What can be learned through our habits…our patterns?
I had a few requests to speak about the habits and patterns in our lives. It’s always interesting to witness the guidance that comes through. There were some key points I felt may benefit you…maybe help you to gain a new perspective when it comes to any kind of habits…patterns…or even conditioning going on in your life.
Last week’s radio show is now archived if you choose to ‘listen’ to it. If you would like to ‘read’ what I shared…it’s a little bit lengthy…so grab a tea and keep reading! Enjoy!
Allow me to start by saying…because of the diverse nature of this topic…I could talk for hours giving you example after example of many elements that can play a part when it comes to habits and patterns of any kind. Here are only a couple of avenues you may want to consider if you are in a place of looking at some of the patterns you are noticing in yourself…or even in others.
When I think of patterns…it does take me back to my home growing up. My mom was and still is an amazing seamstress. She could sew master pieces just looking at a picture. People would bring in a picture of a graduation dress they wanted to wear…pictures of wedding dresses…all kinds of dresses…and she would magically bring those pictures to reality…exactly like the dresses in the pictures.
When sewing the dresses…no matter what the picture looked like…my mom always started with a pattern! That pattern…made from flimsy tissue paper…gave her the basic pieces she had to cut out of the material…which when sewed together…gave her the beginning of her creation. If you ever watch a seamstress sew something…you would see them lay out a pattern on the material of choice…cutting out different pieces of fabric. Somehow all those pieces get sewn together to form the shape of a dress…a suit…whatever it would be. From there she would do the tailoring to fit the outfit to the person….and once it fits…she does all the finishing touches. When I look back at how she perfected those master pieces…I’m in awe at her creations. My mom is a very talented, gifted woman.
This doesn’t only happen with a seamstress. When I think of a warehouse or factory making…let’s say…blue jeans…think about it…how would they make the mass quantities of blue jeans? Well to make blue jeans that way… …they would need a pattern to cut out the pieces. Those pieces would be sewn together…different things added…like the pockets…the buttons…the zipper…whatever it would be…and different sizes of blue jeans would be made. On the shelf they would for the different shoppers to buy.
With blue jeans…somehow the ‘pattern’ is accepted by people and people buy them! Now think of this for a second….what are people ‘buying into’ when it comes to the blue jeans they choose to wear? I invite you to play with this whole new perspective when it comes to looking at habits or patterns in your life…starts somewhere!
When it comes to everyday life…our habits…our patterns…how does a pattern start in the first place? Just like pattern pieces placed on a piece of material leads to a pair of blue jeans…what is all of this showing us about everyday life patterns? Well…how are our patterns formed or shaped to fit us! From there…how do we continue to maintain patterns…even if they don’t seem to fit us any longer? How do we get into the habit of doing something…and then it becomes a pattern?
When we come into the world as children…we are so open to everything around us. We are influenced by people around us. People like our parents, like our babysitters, teachers through school, family and friends…we are influenced by all the people. Children don’t have the ‘logical sense’ to determine when something is or isn’t feeling right; children don’t have the ‘knowingness’ to mentally keep out things they don’t want to hear; children don’t have the ‘understanding’ to accept their parents may be going through a divorce and what that could even mean to them. They learn through whatever is taking place around them.
Let’s look at parenting as a place to start today! We all have or had parents at one time in our life. If you didn’t have ‘parents’…you would have had people in your life that served as a parent for a time being. Somehow you had guidance as children. Parents taught us things. They taught us how to use our manners; they taught us how to play and share with other children. Parents may have taught us not to talk with strangers. Maybe if we had a problem they taught us to go talk to mom or dad first with the problem. There were many wonderful habits or patterns that we learned growing up.
Parents helped us find stability, regularity, maybe a sense of feeling safe. They helped us along our journey. Through our parents…we learned how to treat people, how to talk with people, how to get what we want. There were good habits…maybe patterns…maybe conditioning we learned as children. Today I’m not going to talk about all the ‘good type’ habits or patterns or even conditioning we live with in our lives. Those good ones may not be something we have to work through. So we’ll move on!
Then there were the things we learned growing up…things that maybe haven’t quite clicked…as far as how they influenced us in forming habits or patterns or conditioning!!! For example…if you grew up in a family where it wasn’t really safe to share your feelings, you would have learned a habit of not feeling safe about expressing how you felt or even how you feel to this day. If you grew up in a family where children didn’t have a say in whatever took place around the home…you would have learned a habit of not having a say…and you may have also gleaned the habit of treating your children like that…where they don’t have a say in what you do as a family.
If you grew up in a family where you did your work before you played….how do you feel that would show up as a habit or a pattern in your life? Do you feel you would be a little bothered if your friends wanted to go out to a movie or do something fun on the weekend and you didn’t have all your work done yet? Do you feel you may question what you’re feeling…maybe thinking… ‘Am I the only one who has to do work?’ Well, no you may not be the only one who has to do work…it may be a case where your other friends may not have the same ‘conditioning’ you had. A pattern can easily be considered ‘conditioning.’
Give it a thought! Do you feel there was any conditioning when you grew up? To see our patterns as conditioning may help us to move through whatever may be there when it comes to looking at bothers or challenges around certain behaviors.
What if we grew up around adults who had ‘habits or patterns’ for example…they smoke or drank…maybe they did a lot of swearing…maybe they turned to food when dealing with stressful situations…do you feel that may have impacted us…may have influenced us as far as what we learned when it came to handling things in our life? This is just another avenue to explore. There is no judgment…there is no good or bad…no right or wrong…there is only awareness.
What if every time we went to do something…we heard how we could have done it better doing it another way…or we heard we did it the wrong way or we shouldn’t have done that…said that…do you feel we would have learned a habit or pattern in that? Do you feel hearing those kinds of things when we did or even do something…do you feel that would create a pattern of thought?
Patterns of thoughts are pretty hard to change…and if I may add right now…you will need something ‘bigger’ than the mind to change what the mind created in the first place. Putting that another way…the mind cannot fix what the mind has created…doesn’t matter what it is….especially if there is an emotional charge associated with it! This aspect of having an emotional charge associated with it…this aspect around patterning could be a whole topic on its own…so let me keep going!
Growing up being influenced by the people around us…gives us maybe a patterning effect to work with. Maybe we could consider it like a pattern we lay out on material…cutting the pieces to make the outfit. Habits or patterns can be the place to start…in our healing process. Once we recognize the habit or the patterning…we move forward from there.
Now as an adult….living life just like the rest of us….what can you do with that? Maybe you have recognized you have some habits or even patterns…or like I’ve come to learn…even conditioning. How do you feel about that? Anything you would like to change? Any patterns you would like to stop? Habits or patterns that cause us some kind of bother or charge inside of us…those would be the ones to start with!
What I’m going to share with you can be used for any habit or pattern. Think about one maybe bothering you right now! If you have one in mind, let’s go!
Are you bothered about the whole idea of having a habit…having a pattern? That may sound pretty simple…but when I’m working with clients…I have many people who are so bothered about even thinking they have a habit or pattern, period. That whole concept can cause people to feel powerless…like they have no power over changing something ‘that deep.’ That is real my friends…people are people…we all have stuff.
Going back to your habit or pattern…are you bothered about the fact that you can’t stop it or you can’t control it? Are there different elements within the habit or within the pattern that bother you? Start there! Take whatever it may be for you…and break it down into ‘pattern pieces.’ Just like making a pair of blue jeans…there are a number of pieces you work with to get the finished product…which in your case may be the habit…may be the pattern…may be the conditioning! Does that mean you have to stop the habit? Maybe…maybe not! We can learn so much about ourselves when we take one part or one piece at a time…maybe even many parts or pieces at a time…whatever works for us.
If I may use the example of a person who has the habit of smoking…if a person has the habit of smoking…there would be patterns in the habit or in the person’s behavior of the habit? For smoking…it may be patterns like getting up in the morning and the first thing may be to light up the cigarette before they do anything else; it may be the pattern of having cigarettes after they eat; it may be the pattern of feeling uncomfortable about something and needing to go for a cigarette! In the pattern…they will now find conditioning! Conditioning is a way of handling things.
Now is this habit of smoking…something a person learned as a child and now as an adult they do it? Maybe…maybe not! Somewhere along that person’s journey…they decided to start smoking….and now they have a habit…patterning…conditioning. A person uses the habit of smoking for some reason. Just like any of our habits…they are there for some reason…highlighting different learning for ourselves. Our learning can teach us things about ourselves!
I appreciate as much as that sounds pretty fluffy to use those words ‘for some reason’…when I work with clients around their habits or patterns…I go into many many aspects about what the pattern is about…what is it’s purpose…what is it fulfilling…there are so many threads that come from a habit…threads that have been around for a while. My experience has taught me…every person is different…the reason for one person’s habit will be different from every other person. There is a purpose or something much deeper that is playing a part in any person’s life.
The habits or patterns….even conditioning in our life…has been tailored to fit us and our lifestyle. When we become aware…yes…awareness…that there is more involved than just the habit of smoking…or the habit of over drinking…or even over eating, for example…the awareness will make a huge difference in resolving whatever may be bothering us around whatever it is today.
Any and all of our habits or patterns or conditioning we picked up along our journey…got us to where we are today! If we can learn to love our habits…our patterns…our conditioning….for their purpose…we will come to appreciate they will lead us to find joy and peace in our life. Those habits, patterns and conditioning offers us magically and mystically avenues to heal whatever we are here to heal through on this earth at this time.
By the way…if I may also add…any habit or pattern or conditioning will serve us until we are ready to let them go! Or put another way…in those moments of time when they no longer serve us…they will be gone!
Earlier, I used ‘serving you’…yes…there is a higher purpose involved.
If you think there isn’t a higher purpose…let me ask you this…How many times do we hear things about how bad smoking is for a person’s health…and yet we still see people smoke? How many times does someone feel crappy from a hangover because they drank too much the night before…and they still choose to go out drinking or over drinking? How many times do we say something…and regret that we even opened our mouth in the first place…yet we open our mouth? How many times do people spend their whole paycheck on or around pay day…and then feel awful about not having any money till next payday…and yet they still spend their whole paycheck? Is there a pattern…a habit in all of that? Maybe! Is it something that we can easily change? Maybe! Asking those questions makes me think of a comment I heard one time… ‘if you are trying to change someone…and they won’t change…try changing yourself and you will see how hard it is to change someone else.’ Let me ask you this….could trying to change someone be a habit or a pattern or conditioning? Just a thought!
How many things do we do on ‘auto pilot?’ Auto pilot is doing things without even thinking about them….maybe like patterning! I also reference this as ‘mindlessly doing things.’ Personally I feel there is a difference with doing things on auto pilot…or doing things consciously in the moment of doing them. Would that be a habit or a pattern?
Here is an example: You drive to work…get into work…and you aren’t even aware of how many red lights you had to stop for along the way….or maybe not even aware of who was in the elevator with you on your way up to your office. That may be a little different from the times when you put your seat belt on when you get into a car….maybe brushing your teeth after you eat…maybe shutting the lights off when you leave a room. Are those habits or patterns?
If I may use the analogy of a seamstress sewing clothes…finding the pattern can be the place to start. Pick out the material…place the pattern on the material and cut out the pieces needed to give the shape of the body. Sew the pieces together giving the outfit…then tailor the outfit to now fit. A person may need to do a little more tailoring or even alterations along the way…and so it is with life.
Blessings to you for a magical mystical day!
Sheila Unique. Relationship Coach