Observing what is automatic is such an integral concept in practicing mindfulness. And our personality habits, our habits of relating, are like an engine that runs automatically whenever we turn the key in the ignition. Just as an engine has component parts, our automatic habits of relating have component parts as well. Human experience has core organizers that interact together to create the experience. They are: thoughts, emotions, five senses, body sensation and movement. All of our experiences are composed of these elements in fluid, living, changing patterns. This is true for us as individuals and then each relationship that we have has it’s own unique pattern as well.
In intimate relationship these patterns can be cherished ways that the relationship dance enriches the bond. Or they could be the ones that drive us batty, the ones that so annoyingly repeat themselves, the very patterns that make us want our partner to change!
The analogy of the engine is useful because we understand that if we removed just one of the component parts of the engine, that particular machine would cease to function. So we look for how to uncouple the components of distressing experience. Next time I’ll write about how people changed painful patterns into fulfilling experiences.
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Nancy Christie BFA, CYW
170 The Donway West
North York Ontario
Certified Sensory Motor Psychotherapist Advanced Practitioner
Member Canadian Association for Psychodynamic Therapy
Member of the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario
Clinical Member of the Ontario Society of Psychotherapists