I have so much to be thankful for this year.
I am healthy. I am happy, I do work that I love and is fulfilling and is of service to my fellow humans in this world. I have an incredible community of family, friends & colleagues around the globe. I have an amazing coach and mentor. I have a wonderful family with whom I am close and connected. I have two incredible nephews who I love to pieces. I have a beautiful home, that provides me shelter in a peaceful neighborhood and a place to host my nearest and dearest. I have a bounty of food and support that nourishes me. I have time for creativity. I have clothing & shoes to wear. I have heat in the winter, and electricity & internet too, which allows me to write this blog and post it online for you to read. I have a car that gets me safely from here to there. I have all the necessary comforts, and all my faculties are in working order.
I could go on and on. Gratitude & Love are like that. As soon as you start noticing all the things you have for which you are grateful it spreads like wildfire, lifting you up and showing you your abundance & your richness in every moment.
In all of this, The thing I am most grateful for in my life, today and always, is my beloved, my soulmate, my husband, Jason.
We have been through all of life's ups and downs together. We've grown up together in may ways. We have been together for 24 years and married for 18 of those years. And I can truly say that our lives get better every day.
Want to know the secret to our relationship & our increasing happiness?
It's quite simple actually. We are honest and we communicate openly and we are both committed to making our relationship a priority because we love each other so deeply. We honor our individuality and give each other the space to spread our wings AND we support each other fully in the process.
Now, please do not mistake that for ALWAYS agreeing with each other. We disagree - a lot sometimes. But when those moments get heated, we stop and remember that everything else always falls into place when we are working together instead of in opposition. It is NOT always easy. In fact, a really good, long lasting, meaningful relationship, takes work. Sometimes a lot of it. And sometimes it feels hard. But we know it is worth it. And there is a mutual respect and desire to make each other happy and be the best version of ourselves for each other.
What has worked really well for us over the years is taking time to listen to each other. And I don't mean while you are on your iPhone or multi tasking in the kitchen. I mean stop what you are doing, sit up tall, face each other & look into each other's eyes and breathe together.
Then one of you speaks while the other one listens. Set a timer for 3-5 minutes and the speaker just gets an opportunity to download whatever is present. The listener doesn't respond or react or cross talk. Simply breathe and receive. No matter what is being said, you get to receive it and hold the space for your partner to be open and authentic with you. After the timer goes off, switch. When it is your turn to speak, speak from your heart, speak what is true for you. The speaker does not blame. Use "I" statements. This is about you and your partner sharing way is true for each of you in the moment. And KEEP BREATHING with each other and maintain eye contact. You can continue going back and forth setting the timer until you both feel complete. OOH also, turn off phones and technology and distractions during this time. This is sacred space for your relationship. Treat it as such.
This is a powerful exercise that Jason and I practice ourselves. We also facilitate these conscious listening session for people in all types of relationships - not just marriages, but anyone with whom you have unresolved feelings or issues or difficulty communicating with. It is profound what open, honest, communication can do to heal all parties involved.
Mostly, we humans just want to be seen and heard and loved for who we are. This practice powerfully transformed our ability to communicate and increased our intimacy on all levels.
It is no surprise… Into Me, You See = Intimacy. Look into each other's eyes. And really see the person across from you, a mirror of you, a reflection of your own truth. Be grateful that you have to ability to know someone in this way. It will transform you both & your relationship forever.