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I think that most of us have at least one silly skeleton hiding in our closet that robs us of energy. You know, one of those things that we avoid looking at or doing, and we'd rather be caught dead than to face it. For my Mom, parallel parking is one of these silly skeletons that she will not touch. Believe it or not, she has managed to parallel park only twice (one of those times was her driver test) in the last sixteen years. For one of my clients, this skeleton showed up as a few years? (I won't say how many) of undone tax returns. For a friend's friend, the "wild horses can't drag me to this" skeleton was filing divorce papers - almost ten years after separation. Have you ever thought of what these silly skeletons take away from us?

Whatever the monster in our closet may be, it robs us of energy and other resources as we plan to park only in certain spots, or as we concoct scenarios on how to fake our own death certificate for the tax man. I know of the energy drain first-hand. My latest skeleton just came out with lots of dust bunnies settled from years in the darkest corner of the closet. The fear of the dentist. Aaaaagh... Now, it matters not that logic dictates that teeth get rotten with neglect. No, skeletons are far above logic. Like the almighty ostrich, they take the approach of "if I stick my head in the sand and I can't see you, you can't see me... Right? Ehm... Wrong. Sure, it may have all started with something that was no big deal to put off but then, after putting it off again and again? it got out of hand. WAY out of hand.

For me, the dentist fears started as a somewhat reasonable fear that grew bigger over time. In my homeland, there was no freezing used when fillings were done. That was painful. A few unhappy and terrifying experiences later, from a dentist drilling into my gums, to being forcibly held down as a child from running away, a lifetime of playing cat-and-mouse games with dentist offices began. My last dentist persevered for five years of quarterly calls. I managed a different excuse each time and only then he wrote me off. When I finally made it to a new dentist's office a year ago for an exam and a cleaning, it had been around seven years since the last visit to any dentist. After being told that I had a mouthful of fillings to get done, I managed to stall for another year. Ah, as I said. A skeleton with a lot of dust bunnies. All of them fighting in unison not to be dragged out.

Somehow, over a year later, I finally mustered up the courage to make it to an appointment for the first set of fillings. I guess I just figured it was better to run out of excuses than to run out of teeth. Then the drill got turned on. The "wheeeeeeeee, wheeeee" sound was one that was etched in my brain as being connected to major pain, and I wasn't about to be convinced otherwise, despite some industrial-strength freezing created especially for super-chickens. The fight or flight response was triggered and it took all my might to stay and not to cause bodily harm to the innocent dentist. After an hour of horrible pain in my overactive imagination (but, curiously enough, none whatsoever in my teeth), the procedure was finished. Emotionally, I felt like I wrought-out dish rag. Physically, to my great surprise, none of the awful deathly scenarios had played themselves out. I was alive and I was well. Exhausted, I went to sleep early that night, and I woke up in amazement that there was no pain in my newly fixed teeth. Eureka!!! Once I realized that all the pain was happening only in my head during the appointment, my perspective shifted dramatically. All of a sudden, I no longer was a chicken who could not. All of a sudden, I was someone who could. All of a sudden, the skeleton was out and lost its power. As always, the fear was far worse than the task itself. Isn't that always the case?

The power of unleashing those dust bunnies is very strong. Whenever I have dragged one of these skeletons out, or watched a client drag one out, I have always observed the same lifting of stress. More often than not, fear-busting and completion of overdue tasks functions as the quickest aging-reversal treatment I know of. How much younger would you like to look and feel? All it takes is to drag a few of these things out of their hiding places, give them a major shake, and complete them once and for all. The ironic thing is that it doesn't matter if these things are big (like the tax returns not getting done) or small (like, really, nothing beyond a lot of inconvenience will happen if my Mom successfully logs another thirty years without parallel parking). These skeletons, big or infinitesimally small, hold our resources hostage. When we deal with them, we discover that it took more energy to hide from them than it took to deal with them. I challenge you to bust one of these skeletons out of the closet before the week is over - and please let me know how you do with it!

"Funny is an attitude."
Flip Wilson


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"A vacation is what you take when you can no longer take what you have been taking."
Earl Warner






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