Shake It Up Baby, Twist and Shout!
Last month I talked about River Rafting and what it has to teach us about moving faster than the stream to navigate the water, and that the way to get moving faster is with support.
This month I want to talk about how to change patterns and to get us started I’m going to share a rather startling experience I had this last weekend.
Shake It Up Baby!
Patterns are what control most of actions. We’re fairly well conditioned by age 11 and for most of us, we aren’t acting out of choice, but out of habit, patterns or conditioning.
Ever have that feeling you’re headed for a fall or crash but can’t seem to avoid it? That’s the work of patterning.
So how do you get out of patterning? Well you have to shake things up a bit. You have to give that conditioning some new options. And I’m going to talk about that some more later this week.
A Shake Up is what happened to me this last weekend as I was executing a simple Fall task, placing leaf netting beneath my Japanese Maple, atop my pond. But fortunately for me, despite the shake up, some patterning that I had intentionally put in place, came in handy.
On moment I was bending down to straighten the net over the dark water and the next I was falling, face first towards the surface of the pond.
Time slowed as I felt my hand hit and dunk beneath the top of the dark water, as if I expected it to brace my fall.
Then muscle memory kicked in. I’ve practiced falling into moving water, river rafting so that I would flip and ride the rapids down on my back. All it took was for my hand to hit the cold, wet of the pond and I began to twist so when I came to rest, it was my tail end that was on the bottom of the pond and my face was above the surface.
And good thing too. Because I was so surprised, I had begun to shout out and if my body hadn’t reacted, I would have been swallowing a big mouthful of dark green water!
For several moments I just sat and floated in the pond. My son kept asking me, “are you OK”, “are you OK”? and finally I burst out laughing; the whole thing was just so silly.
Isaac gave me a hand out across the slippery rocks at the pond’s edge.
As I stood dripping: cold, wet and laughing I was so thankful for my body’s patterned response. After a hot shower, I began to think about something a client said to me recently. He had called me for some couple’s coaching after a particularly nice date with his wife.
He said that both he and his wife wanted to work on skills, just as I had with my river rafting, so those skills were patterned into place if they came upon a more stressful time.
When I find myself experiencing something I don’t like, I try to remember that this is the perfect time to become aware, make a new choice or intention, and experiment with new actions: shake it up a bit, create room for a new pattern.
Easier, however, is to practice new patterns I want in place should I find need for them during a shake up I didn’t consciously plan.
You might be interested in no-charge teleclass this week, What’s Holding You Back? Bring a willingness for a new awareness around an issue you’d like to overcome and we’ll get busy changing any pattern that is keeping that issue stuck in place.
Please share your own stories of patterns you’ve overcome and how you overcame them below.
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