Here’s a special post for those experiencing conflict during Mercury Retrograde. This is a common time for misunderstandings, IT issues and travel delays.
“Our job is unconditional love. The job of everyone else in our life is to push our buttons.” Byron Katie (When you get upset by criticism, look at who’s not doing their job!)
Criticism. It’s something that makes people cringe. Not me though.You can’t be a professional psychic without a thick skin, so to speak. True story, my skin has changed over time (see this post on skin texture in palmistry).
I used to be a sensitive ‘silk’ all over, but now my palms are ‘paper’ – in other words, I’ve had to toughen up. You see, the higher you go, the stronger the winds.
My father always said, ‘you can make a living doing anything, as long as you’re in the top 1%’. What he didn’t mention, is that, to stay at the top, you must do what 99% of others won’t. This doesn’t mean you should act unethically – far from it – integrity is essential for long-term success.
What I mean is, you must learn to please your (Higher) self, instead of others, or you’ll never make a difference. True love always wants to raise its standards. You must be willing to upset people in order to grow them.
As a Master 11 Lifepath in numerology, I incarnated to bring light to dark places (find your lifepath). On the plus side, I’m energetic and compassionate – I’ve been doing charity work since primary school, and my heart is extremely open (see this post on the Girdle of Venus). On the down side, for most of my early life I was so afraid of criticism that I stayed in toxic relationships or jobs, sacrificing my health and sanity in the process.
All that changed when I became a telefundraiser. Yes – one of those annoying people who call you at home, when you’ve just dropped dinner down your front, to ask for your credit card details. Admittedly, I worked more behind the scenes, writing scripts and training callers, but it was the same deal.
Fundraising was the best training I could have had for running a business. It taught me to overcome my fear of criticism, and to ask for what I want.
In numerology, CRITICISM = 49/13/4, the same vibration as the phrase HEART CHAKRA. Amazingly, the Heart Chakra is also the fourth chakra, and 9 stands for healing. When you are criticised, you have two choices – to open or to close your heart.
Keeping your heart open doesn’t mean being a doormat – it means treating yourself and the other person with respect, no matter how personal their comments. One teaches through inspiration, not perspiration. The Karmic Debt number 13/4 is all about using words wisely, to create love in the world – read more.
Here are some tips I’ve learned from my time in the NGO and spiritual sectors.
How to Deal with Criticism – 3 Tips for Staying Zen
In the Cambridge DIctionary, Zen means being relaxed and not worrying about things that you cannot change.
Tip ONE: Look who’s talking.
“My life is my message” Gandhi
People are either giving love, or asking for love. Before reacting to someone’s feedback, ask yourself, ‘Does this person have the results I want in life?’ If they do – consider the value in their communication. Maybe they’re a Messenger in disguise? If they don’t – bless them for trying to help you, and let them go. Having read for many successful people (see their psychic readings), I’ve noticed a theme. They’re choosy! They’re careful who they listen to, what they look at, what they eat, drink, and so on, because they know that what goes in, must come out.
Recently (and not for the first time), someone, whom I have never met, criticised me for offering paid numerology readings. They apparently do psychic work for free, and believe I should mend my wicked ways. Unfortunately for them, I used to be a strict Christian, and the guilt thing doesn’t work on me anymore. I’ve since found something better, and it’s called working with my Spirit Guides. I cut out the middleman a long time ago.
The purpose of my business is ‘to transform the public’s perception of psychics, and their own intuition, from scepticism to trust’. You can’t do that working for peanuts. People don’t trust free stuff, especially in this age of online advice. When I was at University, one of my volunteer roles involved handing out promotional tickets to students. It’s amazing how many people turned them down!
Perhaps we’re all aware of karma, and know there’s no ‘free lunch’. Better to pay for what you want, and get the picnic started. In my experience, people prefer to pay for a quality reading, than to feel ‘indebted’ to a psychic for their help (see my FAQ’s page). I viewed my critic’s accusation as a reminder to stay true to my values, and started a discussion on my facebook page The Numbers Queen. My bookings rate zoomed up straightaway.
Those who can, do. Those who can’t, often criticise from a safe distance! For example, this person emailed me, instead of calling or telling me in person. No wonder I’m so sceptical of advice, even other psychics’ opinions.
Maybe it’s because I have so many 7’s in my numerology, but I only trust people I know well. I wasn’t always like this – in fact, I used to be really naive. I let my perpetually single friends set me up on dates (which never worked out). I sought financial advice from people who were broke or had not run a business. I lived with crazymakers and allowed them to zap me (see Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way – Julia is a Master 11). It was only after many personal growth courses, that I realised I had to stop giving away my power. Why was I asking people who couldn’t bake, for cake recipes? It was total self-sabotage.
Now I know that a true teacher follows their light. They don’t have time to judge, because they’re too busy creating. As I say ‘if you ain’t living it, I ain’t buying it’. Unless you have the result I want, leave me alone. Save yourself, cos I’m ok. Angels got my back. Don’t get me wrong, this is not about judging people, but self-responsibility. It takes effort to stay well in a world full of sad stories. What we reward, expands. If I give energy to people living in their wounding (see Caroline Myss’s amazing book Anatomy of the Spirit), not only I do I feel like crap, I encourage that person to stay small. I’m part of the problem.
That said, if one of my healers catches a cold, I don’t suddenly fire them – we’re all human. However, if they were sick for years, I would look around, as I wouldn’t want to impede their recovery.
Tip TWO: See criticism as food for thought. Digest it, and grow stronger. Turn those lemons into lemonade!
Remember, you came to Earth to heal a part of yourself, including certain chakras (see my Find Your Lifepath page). When you embrace criticism instead of avoiding it, you keep your Third Eye Chakra (mind and intuition) open. You learn to cultivate your inner voice, which reduces the likelihood you’ll get exploited by others.
We live in a world where we’re taught to ‘cut off from hurt’ – to ignore our appetite and feelings, to stop speaking to our exes, and to knock ourselves out (with alcohol, drugs, facebook and TV) instead of facing our life lessons. Unfortunately, this approach shrinks our courage. We become afraid of living. Our fears eat us for breakfast, instead of vice versa.
At one stage, when I did psychic readings, I rushed to ‘cut cords’ and wash my hands after a session so I didn’t ‘take on’ other people’s energy. Now, I still practice aura cleansing but also sit in silence after someone leaves. I ask myself ‘How am I just like them? Where am I going through something similar? What have I learned today?’ and write the answers down. I’m aware that I become what I judge, so until I find that place of non-judgement, I don’t feel complete. These days, I see everyone I meet as my teacher, and value the homework they bring me.
There are times in life we are so in our heads, Spirit has to send us a wake up call. This can be in the form of repeated criticism from others or repeated setbacks. I often see 11:11 or repeated numbers like 555 when I need to make this kind of breakthrough. If you notice a pattern forming(e.g. numerous people insulting your weight or opinions in a short space of time), deal with it before you blow a fuse (especially if you have a Murderer’s Thumb!)
Remember, criticism is a perception. What you see as an insult, I might consider constructive feedback. That’s why regular meditation is important for staying calm under stress. The opposite of war isn’t peace, it’s creativity – you need to stay centred, otherwise you will never be in the top 1% I mentioned.
Truthfully, we are Souls in casual clothing, who’ve come to expand our consciousness. It’s important to stay with the big picture. In fundraising, people ONLY complained when they care about the charity, otherwise they didn’t bother. That’s why it’s important to resolve problems quickly, whether they occur in your personal or professional life. Giving someone a call to apologise and to seek feedback can turn them into a lifelong supporter, or at least give you ideas for improvement.
Tip THREE: Learn to laugh at yourself first. It silences the critics.
When you get angry, or annoyed, you leak life force. So when someone criticises you, what they’re trying to do is to harvest your energy, and get high on your pain. Don’t let them! Stay calm and foil their plans. Someone living in their power doesn’t NEED to steal yours. See past the mind games and stay connected to your purpose. As they say,’hating someone is like drinking poison, hoping your enemy will die’.
You can put up psychic protection (imagining yourself and your critic in mirror balls, with their words bouncing back to them – the affirmation ‘return to sender with love’ is great), but nothing beats self-deprecation and integrating the lessons. That’s why I went and studied stand up comedy in Brisbane last year (see video), to prepare myself for parenting and childbirth.
Here are some examples of how you could defuse criticism (which may or may not be based on my actual life)…
Person A: You should be married by now, you’re over the hill.
Person B: It’s true. I guess my weird body odour is just too much for men to handle. If only I could meet someone without a nose. Do you know of anyone?
Person A: You should get a real job. What you do is just a hobby.
Person B: I know, it’s weird that people want to pay me for doing what I love. It’s like I’m actually onto something. I’d love to give this up, but I wouldn’t want to disappoint all the people on my waiting list. Including your best friend Mary.
Person A: You know you’re going to Hell for being a psychic.
Person B: Really? That’s not what God told me. I checked in with him/ her this morning. By the way, they mentioned you’re behind on your taxes. You might want to look into that before someone reports you *cough cough*.
Jokes aside, never let someone take your thunder. If you truly believe what they are saying is unacceptable, take a deep breath and give them some thoughtful feedback. You might be the first person they’ve met in ages, who’s loved them enough to say No to the madness.
Focus on the behaviour rather than the person, for example ‘I feel uncomfortable receiving feedback from you without permission. I’d feel better if you could let me make an independent decision.’ If your critic continues, keep repeating ‘I’ve made my views clear’until they back off. You may need to hang up the phone or leave, if they are not getting it.
I’d also recommend studying DISC Personality profiling, or courses in effective communication and active listening – these are great life skills to have. You could also get counselling – that’s been my secret weapon for success. We often attract what we are on the inside, so a good clean-out of our beliefs and feelings can make all the difference.
As a last suggestion, if someone won’t get off your back, send them this post or a witty quote to break the cycle, such as: ‘People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care’. John Maxwell (author of The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership – a book that saved my neck, and career!)
Worst Psychic Reading Ever? My Latest Refund Story
Turtle Power – My Story of Bullying at the United Nations
A Poem for My Critics – If You Can’t Beat Them, Enjoy Them!
How to Stop Self-Criticism – 10 Steps that Truly Work
8 Spiritual Ways to Stop Bullying