Archive for Communication
We wanted to give you a head’s up, in case you missed it in the magazine, on a real good article from Yoga Journal entitled Grow Your Love. Lots of wisdom from a solid handful of couples (yours truly included) who share the similarities and useful awarenesses between the practice of Yoga and the journey of Relationship.
Here is a little snippet to whet your appetite:
“It’s no secret that relationships require work, but, as in yoga, you can find a happy balance between effort and ease when you apply your awareness. “A lot of people feel like, ‘If you loved me, we wouldn’t have to work at this,’” Feldman says, but he thinks that’s an unrealistic attitude. The trick,when it feels like too much effort, is to find more ease. To help couples with this, Feldman and his wife help their clients discover “love rituals”—small gestures practiced up to three times a day for two to three minutes at a time—so they can reconnect with the partner as a source of pleasure rather than pain.”
Hope you enjoy!
Kate and I highly value a skill we call “Self Soothing” because we know that our partners, family members and friends are virtually guaranteed to trigger age-old reactions in us. Of this we can be certain. In order to create a safe space for our closest relations to let us know what happened, we must be willing to listen carefully to “their world” or their perspective on what happened. This is one of what we call the “willful practices” on the path of relationship. When we can’t hold onto ourselves, we are bound to interrupt our partner and usually kick-off another round of defensive behavior that often devolves into the blame game, you know how it goes, “I’m right, you’re wrong, here’s why”.
I was feeling poetic and penned this little self reminder this morning. Hope it’s helpful.
You’re upset…I can breathe and relax…
And let you be upset…And breathe some more….
And try to feel your pain, even if it’s me you’re upset with…
I can relax….And hear about what’s upsetting you…
I don’t need to defend myself…I don’t need to justify my behavior…
I can breathe and just be with you…In your upset….
I may have defensive thoughts from time to time…But you still are not wrong… Read More→
JOEL: Imagine for a moment that, as a couple, navigating the daily tasks of your life together was a new kind of business model. In this, you wouldn’t have any hated meetings, no strategic planning retreats, no 360 degree feedback sessions, no consultants or bosses……sounding pretty sweet, eh?
Well, yes….but, the ensuing chaos could become unsettling for some. Welcome to your life as a couple or family, where the stress of managing (there, I said it) your shared life could be the perfect laboratory for stress researchers, who seem to have multiplied lately. (What were they doing before the recession?) The daily, weekly and seasonal tasks of managing (there it is again) a household, boggle the mind. Who will do what, when, and how, test even the most advanced couples’ communication skills. And landing on “who makes the decision” about any one thing, can create the power struggle from hell.
So what about those “honey-do” lists? If one person is the designated “List Maker” and the other, a grateful and non-complaining “List Taker”, life could start looking pretty grand. Our List Taker dutifully attacks the list, in its proper stacking order and accomplishes said tasks in the declared time allotted. They clearly know their role and accept the List Makers supreme wisdom of “all things listy”. No feedback, no 360’s, no challenge to the LM’s authority. Life is good, right?
KATE: Here’s a story about us that might help. We have learned that we don’t have a right to an expectation of each other unless we have an agreement. That’s right. No agreement, no expectation, no right to get mad, sad or give feedback. We have cats; adorable, loveable, furry, independent pets. They go in and out of the house, they play with each other, they cuddle with us; they are even friendly with our Labrador Retriever, Maggie Mae. They also poop. Who, in our family, is in charge of scooping the kitty litter (or taking out the trash, or emptying the dishwasher, or making/cleaning up dinner, or paying the bills… you can add your own here)? Read More→