“Autopilot is great for driving a car, but no so great for emotional functioning.”
– Melanie A. Greenberg, Ph.D
Each human is unique, from their fingerprints to their irises to our very DNA, we are born of personal patterns. In terms of our wellness these patterns can also be seen in how we behave; how we eat, how we work, how we love, how we think.
Many articles on this site encourage differing forms of self-reflection and the value in keeping record of those reflection is that they can help us see our own patterns. Recently, I did that myself, using the articles written in Spring, looking back the last four years. I had a theory—a hunch—and I wanted to see if it merited further pondering.
I’m not going to tell you what it is yet, I’m going to give you a puzzle—let you be my counselor—and see if you can find my Spring pattern. I’ve listed them in a narrative, rather than chronological order, to help the flow of ideas.
Pretty Little Pieces
“Our cultural concept of change is flawed from both directions. The idea that we ‘have to change’ implies that there’s something wrong with us instead of something wrong with what we’re doing. It steals our power and dismisses the strong moments, character qualities and potential in our history by focusing on one or two problem behaviors [but] from a behavioral perspective there is no ‘new me’ only the same strong me making healthier choices.” – Change is Overrated, March 2015.
“Adaptive Living…is a practice because it is, in essence, never over and always fluid; adapting to your changing life. The goal; personal health, never changes but you will adapt your method will over time. This is the essence of successful Adaptive Living.”
“Through Adaptive Living you can learn to swap out that which holds you back and drop so much more than just the pounds which weigh you down. For life.” – Live, Love and Adapt, April 2014.
“Let us…remember that the goal is not to achieve the Golden Mean, it is to be ever-moving toward it. The closer we get the more resilient we will become, and what was impossible yesterday will become tomorrow’s baseline. ‘Our thoughts are passing, mental events…like mental habits. And, like any habits, they can be healthy or unhealthy, but they take time to change’…” – Living Gold After the Finish Line, March 2013.
“The truth is, I have no bad leg; I have a strong will and strong supporters that I may never had noticed if I didn’t get real, get vulnerable and get moving…I strapped the LOVE Run GPS to my ‘bad leg’ intentionally, to remind me of the love, support and deep gratitude which still helps me overcome my weaknesses.” – Strapping it to my Bad Leg, April 2016
Do You See What I See?
Did you find my Spring pattern? I use a saying with my clients to brighten hard moments and bolster spirits; “Change is good….changing sucks!” The pattern I see is that every Spring, I focus on change—I yearn for it, I self-evaluate, I may even get critical of myself. This new awareness helps when I’m in the middle of that phase of my pattern. It helps me to keep perspective and remember that the desire for change is the desire for healthy growth, which is the ultimate wellness goal.
I do encourage you, in your critical moments, think of your patterns—if you have a journal, awesome, use it like a treasure map to yourself! If you don’t have a written reflection, ask your friends or your parents about your patterns. If that’s not an option, flipping through the picture archives on your phone is a great way to jog memories.
The key is to put your present thoughts and feelings into the context of your full life experience to raise self-awareness that no matter which part of your pattern you find yourself, it is truly a momentary state of growth.
After all, a wise (maybe) man once said “Change is not a moment, just like growth, they are constant states of movement. It is up to us to define if they are movement toward or away from the best self, and life, that we desire.”
I said that, two years ago, and it still seems to prove true this Spring, because I’m not at my best self yet, but I’m still moving closer every day.
What about you?
Karabin, K. (2013) Living Gold After the Finish Line. KeithKarabin.com. Retrieved from: http://keithkarabin.com/2013/05/24/living-gold-after-the-finish-line/
Karabin, K. (2014) Live, Love and Adapt. KeithKarabin.com. Retrieved from: http://keithkarabin.com/2014/04/11/love-and-live-adapt/
Karabin, K. (2015) Change is Overrated. KeithKarabin.com. Retrieved from: http://keithkarabin.com/2015/03/27/change-is-overrated/
Karabin, K. (2016) Strapping it to my Bad Leg. KeithKarabin.com. Retrieved from: http://keithkarabin.com/2016/04/22/strapping-it-to-my-bad-leg/