In this lesson, we are catching our patterns and watching.
So far in this course, we have learned to watch our patterns. We are learning to see what we are running from and why, what story we are telling ourselves, what happens when we start to take away those escape routes, and what effects all of this has. We are watching our patterns in action and can begin to become more and more aware of them as we watch.
What happens when we catch our patterns really early on? You begin to see your mind go off on the route of trying to get away. It could look like,
- “I need to get away from this”
- “I need to turn towards something else”
- “I deserve a break”
- “Oh, one time won’t hurt”
These tiny patterns we have throughout the day happen so often that they actually have a large effect on our daily lives. The earlier you can catch yourself starting to run away, the better. We aren’t going to be perfect at this. We just need to practice.
When you notice yourself running away, wherever you are in the process, practice doing this.
- Catch it. Catch yourself in the middle of running away. You could just start to feel like you want to run, are in the process of running, or maybe it already happened and you ran away from the task you were needing to do. Wherever you are, catch it. Catch yourself as early on as you can.
- Pause. Take a breath. Stop what you are doing and notice you are running. Turn your attention, with curiosity, to your body.
- Notice the physical sensations in your body. How does your body feel? Are you nervous, afraid, impatient or feeling rushed? What does it feel like? Is there something in your chest, stomach, throat, or head that I can feel a physical sensation or energy?
- Stay here in this spot. You do not have to do the task you are running from but you do not allow yourself to run. It’s the idea of no escape. If you cannot escape, what happens? Just stay in the moment and feel the not-running. If you feel like going back to the task, go and do it. If you feel like running still, stay in this moment. After a few moments, go back to your task or if you feel like running a third time, go ahead and run.
Practice catching the pattern early. Observe, be friendly, and be curious about the pattern. Do not be hard on yourself. Practice staying for a few times. Catch yourself and pause, catch yourself and pause, catch yourself and allow yourself to run if you need to. If you can, go back to the task.
Right now, just catch and pause.
How has your practice been going? Are you having difficulties catching & pausing with your patterns? Share your experiences in Slack.