The invitation is to study our patterns with precision and awareness, to know how they work, and become so familiar with them that we can spot them when they grab us. Only then can we live as we long to…aware, unstuck, and free.
I was amazed when I began to study my patterns…and you may be, too. I saw that behind much of my behavior was a well of unexplored fear that I had never seen before.
When I observed this fear experience closely, I found a single gasp of the breath and a movement in my torso that went back and away. It was a physical reaction as if a ghost had just appeared in my path.
Then I noticed that my mind was full of “no” and doubt. There were statements such as, “I can’t,” “It won’t work out,” “What if,” “Should I or shouldn’t I.” And I noticed lots of thoughts trying to figure out how to manage everything.
What a revelation! I had no idea the extent to which fear was driving me. But once I did, I was able to turn toward the fear to get to know it. I learned how it felt in my body and became familiar with the ways it affected my view of myself, other people, and the world.
This awareness about fear opened up the possibility of knowing when it was in charge. As I turned toward it over and over, I began to find the space to expand into life outside of fear, with new actions, fresh perspectives, and room for the energy in my body to flow.
Placing our habits under the microscope is powerful. We get to know them so completely that we can tell when they’re in charge. Then we’re free to respond to the moment as it is, unveiled. It’s liberating!
How to study your habits?
Press pause. When you wake up to realize you’re caught in the loop of a habit, stop. Take a breath, and begin to observe your inner experience. Be curious about what you find. This movement of attention inward stops the momentum of the pattern.
Slow everything down. Be very precise as you study the pattern. Take time to notice the details of how you feel in your body. Be aware of your emotions, the thoughts in your mind, and the actions you’re taking. Know your habit so well that you could teach someone else to act it out.
Discover the root. Keep peeling the layers until you find what’s driving the pattern. It’s likely to be a fear contraction in your body or a sense that something’s missing or not okay.
Love all that arises. Be infinitely kind and compassionate toward everything you discover during these inner explorations. Welcome all parts of your patterns into the embrace of loving awareness. Breathe with what you notice, and relax into what’s present with understanding and a loving
Connect with your inner wisdom. Once the pattern is less in control, there’s a calm space for something new and fresh to arise. Be open to insights fueled by wisdom and love.
Rinse and repeat. The key to disempowering a conditioned habit is to work with it as much as you can. The goals is not to get rid of it—it’s simply to meet the physical sensations, emotions, and thought patterns in a field of kind acceptance…every time. Loving attention softens
Next time a habit catches you, get out the microscope. Know it so well that you can see it starting to grab. Then stop…take a loving breath…and expand beyond conditioning into infinite possibility.