First Autumn Chilly day, a few years back, i walked into a downtown antique shop a block from my loft, in search of something unique to celebrate my precious new loft. My eyes were instantly drawn to the most gorgeous quilt I have ever seen. Black velvet and uneven blocks and different shapes hand sewn together with wonky and whimsical squares, cut in conjunction with satin and velvet material. Delicately patterned together with little weird and strange pink bows at the most odd and eclectic spaces. Such an unusual design that i fell in love immediately. Heart attraction never lends itself to indecision. I instantly rushed over and glanced up to three people behind the cash register that were all very well aware of my excitement. I asked how much to the woman in the middle and she said quickly 175$. Without the need to barter or hesitate I snatched it up, as heavy as it was and took it to the counter. I couldn’t wait to get it home. I was so intrigued as I rolled it over to find that it had an old fashioned flowery print on the back. Quite the precious and sentimental find with a paradoxical twist that snatched up every ounce of wonder from deep inside of me. I had never seen anything like it. I am not a quilt collector or maker but i have an inner artist that likes what she likes. Suddenly one word popped into my mind. Crazy. I instantly wrote crazy quilt into my phone and was excited to find that this is the exact name of this technique of quilt. Such magic. I nailed the name! Yep, the universe knows my own patterns and enjoys thoroughly seeing me delighted.
Isn’t life the most sacred, the most clear and pure, when there is nothing streamlining our brains or hijacking our attention away from the details of the Now. When we can see clearly the universe playing with us, loving us, guiding us. Sometimes this alignment arrives when we are out for an adventure or hike, and we see a butterfly with our favorite color imbedded in its wings. Or after a deeply intense hot yoga class, when we feel fully alive and so grateful that we fought the good fight for an hour, finishing something uncomfortable, to arrive on the other side, transformed and powerful. Thank you Marie. Or on a drive home from a getaway, flying a hand outside the window, allowing it to dance with the wind, a smile on the face and tongue resting on the ceiling in our mouth. These are moments that have no patterns, that are set in the unknown that we may feel closest to spirit. The pure dissolve of the heaviness that takes away from our sweet truest self. A childhood prayer, long lost.
How much of our daily lives consist of deeply developed patterns in our own well designed crazy quilt. How often can we see our own minds light up with noise when someone is needing our full spacious attention. Or how often are you well aware of how little attention you are receiving from a friend when you need a listening ear. Are we listening or waiting till it is our turn. How often do we rival with friends, and see them as a threat. How much energy do we steal from ourselves with our darkness. How can we bring ourself to stillness and dissolve these patterns so that we can be more aware of the needs of the people in our lives. Some relationships stay in the same unhealthy patterns for years with little to no growth or transformation. A full blown cycle of abusive patterns that keep us in unease. It is truly a disease. Sometimes superbly subtle so that these patterns do not seem harmful, yet still seem to drain us energetically. We have learned to allow our mind to guide us down hollow roads to continue to live in unhealthy engagement on low level banter and irritation in work or close relationships. Why? Because it is familiar. These are patterns we have created, stumbling blocks that stay stumbled, disabling our own emotional growth. Sometimes no different than a kindergarten pattern that was negotiated and stuck when someone stole our pain brush and we won the war thirty years ago.
These same patterns tend to align theirselves in an ego centered distrust of the world, creating our very own crazy quilt pattern unique to our own experiences in life. How often do we see a pattern on the face of someone. My own deeply imbedded brow line of watchfulness and waiting to consider if someone is to be allowed into my own kingdom, allowing my mind to judge them deeply in distrust and judgement. I have been hurt so many times in friendship, I have built doors that require keys to enter. Recently I noticed that I am dissolving my own most subtle patterns. Fences around our garden are essential, while walls tend to block the sunlight. We must learn to trust, and even more so, trust our own self. To use our wisdom, intuition and experiences to chose the right people to share our space in life.
The patterns inside of us seem to mirror the patterns outside of us. The duality of macrocosm and microcosm. Remember a time when we were so young that our patterns were so in tune with the world. Fully aware of the full moon or the wind rustling through the wheat. Dandelions asking to be blown into the wind for good fate. A time before our innocence was stripped and we were stolen away from the true ease of the world. A loud and toxic culture full of bad television, too much technology and food with no true nourishment. A culture that begins to thread toxic patterns. A full blown lie that encourages us to think that we are less than magnificent.
Is it possible for us to truly change? I believe so, but I believe there is only one way that we can. Inward practice. We are too deeply stimulated by the structure of our culture that seems to keep us aligned to our patterns. We must make peace for ourselves because our culture resides in unrest. Even television is loud and obtrusive. When is the last time that you saw a sweet commercial that was based in nature? They are loud and badgering. And most of our blockbuster films are violent and centered in warring. We must begin to see how precious each other are. People are inherently good. We can think differently and have different values and still love each other. Our own government for years has perpetuated unrest with our own fellow citizens, not to mention with the rest of the world. How are we ever to have world peace when we hate our neighbor for having a different opinion than us. If our government will not encourage tending to, then we must tend to these things for ourselves. The flickering candle grows. We CAN bring a light into the darkness. This is the true power and this is the true law.
When the the world locked down due to Covid, an adventure made its way before me. I did not expect it to be an adventure at the time, but I knew that if I didn’t stay close to my practice, and my strong routine, that old patterns may creep back in to my life. I discovered deep forest hiking. I meditated everyday for 45 minutes. I sat on my bed by my window and watched the way of the birds everyday. What a precious gift life truly was. I had forgotten what it could be like to not work. I no longer work the way that I use to. I will never lose the moments in my life that allow being. I have become closer to stillness and tend to be more of a loner these days. I have lost the desire to keep people happy. I realized I wasn’t so good at it anyway.
We can learn from nature around us, and I have learned behavior by watching nature, children and our beloved pets. Instinct and spirit of are two different realms. Being and doing are two different patterns. If we can catch ourselves, we can redirect our thoughts before much time is wasted on resentment, warring, or over thinking scenarios or situations which pulls energy from our precious resources. Awareness can heal anything, even through our most troubling transitions.
If a thread is displaced or not in alignment while creating a quilt, the discord of this thread will disrupt the entire pattern of the quilt. It then must be unthreaded and began again. How much time do we waste allowing discordance to disrupt ease and flow in our thinking patterns. Elusive patterns that are based in untruths and bad tendencies that we are comfortable with. These patterns enable us to continue down unhealthy roads in our relationships and the way that we treat ourselves. We hold strong to these patters so that we dont have to change or grow because human beings are so fearful of the unknown we will stay in destructive patterns because they are familiar to us. It is essential in our lives to have love and kindness to function well.
There is a rhythm and pulse in this world. A true aliveness. Even if you take a breathe while sitting in your car at a light. If you listen and watch, you can see Mother Nature. A bird flying overhead, the sun shining on your cheek, the blue of the sky. Life. Love. Nature. It continuously flows. There is a subtle energy to anything that is real. It isn’t loud and distracting. Actually you must be still to see it. But it is always there and it never leaves. In the middle of the night in the deepest silence, you can feel it. And in your most lucid moments, it may bring a tear to your eye. Some of us may call this God.
What are your patterns?
Unclench the space around your low back.
Soften your belly.
Imagine a lightness on top of your heart.
Take your attention to the center of your forehead.
Close your eyes.