- Thoughts for inspired living

May 8, 2008

The 5 Burrows

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:06 am

I got a message from The Grasshopper this morning upon awakening – The 5 Boroughs.

I immediately thought of the 5 boroughs that comprise New York City – Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx and Staten Island. There was no juice behind that thought but I knew this was something I was being encouraged to write about, so I just let “The 5 Boroughs” sit there and this is what popped:

The 5 boroughs are the 5 senses – sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell. That’s how we experience the world, at least the world we can sense.

These sense experiences burrow down into our consciousness and, after a few repetitions, they become patterns. We are unaware of many of these sense perceptions because they sneak past our conscious mind and become our make up over time. Reminds me of a story . . .

My ex brother-in-law has 4 brothers. We were all at a family gathering many years ago. The boys’ father was also at the event with his 5 sons. When the father got up from his chair, I noticed that he hooked his thumbs into his back waistband and adjusted his pants. It immediately dawned on me that all the brothers did the same thing when they got up. Do you think any of them were aware of this collective pattern? No, they were not, but they all did it in the same fashion.

They had seen it over the years and this visual piece of information burrowed down into their subconscious and became a pattern of behavior – one they were unaware of.

There are so many patterns of behavior that have come about due to burrowing sense perceptions. Patterns run our lives. We like to think we are in charge, but, truth be told, we are our patterns.

Side Note: Beliefs are patterns – many of which also got in there without our conscious knowledge or permission.

A pattern is comprised of one or any combination of the burrowed sense perceptions. After this burrowing takes place, we experience a visual, auditory, kinesthetic, olfactory, gustatory stimulus and we have a response. Reminds me of another story . . .

When I was 6 years old we moved into a new neighborhood. I made some new friends and we played in an alleyway behind a bakery. It had one of those big fans that sucked the hot air out of the building and also escorted some delightful scents into that alley for all of us to smell. I can’t speak for the others, but anytime I smell fresh baked aromas in the air, I am mentally transported back to that alley.

That’s one of the stimulus/response patterns I became aware of over time. There are many other ones that I have no knowledge of, yet they still run and I act in accordance with them. I don’t think that pants hiking and alleyway transportation interfere with the quality of our lives but other patterns do. The question we need to ask ourselves is, “What keeps showing up in my life?” The answer to that question will lead you to a pattern you have that is attracting those repetitive circumstances.

You don’t need to take the patterns apart piece by piece and discover all the burrowed sense perceptions to come to a resolution. There is a shortcut. If you read my blog, it’s one of the words that continually repeats itself in my writing – Recognition. Recognition is a pattern worth cultivating. When you recognize a counter-productive pattern of behavior that you have, especially when it is running, that is the beginning step in outgrowing or updating a pattern.

Recognition is the wedge that you slide between stimulus and response even though you may not even know what the stimulus is. All you need to do is notice the pattern while it’s running. This noticing is an interruption of the pattern. Recognition is enough of a wedge for you to choose another response – one that takes you off automatic pilot and delivers a new way of responding. Consistent application of pattern recognition will update the pattern into some more useful behavior.

There are many who say, “Change your thoughts and change your life.” A quicker way is to change your patterns and change your life. When the patterns change, the thoughts will automatically change.

This methodology works everywhere – even in the 5 boroughs of New York.

All the best,


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