Organisation is evident in most creations. In the natural world, patterns and systems abound – patterns being organised arrangements, and systems being arrangments that persist over time. To offer an example, the pattern of a flower is evident in the moment; and the systematic life of a flower is evident over a season.
The same is true of our individual human existence. We are capable of forming patterns in our lives, and we are also capable of creating systems that endure over time.
Just like flowers, we wear patterns. Walk down the street, and you will see that your fellow humans have taken time to coordinate their clothing in order to present themselves as a coherent work of art, an expression of how they want to come across to you. Some take more care than others, but there is an internal consistency in the picture of each person.
Visit other people’s homes, and you see another example of patterns. Our friends spend years developing their homes as a display of patterns. They may choose a consistent type of furniture design. They may choose a consistent style of arrangement of possessions – for instance, minimalist, or bohemian, or cottage-y.
We become quite attached to our patterns. If you have ever tried to wear someone else’s clothes, you will know what I mean. A new style feels somehow fake, or uncomfortable, until we are used to it.
Over time, patterns turn into longitudinal systems. A life is an example of a longitudinal system. The usual human life has a birth of a certain kind, and ends in a death of a certain kind. In between, the body develops and decays in certain systematic ways, similar between beings.
In your own life, you will have your own systematic ways of doing things. Like your patterns, you will be attached to your systems. ‘That’s just the way I do it,’ you might say to friends. Your day has a kind of system to it: your hormones and internal chemistry interact with your environment to go on a relatively predictable journey.
When your systems change, you may feel desperately uncomfortable, like a young child in your own life. For instance, when you learn a new language, you are adopting a system of being that has been around for centuries, and you can expect to feel like a fish out of water for quite a while.
Perhaps spend some time reviewing both your patterns and your systems.
Firstly, observe yourself in terms of your display patterns. How do you dress and present yourself? Is it consistent with how you would like to present yourself? Are there any amendments or adaptations you would like to make? How are you going to do it? Where are you going to get your ideas for new ways to display yourself and your environment? Is your home displayed to others as you would like?
Secondly, observe the systems you employ. How do you shape your day? Does it work for you, and is it the best reflection of how you naturally seem to work? What communication systems do you use? Are you mastering them, or do they control you? Does the way you communicate with others make you anxious? What adaptations could you make?
Organisation is a natural thing. In the moment, many things you see have a perceptible pattern to them. Over time, many things you see show signs of systematic development.
You have the ability to take some control over the patterns you display – your posture, how you dress, how you keep your home.
You also have the ability to master the systems you employ over your lifetime – how you organise your day, how you organise and relate to your network of contacts and friends.
As an act of mindfulness, you can take time to contemplate how you want your patterns and systems to develop.
As you develop, your appearance, your ways of life, and your environment will change. You can play an active part in the unfolding of that story.