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You know, I’ve been working with people and their bodies for almost 40 years. And I’m a really good observer, I watch, people and I watch how they move. I notice things that other people don’t notice. I’d like to share what I notice because, I think it’s interesting and I think you will too.
Did you ever notice how, patterns and habits, feel really strong? Almost like you can’t break them, for example, eating sweets at night or let’s say you have a habit of sitting a certain way.
Whatever it might be. There are a lot of habits and patterns. And some of those patterns are good and they sustain us and that’s all great. And then, there are patterns and habits that we’d like to see change. And they feel so strong, like you’re really up against something BIG and you have to push really hard against it.
And the thing about habits and patterns is that they actually get their strength based on repetition. Think about that. The habit is only as strong as the next time you repeat it. When you start to interrupt those patterns in, sometimes really small ways, you bring your awareness to them. This begins the process of taking the power back from the pattern. For example, if you have a habit of eating sweets at night and you start to do something to interrupt that pattern, like drinking water first. That’s a kind of a pattern interrupt, because it’s out of the ordinary. By doing something different, it shifts the power of the habit.Maybe the next time you do it, you intorduce another small shift, perhaps changing the portion just a little bit, or you do a happy dance before you eat the sweets. You can ask yourself, “Okay, um, do I, do I want this as much as I thought I did?” It’s a fair question, right? If the answer is yes, go ahead and indulge in the habit, and if the answer if no, then you make another choice. Either way, the habit is now yours because you are more in charge.
The idea is that you start to interrupt your patterns and you start to shape and shift them according to what you want, rather than just being at the mercy or at the reaction of whatever your patterns have been. A pattern is only as strong as the next time you repeat it. When you start to interrupt your pattern, even small ways or big ways, then you actually start to shift the strength of that pattern and then it doesn’t feel quite so overwhelming or overpowering in your life.
Now, I work with peopleand their bodies. And so, if you have a habit of using your body in a certain way, at first, it’s completely unconscious, right? It’s a surprise: “What? I didn’t even know I did that. What do you mean, I’m doing that?” Let’s say, you’re holding tension in a certain way, or you’re using your muscles in a certain way, or you’re iunconsciously finding yourself inside some pattern. And at first, it might feel totally overwhelming and you might not even know how to actually change it.
Bring your awareness to it: “Oh I notice that I do that. Oh, I notice again that I do that.” I teach people an alternative to their pattern, so, not only are they interrupting it, but they can displace it. Then they notice: “Yeah, this (old pattern) feel familiar and natural, but wait a minute, let me just notice how this new thing feels.” Often the new pattern will feel weird and even wrong, but by diving into the new feeling of alignment underneath the familiar pattern.
Why do all of this? The pattern that they’re using is giving them an outcome that they don’t want, like pain or stiffness/tighness. When I teach them about the pattern that’s more aligned and more essentially powerful and more according to the design of their body, then they have an option and they can start training themselves into the more desirable pattern, and eventually the old pattern starts to weaken and, and go away. And most importantly, the pain/stiffness/tightness goes away.
Patterns and habits are not as scary and overwhelming and overpowering as they seem at first glance. I’d like you tp practice that in your own life, start to bring awareness around your patterns and habits and your defaults. Start to notice how you sit. Notice if you always sit on one side, if you always stand on one side, or if you always cross one leg or the other, or you always notice that you’re on the phone and your one shoulder is higher. There are dozens of little ways that we, that we default. Start to notice those little habits and start to bring breath and awareness to them. You’ll start to weaken them and that’s a really good thing. It feels very empowering.
If you have pain, and want to do something empowering and effective to shift it, check out my cheat-sheet for doing just that: The 5 Secrets to a Pain-free Body!