Changing patterns changes things. It opens up new channels of activity; it breaks up old, stale habits like taking a sledgehammer to concrete. Whether it’s a pattern of eating poorly, an addiction to a substance, a resistance to exercise, a creative block or something as simple as indulging in gossip, too much escapism via television, video games or computers, it’s a powerful exercise to decide to do something different, to step over the fear or resistance or habitual tendency and move in a new, fresh direction.
The human default, with rare exception, is laziness or repeating the deep groove of old habits. It’s so easy to simply not think and drop into those grooves, it keeps things temporarily warm and fuzzy, whereas stepping away from that softness can feel akin to an electric shock to the system, with its edgy intensity, it shakes us out of our slumber and reminds us that there is more to life than our small comfortable world.
Leaping into the unknown, while frightening is also enlivening. It hooks us up to a different frequency so that all of our senses are attuned to new sensations. Repetition and habits make us dull and sleepy and turned off to the new, to the moment. Breaking patterns lifts us out of the ordinary and connects us to the extraordinary. We reenter that childlike state of expectancy and wonder as we see and hear anew. The muddiness is replaced by brilliancy as we ask ourselves why didn’t we do this sooner?
Freedom from routine introduces us to parts of ourselves that were made dormant through lack of use. What was hidden in back closets of our lives is brought forth into the main rooms of the house where the light of day can touch them. Suddenly, we have access to things we’d forgotten we’d even had – piles and piles of things stored away and considered lost are now before us to be utilized and enjoyed again…like old friends coming together after a long separation.
Life is made new by our willingness to jump from the deep ruts of routine into the playful dance of the new. Sparks fly and ideas pop in all this light. It takes so little to activate these dormant forces, and yet we may ignore them for months or even years, so paralyzed by our own minds that we turned our back on pieces of ourselves that could actually attract joy and fulfillment into our lives. Instead, we lived a feeble existence entranced with the siblings of comfort, security, habit and the familiar, not suspecting that our attachment to those things made us weak and soft prisoners willing to passively exist on the edges of life rather than in its heart and soul.