Maybe patterns are just hidden memories.

My goal with this blog was to write about creativity and its connection to personal growth and self-development. Over the last 18 months I have found myself writing a lot more about my own journey as a writer and independent publisher, the fruits of my own creative labour and the challenges of living a creative life.

Sometimes, this blog is a place where I can workshop ideas about life and all it’s profundities with the voices in my head.

I’ve been writing memoirs on and off since I was a young girl. It’s the way I work out exactly what the fuck is going on inside my noggin. I write in a journal every day, as most of you will know already (– oh, God, here she goes again with the journaling! Stop already!) 3 pages each morning just after I get up. My morning pages are absolute mind-sludge and the journals are piling up. I will need to burn them before I die. Unlike a lot of people, I won’t have a problem with my search history. It’s all very self-explanatory. If anyone close to me does go missing though, the police may question why I was Googling rates of decomposition of buried corpses, but then doesn’t every writer Google that stuff? (Writer Tip – post your freaky shit on Pinterest on Work In Progress boards for extra validation of your bizarre searches.)

Geez, that was a tangent. Today’s blog is about the patterns that we get into and why they are so damned hard to get out of. Let me preface this to say I am most certainly not a doctor. Everything I write in my blog is the product of my own fevered imagination.

Patterns exist. It’s undeniable. Everyone lives in patterns, but you’re either aware or not. The first step is to accept that this is true. You can argue all you want but eventually you’ll start seeing the patterns in other people and then you’ll go aaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh when you realise that you also have patterns. Here’s an easy way of seeing patterns. Think of someone you know who is always in and out of relationships. I know someone who basically dated the same woman three times, just with different bodies and names. Two of them could have been twins. Eerie. The second step is the recognition of individual patterns. You know, when you’re in the line at the bank and you start getting really mad. Or you’re at a bar and you see someone who looks like your old boyfriend…

Step three is the active choice to change your pattern. Getting mad in the bank line, and instead you calm yourself down. You don’t approach the guy who looks like your ex, instead you hit the dancefloor with your friends. This step can misfire a few times but eventually you get to the point of self-soothing before you yell at the bank teller or before you’re trying to break up with yet another nasty guy.

The hidden value of journaling is that it helps to identify our patterns better than anything else I’ve tried, as long as we’re being honest with ourselves. I don’t know what step four is because I am in the throes of step three. Perhaps it’s freedom from patterns, or maybe just better patterns.

I was prompted to write this post today because I cried today purely from habit or memory or whatever. I couldn’t get out of a carpark at the medical centre. The boom gate wouldn’t work. I’d come from an appointment and I really just wanted to go home. My body remembered that happening years ago in a similar scenario and I started crying. The nice man from security came and let me out and was very concerned. The receptionist came out. I was embarrassed but fine, and my muscle memory had decided otherwise.

On a positive note, I can report that after all the hours of yoga, study and meditation that I am now able to give blood without passing out. (Although to donate blood I’ll have to get my iron count up first…sigh… the doctor wrote ‘vegetarian’ in the space that said ‘existing illnesses’ then laughed about it.)

This stuff, meditation, journaling, does work!

I’m off to buy some spinach.