Pattern? A repeated form, idea, design or thought that determines a thing. Patterns bring continuity, familiarity, integrity and form. Health? Vitality, the ability to thrive and flourish out in the world.
My inspirations for developing Patterned health are a desire for optimal health, the love of design and the architect Christopher Alexander. Before I became an Acupuncturist and Oriental Medicine practitioner, I was an interior designer. What drew me to design was the idea of creating an experience for people through space. That experience could be a beautiful one or bad one. What determined good or bad?
While in design school, one of my favorite professors guided me to a series of books by the architect, Christopher Alexander, “The Timeless Way of Building”and “A Pattern Language”. Although, I never picked up the books in school, they found their way to me many years later while getting a Masters of Oriental Medicine and Acupuncture. I absolutely fell in love with them. I started getting clarity on what I could not articulate back in school. The difference between good and bad design and now, good and bad health.
The first book of the series was ” The Timeless Way of Building”. As I read it, I couldn’t help but apply it to my current studies of traditional Chinese medicine and health. Alexander talked about an organic process where order came out of nothing but ourselves, if we only let it. He believes that every individual person’s story is the search for those moments and situations where they are most alive. He goes on saying that every place is given its character by patterns of events that keep happening there. These patterns make a place alive or dead. When they are alive, they allow our inner forces loose and set us free. When they are dead, they lock us in inner conflict. The more alive patterns in place. The more it comes to life entirely. The more it glows and has a self-maintaining fire. It becomes a part of nature. It’s the endless repetition, like ocean waves or blades of grass, and variety created in the presence of the fact that it will all pass.
As I read these words, I could not help comparing an alive and dead space with health and sickness. The difference is a shift in perspective from external to internal. The space is our body, mind and spirit. If we are generating patterns of health, our inner forces are loose and we are free. Our experience is a world that is healthy, whole, alive, self-creating and self-maintaining. If we generate patterns of sickness, we will be locked in inner conflict. We will be unwhole, self-destroying, miserable and sick.
Patterned health, A blog dedicated to my journey exploring and discovering patterns that generate a healthy vital life.