Urgency, my morning pattern and a bear

My Monster was so mean yesterday I completely skipped Day 1 of Asilomar Destuckification.

Day 1 was about patterns. The ways we get sucked into habits (a cluster of mostly unconscious patterns) where we feel like we have no other choice. We learned:

  • patterns are useful, complex, creative and evolutionary… among other things
  • the Video Game method (basically, be curious about other routes, ways, buttons, things; how you can get out/through/over and learn from your mistakes)
  • how to be a Cuddly Scientist (curious and kind, play with the variables, try different combos and methods)
  • how to find and play with the variables and gaps
  • we can shift geography, triggers, physical position, time, mental/spiritual frame and more
  • we need support – people, spiritual, a quality (intention or question), notes to self and more
  • to watch for guilt, judgment, shoulds and verbal clues – “again/never/what if/when will I ever…?” – to help you identify that you’re in a pattern
  • if you’re having a problem with a pattern, what will help is a new pattern
  • tiny change is as (or more) important as big change
  • to get to the need under the pattern

Each of these bullets could be expounded upon exponentially. And if I fully understood any of them I would do that.

We also learned how to map a pattern. The process involves (overly simplified) some brainstorming of what goes on during said pattern, some circles and boxes and arrows, and then putting the pieces in order of occurence.

I mapped my typical morning pattern = getting on computer first thing in the a.m. and then getting “stuck” there for hours, not getting dressed, eating breakfast, doing yoga or sitting.

This was my final sequence of the pattern:

  1. wake up
  2. walk by compter
  3. shake mouse
  4. check email
  5. check fb
  6. start responding
  7. sense of urgency
  8. feel stuck
  9. start doing other work
  10. story of “bad start to day”

In my sequence, there are “loops” or secondary patterns which, while related to this pattern, are actually separate patterns. Number 7. “sense of urgency” is a loop that I may want/need to address later.

There are also “gaps” or openings for interruption in my sequence between steps 1 and 2, between 2 and 3, and between 4/5 and 6. The stronger the momentum of the pattern, the harder it is to interrupt it.

Applying some of the “things I learned” bullets from above, here are some ways I could use the Video Game method and be a Cuddly Scientist:

  • Turn the computer off at night (harder to turn it on, wait and then shake mouse)
  • Move the computer so I don’t walk right by it on my way out of the bedroom (out of sight out of mind)
  • I could try checking email and use my Negotiator, The Bear (because I told you there would be one), to make a deal that I would respond later (this one would be tricky as the momentum is now somewhat strong and the Urgency loop is kicking in)

These are small, realistic changes that could be quite effective. Even if one of these doesn’t work, I’m cuddly and could use my curious gaming mind to try something else. There is no wrong way.

I hope this is helpful. You know all my suffering here in Pattern and Monster Land is for the greater benefit of you, my friends. Let me know how all this b.s. is going!!

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11 Responses to “Urgency, my morning pattern and a bear”


  1. 1 journey4yogis January 27, 2010 at 12:16 am

    Love it! Especially all the ridiculously awesome code words: Video Game Method, Cuddly Scientist, The Bear!

    Going to map my stuck-i-ness . . . my Cuddly Scientist needs a voice.

  2. 3 Jessica January 27, 2010 at 1:01 am

    Amazing! I have many little monsters floating around–especially around patterns. They are so hard to break sometimes! I can’t wait to read more about the retreat! And I love Shiva Nata–I just have problems figuring it out from the DVD.

  3. 5 Nina January 27, 2010 at 3:50 am

    Hi Michelle! Missing you tons!!! My question to you is….. What the heck does this computer really represent??
    Lots of love

    • 6 blogasana January 27, 2010 at 9:55 pm

      i know!!!! that’s one of the monsters i’m talking to this week. will have lots of report back. thinking of you, miss you and see you on sunday!! xoxo

  4. 7 Tami January 27, 2010 at 4:09 am

    i guess i never realized how lucky i am that i am essentially shut off from the interwebz during the school day. otherwise i’d be sucked into the vortex and may never be seen again.

    turning off the computer and hiding from yourself seems workable. also setting a timer may help at least shake you out of the daze. or making yourself do all the morning goodies : shower, breakfast, yoga, sit and THEN computer time. no shoulds here, just ideas filled with love.

    gwen bell’s post today on limited email is worth reading. she’s down to once a day at 2pm. she’s got some excellent hints and a list of other ways to use all the time you used to waste on the email.

    • 8 blogasana January 27, 2010 at 9:56 pm

      a timer is a good idea! something loud enough to knock me out of my zone… perfect timing on the gwen post… a must read!! xo!

  5. 9 Tami January 27, 2010 at 4:10 am

    ps: kiss the monsters for me. they seem like they may need a little lovin up.

  6. 10 Teacher Goes Back to School January 28, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    um, my monsters are wanting to come out and meet yours. and erin’s. *sigh*


  1. 1 Monsters and Cuddly Scientists – Gifts from my Teacher’s hard work « Svadhyaya: (The Art and Joy of) Self Study Trackback on January 27, 2010 at 5:58 am

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