Friday, July 29, 2011

How To Break A Pattern

Patterns. They're everywhere. Even within our ways of being. Most of us, I believe, have at one time or another recognized such a pattern in their life. Maybe you are aware of a pattern in your life today that you'd like to see change. A way you act or behave in certain circumstances. Or a way you express yourself in certain situations. Or maybe you see a pattern in the way certain things keep turning out. If this is the case... If you are witnessing something in your life taking place or showing up more frequently than you would like, you're at the perfect starting point to transform it for good. 

Patterns can be insidious. And, insidiously frustrating to avoid. But, patterns have a beginning. And, therefor, they have an end. The difference is that when a pattern began, it did so with very little, if any, conscious effort on our part. To end a pattern, however, will require a much more deliberate effort.  

If you are presently upset by some pattern... And, are willing to, right here and now, declare yourself committed to getting past it... Read on.....

Essential to transform a pattern is to examine 3 things. That consciously or not, you chose to think or behave a certain way at some certain moment in your life. That you are the source of it's continuation. Whether intentionally or not, you continue to operate that same way in those same situations. And, that only conscious intention will allow you to be the source of it's end. Accepting these 3 ideas are absolutely essential to the process of moving beyond the patterns set in place. What took no consciousness to begin will take much greater consciousness to transform. And, developing that level of consciousness takes commitment.

I say, transform, because that is what will happen. The pattern will not so much stop, as  become something else. Some new way of being will show up in the moment that was once occupied by that reoccurring behavior. And, though we may not know now exactly what that will be, following these steps will result in it being a far more authentic, rather than automatic, way of being. We will have the power to transform a pattern only when we can recognize the power we use to keep it in place and accept this reality. Until then, we will continue to find ourselves stuck and claim others and our circumstances as the cause. One of the most essential tools we seem to lack is the consciousness to see our role in maintaining the status quo and the compassion to accept its truth .

When we object to taking responsibility for something that is primarily within our control we fall into the role of victim. If we presume something outside ourselves to be the cause for what we feel, think, do or say, it is in that moment that we invest in the idea that we have less power than that thing we are claiming as cause. And, no person thinking of themselves as a victim of the circumstances will produce the kind of transformation we're talking about.

Step number 2, for those of you keeping count, is to take 2 to 3 minutes nightly to reflect on your day, and try to identify times you observed some aspect of the pattern you want to transform, and writing down whatever you see. Could be an incident in which you blamed another for something only you had control of. Or, a person or circumstance that you thought of yourself as a victim of. 

The intent is to start reflecting on this theory that ONLY YOU are the source of your experience. Journaling is a way to bring more consciousness to this idea and begin to reclaim your control and response-ability for the quality of your life. 

If you do nothing else, this one simple exercise will give you ownership of the automaticity that's been keeping the pattern alive. And, only one who owns their experience can transform it.

If you ever feel inclined to examine any of this further or be coached in becoming more true to your Self, please call.