Patterns and Chaos

There are patterns in chaos. These patterns are fractals, which repeat endlessly like the roots and branches of trees, blood vessels, branching rivers, lightning, seashells, hurricanes, and galaxies! 

Most of us,  through the random events of our lives, perceive emotional and behavioral patterns when we pay attention. Outward circumstances, people, places, jobs, etc. may change but these patterns persist. That’s why we can end up feeling the same in spite of outward changes. Those whose patterns are positive, due to their neurochemistry and upbringing, tend to maintain better relationships and more easily feel love, joy, and pleasure! However, many of us suffer from dysfunctional patterns and dysphoric feelings! 

We also have good patterns like valuing love and affection, asking questions, learning to survive, and caring about others! If not for some helpful patterns I think I would have sunk into cynicism and despair! 

We can change our lives by adopting some new patterns to compete with the old, or increasing the attention paid to patterns that are good for us! For example, for smoking, my spouse found  that  inhaling and exhaling with a meditation  practice reduced the addictive urge so much she quit. Expressing troubling or excessive thoughts, in a safe environment is more helpful than holding them. Learning to be compassionate with ourselves like we would with a beloved child or lover who made a mistake or an unwise choice, can change our life path! Even small changes like developing a relaxation routine, listening to calming music, self massage, spending time in woods and gardens, exercising, trying new hobbies and activities, finding fulfilling service work, and for some of us, prayer and meditation, can become patterns that can mitigate old harmful patterns! 

What existing life patterns serve us and the interconnected web of existence? How can we nurture them? What new patterns can we begin to add to our lives? 

~Daniel Bailey

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2 Responses to Patterns and Chaos

  1. Jen Garrison says:

    This reminds me of neuroplasticity, except in a more spiritual sense. I am still finding new ways to change old patterns of thought and reactions. However, I am also finding that some old school practices that sustained me when I was little still apply to me as an adult. Thank you for sharing this!

  2. Peggy A says:

    Daniel, thank you for these very thought provoking words. The suggestions you gave for changing ourselves are a great reminder to me the take time each day to incorporate one more of these techniques. I believe much of the violence in our society right now could be lessened if everyone practiced one or more of these techniques.

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