In reading Jon Kabat-Zinn’s book, “Wherever You Go, There You Are,” we learn the valuable way to stay present with our partner, to learn new things everyday about ourselves and our loved ones, through the practice of presence.
Mindfulness is a simple concept. Its power lies in its practice and its applications. Mindfulness means paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, without judgement.
This kind of attention nurtures greater awareness, a love affair with self, connection to those around you, clarity, creativity, and acceptance of reality as it is right now, moment-to-moment awareness.
If we are not fully present for many of those moments, we may not only miss what is most valuable in our lives, our relationships with those we love, we also then fail to realize the richness and gratitudes and the depth of possibilities for personal growth and transformation.
The daily practice of being mindful, to pay attention to our loved ones when they speak, when they share about their day, lighting up with them when they are excited, this is enlightening and liberating work. It is enlightening in that it literally allows us to see more clearly, understand more deeply, at aspects of our relationships that we were out of touch with or unwilling to look at. This may include encountering deep emotions—such as grief, sadness, woundedness, anger, and fear—that we might not ordinarily allow ourselves to hold in awareness or express consciously. Mindfulness can also help us to appreciate feelings such as joy, peacefulness, and happiness which often go by fleetingly and unacknowledged. It is liberating in that it leads to new ways of being in our own skin and in the world, which can free us from the ruts we so often fall into.
To practice mindfulness in your relationship try this:
- Be the observer, be attentive and watch yourself first.
- Notice the way you engage with yourself and with your partner.
- Practice intention in your words. Say what you mean to say.
- Listen with interest.
- Lead with the intention to understand your partner more, rather than to judge.]
- Express thoughts or feelings that may arise with gentleness and invite your partner to do the same.
I wish you well on your journey to deeper connection to yourself and to your loved ones.
Lauren Corsillo, LPC
Licensed Professional Counselor
Director of Community Connections
The Marriage Point