Breaking patterns, a scary thing…or Not!
There are three phases required to break a pattern. First, notice it. If we’re unaware of a pattern there is no hope in breaking it. Second, own it. If we are unwilling to own our part in creating and maintaining the pattern nothing changes. Third, and the toughest phase is actively choosing to break the pattern. This requires us to make different choices mindfully.
It doesn’t matter if the pattern we’re breaking is in our personal life or our work life. Breaking a pattern can seem like a scary thing to do. Why? Because we don’t know what will be on the other side. We get comfortable in the patterns and the habits we form. We know how to move and adjust, what to expect, it’s comfortable. Even though we know the pattern will land us right back where we started, we grab a hold of it because…well…it’s what we know to do. It’s like retying a knot the same way hoping for it to hold differently.
Then something happens. The tension on our body begins to intensify and we hear the words “Make a different choice!” To say, “Enough!”
In a breath, the spell is broken, and we can change the course of our life.
Mindfully choosing to make different choices comes with action. I can be mindful in saying I will get up to exercise every morning…however, until I actually get up and exercise the pattern remains.
We go through phases when breaking a pattern. There could be shock, awe, mouth dropping, tears, grief, relief and ultimately a sense of satisfaction and freedom.
Freedom when we break a pattern feels lighter in the body. The initial duck and roll to avoid any fall out is an instinctual reaction, but then, we get up look around and find “hey I’m still here!” Some might call looking at someone brave enough to break a pattern at work a CRM (career limiting move). Not true. This is just our intellect working at keeping us where we are.
When we break a pattern we create a space for possibility.
The only thing that happens when we stay with an old pattern is we get stuck, stuck in the same old place. Breaking the pattern creates the possibility of a new space, it allows for creativity and innovation, new life.
If we choose to stay in a state of curiosity and wonder while breaking a pattern I believe it becomes easier to make different choices. Why? Because instead of looking back, we are now looking forward. Consider celebrating each new choice in the process of breaking a pattern that no longer serves you. Smile as you leap into a space that severs the cord that bound us to the patterns and habituation.
It’s the beginning of a new decade! What if we looked at breaking patterns is an invitation to bring the joy of possibility into our life?
Until the next time!
Diana Porter says
Hi Lisa, I am looking forward to meeting you at the retreat this Saturday! WOW I just read your article on Breaking Patterns. My heart is still racing. It was so good and familiar to me, I hope I can talk more about this with you. I was in a 32 year marriage to an alcoholic and definitely had patterns and habits I developed to survive and after he passed away, about a year later I met someone and began seeing myself doing the same patterns. I am thankful I recognized it but it was extremely difficult to make the decision to separate myself from this situation I need to figure out how NOT to fall back into these habits. THUS I am coming to this retreat to discover who I CAN BE before I can ever consider engagement/marriage in my future. This wonderful man is waiting and hoping still that we will end up together. So this is one of the things that I hope I can find some clarity in this time away, what would my inner true authentic self choose?
Lisa J. Weiss says
Hi Diana, I’m so glad the blog resonates. I know that dance as well and look forward to exploring the possibilities of what standing in a new place looks and feels like. See you in a few days!