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Ready To Release An Old Pattern? I'm An Intuitive & These 8 Tips Will Help

Tanya Carroll Richardson
By Tanya Carroll Richardson
mbg Contributor
Tanya Carroll Richardson is an author and professional intuitive, giving readings to clients all over the world.
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We all have old patterns operating in our lives that, while comfortable and familiar, may not be serving us. We may not even be consciously aware of these patterns, and then a person, event, or circumstance makes us look at this pattern with new clarity. A deep need to shift the old pattern can then arise within us. 

There are many things you can do to support yourself while working to release old patterns that you have outgrown. Try these tips to help you get started:


Frame this as a healing journey

It's often all about how we frame something to ourselves! When people become ready to release an old pattern that's not serving them, it's usually because that pattern has wreaked havoc in their lives and brought something to a crisis point.

You may find yourself feeling frustrated and forcefully trying to "fix" this issue. The solution may seem deceptively straightforward, like simply being more disciplined. Yet, when you instead think of healing this pattern, that word changes your energy and outlook, inspiring you to handle yourself and your life with tender loving care.

Reminding yourself that this is a journey that can actually bring the quickest and most profound positive shifts. Remember that most healing journeys begin with an urgent sense of need to make something better in very practical and quantifiable ways, yet healing journeys often become spiritual journeys of self-discovery along the way.


Find a mentor to help you create new patterns

There is a sacred quality to mentoring—both acting as a guide to someone else and seeking guidance for yourself. Mentors have expert skills and lived experience around a pattern you'd like to release and heal. A key part of successfully releasing an old pattern is having a new pattern to replace it with, which a mentor can teach you.

Mentors might be people you work with one on one, people who run a larger community you join, folks you follow in the public eye, or a leader in their field who wrote a book that acts as your road map. It's likely that this person will not be a spiritual mentor or approach their work from a spiritual angle, yet you as a spiritual person can be aware that you enter a sacred space of mystical healing when you align with the right mentor. 


Normalize your need to retreat more than usual

When you become aware of an old pattern you need or want to release, it's common to hunker down with your inner hermit and spend more quality time alone. The hermit is a spiritual archetype that can come online when you need to go inward, examining your patterns and their origins, motivations, and consequences.

Whenever you're changing and healing, it's very normal to retreat, creating extra space to tend to yourself as opposed to focusing outward on others and the world. Retreating is a healthy spiritual tradition, yet if you ever feel isolated, reach out to others or schedule time to be out in the world.

What feels like a balanced retreat will look different for everyone because we each have different requirements around social activity based on things like where someone falls on the introvert/extrovert spectrum.


Don't expect the process to always be linear

Going back to this being a journey, there can be stops and starts, and/or big forward movement followed by backsliding, when you're releasing old patterns. The image of a spiral is an oft-used spiritual concept because life doesn't always move along in a straight line, as we would like to believe. It's more complex than that, which we realize when an old wound is triggered or when a positive past aspect of our life appears again in the present to get our attention.

Accepting that healing has more of a spiral pattern will help you be forgiving and encouraging with yourself while still holding yourself accountable if you slip back into the well-worn tracks of your old pattern. 


Use your intuition to identify a threshold guardian

Through work by scholars like Joseph Campbell on archetypes that appear across cultures in mythology and storytelling, the threshold guardian or gatekeeper was identified. While this character—who appears when the hero is on the threshold of an important breakthrough or up-leveling, or entering a new phase or world—is common in fiction; it's also a spiritual concept that can show up in your real life.

It could be the well-meaning friend who tries to talk you out of moving to a new town or the boss who offers you a raise just when you've decided to finally quit and become an entrepreneur. When you're about to make a significant commitment to a new pattern and someone offers you reasons or resources to turn back, consult your intuition to discern whether this is a helpful spiritual redirection—or a threshold guardian testing your resolve.

Learn how to better connect with and improve your sixth sense with my oracle deck, Awakening Intuition.


Identify the spiritual awakening in this shift

Whenever you're working to release an old pattern, it can be inspiring to examine how a new pattern you're trying to adopt and implement could be more spiritually nourishing.

If you have an old pattern of binge shopping and racking up unnecessary debt, the new pattern of consuming less might usher in the spiritual awakening that taking only what you need is a way to live more harmoniously with the planet. Or that minimalism is actually spiritually decadent because when there's less, you can be fully present with and savor what's there.

Spiritually framing a goal, like releasing old patterns, often calls forth our highest ideals about living in a compassionate way with ourselves, others, and the wider world. Focusing on the spiritual awakening you are having around healing this old pattern keeps you focused on something meaningful that's bigger than you, which is really motivating.


Act as if you are the person with the new pattern now

We often hear the phrase "act as if" in spiritual circles. If you're typically impatient and have realized this leads to self-sabotaging actions and decisions, react instead as a very patient person would. When calling about picking up your car from the shop and you're told yet again it will be another week, take a beat and remind yourself you're reacting as if you were a patient person. Make a game out of it.

A very patient person might calmly inquire as to the nature of the holdup, while keeping their breathing and tone of voice steady. If there's a good or understandable reason for the delay, the patient person might put the issue in perspective, look on the positive side, and focus their attention elsewhere.

When we assume the identity of someone who has already mastered the pattern we want to adopt, it's like being a magician, creating an alchemical energetic change in us that can have astounding results. And from a scientific perspective, it's a way to practice new behaviors and make new healthy neural pathways.


Look at the old pattern with compassion

Old patterns that no longer serve us can be born from our old traumas or insecurities. If you tend to over-give at work and in your personal relationships, it could be the inner child who was abandoned by a parent or caregiver at a young age now feeling the need to bend over backward to avoid rejection as an adult.

If you've realized this old pattern leaves you exhausted and resentful, have compassion for the part of yourself that was trying to avoid being hurt through over-giving. That desire for love and security, and the impulse to protect yourself, is a beautiful thing.

As you realize there might be healthier ways to get your needs met and feel safe, release the old pattern with love, practicing deep compassion for yourself and your past actions. Spiritually speaking, having unconditional love and mercy for yourself, and others when you are able, is the highest form of enlightenment.

The takeaway

Healing from old patterns won't happen in a straight line and probably won't be easy either—but you'll thank yourself for it. We all have patterns, habits, and knee-jerk reactions we'd be better off without, and making the commitment to yourself to release those things is a journey well worth taking.

Tanya Carroll Richardson author page.
Tanya Carroll Richardson

Tanya Carroll Richardson is a professional intuitive who has given readings to thousands of clients all over the world. She’s the author of nine nonfiction books including Empath Heart, Angel Intuition, Are You an Earth Angel?, and Self-Care for Empaths. Tanya has an annual calendar, A Year of Self-Love, and two oracle decks, Awakening Intuition and Grief, Grace, and Healing.