When I plan to write my newsletter article each month, my topic ideas come from a variety of places: health/wellness coaching sessions with clients, conversations with people around energy management, books/articles I read, videos I watch, and even photographs. This month’s topic was inspired by this image posted on my friend Peggy Nolan’s Facebook page.
Seeing this unique crocheting stitch (called a star stitch) reminded me of the power of patterns in our behaviors around energizing our health. More on this below. (And if you’d like to see more of Peggy’s crocheting goodies, visit her Etsy site.)
Patterns in our behavior can either help us or inadvertently put us in a trance that sabotages our energy and vitality. Consider your morning, evening or daily routines. How you habitually behave with certain individuals or in particular situations. Your workout regimen (or lack thereof). Your commute to work (or if you work from home, your ritual in starting your work day). Your narratives for the state of your life and health.
Our patterns today create the outcomes of tomorrow. The patterns from our past brought us to where we are today: our health, way of being, environment we create in and out of work, the people in our lives. All these elements contribute to the person we are and shape our worldview. If you’re not happy with the energy you possess, your level of well-being, and the impact you’re making, consider shaking up one or more of your patterns.
A pattern could include how you structure/approach your day, how you set up your work and home space, refocusing direction and/or the foundation from which you operate, decide where to place your attention, or how you treat yourself. By “treat” I mean all aspects of it: from how you talk to yourself, fuel yourself, nourish your spirit, feed your mind, do special and fun things.
New patterns help your brain see things in a different way. They open the door to creativity, and adjust the lens and scope of what’s possible.
If you’d like to start playing in the sandbox of pattern shifting, you can start in some simple ways:
- having coffee/tea in a different cafe from the one you frequent
- have routine TV-free nights
- take a multi-day break from news or social media
- take a different route on your commute
- park in another location from where you normally park
- sample various radio stations/musical styles while driving
- change your seat from the one you normally take in meetings or your house of worship
- work in different locations (e.g., conference room instead of your office, change the view of your seat periodically)
- get dressed in a different order in the morning
- try a new recipe, meal, or vegetable
- experiment with a different form of exercise (e.g., barre, yoga, rock climbing gym, hula hooping, trampoline park, team sport)
- take a class
- read a new author or listen to a new podcast
Ultimately, recognizing the habitual patterns that work for us, and others that merit adjusting remind us of our humanness: we have a heart, a brain, cells, and a soul: we are not machines. When you start to observe your patterns and tailor them for the outcomes you aspire toward, it alters what you see and notice. Your senses are heightened. Your soul awakens.
I fundamentally believe we are each here to serve up our unique gifts: sometimes we need to modify our patterns to make that happen in an optimal way. It’s like giving yourself a breath a fresh air: new oxygen. When you step back and realize the ingrained patterns that work against you, there’s no need to have them continue to hold you hostage. You can, at any moment, choose a different behavior pattern that paves a smoother path to your elevated health.
Be open to inspiration from the not-so-obvious places. I’d be interested to hear what you learn from looking at and tweaking any patterns that are no longer working for you, as well as if you’re challenged with this concept and would like my help on this front. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.