I recently ran across an old ad where the service mechanic smilingly said "You can either pay a small sum now for oil replacement or a much larger sum later for replacement of the car's engine."

Then skimming through a magazine it said "Congested? Here is what to take before you become overwhelmed, angry or just need to turn off the world and get in bed."

And then I had a coaching session with a client that put it all together for me. When we talked I had to finally tell her that her emotional filters were clogged and she best clear them out. She was living with congestion, stagnation, and the need of an oil change of sorts.

Emotional filters need to be cleaned.

This time of year emotions are tested more than any other time. Partly it's the holidays. Partly it's the change of season with more time indoors. Partly it's the tension of completing year end projects. Partly it's wondering about the amount of bonuses or worry about not getting one.

None of these issues bothered my client Diane. What bothered her was Bonnie. You see Bonnie was her major competitor and word was out that, as Diane told me, "Damn it, she beat me again. She got the promotion that had my name on it."

To make matters worse there was going to be a formal dinner and Diane did not think she could sit and smile and play her positive pleaser self and survive. "I think I will be sick sitting there and telling Bonnie how happy I am for her when it's just a sham."

When we talked she gave me every excuse imaginable for politely saying she couldn't make it to the dinner.

"So what do you do now? Bonnie is not your sister and you are not that little girl anymore."

Here is what we talked about.

Everyday old memories show up at work and at home and even in the community and we are bombarded with huge amounts of information. And that information reminds us of times in the past. It is not that we are searching for this. It just happens.

With each piece of information we make split second decisions--safe or not safe; good or bad; happy or sad. And here is what happens: when the flow of energy is disrupted in any system a shortage of energy occurs.

To clean your emotional filters do the following:

  • Every evening for one week before you go to sleep get a piece of paper and ask yourself the following question "Where am I stuck." Do not look, just put it aside and at the end of a week see if you can find the connections.
  • The next week ask yourself the following question "What are 5 things that bother me on a daily basis." Again, put away and do not look at till the end of the week and you will begin to see the connections more clearly.
  • Week three check your reactions to the world "always" and "never" and your feelings about other stereotypes. Again. Do not look till end of the week.

And by the way, once Diane realized that she was seeing Bonnie through her "sister" filter she was able to not only go to the dinner with ease and grace, but she actually decided they could become friends.

Make your life easier and less complicated by changing your filters. Remember, pay less now or pay more later.