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  • Writer's pictureJoe Griffiths-Barrasso

The Keys to Your Life...

Patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behaviours



At work I noticed, as I applied some mindfulness to my day, that my keyboard had worn down keys. These keys must have been used a lot more than the others, I thought. At this moment, I was struck with a reflective thought, perhaps this is a representation of habitual thoughts, where people who are stuck within a problem-issue use the same pattern of thought, generating the same pattern of feelings and therefore engaging the same patterns of behaviour (or responses). The keyboard served more than its usual purpose in that moment, and I was grateful.

The thing with being stuck is you might not realise you are stuck, and these repeating patterns of thought, feelings and behaviour will keep you in your personal “jail”. You might have heard that the mind is like a jail keeper with the keys safely hidden away, and “you” are within the cage (or jail). A bit like being lost, in a deeper sense.

How many keys on your keyboard are worn down? Which keys are they?

If metaphorically thinking the specific keys on my keyboard represent a consistent style of typing, I might reflect and suggest I have a necessity for those keys. What drives my necessity? What is my necessity? How worn down are the keys?

These, and more are simple ways I work with clients. It’s a slow and gentle approach to figuring out together, I emphasise together, in fact had that word “together” been a key on my keyboard, it would be worn out for sure.

Keyboard metaphor simply shows that we have repeated patterns, and that we are not always aware of them. In fact, we (humans) might not even know if we need the thoughts, feelings, and behaviours – we might simply be attached to them. Reliant on the patterns to keep us safe and secure within ourselves. It could be a simple reflexive defence mechanism that is now redundant, but not switched off. It could be a feeling of hurt or pain that cycles round and our mental and somatic responses are to hit the same old keys on the keyboard but hoping for a different result, a different word to be cast onto our mental “screen” (a metaphor of visualising a better future, or even a better “now”)

Its difficult when this is happening to you, and this is why I am here. There are several other keys on the keyboard not worn down, and perhaps these keys can play a larger role in your life. Perhaps the worn-down keys can still be useful, but relied upon less often, or in a different sequence of thought, feelings, and behaviours.

As a person, you are fascinating, wonderful and complicated, and I wish to join you on your journey, to support you and help you find your way through the maze of your problem issue. Perhaps we’ll find new keys to press, to get the result you have been wanting, and needing, in a way you hadn’t thought possible, yet.

Act today, because help can’t wait, and neither should you.

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