RECOGNIZE ~ clearly seeing patterned behavior

How to Clearly Recognize a Reactive Pattern of Behavior




“I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars.”

– Og Mandino


Today, let's recognize when we're operating from reactive patterns so that we can live with more intention.

Patterns operate to degrade our attention because they operate from fears of the past or anxieties of the future. By recognizing the energetic drain of reactive patterns, we create the opportunity to live with more presence in ways that align with our most liberating intentions.



Reactive patterns operate stronger in adversity.

Friends, teachers, or significant others are very helpful in our effort to recognize patterned behavior. Every more helpful (though more difficult to appreciate in the moment), are the contributions that come from people and situations that create more adversity within us. By paying attention to how we react under stress, we can see patterned behavior clearly.

Reactive patterns create unfulfilled expectations.

Careful observation of actions and their results eventually leads us to recognize patterns. When our actions are consistently contrary to our intentions or expectations, we know we're operating out of a pattern.



To recognize, we simply bring attention to the pattern, again and again, and observe, again and again.

  1. Take a reactive pattern you have observed within yourself.
  2. Sit in attention, and let the pattern play out in your imagination.
  3. Any of the following points can be used to recognize the pattern more clearly:
    • shifts in the body, emotional state, or perception of things
    • a repeated chain of reactive emotions
    • the way the pattern projects a world
    • familiar automatic behaviors—physical, verbal, mental
    • familiar results, such as how your relationship with others is affected
    • a divergence between your intention and what actually happens


Honestly taking a look at our patterns is a courageous practice.

It can feel vulnerable as we feel the unfelt emotions that created the pattern in the first place. The repeated practice of recognizing and observing a pattern cultivates a higher level of attention—interrupting the pattern, releasing stuck energy, and dissolving the pattern's operation.



Lightness is my true self.

In Sanskrit: Om Svayam Agurutva.

The inner light I keep is always on and always alive.
Nothing heavy can obstruct who I really am deep down inside.
I am endlessly renewed in the present moment, so here, and now, I abide.
I recognize patterns as they arise, and in doing so become free from their grip.



What is one supportive relationship that helps you recognize your reactive patterns of behavior?

We'd love to hear in the community comments.

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