No, the title of this post does not come from the DSM-IV!
Walt Whitman's Song of Myself came to mind as I began to construct this piece after reading chapter seven of Stephen Cope's The Wisdom of Yoga:
Yogis discovered that consciousness is dominated by highly conditioned patterns of reactivity -- patterns that are deeply grooved and very difficult to change once established. And as Freud also discovered, the power of these patterns is mostly denied in daily life.
How many times have you heard yourself say to someone: "This is just who I am."
Most of the time, we are saying this to defend an action that is perceived as inappropriate at the very least or destructive at the very worst.
Yogis would answer that we are acting out of past actions when we claim "this is who we are" and so we are not free in each moment but rather enslaved by past moments.
This is not good. The organisms that survive are the most malleable, the most able to adapt. When we stay stuck in past behavior, we are not evolving, and human life is all about evolving.
Assuming then that we want to evolve -- in spiritual, physical, emotional, and intellectual ways -- our first task is to overcome old patterns. But how?
The first step would be to identify the patterns. Be aware of them.
For this step, I have decided to call each of these parts of me some sort of Chick. Of course!
Please: Do not get stuck in MY list. This is just for example's sake. I hope that it helps you to think up your own list of Chicks.
I like this method very much because it turns these destructive or stuck patterns into something we can make fun of, tease ourselves about, and I find that that is hugely helpful when trying to become aware for the purpose of personal evolution.
So here they are -- the BlissChick's Multitudes:
AngryChick comes out, most often, when I think an "underdog" is in trouble. When I think someone is being treated unfairly, when I think Lady Justice is in Peril, AngryChick puts on her SuperHero Cape and starts the Mighty Tongue Lashings.
AngryChick has been with me for a very long time. She is stronger and braver than any SadChick would ever be, and so she feels much safer to me.
SuperstitiousChick believes that she can ward off Bad Things by not asking for any more Good Things in her life.
She believes that if she is ever grateful and always humble that nothing bad will happen.
She leads to ApathyChick if she sticks around long enough. SuperstitiousChick thinks that asking for any more than she already has would be Totally Greedy and would prove that she is actually GiantGreedyPigChick.
(oh...this gets so complicated, doesn't it!?)
Anytime I feel like someone is thinking that I don't know what I'm talking about, SeriousChick comes out to kick some intellectual ass.
Her greatest fear in life is that someone may think she is stupid.
BabyChick is one of the deepest layers of all the Chicks. She is kinda the FoundationChick.
Whenever I get over-tired, over-hungry, or overstimulated, BabyChick shows up. She refuses to take good care of herself and pushes herself to her edges so that she finally kinda collapses.
She believes, in her heart, that she is not worth taking care of.
Okay. That's a start.
How about you?
Who are your Multitudes of Chicks? Can you identify them and what their triggers are? Can you start to name them, so that you can more clearly see them?
Share here in the comments or feel free to write about this yourself and leave a link.
(Photo & Text Copyright: Christine C. Reed, blisschick.net, 2009)