Leadership Blog Series – Patterns

Last month, the NMSA’s VP of Membership, Thomas Macsay reflected on how patterns play a role in our daily lives, and how they impact our new years resolutions. Here is his blog piece:


It’s that time of the year when we all seem to be a bit more reminiscent, a bit more stressed, a bit more broke sprinkled with a little bit more of this and that.

To be fair, it seems like 2017 is ready to be left behind and forgotten by many in search of greener pastures-and although I can’t blame them, I feel it’s necessary to provide a reminder that the change we are looking for must come from within.

The macrocosm always reflects the microcosm. What is within is truly without; yet, if we fail to go within then we will go without.

It seems society has come to a crossing point where we as a global community have to come together to live in a more cohesive manner, to live for a better world. In order to live cohesively, we must revisit the patterns we follow in our lives, for they shape who we are. In revisiting them, we can look for places to optimize the way we operate and experience the world around us.

Instead of trying to stick to a single goal as a New Years resolution, maybe this year we can take a look at our patterns and see how we can rearrange them to live in a more harmonious way; in harmony with nature, our bodies, and the stressors that get thrown our way. It seems to me that many people have begun to live in a very reactionary and opinionated fashion, which lacks much construct from which we can build from. I believe it’s imperative that we operate and help others operate on a level that bypasses the need for exchanges of that fashion.

Kat Lahr has a good quote regarding this, “Sometimes we get stuck in patterns or reoccurring themes in our lives that require a shocking epiphany to give us the opportunity to see new possibilities and notice the obstacles that keep us from moving on.”

I think 2017 has come with a shock for a good chunk of people, at least in the Western world – regardless of beliefs: from political conflict and sexual allegations to environmental disaster. It has definitely conjured up a whole lot of activism and political engagement in North America (Not to disregard the countless other tragedies that continue daily around the globe and are not given attention). We all want to change the world, and we all can change the world, but at the end of the day it can be hard to find that what we are doing is meaningful. We must live from a place that builds us up from within, so that our cup may overflow to those around us.

The patterns in our life are constantly creating who we are becoming, who we have become, how our days treat us, how we deal with obstacles in our life – really just how we deal with all of it. On the most minute level, the patterns in our life have been shaped since the day we were born and no matter how long someone has been stuck in a certain pattern, there is always a way to break out of that cycle. Keep in mind though, that there is always another pattern there to take its place.

I am not here to tell you how to live your life, instead I am merely trying to provoke those who read this to take a look at what they can do in their lives to love themselves and the world around them more. To listen and hear without thinking about the reply or getting a chance to speak. To stop comparing ourselves to those around us, because what we see is but a fraction of the complete individual. To live natural and holistic life that fills us with Vis. To show others how to live like this and change their life and the world.

Naturopathic students have a lot to contribute, simply for the fact that they are working to help people change their lives, and break unhealthy patterns.

We have an opportunity to help reconnect our communities with nature by being an example of what it means to live in harmony with the forces around us.

Let’s make 2018 a year full of as much positive change as possible.



About the Author:

Thomas is a 4th-year out of 5 at Bastyr University California in the Naturopathic medical program. He also attends the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine pursuing a Doctorate in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. Tom is the lead planner for the Restore the Vis Retreat that is held in San Diego, CA annually as part of the Association for Naturopathic Revitalization. He now serves on the Board of Directors for the NMSA as the VP of membership. With a background in Kinesiology, Personal Training, and Massage therapy he spends most of his time focusing on natural approaches to Sports Medicine. In his free time he enjoys surfing, rock climbing, gardening, bee keeping, playing music, and traveling whenever the chance arises


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