Patterns & Transformation
Have you ever noticed the way patterns seem to repeat in your life? They could be as insignificant as which quadrant of your mouth gets the toothbrush first or as automatic as how you greet your coworkers. These patterns may be physical-energetic, held in movement or posture, or sensory-intellectual, carried in thoughts and feelings.
You yogis might think of these patterns as opportunities to burn karma through your neutrality, or samskaras presenting a magical opportunity for transformation. You science-y types could say it’s a neuroplastic habit or repetitive nervous system response. The wise know as many perspectives as possible.
Make a game of your patterns: start performing/thinking/feeling differently When you begin changing things, no matter how seemingly insignificant, you will not only notice your patterns playing out everywhere, you will also notice how deeply ingrained they are…and how difficult to change.
Exhale your arms up. Stir with your left hand. Walk backwards. What happens when you say “I love you” instead of defending your position? Give food or money to a homeless person? Purge your basement? Use frustration as a reminder to be thankful for something (anything!) in life?
You may also notice that patterns move through your lifetime, in the arc of relationships, symbols/archetypes, or narrative themes. You may choose/attract the same personalities, situations, or environments.
A pattern across my life has been my affinity for wooded areas and water. I grew up at a cottage, lived on the only lake in Toronto’s bedroom (Mississauga, Ontario), and trip into the golden autumn and silver-spring woods of New Hampshire every year.
The last time I was in NH I had the joy and pleasure of staying at Rock Maple Farm in Strafford. After playing with breathing practices and movements to reduce stress with a group of eight women gathered on the plush furniture of the parlour, they exchanged ideas and personal stories of hope and self-improvement. Bonus: three varieties of Lanta’s spa water and some of the best senses of humour around!
The next day I toured the maple syrup rigging at Rock Maple Farm. As a maple syrup enthusiast, I’ve studied many historical means of tapping, collecting, cooking, and bottling. Tools include antlers, hot rocks, flannelette, warm days/cold nights, and lore about Good Friday. This was the first time I’d ever seen a modern rigging.
I’m headed back to Rock Maple Farm today, where Lanta is hosting me at two venues, before carrying on to my sister studio, YogaLife New Hampshire, for a semi-annual weekend intensive. This is a special time, as I rarely present a topic across days anymore. I’m looking forward to delving into transforming the pains of our past into actionable inspiration that helps not only us but the world around us. I believe we were wounded to empower our healing force to have a greater impact than we ever could have within the frame of perfect early years.
Trauma is medicine – for self and others…Here we go!