Norway - Quilt by Inge Duin,

What are patterns?

In general, these are the common characteristics or traits between comparable ideas, concepts, things, objects, creatures, people, events etc.

Patterns are there.
They may be easily observable, or hidden.
They may be intricate, or simple.
They may be interesting, or plain. And more than that.

Patterns just are and we become aware of them.
We recognize patterns when we are ready to perceive them.

You can observe or discuss patterns in the context of systems, organizations, structures, orders, forms, methods, routines, plans or frameworks. Or more.

You can consider patterns in standards, foundations or benchmarks. You can discuss them in terms of blueprints, prototypes or archetypes.

You can experience patterns in various media and creative expressions.

You can see them in art and discover them in science.

You can go through them in your own life.

Patterns are so much more than just characteristics or features of things, however. Characteristics are usually descriptive in language and limited in what they describe.

Patterns are multi-dimensional objects

For me, patterns are multi-dimensional creations in the sense that they convey multiple and distinct features, sub-structures, points of view or levels. Patterns appeal to senses, perceptions, feelings, language and understanding.

They may be either simple or complex, but they are often elegant. Why? Because they are related to our personal meanings behind the things or ideas. As a result, the same patterns may easily represent different ideas to different people.

The pattern of being late

To give you an example, one pattern in my life is  “being late” or “liking the late stage”. In particular, this means that

  • I set up my alarm clock as late as possible.
  • I am very slow to start a day and I become more productive later on.
  • I love to stay up late and work late. I love the calmness of evenings and nights.
  • I prefer sunset to sunrise.
  • I am late to learn some skills that are basic to others.
  • I am often late with responses and key decisions. I take the time.
  • I love the advanced (late) stage of projects, plans, undertakings etc. I don’t particularly fancy the early stages.
  • I am late as a mother.
  • I am late with my carrier.
  • I start late to meet my deadlines.

The examples above present only a snapshot of how this pattern shows up in my life. I recognize this pattern in many more aspects.

Note that patterns are neither good nor bad as such. It depends on how you look at them and interpret the circumstances around.

Obviously, I can emphasize either dis-empowering or empowering aspects of the patterns in my life. I choose the later :). For instance, being late as a mother made me a very conscious and mature mother. It has a positive impact on the way I approach my kids as I am simply more relaxed. Setting up my alarm clock late taught me to get organized in the morning and focus on the crucial things only. No time to be wasted. As a result of working at evenings, I simply get things done. And so on.

What about the patterns in your life?

  • What about the patterns in your life?  Can you recognize them?
  • How aware are you of these patterns in daily life?
  • Can you see how these patterns contribute to your own uniqueness?
  • Which conscious actions do you take to make the best of your patterns?
  • How much do you appreciate the patterns?  How much do you fight them?
  • How do you relate to the patterns of behaviors, choices and approaches that run in your family?

Whatever patterns you recognize in your work, in your environment, in your nation, in your family, in your choices and in your life – simply accept them. They give you a shape, a color, a flavor and music. They point to your basic essence, i.e. what you naturally love or attract. By being aware of the patterns you know when you are weak and when you are strong. Make use of this knowing wisely.

It is a huge loss of effort and energy to fight your own patterns. If you see them as bad, remember this your own coloring of things and events. It is you who gives them meaning. And you can choose to give them a different meaning by changing your perspective.

Patterns contribute to your uniquely special |you. At the moment you embrace your own patterns, you become truly conscious of them. And this is a moment in which you can make a step and decide to focus on what serves you and how to make best of it.

Pattern recognition is the key expression of consciousness. Live consciously!


The image above shows a wonderful quilt by Inge Duin. See


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