ERP 392: How To Reduce Reactive Patterns In Relationship — An Interview With Adele Spraggon

By Posted in - Podcast October 3rd, 2023 0 Comments

In relationships, conflicts and disputes are virtually inevitable. However, it’s not the presence of conflict that threatens our connections, but rather the way we react to it. Often, when tensions arise, our reactions can become automatic, triggering emotional patterns that can escalate discord and disrupt intimacy. Many times, these reactive patterns stem from our early life experiences and can profoundly affect our relationships, making it essential to understand and address them.

In this illuminating discussion, we explore a revolutionary method for addressing these deeply ingrained patterns. Discover how to identify, take ownership of, deconstruct, and reconstruct these patterns, ultimately gaining the ability to convert conflicts into chances for personal development, enhanced connections, and heightened intimacy within our relationships.

Join us as we explore practical strategies for minimizing reactive patterns in our relationships, and promoting healthier and more empowered connections.

Adele Spraggon is an award-winning author, thought leader, international trainer, and a fearless speaker. She has been awarded the 2020 Woman of Inspiration Award and in 2021 she was recognized as the Top Behavioural Expert of the Year.

Drawing on the most recent findings in brain research, along with inspiring stories of breakthroughs and triumphs from her coaching clients, Adele demonstrates that no matter how conflicted a relationship is there is a way to fall in love again by learning how to identify and upgrade your brain patterning.

In this Episode

3:18 Introduction to Adele Spraggon’s distinctive method for rewiring brain patterns.

15: 44 Addressing the root cause: From software patches to hardware rewiring.

19:55 Cultivating compassion and understanding through repatterning

24:34 The role of deconstruction in rewiring the brain.

27:47 Navigating the unknown: Overcoming fear and embracing vulnerability.

33:09 The four-week repatterning process: Building awareness and trust.

38:22 Creating a new pattern: The secret to conflict-free change.

44:48 Healing childhood wounds and transforming relationships.

49:09 Resources for personal growth.

Your Check List of Actions to Take

  • Identify your habitual reactions in conflict situations, including the physical sensations, emotions, and thoughts involved.
  • Take ownership of these patterns by acknowledging that they are part of your response system.
  • Deconstruct the patterns: Delve into the core of these patterns by exploring the physical sensations, emotions, and thoughts separately.
  • Practice daily awareness: Dedicate a few minutes each day to identify and observe your patterns, building a heightened awareness.
  • Enhance somatic awareness: Pay attention to the sensations in your body, emotions, and thoughts in various situations to gain more insight.
  • Trust the process: Trust that your brain will naturally create new, more adaptive patterns as you remove the old ones.
  • Embrace vulnerability: Understand that vulnerability is part of the process, but it diminishes as you develop trust in your new patterns.
  • Deepen connection: As you work on your patterns, experience deeper connections and healthier relationships with those around you.

Mentioned

SHIFT: 4 Steps to Personal Empowerment (*Amazon Affiliate link) (book)

Increase Relationship Skills (survey)

Connect with Adele Spraggon

Websites: adelespraggon.com

Facebook: facebook.com/adele.spraggon | facebook.com/AdeleSpraggonRepatternist 

Twitter: twitter.com/AdeleSpraggon

YouTube: youtube.com/@AdeleSpraggon

Instagram: instagram.com/adelespraggon/?hl=en

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/adelespraggon

Connect with Dr. Jessica Higgins

Facebook: facebook.com/EmpoweredRelationship 

Instagram: instagram.com/drjessicahiggins 

Podcast: drjessicahiggins.com/podcasts/

Pinterest: pinterest.com/EmpowerRelation 

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/drjessicahiggins 

Twitter: @DrJessHiggins 

Website: drjessicahiggins.com  

Email: [email protected]

About Today’s Show

Adele, thank you for joining us here today. 

Oh, thank you for having me, Jessica. Pleasure to be here. 

Yes. The topic we’re going to be talking about is often ever-so-present in relationship, in the way of difficulty with communication and conflict and the patterns that get in the way. Before we delve into today’s topic, I’m wondering, would you like to share for people who maybe aren’t as acquainted with you, a little bit about yourself, what got you into supporting couples and people in relationships?

Sure, I’d love to. So I’ve been working with people’s brain patterning for over 12 years now, and we’ll get into what that is, Jessica, of course. But about six years ago now, I had a man approach me and he said, do you think this patterning might work for my relationship? His wife had just recently asked him for a divorce, and he was really looking for how can I heal this relationship? So I thought at the time, well I haven’t done this, but let’s give it a try. So I started working with him, and then his wife joined us and I started working with them as a couple. Inside of six weeks, they were like newlyweds again. So I thought okay, this is something that a lot of couples need. I mean, there’s a lot of couples out there who could use the supportive re-patterning and what it means. So I opened it up and I’ve been working with couples ever since, and it’s amazing. I haven’t lost a single couple yet, I like to say. So every couple who works on relationships ends up healing their relationships. I work with a few people who are single as well; sometimes they end up in relationship, and other times they just end up changing their entire focus on who they want to be with. Because a lot of times, our brain patterns will steer us in the wrong direction when those brain patterns aren’t working for us.

I hear people using similar language that have really studied NLP. Have you done work with NLP?

I don’t work with NLP, no. My background is meditation. So I was a meditation facilitator for 20 years before I came up with this technique myself. It’s a proprietary tool. It does use some elements of meditation. But primarily, it’s a four-step technique that really works with subtracting what is wrong first. So rather than just trying to change everything and upgrade it when we’re still working on a foundation that doesn’t work, this method actually changes the foundation and puts a new foundation in, so that new patterns can then be created. I think that’s what makes it so effective. 

Okay, great. So are you going to be telling us a little bit more about this, or is there something you want to say about it now? Help me with where you’d like to go first.

Yeah, sure. So why don’t we look at the three things that most couples need to know if there’s conflict in the relationship. Let’s just start with what is the source of conflict, Jessica. Most people think that the source of conflict is either the communication or the situation, or they’ll blame themselves, or they’ll blame the partner, and they keep working at that level. But let’s look at your brain and where it is positioned in your head. So right now, your brain is inside this dark, silent room, and it needs to interpret all the information that is coming in through the sensory data, including that communication with your partner. So your brain is constantly communicating. So we could divide the brain into hardware and software. So let’s say that the hardware part of your brain is the part you can touch and feel, and the software is all the programming that your brain has had throughout its lifetime. So every time you entered a situation when you were little, your brain stored a brain pattern, and it’s that brain pattern that is taking an action or communicating in the way it’s communicating. Same with your partner. So that changes the source of the conflict. 

Free A Female Couple Playing with Bubbles Stock Photo

“The conflict isn’t actually in the relationship. The source of the conflict is in those brain patterns and how those are different. So when we know that, then we can change the way that we communicate; we can change what we’re doing to change that conflict.”

Now, what happens when we work on the hardware part of our brain rather than the software? Well, the software part of the brain you’re all familiar with. So most couples who have had some sort of conflict will often go to couples’ counseling, or they’ll read a self-help book, or something like that. All of those methods that they’re using to correct the problem are what I call software patches. So let me communicate better with you, partner, and that way, you’ll understand me, I’ll understand you, and then we can transform our behavior so that it fits each other. Those are the software patches, and they fall off a lot if you notice. So when we try and use will power, oftentimes we can retain that level of commitment for a certain amount of time, and then it falls off and we have to put it back on again. The other thing we’ll use is motivation techniques, inspiration techniques, and all of those keep falling off. 

When we work with hardware though, it’s permanent. So let me give you the different ways that couples try to communicate, and why it doesn’t work so well. So I worked with one couple, and she was always trying to change him. So she wanted to go out in the evening. She was a stay-at-home mum, and she wanted some time for herself. Now he had a pattern where he always wanted her to be with him. He had a lot of abandonment issues, and he struggled when she left him. So this was creating a lot of conflict. She kept thinking, well, if I can just get him to change, then he will be okay with me going out. So what I suggested that she do instead was flip that switch. So the first thing she had to do was identify her pattern for what happened to her when she wanted to go out and she heard him say: “You know what, I’d rather you stay in tonight.” So what happened for her, she would start to feel guilty and wrong and bad. That is how she was communicating with him. So in the subconscious, the subconscious was screaming. The conscious mind was whispering, I like to say. So her subconscious was feeling all of this guilt and apologetic about wanting to go out, and that’s what was actually being communicated. So we just flipped that switch, and I suggested that she work on that pattern and upgrade that pattern. 

Now what happened? Well, the very next time she asked me, Jessica, after she had upgraded her pattern, she was absolutely surprised when he turned around and said: “Oh yeah, I know you’ve been wanting to do that for a while, go ahead.” She stood there in absolute shock going, how did this happen? So the reason that it was able to happen is because she was no longer apologetic internally, she was no longer feeling guilty internally. So her communication was dramatically different, and it was received differently. So that’s the power of patterns. 

Okay. So just to clarify, it sounds like you’re distinguishing between software and hardware, and you’re associating the hardware with more of the deeper subconscious unconscious patterning, and that the conscious efforts as will power or techniques or insights that we might have that we try to apply without doing the deeper work as more software.

Not exactly. So the hardware part is the neural wiring of the brain. 

Free Men Sitting on Bed Stock Photo

“So everybody has seen pictures of how your brain is wired. When that neural pathway is created, it’s created out of a situation when you were born. So human beings aren’t born with brain patterns, our brain has to create a lot of them; we’re born with some, not all.”

So every situation that a person enters into when they’re young, it formulates a pattern. So let’s take him, for example, and his side of the relationship that was feeling abandoned all the time. Well, that was given by a pattern in his youth where his mother actually did abandon him. So that pattern gets formed when he’s little. Now his wife says, “Hey, I want to go out tonight,” and that’s what he’s reacting to. He’s reacting to that neural pathway in the brain, he’s not reacting to her request. Does that make sense? 

Yeah, I’m trying to clarify. Because you’re saying I really want people to not try to just do these patches for the software that doesn’t have lasting impact, and you’re saying if we can do some deeper work, addressing the hardware. So what you’re saying is, it’s addressing the hardware because you’re helping build some new pathways in the deeper unconscious. Is that what you’re saying?

Exactly. We’re going to go in there, we’re going to tease apart that neural pathway, upgrade it, so that you get a new neural pathway. That new neural pathway will take a different action, will feel differently, will behave differently, will believe differently. Great, awesome! Now you’re empowered. Whereas before, you’re constantly trying to fix something as if it’s broken out there. 

So what you’re really pointing to is, a lot of the times when there’s an interaction between a couple, the way that one is experiencing that interaction is an indicator to what is happening on a deeper level on the inside. If we don’t turn towards that, then we can be perhaps doing a lot of things and putting a lot of effort and energy and resources into addressing and resolving the issue without maybe addressing it at its core.

Exactly. 

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“It’s a fact that 20% of the information that is received by your brain is coming from the outside in. 80% is coming from the inside out. So to work on that 20%, it’s really just putting a software patch on. If we can work on the 80%, now we’re working at the core, the real problem.”

So this impacts people’s interpretation of what signals are coming, what it means. You can have perhaps five different people who will experience the exact same incident and interpret it very differently based on some of these early patternings.

Yeah, you’ve got it.

Okay. So as you’re inviting people to do this deeper look, you’re saying there’s some guidance or some steps that really support people to identify. Is that something you want to talk about?

Sure. So what I teach is a four-step technique, which allows people to first identify the pattern, that is step one. The first thing we need to do is we need to stop thinking that the problem is in them or the problem is in us. I mean, it’s not even in what you’re doing. It’s in that patterning. So what is that pattern? So that’s step one: we need to identify the source of the problem as a pattern. Step two is to own it as a pattern and not as a problem out there, or not as a problem in us. So we’re going to flip that switch. That’s a very empowered position, and it allows the person to feel back in control. People who are working on unworkable patterns, they often feel out of control. 

I worked with one man and he was always losing his temper, couldn’t stop yelling at the kids. It drove his wife crazy, and she kept saying: Please, just stop yelling! But every time that pattern got triggered, it was that pattern that went into action. So to flip that switch and to own it as a pattern is really empowering, and it takes the blame out of everything. It takes the sting of blame out. It’s like, okay, I have a pattern that is overreacting. Okay, I can deal with that. 

Step three, we are going to deconstruct that pattern. That’s foundational. That’s fundamental to changing any behavior, we have to remove the old pattern first. That’s a step that’s missing in every other methodology that I’ve found out there. Most methodologies just try and change the behavior, flip it from this to this, from x to y. That doesn’t work very well. Let’s remove X first, and now you’re in a position to upgrade or reconstruct that pattern. So it’s identify, own, deconstruct, then reconstruct. Now this man was just totally different. The kids came and he wanted to be around them more, they hung out with him. He wasn’t yelling anymore. In fact, he was delighting in his kids and nobody was ticking each other off.

Okay, so as you’re describing this four steps, did you say the fourth step?

Yeah. So it’s identify, own, deconstruct, and then reconstruct.

Oh okay, I thought those four were in the third bit. Gotcha, that makes perfect sense. So as you’re describing these four steps, is this also referencing the attachment research and how some of these relational templates get formed very early and just to identify it? Then second is to look at how we did the best we could to survive or to adapt to that early situation, that early upbringing. So we have a way, certain strategies and tendencies that we formed based on those experiences, and it makes perfect sense. Is that part of what you’re helping people recognize?

Well, a lot of methodologies out there invite people to trace back the origins of their behavior to something in their childhood. But I found myself that I have no memory of my childhood, I just have a bad memory. So I never knew where the pattern originated. So it would frustrate me even more. Because not only did I have a problem, I now couldn’t remember the source of the problem. So now I actually had two problems. So in my methodology, I did away with that. As long as you can identify what you’re doing here now, that’s enough. That’s all you need to know. So what is your today behavior? Not where did the pattern originate and how it got formed. Honestly, it doesn’t matter. If a person does remember, we can work with that. But that’s not the most important thing. The most important thing is what works or doesn’t work for you today.

Well, my experience is that people are working with a working model that has been thematic in their life. So what is it in existence now typically has threads throughout their life. I agree with you, it’s not necessary to necessarily start with the childhood experiences, although what’s experienced in the moment is likely an echo of those early experiences. I just was trying to clarify what you were describing. So as you in your step two give some non-judgement and compassion to these patterns, what are some other ways? Because sometimes it can be helpful to look at the environment, and one can start to have more compassion for their younger self that they didn’t have whatever was helpful or optimal for them to operate differently, so these patterns made sense in that context. So what are some ways in which you help people give more of that understanding to these patterns?

Yeah. So one of the most delightful thing about re-patterning is how this deep sense of compassion just is there. It’s foundational to who you are once you’re running an optimal pattern. That’s compassion, both for yourself, for your partner, for your situation, for the past, for what’s going on. So all of that blame and shame that we typically swim in, because we’re always looking for what’s the source of the problem is being in the situation, it creates a lot of blame, all of that just magically, seemingly magically, melts away. Because once you know that all it is, is a pattern, there’s nothing to blame. It’s like: “Oh okay, that’s not working for me, great! I’ve got a four-step technique that I can use to remove and upgrade that.” So compassion is just part of the process. 

The ability to be resilient through anything is also part of the process, because it just naturally comes into being once you’ve got a tool that actually puts you back in control. Most people feel out of control when they’re in conflict, and so that creates a lot of that additional conflict and additional stress. So once you’ve got a tool, and once you can meet in the face of whatever you’re doing because you know it’s a pattern, now you’ve got resilience, now you’ve got compassion, now you’ve got trust, now you’ve got wisdom too. Because it’s the wisdom that is in the deep recesses of your brain to create an optimal decision for all parties involved, and that too is a natural part of the process. So this is how that couple went from being on the verge of divorce to being like newlyweds. It was like: “Oh, wait a minute, I’m blaming you. But okay, it’s just a pattern. Great, awesome! Let’s work on the pattern.”

The way that you’re describing, it sounds as though there’s some distance that you’re helping people get from their pattern. They’re not overly identified with the pattern so that it’s who they are, rather than something they utilize. That can be extremely helpful in having more choice, not maybe feeling as compelled. Because I will say in an aside, when we talk about neuroscience, we learn very early in neuroscience, what wires together fires together. That creates that pattern, and when those patterns are reinforced over and over and over again for many, many years or even a lifetime, those are very strong. So it can be compelling. Yet, when we can have some of this perspective and perhaps ability to see differently, we have different choices. Is that what you were describing?

Yeah, exactly. There’s a certain detachment from being able to see something as a pattern and being able to see something as somebody’s identity, that is who they are. That’s a very disempowered place to stay in. To be able to say: “Okay, there’s a pattern that they’re running and that’s not working for me. But I’ve got a tool in my pocket that I can deal with my reaction.” That’s empowered.

Yeah, absolutely. As it relates to deconstructing, in my experience, when it’s named and identified, that there’s some perspective and ability to choose, there is more range to be able to have more capacity to make a different choice. Also, when there’s safety in the dynamic for there to be a different move, take a different step, that can be very reparative, it can be really corrective. Can you help me? Because it sounds like you’re saying the deconstruction is perhaps a little different than that. Is that right?

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“I like to consider the deconstruction like teasing apart that neural pathway. So the brain, as you know, has plasticity. It rewires. It’s always trying to make those connections and rewire to fit the actual situation it’s in, we’re just going to guide and help it along.”

So to deconstruct the pattern, we really need to get to a place of the unknown. Now, Jessica, as you probably know, the scariest thing that a human being has to get to is the unknown. It’s the one thing that we all fear. But to let go of what we think we know in order to stand in the unknown, that’s where the deconstruction technique really supports you. Because the reason we try and control is because we don’t want to go there; our brain doesn’t want to go there. So once you have a method to teach the brain: “Hey, it’s okay. Let go of that pattern, because another one will take its place.” Then that is huge. People just say, wow, my stress level! I worked with one guy, and in six weeks, his stress level went from the 100% mark, when he was doing his quiz, to 50% in six weeks. It just dropped dramatically. That’s because he’s able to face those conflicts head on, because he has a technique to do so.

It reminds me, I remember, in one of Terrence Real’s books, he was talking about let the scary thing happen. When we have certain patterns, it’s almost as though we’re sailing in harbor, and that’s where it’s safe and comfortable. But there’s this vast terrain and sea outside of the harbor, and yet, we often don’t live in that. Because these patterns keep us very intended to feel safe, but often restrict. So it sounds like you’re helping people go through that terror barrier, if you will, and to give space for something which, to your point, is unknown, deeply vulnerable often in couple of sessions, when they’re revealing more of the deeper parts that can be so terrifying and scary, and a really big risk. It gives a lot of room to not need to control or keep things in its same pattern, which gives a lot of space to experience something new. I see you nodding, so I’m assuming you’re saying there’s something

Yeah, definitely. 

Is vulnerability a part of this? Because as we’re talking, this sense of control and utilizing these patterns, we think we’re keeping it in its place. But often those deeper core places or fears or the unknowns are playing a bigger role than we even give it credit.

Absolutely. In fact, I would say that mostly we’re controlled by those fears, most of the time, and we’re just trying to navigate through the waters, the choppy waters, not even realizing. Like you said, we think we’re in the safe harbor, but we’re actually not; we’re just trying to navigate through all of these lakes and remain the course. 

So is vulnerability a part of re-patterning? It’s vulnerable to look at yourself. It really is. It’s vulnerable to be able to say that’s my pattern, initially. Once, though, somebody has a tool and they can trust in that tool because they’ve seen it work, and that’s important. So once they have seen it work, that vulnerability drops a bit. Because they no longer have to really worry so much about protecting themselves, because they’ve got a tool that’s going to protect them. The remarkable thing about the human brain, Jessica, as you probably know, is just how adaptable it is. 

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“If there’s one thing that we can say about the human being, it’s adaptability. So to be able to play with that adaptability means that we’re not vulnerable anymore, because we’re always able to respond optimally to what’s actually going on. That’s true for our partner, it’s true when we’re trying to communicate.”

That’s what makes everything just so remarkable. Because I worked with one woman, and she was so afraid to communicate, not just with her husband, just with anybody, with the world. She would be told as a child, don’t show yourself and kids shouldn’t be seen, and she really struggled. Then as she started to open up, and it just happens naturally because the brain has now created a new pattern, she just blossomed. Suddenly she was just sharing everything, she wasn’t caring about how people were reacting to her shares. All of that vulnerability just melted.

Well, it sounds as though you’re saying that there’s some trusting the process that allows for some experience to take place, and through that experience, people are building confidence. I think that’s true for anything. Anything that one is learning, when they put it into practice and they start to get some iteration, they can feel the benefit of that. And what you’re describing is also the sense that there’s something they can lean into that they can trust. Is that what I’m hearing?

Yeah. But I like to say, if you don’t trust, you can’t trust. If you don’t have a pattern that trusts, it’s impossible to trust.

Well, you’re talking about having a tool that people can trust. So people, to your point, if they don’t know how to trust, how do you help them trust the process?

Yes. So how I teach the tool is one step at a time and for a full week. So they start just with identifying their patterns, then just with owning their patterns, and then just with deconstructing their patterns. By the time they get to that trust factor, they’ve already seen the result. So step four is they’re reconstructing their patterns, and that’s involving a heavy level of trust, because they’re now in the unknown. At that point, they don’t have to generate trust, because their brain is already trusting. So that’s the difference.

So when you say for a week, what does that practice look like?

So how do we identify a pattern, is that what you’re asking? 

Well, you’re saying for each step, you have them work for a week. What does that work look like?

So I start with a 90-minute one-on-one call with every single one of my participants, and that call is designed to unpack the patterns that are not working for them. Or they’re actually coming away with a list, a list of items to work on; a list of actions, behaviors, beliefs that are not working in their relationship. Now we start the process of identifying those patterns. So for a week, we just work on a few of those top patterns, the ones that are most impactful, and they just identify those, every day, every day, every day, identifying the same item over and over and over again. Well, that’s really huge. Because now their brain is starting to go: “Oh okay, wait a minute, the problem is not out there, the problems in here. So good.” It’s starting to recognize: “Oh okay, this is how I react when this happens.” Not here’s what’s happening and all that analysis that the brain does. It instead goes, okay, here’s my reaction. Okay, now they’re softening, they’re a little bit more trusting. Because they’re not having to do anything, they’re not having to be vulnerable or change anything. They’re just identifying. 

Now, the next week. Okay, now you’re going to own that as a pattern. It’s not out there, it’s in the brain. So now I give them a way to do that, and it’s just a little sentence that they say. Again, the brain softens. Oh okay, I can do this. It’s almost as if the mind is going: “All right, this is safe. I’m okay so far.” Now in the third week, they start that process of deconstruction, and now newness starts to arise. So at this point, they start to see really different results. They start to take different actions, change their behaviors, their beliefs are changing. But they’re not choosing that new belief, or choosing that new behavior. It’s just occurring naturally as the brain is re-patterning. So wow, now they start to go: “Oh my gosh, what I just said was surprising and effective, or what I just did was totally different! I didn’t react. I didn’t get angry. I didn’t scream at the kids.” So now they’re in that place of trust. Now we can say, now we’re ready to reconstruct. Which, frankly, Jessica, it’s already happening.

That’s what I was going to say. It sounds like you’re asking people to suspend some of their automatic reactivity. So in that suspension, giving some witness and some observation, meta-awareness to what they’re experiencing, give some of that suspending, so that they get to see what’s it like when I’m not reacting? There’s three weeks of experience before they necessarily are trying something new. Is that right?

You got it, exactly. And when both sides of the couple do this, then it’s just accelerated results. But even if only one person is willing to take it on and start working on their patterns, it still has a tremendous impact on the relationship.

So in that beginning, identifying the pattern, are there many variations of what that could look like? Or are you looking for really distilled core fear? Can you help us around how you frame that?

So how I identify a pattern, or how somebody knows when they’re running a pattern, let’s put it that way. Because a pattern is an intertwined physical sensation, emotion, and thought. So when the three aspects of our being come together, it results in an action or behavior or belief. So what we do is we stop working an action, behavior, and belief. That’s surface stuff. Instead, okay, I’m feeling something occurring internally. So let’s break it down. What are you feeling? Where are you feeling that? What is one thought? And we don’t want for this thought to run through your mind, because the mind will pick up on that and run. So we’re going to nip it and put it down into one thought. Great, now they’ve just identified a pattern. That separation, that division between those three pieces, first of all, it allows the mind to put everything into a category, which the mind really enjoys doing. Once it thinks it’s another category, it goes: “Okay, all right, I’m safe here. I’ve done that.” So that’s awesome. But it also creates that detached awareness, now you’re just observing it rather than getting swept up in it. So that’s step one.

I’m so glad, I was going to actually ask you if there was a somatic element to this. Because I have found so often that the body is such a great direct source to some of these deeper, or even what’s operating, that we’re not giving a lot of conscious attention to, and that the body does speak. So you’re helping people, and I think this is really helpful. Because not only is it giving information to those deeper core beliefs, fears, patterns, it’s also giving someone something to identify, to your language, that they can start looking for. The reticular, I forgot what that frame is. But when you’re watching and looking for something, you’re going to see it that much more. So if there’s that anchoring or that sensation awareness, they’re likely going to be able to pay attention to that a lot more throughout the next week. Is that right?

So they do it twice a day, two times a day, it’s just two minutes. So it’s four minutes in the morning, four minutes at night. But again, we’re training the brain to do this at all times, both what I call on and off the cushion. 

Yes, thank you. That’s what I was going to say! I can do it twice a day. But if something happens and my significant other comes to me and I feel it, I’m like, oh, there it is.

Exactly, you got it. So once we train the brain, then as you’re saying, the brain is used to looking for that, and then it just starts to naturally just drop into the body every time as a reaction. So I go: “Okay, I’m reacting. Where am I feeling that? Oh, it’s in the heart. Okay, great! What is the emotion? Oh, it’s fear. Okay.” It just is doing it behind the scenes then, all the time, which is another reason why you get such a remarkable results so quickly. Because when your partner comes to you and it’s like, he’s yelling at the kids again, your body is going: physical sensation, emotion, thought, and it’s happening behind the scenes. That’s awesome because you’re now focused on the right thing: how am I reacting, not what is he doing?

I will say, when there’s awareness to these deeper underpinnings, that is so important for transformation to occur in a couple dynamic. Because it’s no longer the protective strategy, each person in their protective strategy. Those strategies tend to hurt the other, and then they’re in this very disconnected loop. Rather than being with, holding the deeper core, having some solid footing to own it, like you’re describing, and to have some spaciousness around it, to have possibility to choose differently, but also to reveal that to the other, that that creates a level of intimacy.

Yes, but it’s not enough just to identify. I mean, they really need to go through the process of removing that reaction by removing the underlying brain pattern, and then you’re always in control. You don’t have to worry about reacting anymore.

So as you’re referencing this first step, do you feel that one on their own can start to identify what their pattern is? Or do you feel like it’s really helpful to have somebody be able to unpack that and really get to that distilled pattern, the core?

One of the things that I’ve found, Jessica, after doing this for 12 years, is it’s really difficult for somebody to identify their own actions, behaviors, beliefs, and the source of the conflict. It’s easy to identify a pattern once you know what to look for. Because it’s just a physical sensation, emotion, and thought. That part is easy. The hardest part is really getting through all the minds traps, that analysis that the mind does, that justifying, that catastrophizing that makes things bigger or worse than they need to be, that rebellious little voice in there that is a bit of an f-u whenever somebody triggers us. The hardest part is getting through all of that, to just distilling it down to a line item that you’re going to work on. That’s where I think a coach, like a really good teacher, trainer, consultant, psychiatrist, can really come in and support. Because that’s where they’re best trained at, that listening and that ability to guide somebody in the right direction where they need to go.

As we’re talking about these four steps, and we’ve talked a little bit more here just now about step number one, is there anything else that you want to say? We didn’t really talk very much about the fourth step. Is there anything you want to say before we kind of transition?

Oh, how to create a different pattern, how to upgrade a pattern and reconstruct it. I’m going to share a little secret Jessica, your brain has already done it. It’s already happened as soon as you removed the old pattern. But let me share with your listeners why a new pattern will not create conflict, because that’s a fear that most people have when they first start re-patterning. They go, okay, I know the source of my pattern, so the problem now is my pattern, got that, they say. They say, okay, I got that I’ve got to own that as pattern and not try and change the situation. I’ve got that I’ve got to remove that pattern. But then they’ll say, but Adele, how do I know that my new pattern is going to take care of me and take care of the situation and not create more conflict? The answer is because of this. That pattern, that old pattern that was creating that conflict, that was created when you were little, and it was created for a different situation, and in that situation, it worked. So in that situation, you survived, and you got to the next situation. So your brain stored that pattern and went: “Great, I’m going to keep that. That one’s good.” 

The problem is, is that now as you’re trying to use it, the current situation that you’re in is not the same as it was in the past. So that’s what’s actually creating that conflict, it’s a misalignment. When you remove the old pattern and your brain adapts, it’s pulling on all of the adult learning that you’ve had to date to create the new pattern. For that reason, the decision that the person makes, the new choice that the pattern now is, is always optimal. I’ve never seen it fail. 

Free Couple Kissing Each Other Stock Photo

“I’ve never seen a new pattern create more conflict than an old pattern, or even create any conflict. Because frankly, we are social beings; our brains are very interconnected, and we need each other. So of course, our ideal way our brain operates is to be in relationship with each other. That’s what a brand new pattern is, it’s always in relationship.”

You can ask me questions about that, Jessica, just to make sure that was understood.

Yes, it makes perfect sense. One of the things I’m feeling as you’re describing this, and I’ve found in my work, and also in my own personal experiencing working with my own patterns, that when I can bring awareness to these deeper fears, like fear of abandonment or a pattern that associates with that, it’s almost the re-parenting. I can show up for that part, that fear in a different way, and it’s almost like, if I have awareness around this tenderness in me or this fear, then I can show up for it differently and I can respond differently. Rather than, this fear is operating, and I’m trying to ignore it, I’m trying to pretend it’s not there, I’m trying to control the outside world in an attempt to keep myself safe. But really, all of this muck is running. So it sounds as though there’s something similar in what you’re describing. That we have this adult learning, we have so much more capacity that then now we can apply to this old pattern and support in much bigger ways and more mature ways than we did when we were little.

Yes. All of those abandonment issues from our childhood, all of those fears of rejection, all of those things that we’re trying to protect, all of those just melt away. I mean, that’s the best way I can describe it, they just melt away, and people just form different relationships. Our brain patterns bring us into the relationship we’re in. It’s new brain patterns that are going to transform that relationship. If we just keep that in mind, it makes sense. “Oh yeah, I picked my partner, because I had brain patterns that needed some form of fixing and I thought that I could get them fixed through my partner.” That’s basically why we get into relationship, great. When we’re working on removing those patterns, then there’s nothing anymore to fix. So it’s just this beautiful love and connection that is just there between us.

Well, I will say, to add to what you’re saying, I don’t know if you would agree, sometimes there’s more than one pattern, and so there’s layers. It’s not that there’s several, several layers to the same pattern. But sometimes there’s a couple of patterns at play. Also, sometimes it doesn’t just completely get extinguished. It’s there, but we relate to it in a very different way that then gives so much more room and space to have a different dynamic in relationship and a different level of intimacy that can occur, because we’re holding it very differently.

Absolutely, it’s like a layered onion. We start with the first layer, which is the first thing that the conscious mind is aware of, and then we move down into the next layer, which is then available to the conscious mind. So you think of the conscious subconscious, the subconscious will only provide you as much as you can handle in any given moment. So it’s very protected, and it’s a very safe journey.

Wonderful. Well, thank you for what you’ve developed to give people a very coherent step process tool that gives assistance to this very deep work. What would you like to encourage people to connect with or tune into that you’re offering?

Yeah. Well, I’d love to gift. I’ve put together a special gift just for your audience, Jessica. So you’re working on empowered relationships. So anybody who’s in conflict, I have a Repatterning Relationship Worksheet that they can do, and with that, they’re welcome to book a free call with me, Repatterning Reset Call where I’ll actually help them to identify those things that are not working for them, so those patterns. So that would be a 45-minute call, and we can really dig deep and understand the source of the conflict for them. Because like I said, the hardest thing to do is identify those patterns.

Okay, I will make sure to have the link to both the worksheet and the invitation to have a call with you. Is there anything else that you want to direct people towards?

They’re welcome to get a free copy of my book, it’s on my website, and I can give you that link as well. So if anybody is a reader and they want more information about the technique and how to apply the technique, they are welcome to read that, and that’s free. So that’s free on my website.

Wonderful, okay. Is there anything else that people might find on your website, in addition to your book?

There’s lots of information there about the brain and how the brain works. There’s lots of one-minute videos about the brain on YouTube and on any of my social media channels. So if they really want to dig into how does this brain of mine actually operate, and what can I do to upgrade it and help it to operate better, there’s lots of great information there.

I’ll make sure have the links to your social media, your free gift, as well as your website on today’s show notes. Adele, thank you so much for being here with us and all that you’ve shared with us today.

Well, thank you for having me, Jessica. It was my pleasure.

Signing Off

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Shifting Criticism For Connected Communication

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Dr. Jessica Higgins ~ Relationship and Transformational Coaching