Action Insights Blog

patterns in the sand - finding patterns - action institute of california - jean campbell - premier psychodrma training institute in California - san diego training for professionals

Hitting The Reset Button

patterns in the sand - finding patterns - action institute of california - jean campbell - premier psychodrma training institute in California - san diego training for professionalsWalking the beach at low tide, I get to see patterns in the sand that Mother Earth has reset; those patterns that are often covered over with water. It got me to thinking about sorting through the patterns in our lives, and how sometimes, they only get revealed at low tide – those times in our lives where it feels like the tide has gone out and things are really, really challenging.  It can feel scary, and yet, it can also feel exhilarating.  Either way, it is an opportunity to recognize and clear those patterns…if we’re willing to stop and look at them.

On some level, I don’t want to disrupt the sand patterns, but isn’t that a metaphor for how most of us walk around?  As much as I’m in the business of helping people to identify the patterns that are holding them back, I really don’t want to look at my own.  It’s much easier to stay in my ego and believe that, “I’m fine,” but the truth is I have things in my own life that aren’t working, and who the heck am I to think that I can help other people flesh out those patterns and clear them if I’m not willing to do that work myself?  It’s one of my core beliefs:  I can’t take anyone anywhere that I haven’t been, or that I’m not willing to go. Period.  Full stop.

Yes, I’ve cleared a lot of patterns in my life:  I don’t drink anymore, don’t debt (no really, no unsecured debt – been there, done that); don’t smoke, don’t walk around feeling shameful all the time believing that I don’t have the right to think, feel and say what I need to to take care of myself.  But then are the patterns that I continue to work on.  For years, I undervalued myself, worked too hard, took care of other people before taking care of myself…the list goes on and on.  We all grow up in families that affect us in some self-destructive ways and I’m no exception.

Once you can recognize the patterns, and you begin to see them everywhere, there are those moments in life when you need to hit the reset button and make a change.  I celebrated my birthday at a funky, little restaurant yesterday and at the end of the meal, my friend and I each got a “Reset” juice shot.  We set intentions with and to each other and the Universe, clinked our glasses, hit the imaginary button on the table, said “Reset!” and drank our shots.  I felt a shift immediately.  Intentions are powerful, but they will go nowehere without taking action to manifest the changes I desire.

I’ve probably directed over 1,000 psychodramas at this point in my career, and time and time again, I look for the “ghost” – the person or insitutution from the past that helped create the pattern.  Who taught you to not practice self-care? Who got in the way of your being authentic?  Who taught you to put their needs before your own?  Once you have that insight and can see the pattern – we actually call it an action insight because that “aha” often comes in the midst of a psychodrama – it’s up to you (with help) to begin to change and step into a new role, a new response, a new behavior, and not stay stuck in powerlessness that was your reality at that time, but is no more.  Even if bad things happened to you at an earlier point in your life, and you were the victim of abuse and/or trauma, it’s vital to activate the adult in you who is in charge and can make the changes you’re craving, rather than letting the little child inside run the show. That action can break the legacy of what you were taught to do, and serve to set you free.

As much as those sand patterns look really pretty sometimes, by walking on them, it shifts them.  As much as the patterns in your life are comfortable, disturbing them by taking contrary action allows them to shift.  The thing to remember is that when the tide comes in, it clears things away, cleanses and provides you with fresh sand and an opportunity for a new pattern to emerge.

What will you “Reset!” today?