“Always do what you are afraid to do.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
* Being in a relationship provides wonderful ways to grow and included is the growth we experience through challenge -- in how we show up for one another, how we are vulnerable with one another, and how we adapt to or avoid clear ways of communicating. One suggestion by Kyle Benson (who writes for The Gottman Institute’s blog) is to include a weekly meeting with your beloved where you reflect on the preceding week. Begin with discussing the things that have gone right sets a tone wherein both people will be more open and receptive. So start by expressing 5 things that you appreciate about the other person as pertains to that particular week, things that haven’t been said before, and make every effort to be as specific as possible.
Next, discuss any issues that may have arisen. Give one another 5 minutes each, taking turns being the speaker while the other person is the listener. Do not interrupt or cut in on the person speaking (which I used to be a pro at doing!!!) … just listen. This may sound easy but when a button is pushed, it’ll feel like it’s all you can do to stay quiet and listen without your mind raising ahead of you. When it’s your turn to speak, use a mindful approach in describing an event or behavior rather than launching into a verbal attacking of the other person.
When you find yourselves at an impasse, with your feet firmly planted in opposing perspectives, consider listing out what aspects you cannot compromise and which aspects you’ll be willing to be flexible on. In this way, together you’ll come up with solutions that aren’t ‘set in stone’ but can be revisited a month later to determine if they’re still working for you both or whether something needs adjusting. (This bit of flexibility is super valuable)
Finish up by asking each other, “What can I do to make you feel loved this week?” Who doesn’t want to feel loved, doesn’t want to feel supported? No body I know.
I’m sure you’ll find the effort you make for this will impact your relationship in positive, meaningful ways.
* Nook Story Telling evenings are increasingly wonderful – this past week a group of 25-30 people gathered and sat under the stars, resting in chairs and on pillows and blankets and lawn, while The Story Teller woven images around us, laced with laughter, tears and memories. The theme was ‘Ancestral Memory’ and the stories were diverse. It began with how places, sounds, words whisper our history to us and ended with an A Capella flamenco song from Granada, sung by a young man from the town of Granada, Spain. Pure magic. Next one will be AUGUST 16 if you’d like to join in.
* Connection – we need it, we crave it – to give, to receive – to enrich the moments of our days and give immeasurable value to our Lives.
How do you cultivate friendships? Do you wait to be engaged or do you reach out to others?
* NEW Awaken Creativity workshop beginning August 24 – November 16! This current workshop has been outstanding – creative, fun, inspiring, and providing all of us that connection I spoke about above. Don’t hesitate! For more details, contact me at email@example.com