An Embodied, Emotionally Intimate Relationship.
Nothing brings a relationship alive like emotional intimacy. When we are intimate with our emotions, we become truly known by ourselves and by our partner. The sharing of our emotions – with compassion – helps to deepen trust and safety in our relationships.
If truly fulfilling relationships with others is a priority for you – then developing conscious, embodied awareness of our emotions is a must.
How does it feel to live inside your relationship?
Too often, I hear about how painful, angry and blame-filled it is to be in relationship with our partners. We’re confused, numb, and scared – and we run from what we fear. We’re afraid to speak up – while at the same time, we know we need help, because we know we can’t work through our feelings in our relationship on our own.
Often, we are re-enacting our painful childhood trauma within our day-to-day relationship with our partner and we not conscious of it yet.
We must listen for the feelings behind the words.
We must tune into our bodies and hearts and feel what is really going on within us and between us.
We must turn towards our fear within relationship – and learn to trust ourselves, even when we’re shaking in our boots.
We can develop an embodied attentiveness in our relationship – where we slow down and be with our feelings with one another. It is an embodied, mindful approach that is very helpful for noticing our negative patterns and cycles and being with all the feelings we may be sidestepping with one another.
We must open ourselves to be understood, and to understanding others – coming back to our what we fear in our relationship – over and over and over again.
Many of us withdraw, isolating ourselves from the very connection we’re longing for because we fear a difficult conversation, conflict or an argument. When we’re craving depth, connection, and joy in relationships, we are going to have to practice coming back to our partners’ – even when we’re afraid of the outcome. It’s part of a deep, emotionally intimate journey, that allows you to really know all aspects of yourself and your partner.
When our partner tells us they are dissatisfied with us in some way, we tense up inside and freeze – we are scared and don’t know what to do – so we withdraw from our partner, isolate ourselves, and become silent. We distract ourselves – and create more distance between you and your partner – so we don’t have to feel our fear and shame about not knowing what to do or how to talk to or connect with our partner again.
What if, when we feel like pulling away in fear, we could tell our partner what we are afraid of – that we are feeling dissatisfied with something and we’re afraid and we don’t know what to do. This is the beginning – an opening – to greater intimacy and connection. When we go closer to our partner, in an effort to understand and know our partner in a more emotionally intimate and vulnerable way, we are creating emotional intimacy.
Being in a relationship is vulnerable – and in our relationships, we need to practice disarming defensive strategies based on the fear that we may be rejected for who we are. We keep our armoring on with our partner because we feel it will protect us, when actually it isn’t until we let go of it, and be truly vulnerable in our relationship, that we’ll really be free.
Practice – Steps to Developing Emotional Intimacy
Identify what you are feeling – recognize your emotions.
Ask yourself – Am I feeling sad/shame/happy/peaceful/angry/jealous/afraid/uncomfortable/unhappy?
Yes, no, maybe?
Look for a response in your body – a change in sensation – and search for an intuitive knowingness within you.
Are you feeling pleasant, unpleasant or neutral? Are you feeling numb – an absence of feeling.
Close your eyes and place your attention on your feeling state. This is an effort to become more emotionally literate. Approaching your emotions with an embodied curiosity and the spirit of discovery, as if uncovering something within us that has been uncovered for a long time.
Directly state what you are feeling.
As clearly as you can, say how you are feeling – for example – I am feeling angry.
Do not include any drama or perception or opinion about why you are feeling this way.
Practice directly stating what you are feeling in your relationship as much as possible. Just directly state what you are feeling, without placing blame on anyone or adding any extraneous details.
Don’t jump too quickly to a storyline about what you’re feeling – without conflict, story or debate – making room for you and your listener to simply be present with what each of you are feeling.
Make sure the other person is really hearing what you are saying.
Your partner may have to repeat back to you what you have said – so they can register it at a feeling level. When they do, you will know it – you will sense an emotional clicking into place – and a palpable heightening of emotional empathy.
We are cultivating empathy and emotional resonance – without empathetic attunement between two partners in a couple, our dialogue can easily degenerate into an argument, prolonged withdrawal, or heart-crushing distancing.
Many of us want a quick, feel-better resolution when we are upset. Notice your urge to make this happen, and keep your focus on your bare feelings, without a storyline or blame. Allow your heart to be open with your desperation for resolution – as if you are holding in your arms a distraught child.
Access as much compassion as possible for yourself when what you’re feeling is far from comfortable.
Get into the details without losing touch.
Once what you’re feeling is out in the open and acknowledged for what it is, then it’s quite natural to give it more context.
Simply sharing what is going on for you emotionally – in the simplest possible language – can shift things more quickly than getting wrapped up in the details.
Notice if you feel that you are getting overloaded – and tell your partner if you are.
Notice if there’s any underlying feeling occurring – such as sadness that you are not sharing, going instead for sharing anger instead.
These four steps – identifying, stating, sharing and providing the relevant details about what you are feeling – are well worth working on, on your own and with your partner.
Treat yourself with compassion throughout – you are opening yourself to knowing your emotions more deeply and sharing yourself more fully with your partner.
Revealing yourself is the cornerstone of an intimate relationship. Through vulnerability – being revealed to one another – increasing awareness of self and other becomes possible. Each person in the relationship gain a sense of personal strength by revelation of the authentic self.
No matter how you feel right now, your heart is more resilient, understanding and forgiving than you know.
love Kim. xo
www.kimcochrane.ca / email@example.com
In-person & Skype sessions are available for Individuals & Couples – let’s walk together – with our hearts open – with space for truth to rise.
Bring aliveness back into your relationship with Embodied Couples Sessions to help you understand yourself in relationship to your partner – understand what’s blocking your relationship from the depth of emotional intimacy you want. Together – you will learn tools, skills and a Communication Model to help you change the course of your relationship forever.
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This program is for women who are ready for a deep dive– willing to commit, make time, and clear space for the deeply penetrating and likely life-changing process that somatic work and embodied study bring about.
www.kimcochrane.ca / firstname.lastname@example.org