In the moment; 7 ways of staying present in your relationship
“"When you love someone, the best thing you can offer is your presence. How can you love if you are not there?” Thich Nhat Hanh
So often in our relationships we focus on the past or future and forget about the present moment. We miss out on connection with our partner and experiencing all this life has to offer in each moment. In living in the past, our selective memories will create a misguided emotion robbing us of enjoying the precious time we spend with our partner. It eats away at deep intimacy, while simple ways of being present, totally, make our relationships richer, fresher and continuously more inviting.
1. When your partner is talking to you, really listen. Stop what you are doing, look at them (eye contact is king!), and give them your undivided attention. Often instead of really listening, we are thinking about what we are going to say next or worse, we are busy judging our partner. Be aware of when you are doing this, take 'a step back' and rather listen to what they are saying.
2. If you are in a conversation with your partner and your mind starts to wander, again, awareness, and eye contact (those of you who have worked with me, know the importance, and the beautiful connection this brings). When you are looking into your partners eyes and feel the love you have for them, you stop taking their presence for granted and tune into them more. There are times when we might be out of sync, that is normal so don't beat yourself up about it; simply put some time and energy in to reconnect with your loved one. Check in with yourself if you find your mind wandering often, to see if this is because of your own issues, away from the relationship. Is there anything going on with you (work, family, general anxiety) and if there is, do some emotional spring cleaning and you will find yourself coming back to presence in your relationship. Present in every aspect of your life.
3. There are no crystal balls to show us our future and we can never really control it. Yes, there are many things we can do to steer it in a certain direction, but we can't ever have complete control. When we live in the future, we are missing out on the beauty of what is happening now. And ditto for the past! (Pst.. let it go!)
4. We all want to give our partners the best of us, so let's do just that. And that means being there for them, full awareness and presence when they are talking to us, when we are sharing something and when we are making love. (Remember that eye contact!)
5. Practise being more present in everything and all times. Being present can become a habit with practise. From the moment we wake up, feel the sheets, listen to the songs of the birds, to that first cup of coffee, to meetings at work. When we practise presence & awareness in smaller moments, it is easier to drop into when we are with our partners in bigger ones. Try cutting back on using/carrying your phone 24/7. Go out for dinner with your partner and leave the phones at home. Your relationship will benefit from it.
6. Slow down. Relax together (remember all the wonderful things you love about them), stop multitasking (yes you may be able to multitask like a master, but you are losing out on a lot of presence and joy) and explore new things together. Getting yourself out of your comfort zone every now & then is a great way to be more present and learning something new together strengthens your bond.
7. Be as present with your partner, as you would like them to be with you.
The more present we are with life and in our relationships, the deeper and more intimate they will be. Simple. When we are present, the hurts of yesterday disappear and the fears or tomorrow melt in the ecstasy of living this beautiful journey now.
Take a deep breath, let go of any attachment to thoughts you may be having, bring the mind to the moment and experience this very moment without anything else clouding your thoughts.