Sometimes it’s hard to get up in the morning and remember that today is not the same as yesterday.
Often that’s because today looks the same as yesterday.
The routine is the same, the people are the same, the problems are the same, and the thoughts and emotions are the same. On the surface everything looks the same, and yet there is very little about today that is actually the same as yesterday.
Like a spiral, our lives evolve within the construct of certain patterns. These patterns are both physical and mental.
On the physical plane, our body repeats patterns for survival purposes.
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For example, if every time that you picked up a glass of water to drink you had to relearn the neurological patterns that coordinate the brain commands with the nerves and the muscles to reach out, grab the glass, bring it up to your lips, and swallow the water, you would be physically like an infant.
An infant needs a caregiver to take care of even the most basic needs because it has not yet put in place all the neurological patterns that will eventually help it survive throughout adulthood.
On a psychological plane, our mind repeats patterns also for survival purposes.
For example, if you grew up in an abusive household, whether physical or emotional, and you figure out that not telling the whole truth is the only way to avoid being hurt, then that becomes a fixed mental pattern meant to help you survive.
Both physical and mental patterns can often persist beyond the time they are needed, making change a challenge.
In some cases, like the glass of water, it is important that the pattern persists. If we had to learn over and over again how to drink water from a glass, we would become handicapped in our lives (imagine learning how to walk every time you stood up to go somewhere).
In other cases, like the pattern of not telling the whole truth, the continuation of this pattern beyond the time of threat (so once you grow up and move out of the house) becomes an obstacle. The pattern taught you to engage with others in a certain way, and you continue to implement that in all social relationships: with your friends, with your partners, in your job, and the by-product, because it is no longer an applicable pattern to the circumstances present in your life, is often alienation and suffering.
(NOTE: Want to take control of your health? See Samantha Lotti’s Body Compassing: Meditation-for-Healing Course by clicking here.)
Changing Patterns Is Not An Easy Task
Changing patterns requires the kind of patience you would need to learn a craft that is difficult for you, like a language or embroidery or public speaking.
Learning a new pattern requires determination and persistence as well as patience and kindness as you trip and fall throughout the learning process. Children do not have trouble with this process because their whole present existence is defined by learning things they don’t know how to do.
As adults, the process of learning becomes more difficult because the focus of our present lives is to specialize and depend on upon the patterns learned in childhood to promote our survival and the survival of our children.
Consequently, us adults wake up in the morning and see today as the same as yesterday.
Everything Looks and Feels the Same, So it Must be the Same
This is an inaccurate and highly limiting point of view.
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It is true that we use past patterns to navigate today as we did yesterday, but we don’t live our lives in a closed circle, repeating the same exact actions and thoughts over and over again.
We live our lives like spirals, revisiting patterns but always in a slightly different way.
We use what we learned yesterday to inform what we do today, which is by nature inherently different because we always learn something from having lived through yesterday.
Everything from the sun in the sky to thoughts in our head are different today than they were yesterday. It is our perception, the filter through which we view life, that insists on seeing today as the same as yesterday.
I invite you to open your eyes tomorrow morning and do the following:
1) Thank your body and mind for the patterns that it put in place to help you survive.
Every pattern you have has served you well up until now, and some will continue to serve you well while others, the ones that have become obstacles, will not.
2) Ask yourself which of those patterns are now obstacles and name them. If you can write them down.
3) Check in with you body and see how it feels, in general, this morning.
The way to do this is by doing a body scan.
From the top of your head become aware of the parts of your body all the way down to your feet.
Try to be objective, noticing how your body feels without coming to conclusions.
4) Get up and allow yourself to repeat the patterns you need to repeat with consciousness but without judgment.
5) When you begin your day and start a pattern that no longer serves you well, make a point of naming it and then check in again with your body.
Your body generally is a good monitor for how you feel about what you’re doing in the present moment. If your body doesn’t feel well, it’s time to consider changing something. If your body is peaceful, then there’s no need to worry about the pattern you are repeating for the moment.
When your body doesn’t feel well because you’re repeating a pattern, take a moment to pause.
Ask yourself if you can see this moment as different than how you’re currently seeing it.
You may not be able to see this moment any differently, but the simple fact that you’re asking the question opens the possibility for change.
We Are The Creators of Our Lives
And what I mean by saying this is that this moment is a creative moment. Nothing is the same in this moment as in the moment before this one.
So if you realize that you’re participating in creating this moment, you can choose how to live it and what to make of it. Obligations still remain, survival is still the main focus, but you can change your perception.
Instead of noticing the aches and pains in your body you can thank your body for the parts that don’t hurt and are functioning perfectly well, like your heart that’s beating constantly, keeping you alive without your conscious intervention.
Instead of asking yourself why you have to go to work/school/etc this morning as you step outside, walk outside and notice how the trees look, how the air feels, etc.
It doesn’t take revolutionizing your life to start changing your perception.
It simply takes your willingness to notice something new in what’s happening inside you and around you.
Pull this present moment around you so that you participate in the endlessly changing creative process of your life.
Open up to the idea that nothing is the same today as yesterday, and allow yourself to use the refined skills you’ve developed in your life to enjoy the spiraling process of growth.
Life is fun. Life is interesting. Live it that way.
Image Credit: True Feels by silvesouls
Author: Samantha Lotti
Samantha Lotti is the founder of Biodynamic Health and creator of Body Compassing. She is a certified and registered Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapist (BCST, RCST®), licensed acupuncturist (L.Ac.) and board certified herbalist in Oak Park, Illinois. A personal back injury brought Samantha to biodynamic craniosacral therapy and ignited her interest in a variety of healing modalities.