First of all- a big THANK YOU to all of you who filled out the Illuminate survey last week; I had a blast looking at all of the future topics + ideas you all are giving me 🙂 Haven’t filled it out yet? I’d love to hear your voice– take the super-short survey here.

Guess what the number one (BY FAR) topic of interest is from your survey results?? Recognizing what patterns are holding you back. I promise I’ll cook up a workshop or workbook on this topic, but in the meantime, let’s take a little peek at your patterns…

Where I live, this time of year means the holidays. The smell of cookies and hot chocolate fill the air, and nearly every house is lit up with lights.

It’s also the time of gathering with loved ones near and far, which brings joy to many (and a mixture of other emotions for others). This time in particular– the time of gathering with those who know you so well– presents a nearly-ideal opportunity to get to know your patterns better.

Ready to get to know yourself?

Bring to mind some people you will see soon. If you’re visiting family for the holidays, or have family visiting you, you can think of them. If not, you can think of friends or family you will see soon who know you well. I will refer to these people as your ‘pattern people.’
1: Think back to the last time…
You spent time with these pattern people you will see soon. Bring to mind what you did with them. What feelings came up for you? Then use this information to…
2: Identify a pattern
With your mind on the last time you saw these people, identify just one pattern using this template:
When I see (fill in with your pattern people), I ___________.
It doesn’t need to be big or earth-shattering, your goal is simply to practice recognizing patterns.
3: Notice
This next time you see your pattern people, simply notice when your pattern comes up. As you become more aware of your pattern, you can use the ‘reflect’ questions to help you go deeper.


Patterns often have emotional roots. What emotions came before and after your pattern-behavior? This might be a key into what causes you to perform your pattern.

Could you exercise some optimism to think of other options to do instead of your pattern? Even if you decide to keep your pattern, you will have some other options in mind.

PS– Have you taken the super-short survey yet? I really, really want to know what you think!!

Illuminate is a weekly e-mail series that provides practical tips + galvanizing inspirations for practicing an emotionally intelligent life. In our time together, we’ll operate from the assumption that you have all the wisdom you need inside of yourself + that you have a purpose the world needs to see. We will explore the tools + techniques to illuminate your own inner wisdom and purpose. If you’d like to receive this free gift of goodness in your inbox every week, subscribe here.

Maria Jackson

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