Turning Things Around & Moving Beyond Blame – Practice for Conscious Relationships.
“Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.” Rainer Maria Rilke.
You and your partner may be struggling in your relationship – focused on arguing, anger, conflict, and difficult behaviours.
You may also be at a point in your relationship when you are ripe for change – and tired of the patterns, the conflict, the lack of sexual desire, and eager to liven up a relationship that may feel lacklustre and dull.
Consider your relationship with your partner – are you focused only on the negative aspects – and dwelling on those aspects?
You have a choice.
Do you hold on to past hurts and disappointments? Are you able to let go?
Our ability to focus on the negative in our relationships is one of the most damaging aspects of our relationship, especially when we’re struggling. If you want to avoid divorce and stay satisfied with your relationship, you need to ensure that for every negative interaction, there are at least five positive interactions.
This means that we need to offset any incidents of nagging, criticizing, or temper flaring with five incidents of affection, praise, friendliness or laughter. Zen teacher Thich Nhat Hanh calls this – watering the seeds of joy in your relationship, rather than the seeds of suffering. Cultivation and practice is the key.
In our work together, you will practice:
1) Exploring the unconscious themes in your relationship – learn about the messages that we took on from our environment in our childhood that continue to run our lives, and then how to release and replace those messages. Learn if you are you rejecting, merging, identifying with someone in your family who has struggled in some way, or experienced a break in the bond with your mother in your early life.
2) Clearing conversations – a daily or weekly practice of active listening to your partner’s perspective without interrupting, with empathy and without judging.
3) Taking responsibility – understanding and taking full responsibility for your role in what’s happening in your relationship – we can certainly benefit from some support in this way. Given how easy and common it is to blame our partner for any relationship problems.
4) Pausing & slowing down – instead of reacting, take some time to just be, and notice what happens when you do.
5) Feeling the feelings that come up during interactions in your relationship – allow yourself to be supported with making sense of, expressing and understanding your feelings.
6) Considering your beliefs about yourself and your relationship – what does it mean about each of you, when you are struggling in your relationship? How do you feel in your relationship, does it feel too hard to slow down and feel what you are feeling now? Do you blame yourself? Are you feeling differently in your relationship now, than you did in the years past? Are you feeling guilty?
Consider the following questions:
What is like to be in a relationship with me?
Am I treating my partner the way that I would want to be treated?
What kind of personal qualities do I aspire to?
What would I want for my own children?
What kind of relationship do I model for my children?
Do I notice what is working well and let me my partner know?
One way to enhance our feelings of love in our relationship is to be more authentic and share more of who we are. Intimacy, to a large extent, comes from revealing vulnerability rather than acting as though we are always strong and problem-free. Sharing about your daily life and struggles is an important part bridging the distance that often happens between individuals in a relationship.
The time may come when you realize that the only way to restore the meaning in your relationship is to get back to the real you. It requires courage to take a stand against the miscommunication, deceptions and emotional distance that allow us to develop shadows of inauthenticity. This is a practice of speaking from a true place in your heart. If you need support in your relationship, come forward and ask.
When couples feel that they can express both good and bad aspects of life, they can avoid the dullness that can set in for those who only express the good, or only express the bad. Sharing can help couples feel closer, you still have to walk the middle road – no one in your relationship should be carrying most of the emotional weight or be acting as a therapist in the relationship. It is so helpful to have someone who understands to help to guide, mentor and cultivate new practices in your relationship.
We don’t share our vulnerability with the expectation that our partner will remove our pain. If we can provide some acceptance for who we are, flaws and all, then our love will only grow. Sharing vulnerability can feel threatening and cultivating trust can be a struggle.
In our work together, we will cultivate a body-focused and mindful approach, touching into not only what you are thinking, but also the patterns from the past – slowing things down, feeling into what you notice in your body and sharing what’s true for you from this place.
Here are some ways to cultivate authenticity and presence with your partner:
1) Pause – is a way to stop the patterned flow of interaction and return to the present and let go of our automatic interactions.
2) Relax – release any tension found in your body and bring an attitude of acceptance to the moment, towards ourselves, our partner and our situation.
3) Allow – open space and extend our awareness to our partner and what’s happening around us.
4) Trust – drop any agenda and desire to control the conversation and trust what is going to happen next.
5) Listen deeply – ask yourself – what is happening now? Can you see and feel into what can be found in this moment?
6) Speak the truth – this does mean that we are inappropriate or harmful, but we speak to our partner with kindness and good intentions.
If you want to turn things around, you have a choice.
Empathy means understanding and validating someone else’s feelings – I am not in your shoes, but I do care what you are experiencing.
If you want to move beyond blame, remember that you walk your own path, focusing on what you can do something about by cultivating a lovely relationship with your own experience.
- We’re able to rest more deeply in the present moment.
- We naturally feel more peaceful and free without trying.
- No longer so self-focused, we notice space to be loving and generous—maybe even toward the person we feel wronged us.
I will work with you and your partner to help you understand your relational patterns, allow space for new emotional understanding, notice how you feel in your body, and find out how your relationship evolved to where it is now – and if you choose, work with you on an ongoing way to help cultivate practices to bring into your relationship that could last a lifetime.
love Kim, xo
When we can feel ourselves, we are able to detect and understand the sensations and emotions our bodies signal to us – and we can connect with ourselves and others from a place of felt honesty and sensitivity, set better boundaries, and make clearer decisions about our interactions.
Our first meeting happens in person or online (using Skype), and we will talk about what is bringing you in and how you are hoping our work together will help. Our first meeting is about getting to know you, discovering your energy, how you want to work together, and asking any questions you have about the process.
Move toward a deeper connection with yourself and your partner – open a portal to the unconscious, and access obscure regions of the self where denied feelings are stored that sabotage our happiness.
There is more than one way to interpret a situation, no one needs to be wrong.