When things aren’t working…when they haven’t been working for awhile…what do you do? When I get quiet and take an overview of my life, I can sometimes see the patterns. There are patterns that I am at peace with and then, there are patterns that I am undone by every single time. Recognizing that, what can I do to change a pattern?
- One key is recognition: When I am able to identify a pattern and name it, that is the doorway to changing it. Sometimes, I write it down in detail, the elements that make up this rerun pattern. Then I gain a clearer understanding of myself and how and perhaps why I recycle this unhelpful pattern.
- Recognizing the facets of the pattern, I might be able to see “choice points.” Within the pattern, there are split seconds when I can decide to do something differently. That is, catch the pattern at work and detour myself away from it. No, don’t go that way–again!
- The doing something differently can be placing my attention elsewhere, i.e. doing jumping jacks, dancing, going for a walk in nature, picking up a book, getting out the paints and painting. Any number of possibilities. You choose.
- Another helpful tool is writing poetry about your dilemma. Because poetry accesses another part of the brain, it can offer up a solution that you might not have logically considered.
- If you feel safe enough to share your process with a trustworthy friend, you might ask them for support in your mission.
- Also, if you believe in a higher power, prayer for assistance as you implement something new can assist you.
They say that it takes twenty-one days to solidify a new pattern or habit. Considering that there is the real possibility of falling into the same old, same old, you can remember that Alcoholics Anonymous slogan “Just for today…” I can do this differently. Then it feels manageable.
Years ago, I read a quote by Buckminster Fuller, an American architect, systems theorist, author, designer, inventor, and futurist. It goes like this:
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
I appreciate the wisdom in this quote.