected, so I trust. I trust that I am not supposed to work with this client, and that I am not supposed to speak at this conference.
I also continue on the never-ending journey of discovering who I am through who I am not. Sometimes, it is uncomfortable when the locus of control is outside of yourself, but life is constantly talking to us, saying “This, not that.” It’s beautiful when you can dance with your intentions AND also with what the Universe communicates to you. Doors close that you thought would be open, and doors open that you thought would be closed.
Herbal allies hold my hand along the way, and reinforce my connection to all that is good.
And most importantly, I stay in the game, and I am stronger now. I might get a massage, which is a reminder that I am safe in this world. I find another conference to submit a speaking proposal to. I take good care of the next client who shows up. I do the next right thing to bring the conversation of vitality into this world, and affirm what it means to be fully alive.
I hope you are all able to move through the pain of "no" and find a little light in the darkness of rejection. To learn more ways to boost your vitality and get insider recipes, articles and newsletters, Subscribe to my website!
Eat in Peace and Live in Peace!