What is a pattern and why this topic? This post is an idea adapted from a speech I wrote and presented, over Zoom of course, this week. Having lots of time on my hands and because my creative process includes ample time for reflection and contemplation, I keep thinking about the relevance and presence of patterns in our lives.
I've noticed I have this pattern of not writing for long periods of time and then a deluge of thoughts and ideas come through and ALL I want to do is write. I was sharing with a fellow Coach that my creative process is not something I can control. It comes in waves and downloads and when it comes, I have no choice but to be present to it. How limiting.
What I took away from that conversation was the reminder that my behaviour is my choice. On many occasions, I've intentionally created the space and conditions for creative flow to emerge, which means I can command my own creativity. It's pressure and expectation that sap the flow. I believe that human beings are endlessly creative so how could creativity ever NOT be present if that is true?
I know well what I need to do to shift this behavioural pattern of excuse and self-imposed limitation. In our pre-COVID world of produce, achieve, and more, more, more, writing was often a challenge for me, especially if it was a paid gig with an imposing completion date. It was a task versus a gift from my heart and my soul, and the writing I would 'produce' was absolutely sub-par. I'm realizing that timelessness and creativity for me go hand in hand. Take the pressure off and it flows. Makes sense. Any sort of constriction will block flow, whether it's a kink in a hose or strict parameters around creativity.
Back to my 2 questions: what is a pattern and why this topic?
Patterns are what make up the fabric of our cosmos and they are everywhere, inside and outside ourselves. I think of a repeating, spiralling series like the Fibonacci sequence or an unending sequence like the formula for Pi that continues to loop around and around itself, creating an endless circle. Human behaviour itself is a series of patterns of doing and being. Creative design is made up of patterns and I wonder if this is because patterns make us feel safe. Maybe it's because they make sense and have a certain order or symmetry to them?
Regardless, the more I reflect on this, the more I see patterns EVERYWHERE. I'm nearing the end of my 44th rotation around the sun and I've finally been able to put my Higher Purpose into 2 words: Meaningful Connection. My ego has a deep desire for more flowery and eloquent language to express something this important to me, but when it comes down to it, my intuition tells me this is THE chapter heading for everything I do in the world. More than this, Meaningful Connection is how I BE: I seek it, I create it, I help others tap into it. Connection seeks patterns, hence my fascination and awe.
Because Human Potential is one of my areas of interest, study, and wonderment, I think a lot about unconscious patterns. These are the patterns that get us stuck. These are the patterns that prevent us from living our dreams and our best lives. Many refer to these as blind spots. Blind spots are the patterns that get in the way and prevent us from witnessing and experiencing our own magnificence. They can block our access to our divine right of joy. Yikes!
So what can we do with these blind spots? If we can't see them and we don't even know they are there, how on earth can we work with them?
We can read and take advice from mentors and coaches, which of course is really helpful.
As mentioned, contemplation and reflection are a big part of my process, and I do believe these are under-utilized in this age of information during which we take in so much information without letting it land inside ourselves to create and form our own perspectives. I wonder if these under-utlized practices or arts are not as valued because they take so much time?
We need time to integrate our thoughts, align them with our values and what's important to us, and simply sit with them. Here are 3 ideas to help you explore and peel back how your own patterns can teach you about yourself and your unconscious patterns. This is self-awareness, which is such a powerful practice that allows us to see more clearly:
self-observation - keep a journal to watch what you do regularly. This will take time so try 1, 2 or 3 weeks of observation. Notice the common threads. Do they serve you or not? If not, what would you like to do with those patterns? If so, do you want to expand those patterns? How will you do this?
Nature as your muse - nature has within it so many patterns. What can you learn from watching nature every day? What are some things happening in nature that you can emulate in your own life? How are the many patterns present in nature inspiring to you?
For all of these suggestions, consider keeping a journal and reading your excerpts when you are in different moods. Notice where your thoughts and feelings intersect. Sit with all of this for as long as it serves you and remember that it's your choice what you do with your discoveries.
Remember that you are an intricate tapestry of patterns that is so unique and beautiful, and while many things may seem out of your creative power to influence, there are more avenues of choice available than you may realize. Embrace the opportunity to explore these unknown avenues, tap into your brilliance, and celebrate what unfolds.