As I have grown to understand how life works, one particular skill has served me well. It is a learned skill, not one that comes naturally, that I call “interpreting reflections.”

Opposite our interior world or inner feelings is our external world or our awareness of what is happening outside and around us. The people and happenings, the circumstances of our daily life are continually providing us with information. We act and react with the external world constantly, but how often do we consider the meaning and significance of what we see or what is happening?

I believe there is much to gain from interpreting the reflections we receive from the external world.

In astrology, the Descendant or 7th house -- describes how we view others or what we expect from them. Planets in the 7th house also show us what we project on others. The truth is we couldn’t see either the good or bad in another person unless it was first present in us. The energies of the 7th house and its planets are a part of us first, even though we may disown them and project them on others.

If that is true, then when we look outward, I believe we can get a hint of what is happening inside ourselves. In fact, one way your unconscious or subconscious speaks to you is through the people and circumstances you face moment by moment.

How does this work? I remember a job I held in a non-profit organization in my 40s where my relationship with my co-workers was abysmal. I loved the work I was doing because I believed in the purpose of the organization, but I kept running into snags with others in the office. Even my boss was disempowering when he told me I had a poor ability to write. Can you imagine that? I believed him and for ten years I rarely did any writing other than my personal journal.

At the time, I figured I just worked with a bunch of jerks. Had I been more open to interpreting reflections, I would have realized what I now know looking back. My writing was poor because the subject matter (technical project reports) was boring to me. My interpersonal relations were terrible because I was highly self-critical and self-doubting as a result of being out of balance with my own inner nature. I was working in a technical environment with a “got-to-get-it-done-at-all-costs” mentality, disregarding the yearning of my heart to relate to others on a more personal or spiritual basis.

If I was interpreting reflections then, I would have left gracefully with more appropriate work to go to, but instead I quit in a huff. Oh, what a lesson I learned!

This past week I had the opportunity to offer this perspective to a client. I point out that the reason the foundations of her life were falling apart was that her life no longer fit her, evidence of her inner growth. How did I know? Because I could interpret the reflections she was getting and what she was saying as the beginning of a whole new sense of herself. Even though unknown, the future will present her with a life that more naturally fits her new awareness. Of this I am certain.

Interpreting reflections has many other uses. Have you ever wondered why everyone is angry around you on certain days? Check inside and see if you’ve got any simmering feelings of frustration or if you have been holding yourself back from action due to self-doubt.

I am not suggesting that all people’s actions around you are directly tied to you. I am suggesting that when something happens more than once or it affects you very intensely, it just might be something meaningful and worth taking the time to interpret the reflection and perhaps make a course correction as a result.

There is a Buddhist Monk I read about -- I am sorry I don’t remember his name -- who, looking out at all the troubles of the world, resolved to take action everyday by looking inside himself to find conflict, greed, deception, etc. and heal the world there within.

I hope you too will find the great benefits from interpreting the reflections coming from your external world.

Author's Bio: 

Dianne Eppler Adams, C.A.P, a certified astrologer in full-time practice in Alexandria, VA, provides life-affirming insights for people and businesses wishing to optimize their success by understanding right-timing and the opportunity in change and uncertainty. In 2004, after 35 years in the corporate world, she transitioned her astrology practice from part-time to full-time. In 2006, she founded the Holistic Entrepreneurs Alliance, an alternative business networking group in Northern VA area. MSN Money interviewed Dianne in 2008 for their web video series, “Find your Dream Job at 55.” She is a frequent speaker at various business networking groups as well as national and regional astrology groups. In addition, she writes a popular free monthly New Moon newsletter. Sign up at