Personality Pattern Overview

I’ve written before about The Control Freak and The Perfectionist, and The Thinker is next. Gee, I wonder why a Virgo with two math degrees and tight hamstrings would pick those to start? Anyway, it occurred to me as I started writing about The Thinker that it might be a better idea to first write about personality patterns in general before continuing. This is because the overall answer to each is pretty much the same – stop and bust yourself while you’re being these patterns and just let them go in that moment. And without any negative mental chatter at all. None. In other words, ditch the whole self-critizing thing (that’s just an old habit as well). Over time, these patterns get weakened. Stop, let it go, and continue living – even if you carry through with the patterned behavior or thinking! Now you’re awake as opposed to asleep, and that makes a huge difference over time.

Okay, let’s go ahead and get real… I’m pretty sure that the truth of the matter is that who you are is not a temporary body. The evidence definitely doesn’t support that. And I hate to keep being vague here on this blog about the deeper stuff, but I really do have to wait until I start my next blog, A Deep Mind, to really get into the question, “Who am I?” And trust me – we will thoroughly examine what I call “the evidence.” That won’t be until the end of the year or beginning of next year, though, due to work and licensure reasons. And that’s fine. Until then, though, we’ll operate under the assumption that who you are at the end of the day, after your body is dust, is a spiritual being. That’s what all of the spiritual teachers and wise ones have said, anyway. And there’s an absolute ton of things happening to this day that I consider to be very strong evidence in support of this idea.

So we’re a spiritual being and not a temporary body or ego (interchangeable terms to me). This means that the patterns and habits you don’t like are just patterns of the body that you find yourself in. It’s not who you are. Rather, it’s who you are not. And what a difference that makes! Rejoice! Now you can own your BS and it’s literally not personal because you’re literally not really a person. And yes, I know that you seem to be one now. I see Ashley when I look in the mirror. Slowly but surely, though, the belief that that’s who I really, really am is weakening (and yes, it does take some time, but you’re going to live anyway, so why not?). So if I’m noticing that I’m engaging in or about to engage in a pattern that I don’t like, I can stop and wake up. In an instant, I tell myself that I’m about to act in a certain way or that I’m thinking in a certain way (i.e., the pattern in question). Then I have a choice about whether or not to continue. And as we said above, even if I continue, I’m awake now and not asleep. I’m present. I’m aware. I’m doing it consciously. I have a choice. If I’m asleep, there’s no choice and I continue to live as some robot that always acts the same way. You are definitely not a robot.

I realize that these patterns are very old and ingrained. There’s no time like the present, though. The first step is to just notice them. Just pay attention and be honest with what you find. This is where the belief that you’re not really a temporary body comes in handy. It lightens everything up so we can accept our flaws. Remember that “perfect” is just a concept, unless you define it to mean “exactly as things are now.” Most people don’t define it that way, though, so they’re constantly measuring themselves up to something that doesn’t even exist. Not a good plan if you want to be happy… At least this type of pain is self-inflicted, though, so we can change our thinking over time and let some real peace in.

As we notice our patterns more and more, and we remind ourselves on the spot that we are not a bundle of patterns contained in a body, the patterns start to weaken. We can accept them and say “this is how things are now.” And then we can start to make different choices when we bust ourselves. I might catch myself after I’ve been too critical and immediately say to the other person, “You know, I really wish I had said that differently. What I really meant is (blank). I could’ve done a better job with that.” And you don’t beat yourself up at all. And that person is blown away! And as you keep practicing, eventually you’ll catch yourself right before you’re about to be too critical (I’m just using The Critic as an example, another one with which I’m quite familiar). And now you have a choice. Nothing has happened yet. You haven’t ruined the vibe yet and crushed the person you’re talking too. And you choose to say something else, or nothing at all. And the vibe never gets ruined, and the person never gets crushed. If you really need to get a point across, you put yourself in their shoes and say it a different way. And after the exchange, you reflect on the situation. And you start jumping for freaking joy! Great job, hypothetical person! You learned something, started paying attention, started busting yourself without negativity, and then you were finally able to put it into action and see real results. That’s what it’s all about. The pattern just got weakened, and you’re definitely headed in the right direction. Man, I love this stuff…

So happy practicing, and relish when you bust yourself. Be happy! Why? Because you can’t let it go if you don’t know you’re holding it, so bring it on. And as always, let me know if I can help. And let me know if you have some results. Also, if you want to explore this whole “I’m not really a body/meat suit” thing, then I’d really love to help. That’s a favorite conversation of mine. There’s no shying away from the evidence in my office; just here on this blog. Once I’m licensed and on my own, we’ll take the gloves off and really get into it. The things we talk about here at A Clean Mind, though, are enough to be totally life changing, though, so don’t be deceived by their simplicity. Again, happy practicing. I have to go unconsciously criticize someone now…