relax_into_stretch

Photo courtesy Inge Duin. See more of her quilts here.

Have you ever done stretching exercises?

If so, then you know the wonder of going with the stretch. When you stretch, let’s say, you bend your spine down while keeping your knees straight till your hand reach the floor. Put the palms down.

This stretch should be experienced through the spine as well as the hamstrings. If it is easy for you, walk your hands further on to increase the stretch, till you can barely handle it.

Here comes the key point.

When you are stretching you are challenging the muscles for elasticity. If you get tense at that moment, the stretch is painful or, uncomfortable, to say at least. But… when you relax with the stretch and into the stretch, this very discomfort becomes nearly pleasurable. It is still discomfort, mind you, but your body is both allowing it and accepting it. It sees the purpose of such a conscious extension.

The ease follows, which is not the ease from discomfort, but a meta-feeling of a higher level acceptance and understanding. In the stretch, in the very pull of the muscles, the body sees a promise of something greater. The promise of graceful movements. It is a joy in disguise.

The extension gives hope for supple joints and the flexibility. The body loves it deeply.

***

When a problem or a challenge occurs in your life, you may choose to attack it head on. You may want a solution and you may want it fast. This may work out in some cases, but it does not, when the solution involves your transformation.

If the solution cannot be worked out straight away or soon, what do you do?

Well…  Perhaps…

You gather more knowledge.
You collect more understanding.
You test various approaches and try new ones.
You research and investigate.
You seek help from others.
You move beyond the obvious, the standard and the norm.

Yet, the progress is negligible. When you manage to solve an aspect of your problem, a new angle arises to complicate the whole picture even more.

You feel like paddling a canoe in a raging river.
It is wild and unpredictable.
The harder your try, the more difficult it gets.

Imagine now, for a change, that your problem is not a wild river, but a small pond that you have already investigated pretty well. The solution you want is a bright coin lying at the bottom.

When you attempt to paddle like crazy, get better equipment (say, knowledge) or techniques (say, understanding) or ask friends to paddle with you, you only stir up the mud and create the foam.

Perhaps …  in all your eagerness of paddling and the splashes you created, you have indeed mistaken a pond for a river. All these efforts, well-intended of course, and optimized for effectiveness, all the anxiety, and the action are in vain.

They all obscure the surface of the pond. The waters are murky. There is nothing to be seen.

How can you look for the coin?

Stop your paddling and stand still. Stay still long enough for the waters to get calm and clear.
Relax into the stretch.

Just allow things to be.
Live as if you have everything you need.
Live as if your problems have never existed.

Maybe it will take one day, a week or a year.
Let your coin reveal itself.

It will.

***

Have you ever had a child or a family member with an overwhelming health problem?
Have you ever encountered a sudden limitation,  a serious lack of money or a loss?
Have you ever had so much on your plate you could barely make from day to day?

What do you do then?

Do you get angry and rebel?
Do you keep hacking the problem?
Do you educate yourself to come out with new solutions?

Relax instead.

Relax into your challenge.
Open your chest.
Accept what is and live as if the solution has been found.

This simple step takes the pressure of you to come out with action or plans to hack it.

Sometimes loving attention is all that is needed. To yourself, your family member or a friend.

In the state of relaxation, your parasympathetic nervous system is at work. This is your optimal state.

Your intuition is enhanced.
Love comes freely.
You live in the zone.

***

Cherish your intentions.
Calm your emotions.
Look around.

The coin is there to be found.

***

 

There are times in life when everything seems to go wrong. And you wonder how to persevere.

Performance decreases.
Miscommunication leads to problems.
Things break in the house and in the office.
Cars need repairs.
Friends leave or die.
Family problems arise.
Health is challenged.
Kids catch bugs and need extra care.
Job is threatened.
Bureaucratic errors occur.
Systems you rely on break down.
Procedures go wrong.
Internet is gone.
Orders go miss.
And so on.

There are mental, emotional and physical challenges. On all levels. And you feel as if run by a truck.

The winds of difficulties blow in your face and they blow strong. There is an emotional turmoil. There is so much work but despite all the work you do, there is hardly any progress. Whatever you touch to manage, correct or handle, things don’t improve and often become worse. You take action but the results are little or even adverse.

And then you begin to wonder.

How am I going to handle this all? How am I going to persevere?

Has this ever happened to you?

Yes?

 You are not alone. Welcome to the Club 😉

Breathe it out and persevere

If sudden events come to your life, the first thing is to pause and breathe. Especially, the out-breath is important. Please follow the Red ribbon exercise. This simple focus on breath forces your Conscious Self to be present in the moment. And this gives you the control back.

The clustering of challenging events has always intrigued me. How is it possible that they come one after another?

Surprisingly, even if I think that I can’t handle them any more, I do. Even when I get kicked-off my balance, hurt, torn and misplaced, I am back to my center. I persevere.

I was originally poor at facing life challenges and my usual tactic was to close down, get depressed, sit in the self-pity pit and complain. With years of my conscious growth, however, I have become better and better at handling life setbacks.

I still get hit. I am still overwhelmed. And I still get hurt. Yet, after the initial shock or surprise, I find my peace and begin action from within. This is because I’ve developed practices that allow me to regain my balance and re-define my center. And I want to share them with you.

There are two main learning points with respect to your calmness and peace in the eye of a tornado. The first learning point is that the overall balance and feeling in control strongly depends on the centering and balancing of your physical body. And you can learn to practise that. Secondly, your mental and emotional balance depends on an undisturbed flow of emotions and practising detachment. This can be learned as well.

Practice I. Physical center and balance

Staying balanced and centered refers to a basic position in marital arts. Balance is attained when the weight of the body is distributed evenly, right and left, forward and back,all the way from head to the toes. Center is practised when the bodily awareness is concentrated at the center of the abdomen, say 2cm below the navel. All movement is initiated from the center.

Exercise. Regain your center and balance.

1. Warm up.

Stand tall, feet parallel, slightly wider than at shoulder width, knees slightly bent. Warm up your body with little stretching exercises. This should take 5min and is not meant as a warming-up to a demanding exercising session.  This warming up is meant for you to 1) bring your awareness to the body, 2) get the feeling of various parts of the body and 3) exercise flexibility of movement. It is not necessary though.

You can choose any warming up exercises you know. For instance, you can do the following:

  • Rotations of joints. Flex, extend, and rotate each of the joints:  fingers, wrists, elbows, shoulders, neck, trunk, hips, knees, ankles, feet and toes.
  • Neck movements. Repeat 3-5x.
    • Tuck your chin into your chest, and then lift your chin upward as far as possible.
    • Lower your left ear toward your left shoulder and then your right ear to your right shoulder.
    • Turn your chin toward your left shoulder and then slowly rotate it toward your right shoulder.
  • Shoulder flexibility. Repeat 3-5x. Raise your left shoulder towards your left ear, take it backwards, down and then up again to the ear. Make smooth circles in both directions.  Repeat it for the right shoulder.
  • Arm swings. Repeat 5x. Swing both arms continuously to a position above your head, then forward, down, and backwards. Then swing both arms out to your sides.
  • Side bends. Repeat 3-5x. With hands on your hips, bend smoothly first to one side, and then to the other. Avoid leaning forward or backward.
  • Forward bends. Repeat 3-5x.
  • Hip circles. Repeat 5x in every direction. With hands on your hips, make circles with your hips in a clockwise direction, followed by an anticlockwise direction.
  • Leg swings. Repeat 5x. Put the weight on your left foot. Swing your right leg forward and backward. Repeat for the other leg.

2. Find your balance.

Stand tall on the ground with a straight spine, feet a shoulder apart, parallel to each other. Eyes are facing forward, shoulders flexible and knees bent just a little bit. You feel connected to the ground. You stand securely imagining your feet being strong as roots of an oak tree. Arms hang loosely at your sides.

Now, distribute your weight evenly. This sounds easy but may be difficult to attain.

Feet. Stand with feet a shoulder apart, parallel to each other. Spread the weight equally between the legs. Keep shifting weight from one foot to the other until you find where the middle point is. Then stop.

Knees. Keep knees bent a bit. You should feel firmly attached to the ground yet flexible, prepared to move if needed.

Head. Keep your head straight, facing forward. Imagine a flexible cord attached to the middle point of your skull. Since the tendency of many people is to slouch or look down, the goal of this imaginative cord is to pull you up. Check that your chin is parallel to the ground.  Your spine needs to be straight and your head needs to be an extension of your spine.  This is where the pull of the cord is.

Why is it important to keep the head in this position?  A head weights usually between 4.5 and 6kg. It is a heavy burden on both the atlas and axis, the first two cervical vertebra of the spine, where the head rests. A misalignment on this level carries on through the whole spine and usually results in various subluxations which lead to misalignments in the body. A proper position of the head can be attained through a conscious practice. Alternatively, you may need a help from an osteopath or chiropractor.

Shoulders. Keep your shoulder blades down. They need to support the spine yet remain flexible. Check they are aligned.

Hips. Imagine your hips are a bucket full of water. Move your hips forward and backward and to the sides. Your goal is to find a position where no water is lost from the bucket.

Being a tree. Imagine yourself as a tree, with strong roots (feet) and branches (your head and spine) extending to heaven. You are like a birch tree, well rooted and still, but flexible.

3. Regain your center.

Bring awareness to the middle of your abdomen. Tap lightly with your fingers on the abdomen. You can place the palm of your hand there to feel how it is rising with your breath. Take an in-breath that begin to feel the abdomen rising. Imagine how air nourishes you through all the organs moving out through capillaries of your limbs. Imagine your out-breath coming from your limbs.

Remain in this position for 5min or as long as comfortable. Focus on your breath.

Practice II. Detachment

I imagine emotions as energy currents or waves.  In the challenging time, emotions come suddenly and in strong waves. There is often disappointment, anger or feeling of injustice. There may be hurt, grief, pain or terror.

The natural working of emotions is to flow through your body. If you maintain the flow, you allow all emotions to be expressed in respectful ways. When the flow is blocked, a tension is created which will seek its own way out in the less convenient way, perhaps as health problems.

It is only holding them back, or riding on them kicks us out of the balance and out of the middle way. We become too much one-sided. We may be swayed by the strong waves and allow them to carry us. In doing so, we become submissive and loose control. As a result, we are weak an powerless.

Detach: look at your life from above

The first conscious act is to say “Stop”. Take the control back. Start thinking about the emotions. Recognize what they are and name them. By engaging your thinking, an emotion looses its strong impact. The next act is to detach from what is happening. It may sound difficult but it is actually simple and working fast when you remember to practise it.

Exercise. Make a break.
Leave your living place for at least a day, possibly a few days or a week. Physical distance forces a distant view on your life.

Exercise. Source.
Find what s the strongest feeling in you in this very moment. Name it. Write it down if you like. Find the though behind this feeling. Which thought gave birth to this feeling? Write it down in one sentence. Now, go another step back. What was the intention behind the thought? What is the source of the though? What was the motivation? What was your need?

In doing so, by the very naming of emotion – thought – intention, you give it a shape and make the generating process conscious. It gives you both understanding and control. Practice it.

Exercise. Football field.
Imagine a football field (baseball, basketball or any other sport game field). You are like a player on the field when  you are strongly engaged with your emotions. You have only a limited view of what is happening on the field, near to you. You are involved in the fight, in the kick, jump or run. You have a partial understanding. This is how your life is int he moment. How does it feel now?

Imagine now that you are a fan sitting on the chair above looking at the game. Now you can see the whole field, where the ball is, who taking actions, who is the best to give a ball to and so on. You gain a perspective. Now, imagine that this is the way you look at your life, just taking a view from above so that you, your house, your work becomes a view from, say, 10-20m from above (the 5-7th floor of a building).  Now you can observe yourself from the perspective of a fan observing the game. How does it feel?

Finally, imagine that you are a commentator sitting at the high, far above the field. You not only see the players and the field but also the fans. There are clear patterns. Actions clusters, behavior is repeated. beautifulYou can observe.

Now take this metaphor to see your life from the perspective far above, say even from an airplane. You become small, nearly insignificant and in one glimpse you see the whole town and your life. There are beautiful colors, patches and patterns, Things happen but somehow slowly. There is peace to it and a higher order. You understand.

Practice III. Enhance flow: release emotions

Emotions need to be expressed. They are our natural meter of what is happening to us. We can feel excited, happy, joyful, or uplifted. Similarly, we can feel angry, fearful, disappointed, hurt, terrified or powerless.

Emotions flow through the body. If you feel happy, you smile or laugh, your eyes are shining, you are jumping around. Similarly if you are disappointed, angry or fearful, you need to express such feelings as well.

We have been made to believe that it is wrong or weak to show feelings, such as anger, hatred, pain or fear. As a result, such emotions are blocked. What’s worse, these natural emotions may be heavily denied that you don’t even know they are there.

It starts with your intent to allow these feelings to surface and to express them as they emerge. It does not mean you should be crying, screaming, or yelling at yourself or people for hours. The idea is to find appropriate ways for the emotional release and in the convenient time, usually when you are alone.

Useful tools for emotional release

No one can tell you how to feel your feelings. It is up to you to learn about your own sensitivity here through effort, intent, and action. Working with others on your emotions may be helpful but it not necessary. Only you can interpret your emotions and connect them to the likely causes as well as find the appropriate release.  Below, I suggest a few tools that I practise myself. Particularly, I encourage you to learn about EFT.

Hurt. Pain. Discomfort. Disappointment. Grief.

  • Pray. This will give you wisdom. Peace. And a solution.
  • Breathe. Breathe it out.
  • Cry. Cry it out.
  • Write about it. Take a piece of paper. Write things down. Jot down how you feel and what is bothering you. Take any time you need.  Burn the drawing and imagine all the emotions being made free through the flame.
  • Draw it. Take a piece of paper. Make a drawing of each feeling you name. Use colorful pencils. Take any time you need. Burn the drawing and imagine all the emotions being made free through the flame.
  • Mix-media. Make an artistic expression of your emotion by using various media such as writing, painting or collage.

Anger and grief (anger also hides behind grief).

When you are angry, you are prone to physical acts. The energy is concentrated and seeks a physical release. It asks for a strong act of hitting, slapping, punching or kicking. The greatest method for the release is to play a sport that requires such an activity: football, baseball, volleyball, etc. If you don’t have such a possibility, take a pillow or cushion and keep punching it until you get tired. It works wonders.

All emotions.

  • EFT. Use EFT, emotional freedom technique, also called tapping. It is a fast and effective tools for releasing emotions of the day. When learnt, it takes only 5min and can also be used to start a day in a good mood. The old (and hidden deep down) emotions and traumas may need a repetition over a period of time.
    Personally, it took me 1 month of 2 x 5 min daily repetition to release a strong trauma. The technique is simple, effective and actually fun. I encourage you to read the EFT instruction booklet, freely available. The best educational videos are these on tapping. Follow them. I recommend you learn the practice from the Tapping website.
  • Physical exercise. Exercise until you are physically exhausted. The best exercise is the one that requires a strong involvement of your limbs. E.g. running, chopping wood, kicking  a ball, jumping on a trampoline, punching in a gym, etc.

If any of the above is a little frightening to you, accept that it feels frightening. Name it. Do the Source Exercise above.

Practice IV. Smile

Even if this sounds ridiculous, smile

Change your posture, stand tall and face forward. Smile. By forcing a change on your physiognomy, new emotions (compensating the overflow you now experience) are likely to follow.

Smile to yourself.

Smile to remember things you are grateful for. 

Smile to this moment of Now.

Practice V. Relax

Find ways to relax at night. The Red Ribbon Exercise may be of help.

You can handle the challenges

This is your life. And you can handle the challenges. It is a choice.

You may choose to persevere and get stronger or not.
You may choose to release your emotions or not.
You may choose to take an effort to get to know yourself or not.
You may choose to learn the practices so that you are well equipped and resourceful when the tornado comes or not.

No choice is still a choice.

You can choose to handle the challenges and grow.

This is your life. Only you can change it.

 

 

There is a concept of the middle way as a path of development. The followers of this path likely apply moderation to everything. They tend to avoid extremes. While this seems a reasonable way of living, there is a much more advanced approach.

Two extremes and the center

As we know everything has its opposite. As a result, we have two extremes and the center, the middle point in between. And if we carefully observe the workings of the universe we will notice that the natural rhythm is to continuously swing from one opposite to the other and back. This is the principle of rhythm. We go from a day to a night, from joy to sadness, from summer to winter, from a high-tide to a low-tide or from work to rest. There is this basic rhythm, the basic swing between the polarities.

The same understanding applies to practicing the middle way.

Counter-intuitively, the true middle way is not narrow. Oh, no no no.

The middle path is not about boring miniature movements around the middle point. On the contrary, it is a challenging path when you walk between the extremes. Traveling between the polarities does not mean, however, all polarities that exist, but only the opposites that define the space of your maturing and personal growth. And you choose to walk this path with consciousness. You keep visiting the opposites and swing consciously between them.

The paradox of the center

There is an interesting paradox of the middle way.

Our goal is to be in the middle. The middle is the center. What is the center?

Center is Integrity. Center is Peace. Center is Christ.

Being in the center is the ultimate goal. However, center is not achieved by standing still there, but by balancing between the opposites.

Center is Balance. Think about it this way. When a person walks on a tightrope, he is constantly moving his body, swaying from side to side to move forward and prevent the fall. And although his goal is to stay on the rope, i.e. keep the center, most of the time he is outside the center, being either at one side or the other. He is keeping the course of movement not by standing still but by actively balancing between the opposite sides and between up and down.

So, the balancing between the opposites is the core of the middle way. The center is continuously being reached through an active balancing.

So, the key understanding here is as follows.

  1. The middle way is a path between opposites. It is a spacious path. There is a lot of room for experience and even more for investigation. There is freedom to manoeuvre, to make mistakes and to learn.
  2. Personal experience or deep understanding of the extremes is essential for finding the true center for yourself.
    • When you loose health, you understand how valuable it is.
    • When you become poor, you begin to appreciate what wealth is.
    • When you are live in noisy environment, you begin to value solitude and silence.
    • When you are about to loose your life, you begin to live with an contagious passion.

Even when you experience the darkest sides of yourself, making deliberate errors, committing crimes or hating others, it may serve you as a powerful experience for a personal transformation towards kindness, gratitude and love.

The big challenge

There is however a big challenge when you want to follow the middle way.

Think for a moment about a pendulum swinging from side to side.  When there are no external forces, the pendulum will naturally stop at its center.

Let the pendulum be now our metaphor for life. Our ultimate goal is to know the center and to be at the center.  However, there are always external circumstances that act on us, be it consequences of our decisions (that we can hardly foresee) or events outside our control. As a result, the pendulum never stops. It is always in motion.

What is the swing?

The external forces and circumstances may override the natural rhythm of the pendulum. So, they will tend to keep you at one of the opposites, usually the less favorable one such as the permanent state of grumbling and complaining. As a result, the center you find is not the center at all. You simply have too little experience and understanding to be able to define the center well as the pendulum has an abnormal rhythm, highly biased towards one of the polarities.

E.g. if you have been unhappy and complaining for years, you may only have a vague idea about happiness. As you lack the direct experience and cannot even imagine what a true happiness is the way you define happiness is colored by the negative interpretations of your experiences. As a result, your perceived center is far from the middle point.

The how-to of the middle way

The advanced way to follow the middle path is to transcend the duality, the opposites. What does it mean? In practice

  1. You take the time to understand the principle of rhythm and its working in your life. It means that you are knowledgeable about the rhythm and cycles of changes. When you know a change is to happen, you can prepare for it in advance in order to take advantage.
  2. You know where the center is because you have chosen to experience the opposites and to understand them. You simply take the time to go through the extremes personally, learn about them from other people, or extrapolate from your own life experience.
  3. You always keep your intent to return to the center. Or, in other words, you hold the consciousness of the center. Even if the external circumstances or life challenges want to keep you stuck at one of the polarities, it is you and your consciousness that will encourage you to swing towards the other side.
  4. The middle way is achieved by your active and conscious balancing between the opposites. So, it means that you first go to one extreme and spend the necessary time there, then you follow to the other extreme. And repeat.

    For example, the advanced balancing of your work day is to work hard and with deep focus followed by a full rest. This can be implemented in any way that is convenient for you. E.g. you can choose to work hard for 50min followed by a 10-min rest and repeat it all, say 8 times a day. Or you can choose to work hard for 3h followed by a 25-min rest and repeat it 3-4 times a day. Or you can work very hard for a full day followed by a free morning the following day. Any of such approaches is efficient as long as it suits you.

Transcendence is by choice. You are in charge. Accept it.

And your middle way will become a fantastic experience.

***

The image above shows a beautiful quilt by Inge Duin. See more of her works on www.ingeduin.nl.

I really like poems.

I am attracted to poems and art in which more is left out than expressed directly. I’m delighted when presented with an interesting line, a sketch or an idea. I love the empty spaces between the things.

I simply love and appreciate ideas. And I love when my imagination is at work.

The poem below, by Edward Estlin Cummings, is an example of this:

***
love is a place
& through this place of
love move
(with brightness of peace)
all places

yes is a world
& in this world of
yes live
(skilfully curled)
all worlds

***

While I read this poem, I imagine a huge leafy forest, a forest of old trees. It is a morning on a warm, summer day, just a few hours after sunrise. The air is dense. Warm but not yet hot. Dew is no longer here, although you may still find some remaining of it.

There is peace and calmness, and yet there is some music in the air. The vibrations are strong. You sense them more than you hear them. The air feels almost palpable, saturated with a message.

And there is sun shining brightly. The sun rays penetrate the forest softly. They begin with strolling slowly between the trees. There is all the time available so that they can look for the nicest clumps of grass. They want to rest there.

Grass is long and gently vibrates to the music. She hears music so strongly indeed. Balls of light slide on the waves of vibration, penetrate each other and enjoy playing hide and seek. They dance elegantly to the rhythm.

Wind behaves impeccably elegantly, as a perfect musician would do. He knows his trade. There you can feel a gentle breeze, perhaps a slight acceleration of wind now and then, but everything with great solemnity. The leaves and the grass gently flutter.

And you stand there in the middle of everything in awe and respect. In the silence you recognize the perfect creation.

The silence is holy. Everything has its own place. Sun, trees, leaves, tree trunks, plants, grass and moss, insects, worms and small animals. Nobody seems to orchestrate this all but everything has its own place and own meaning. You are a witness to a mysterious performance of light, color and movement.

Place and purpose.

You know that love permeates this place. Even more, love creates this space and fills this space.

You breathe love. You belong. You feel accepted and appreciated.

While being in this place, you feel centered and calm. Love is your companion. You are created and you are a creator.

You are an observer and you are an actor.

You commit to Yes.

Love is a place but all other places exist from this place.
Yes is a world but it contains a seed of all worlds.

Is Yes greater than Love???

***

 

Norway - Quilt by Inge Duin, www.ingeduin.nl

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 www.ingeduin.nl.

***

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