PATTERNS OF THINKING
These videos are designed to increase our awareness of how patterns of thinking can drive our behaviour and affect our experience life. Noticing our patterns of thinking is a significant stage in our development. Once we have become aware, then we have the opportunity to let go of that thinking, and in that letting go we create more peace and contentment in our life.
PATTERNS OF THINKING
Every day we each have ten’s of thousands of thoughts passing through our existence. Our consciousness, or our mind, has a propensity to identify with the content of those thoughts, and commence thinking.
Each of us has three or four patterns of thinking that dominate our experience of life, that drive our behaviour. The patterns of thinking control the way we approach life, how we interact with other people, and the decisions we make. They limit our full potential to front up and be ourselves.
THE FUNDAMENTAL PATTERN OF THINKING
The fundamental pattern of thinking for humanity is: ‘There’s something wrong’. ‘There’s something wrong with me’, or ‘there’s something wrong with you’, or ‘there’s something wrong with an area of my world’. This stream of thinking pervades our life. Most of the time we are thinking that there is an element of ‘something wrong’ in some aspect of our life.
For example, one of my patterns of thinking used to be that I was quick to judge other people. To judge them as being less than; that there was something wrong with them; or that the way they went about doing things was not right. The judgements limited my life – they limited the number of people that I would socialise with, they prevented me from engaging empathetically with others, and they prevented me from appreciating the people in my life. Interestingly, whenever I was judging others I often felt uncomfortable, and almost agitated.
We invite you to become aware of when you’re thinking; start to see if there is a pattern, or even patterns, in how you approach life, or in the way you interact with other people. You even might notice that there’s a pattern of self-judgement that undermines you, and reduces your confidence.
By becoming aware of those patterns of thinking, it provides us with a choice to let go of that thinking, and it allows us to experience more peace and contentment. It also allows us to engage fully in life, to be unlimited and free to be who we truly are.
We may be judging the way we are behaving, or engaging in life ourselves. Or we may be judging other people as being inadequate, or that they could do things better. We could be judging the outer aspects of our life, such as our workplace, the society we live in, the relationships we are in, or the people in our life. Almost always, there appears to be something wrong.
This on-going sense of imperfection undermines and limits our experience of life.
If we had the ability to let go of that thinking, we would experience everything in its perfection. There would be nothing wrong. We would see that everything is perfect just as it is.
We invite you to become aware of when you are thinking that there’s something wrong. Be aware of it and very gently let it go, and see what unfolds for you.
Control is a pattern of thinking that some of us experience. There’s often an aspect of our life that we are trying to control.
The reality is we can’t control anything in life. Life is like a vast river that flows along, and its as if we are a piece of driftwood floating on the surface. Trying to control, or resist the flow of this vast river is usually ineffective.
For many, the tendency of trying to control things appears to be because there’s an element of distrust in life supporting us. We often don’t trust that everything will work out. Sure, sometimes it looks like life isn’t flowing in our direction, but when we look back from a future vantage point we see that in fact life delivered us to where we are now.
If we have the courage to let go of the need to control, and begin trusting, we start to see everything is there to support us; life becomes more and more effective, and it requires less and less effort.
Notice when you are trying to control other people, or certain aspects of your life. Have the courage to let go of the habit of trying to control, and see what unfolds for you. Notice if there’s an expansion in your experience of life; notice if you make headway with more ease; and see if there is an expansion in the experience of those people around you.
Many of my school friends were great athletes and sportsmen, and yet I appeared to be a very poor athlete. At an early stage I developed a pattern of thinking that told me that ‘I was the most uncoordinated person I’d ever met’. And that is what I became – the most uncoordinated person I knew. I was renowned for being ‘scared of the ball’, so I never played a team sport, or a sport involving a ball. The only sporting activity I participated in was a non-competitive individualistic pursuit – running.
At university, the only way I thought I could communicate with my colleagues and friends was to drink heavily, and smoke marijuana. A pattern of thinking had developed that suggested I was inarticulate, so I thought the only way I could articulate myself was to be either drug addled, or to have a few drinks on board.
In adulthood, I became extremely judgmental of other people. Those judgments limited my ability to communicate with empathy, and as a consequence I often felt uncomfortable around people. This pattern of thinking made it very difficult for me to participate in some activities, or even to make new friends.
I became aware that these patterns of thinking kept creating and reinforcing the same dynamic in my life: ‘I am the most uncoordinated person’, ‘I am inarticulate’, and my prevailing interaction with people continued to be couched in judgment and ridicule.
Becoming aware of our patterns of thinking is a major shift in our growth. When we are aware of a pattern of thinking we’ve got a choice. We have a choice to let it go, and an opportunity to approach life in a more expanded and engaging way.
MY PATTERNS OF THINKING
At some point in my journey I became aware that I had three or four patterns of thinking that dominated my life. I'd like to share those with you to illustrate how our thinking can limit our engagement in life.
STORIES IN OUR HEAD
‘Stories’ are patterns of thinking that can dominate and limit us. Patterns of thinking create patterns of behavior.
We use the terminology ‘stories’, or ‘stories in our head’, often. We also refer to the ‘chatter in our head’ as ‘stories’. ‘Stories’ are patterns of thinking that we are all dominated by.
We have thousands of thoughts passing through our existence each day, and within the matrix of every single thought is content, and an emotion, or energy associated with that content. Our mind is particularly efficient at identifying with the content of thoughts, and engaging in a pattern of thinking, or story, associated with that content. Most of us have three or four favorite patterns of thinking, or special stories. It could be that’s there’s always something wrong, or we judge ourselves as being less than, or we approach certain aspects of our world, or certain people in a judgmental way, because we have a belief or we hold a position. The stories in our head actually dominate and limit our experience of life.
So just be aware of what stories are going on in your head from time to time, and see if there’s a pattern. Patterns of thinking create patterns of behavior. Awareness of the patterns means we can make different choices.