We have all experienced it. We promise ourselves that we won’t repeat something our mother or father or aunt or uncle or other family member did that we don’t like. And then we end up doing the same thing, wondering how come we can’t break out of this pattern despite our best intentions.
For me, it was to never get a divorce. I told myself that I would not repeat my parent’s divorce (messy, sad) nor my grandparent’s divorce (not common in their time.) And yet I ended up divorcing after all. Three generations of broken marriages.
I’ve seen people swear not to yell at their children or not to drink like their father did or to be more emotionally available than their mother. Sometimes these promises are fulfilled; many times, they are not. And the repetitive patterns continue, like an old-time record with a scratch that keeps the stylus stuck in the same old groove.
Such patterns occur not only in our personal life, but also in the life of a nation. In the United States, we can see the pattern of having an ‘enemy out there’ repeat over and over throughout our history – from our very beginnings right up to the present moment.
Of course, breaking these repetitive patterns is possible. Such occurrences can mark the greatest achievement of a lifetime or of a nation.
I have been privileged to witness two countries (Uruguay and Chile) heal from very abusive dictatorships. Today, both nations have returned to a vibrant democracy, with popular Presidents who had one time been political prisoners. While in retrospect it may seem inevitable that the dictatorship would end and the perpetrators brought to justice, I can guarantee you that this outcome was not apparent living through it on a daily basis,
For many of us, successfully breaking out of repetitive patterns that do not bring us joy, happiness and abundance can be as challenging as some nations moving away from abusive governments. And similar approaches may be needed. In other words, talking our way of the pattern often isn’t enough. Just like saying we “want a better government” on its own will most likely not create enough momentum to bring about a shift.
So what strategies can help? What methods may prove useful? How do we move energy in new ways?
Oftentimes, there are energetic markers or imprints that we harbor of particular patterns, some we have been carrying since our birth or even earlier. Erasing them and replacing them with different markers or imprints can sometimes help quite a bit.
Let me give you one example at a societal level. It is a small example, but one that illustrates this quite well. In Argentina, which also experienced a dictatorship as severe as Chile and Uruguay right around the same (1970s to 1980s), Argentines throughout the country decided one day to spend five minutes focusing on peace (paz in Spanish). This word was spelled out by skiers on the snow, it was written in sand, in grass, on water, it was kissed to, it was danced to…and millions did it at the same time. A small gesture? Perhaps. But it struck a chord, an energetic cord, to shift patterns.
My friend Ginny who spent more than a decade helping with the peace accords in Colombia told me years before any accords had even been suggested that there was tremendous work going on in that country by people creating small spaces for peace. They thought that by creating areas that were peaceful, even if they were very small at first, peace would spread out until the entire country would resonate with it. Which is precisely what happened.
At a more personal level, there are many ways to help shift unproductive patterns in our own lives so we can move towards greater wholeness and well-being. Three methods I have found especially helpful are: (1) cutting energetic cords; (2) using obsidian tools to erase energetic imprints; and (3) changing our dreamscapes. I will write more about these three techniques in my article next month.
Published in the Monadnock Shopper Feb. 2019.