Wish something had gone better?
If you look back on a situation, and feel some regret about how you responded to it, chances are you were in pattern. A patterned response is anything that prevents us from being fully and wholly present, and having access to a fresh and creative response to a given situation. When in pattern, we react with a limited range of emotional resources, because your system felt stressed, and only a limited number options felt available to you.
The opposite of being in pattern is being in presence, where you have a wide and expansive range of options for how to respond. From presence, we can make more creative, life-affirming, adult-type choice, and enjoy greater success in creating what we desire.
Early on in life, we adapt to stressors by adopting one of five main patterns for metabolizing the stressors in our environment.
These patterns, called in a clinical context masochist, psychopath, schizoid, oral and rigid
, have default to directing our attention toward others, hunkering down, pushing outward, exiting up and out, or defaulting to rules. Not that those clinical names are not lovely (urgh), but I like to call them by the nicknames mountain, warrior, antenna, connector, and orderer
Whatever the name, when we don’t know that we’re running a pattern, we think that what we’re seeing & how we’re behaving is how things really are.
Once we recognize what our patterns are, we can more easily drop them and come back to presence. This sets us up to make choices more aligned with our deepest desires.
Learning how these patterns work in others also helps us show up more effectively during interpersonal conflict. A warrior does not need the same thing as a mountain or an antenna.