I love those days when it’s just foggy enough to see the light as it filters through the trees. All the elements come together to create a most magical scene. And, if I look long enough, I think I just might see fairies and leprechauns dancing in and out of the shadows. Or at least that’s what I believe on these kinds of mornings.

We often don’t think about the filters that affect our interactions every day. What we believe and how we act is impacted by those filters and we are usually unaware of it. When I step back and think about it, my emotions, the volume of activities in my day, and my automatic or habitual responses are a few of the filters that I notice may have influenced my communication with others.

As I think about times when I am angry or frustrated, I can see how I allow that anger to rule my actions. If I am not paying attention, I may respond with sarcasm and unkind remarks. When my to-do list is extremely long, I feel overwhelmed and burdened, sometimes causing me to walk away and do nothing. What about those automatic or habitual responses? Take, for instance, someone correcting my work or reminding me of something I haven’t completed. It is not uncommon for me to respond with feeling a lack of confidence in myself or condemning myself for not being good enough. These are all filters that affect my choice in my actions that follow.

It has been said that humans receive 400 billion messages every day, but that we only use about 2000 bits of that information to formulate our behaviors. Something in our brains is filtering out all the “unwanted or not useful” information and we respond only to the 2000 it keeps. In other words, my actions are merely a response to the filters I’m using at the moment in order to process those 2000 messages. There is good news in that knowledge; I can change my filters! Bringing the filters into my awareness allows me to choose and use a different filter to determine which of those messages I select and my response to them.

So how do you become aware of the filters you’re using? Review your actions. Why did you make the choice you did? Was it automatic (unconscious) or was it a conscious decision to respond in that way? Pay attention to your emotions and your body. Do you feel uptight and tense? Do you feel relaxed and energized? These are all clues as to whether or not you are cognizant of the messages that are shaping your daily actions. The more aware you become, the better able you are to make the choices that will accomplish your dreams and desires.

Today’s practice:

Be mindful of how you are reacting to others during your day. Become aware of the filters you’re using to select the messages you receive and how you are choosing to respond. If it’s a response that isn’t serving you, choose a different response.

Note: If you’d like to know more about identifying your filters and choices, feel free to send me a message. Let’s chat!

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