by Pompe Strater-Vidal
Zen Sensei and founder of Relax Breathe Flow

It’s the first week of autumn here. Days are getting shorter and nights longer. Leaves are changing color, and starting to fall. It’s the season of letting go.

In meditation, we let go of our focus on our thoughts and emotions, coming back gently to our breath. But sometimes it’s hard to let go. Very. Challenging. Persistent patterns circle in an endless loop, keeping us stuck in our head, our feelings or both.

When this happens, it’s helpful to understand why you’re stuck. What you’re attached too.

Here are nine common negative emotional patterns:

  1. Anger. Attached to being right, and resentful about what’s wrong.
  2. False pride. Refusing to ask for attention, help and support when needed.
  3. Vanity. Attachment to your image, instead of being authentic and real.
  4. Envy. When the grass is always greener, underneath there’s a sense of lack.
  5. Hoarding. Collecting stuff like a squirrel, afraid of never having enough.
  6. Fear. Identifying with fears, instead of reality testing them.
  7. Gluttony. Seeking pleasure compulsively to avoid experiencing pain.
  8. Lust. Overindulging. A lot.
  9. Indolence. It’s more comfortable to stay stuck. Change is risky.

Unless you’re a saint, some of these patterns will sound familiar. This is not a new way to criticize your self:) This is about awareness. Being aware of how you’re stuck is important. It’s the first step out of the loop. Here’s the next.

A list of the positive qualities that get us unstuck, moving forward into the light:

  1. Serenity happens when you let go of anger and being right.
  2. Humility opens the door to receiving support with love.
  3. Honesty is the real you, the good, the bad and the ugly.
  4. Equanimity comes from being grateful for what you have.
  5. Nonattachment is about letting go.
  6. Courage is moving forward through fear.
  7. Sobriety is accepting your pain.
  8. Innocence is simple enjoyment, the wonder of a child.
  9. Right action comes from being centered in the qualities above.

Once you identify which negative loop you’re stuck in, you can consciously work on developing the quality that antidotes it.

Let me know your thoughts on this process, stepping out of negative patterns to move forward with awareness and love.

All the best,