Shifting Your Patterns

I live in a place where my back porch view is a nature preserve. I often sit outside on glorious days like today, eating something while soaking in the sights and sounds. Around dusk just as the sun dips below the trees, I take notice of the many hummingbirds that are dancing with each other and moving tree to tree.

Occasionally, if you’re lucky, one will stop and give you a moment to awe its delicate nature and beauty. Tonight there was one in particular perched out on a skinny bare branch, alone and quite noticeable. When another bird came into the picture, it left the lone perch and flew away for a few seconds, and then almost miraculously, landed back to the same exact spot. It happened again, not just once, but no less than a total of four more times; always back to the same exact branch.

I’ve heard an analogy that goes something like the following: If you put a rat in a maze with multiple possible endings, but only one with a piece of cheese waiting, the rat then will try every possible tunnel until he finds the cheese. If after finding it, you move the cheese, the rat will check the same path he initially found the cheese in and upon finding no cheese, he then explores other new paths until he finds the new location of the cheese. As the story goes, put a human in the same maze, he will keep going down the same tunnel over and over where he found the cheese; even after discovering no more cheese exists there.

We all have our patterns no question. But I often consider are those patterns serving me? It probably makes sense to make something habitual or “ritualize” a new thing, particularly if you are trying to establish a new skill. I practiced meditation for a few years and every day after waking up and a shower, I would make tea and sit on my couch meditating for 20 minutes. At first it was uncomfortable, but after some time I savored each opportunity and couldn’t imagine starting my day without it. I would say something shifted in my awareness and it happened seemingly effortlessly with the proper desire and discipline.

Take a moment to reflect and ask yourself, where are you needing to make a shift in your life and create a new pattern? Are your patterns and actions empowering you or leaving you feeling stuck? I would love to hear from you. Blessings.