I’m so happy to see you again!
Together you and I have been looking at “Loving Unafraid” and how to do that. If you’ve been tossing that question around, today is the day you just might see a light on the horizon!
I’m going to talk about three practical ways to move closer to Intimacy in your relationships….deepen them… no matter what kind of relationship you’re involved with. It could be your relationship with yourself…first and foremost! Or with your lover, or partner, or family member or boss or friend…any relationship can benefit from deepening into intimacy.
So first, I’m going to ask you to climb up the tree of your life—-high up so you can see the big picture. Got it? Ok, first I want you to examine:
- CONTEXTUAL ISSUES
What do I mean by that? Well, I mean the Who? What? Why? When? and Where? of the movie you are in. Let’s take them one at a time…
Who are you when you arrive home, let’s say, after your work day. Are you still in your business suit physically and mentally, mired in the stress of the day and other people’s problems? Are you looking to be rescued or distracted or left alone? And what about the other person …the one you are about to meet? Is he/she tired from the day’s demands, excited to share something with you, looking for some relief? It’s important to identify the characters in your movie and what state they are in. And it’s important to arrive in a ‘fresh’ state, unburdened by what has come before. If you can show up in a state of well-being closer to a 7 or 8 out of 10, rather than a 3 or 4, you will have much better chance of coming together in a deeper, more intimate way. How can you do that? Well, maybe you stop at the gym on the way home, or the yoga studio or go for a run and release the clutter of your day. Or walk a few blocks and bring your senses alive…smell the air, enjoy the rain on your face, watch some kids or dogs at play…come clean.
What is the topic that is hovering in the air in this relationship? Of course there are the famous top five areas that lead couples into on-going bickering, rising tensions and reasons to get on the mat….Money…Sex…Power…Addictions…Parenting styles. You might have a few more you’d like to throw in….It’s important to recognize your topic, so you don’t go blithely skating onto thin ice and end up in that old familiar rut. That doesn’t mean you have to avoid those topics, but it does mean you have to prepare yourself by arriving in a fresh state because you can be pretty sure one or more of those subjects could arise.
This can be pretty simple…you want to deepen your relationship…that’s why. So it might be a good idea to remind yourself of that and do what you can to maintain your focus.
Are you on a two-week vacation, is it first thing in the morning (before coffee and in a rush)? or is it in the evening, is one of you getting over a cold or preparing for a job interview? All of these timely issues have a bearing on the way your coming together will go.
Where is this scene taking place…in the kitchen, in a crowded restaurant, in the car with the kids, in bed, at Thanksgiving dinner with the whole family? The location is a vital part of your context…take a moment to look around and notice where you are. CHANGE THE TONE
2. CHANGE THE TONE
This one is so important…we know that 60-80% of the reasons things go off the track between people is because of tone. We humans are very skilled at picking up on another’s tone. On the other hand, sometimes we’re not all that skilled in knowing what tone we’re projecting. So, we have to stop and bring ourselves into a state of awareness and some well-being first. That way, we have a better chance at communicating a tone of compassion, whole-heartedness and maybe even a little humour! Let me ask you…what’s more appealing…meeting someone whose tone says “ I am so fed up with everything and everyone…I’ve had a horrible day…don’t push me!” Or …” I’m so happy to see you…you are the person I really want to spend time with”.
I’ll give you 3 seconds to think about your answer:)
This applies to ALL relationships…between countries, friends, family , partners etc. If it feels too scary to start this with your life partner, then start with someone else. Just pick a relationship and lean into it with these simple steps. And when you get the hang of it, move on to the big leagues:)
3. TRACK VULNERABILITY
Notice when you are feeling vulnerable. Do you agree that things go quite differently when you feel vulnerable? Right…that’s true for all of us. And it’s important to remember that our vulnerability is what makes others fall in love with us. That’s also true! So even though it may feel uncomfortable, it’s important to first of all, be aware of it and secondly, admit it and thirdly, have the courage to be vulnerable and STILL communicate with the other person. You may want to pull the covers over your head, but if you stay exposed, you may find yourself in a deeper, more intimate conversation. This could be the doorway to more joy and whole-hearted living. Take that walk with fierce compassion, for yourself and for the other people in your life. It will lead you to your goal…more intimacy, deeper relationships.
And that’s what we all want, right?