As caretakers of our planet we are starting to become more conscious at all levels of our being.
As we evolve and expand our consciousness we are also being awakened to create conscious relationships.
Wherever we are on our relationship journey, creating a conscious relationship can be the most wonderfully fulfilling kind of relationship a person can have.
Conscious relationships require a certain level of awareness that can take us into a deeper sense of who we are.
A conscious relationship is a journey. It is not a destination. It is one where each of us stays present or conscious in our connection together. Staying present keeps our hearts open and connected to one another. As evolving beings perhaps the number one tool that we have is open and honest communication.
It can be difficult at times to listen without judgement to another human being. It requires being present to whatever arises and hearing that person at a deep level. Many of us were not taught taught the art and skill of communication in childhood or at grade school so we have little experience with it.
Conscious communication keeps our relationships moving along the paths of personal and impersonal growth and keeps both partners in resonance with one another.
How Do We Maintain Conscious Communication?
The foundation of conscious communication is something that can be chosen in every moment. We begin by being present right here and right now. According to research from the IMAGO Institute, “99% of couple trouble comes from not being 100% present. We need to really listen to our partners, so that it is safe for them to tell us what they need.” In being 100% present to them, and in meeting their needs, we benefit at least as much as they do.
Intimacy is another vital characteristic of conscious relationships. It is often referred to as “In-to-me-you-see.”
How do we create intimacy? Communication at a conscious level is the door to intimacy. To achieve this we need to be present in the moment with what is in front of us right now without distractions or judgements. We begin by being present with the self. Here is a simple exercise right here and right now in the present.
Take a moment and get comfortable and bring your awareness to your breath. Take a soft inhale and exhale – no effort required. Take another few breaths and bring your awareness to the sensation of breath. And now we bring our awareness into our body. Be aware of the sensations in your body — We are just noticing and just being with it — not judging.
See if you can be present in your entire body. That’s right, you are here right now home in this body. Now begin to notice the sounds you may be aware of around you. You are simply noticing. And be aware of the rising and falling of the breath. And bring this sense of awareness outside yourself. Allow your eyes to be present with whatever you are noticing around you.
Look around in this moment. What do you see, hear, feel? Just noticing and letting go of any attachments to thoughts – Let them float on by like clouds in the sky. We are practising simply being here. Just continue to be here with yourself. Fully present in the environment.
The Art of Being Present in a Relationship
The intention is to want to know who this person is beyond the limiting judgements. By doing this you are giving the message, “I want to know you. I want you to experience being heard and listened to. I want you to feel welcome and share all of who you are.”
Our heart is open and are minds are soft and non-judgemental. If we are running judgments we can’t be present with what is in front of us in the here and now.
In Buddhism there is the practice of ‘not knowing’ or ‘beginners mind’’. Truthfully, we can never know what is happening in the mind of another. This is an explorative process.
So how can we be present in an open and receptive way? We can come up with questions such as what does this person need right now and what can we learn about this person? We have the attitude of curiosity and exploration.
Not only does this process open up a field of possibilities but the other person gets the opportunity to discover themselves in ways that may have never been tuned into previously.
We might not be listening if we cannot repeat back what the other person has said. We might not be listening if we are are distracted or are running stories in our minds.
You know what it is like when you are grabbed by those stories. When they grab us they tend to really grab us. Our mind creates interpretations and we tend to see them through a lens or judgements. Statements that begin with “You always …. ” (fill in the blank) tend to freeze the other in a limited view. It doesn’t feel good to our partners. We are often not aware of how this impacts the other person or the picture we are painting. How we are held in sacred and conscious space really influences how we show up.
One study showed that children who were classed as having a high 1Q were told their IQ was low, and as a result their IQ came down. So its about focusing on the good attributes of this person in front of you and with the willingness to explore rather than interpret.
We can shift these frames so that we can be a conduit of our partners best qualities and hold the space for this. We can turn this around by taking the same things and making a different story. For example our partner may be always taking on too many tasks, we can say they are a highly spontaneous and creative person …she/he loves to do this .. it benefits many people.” We have such great power in the way we weave these stories. By turning it around we have another voice emerging, honouring the gifts our partner has.
Moments of Connection
Moments of connection are found in simple things that bring us into the present, such as joyful play or certain rituals. Some favourites can be when you are leaving each others company for the day. Make sure that this leave-taking is connected. It only needs to be for as little as 10 seconds to look into each others eyes and say “I love you” or “Thanks for being in my life.” You never know, maybe this is the last time you see that person.
Take a moment to honour this person – leave love notes. Or when you are cooking dinner put on a dance tune and dance! You are always making love, it is not something that just happens in the bedroom. There are a thousand moments every day if we bring the quality of presence. This holds true with all the people in our lives. Take a breath and be willing to be vulnerable as this brings openness and joy!
Creating a conscious relationship also engages the world and is transformative. You want the best of what relationships can bring – going beyond stories as Bryon Katie writes in her books. Harville Hendricks, author of Getting the Love You Want from the IMAGO Institute tells us: “Conflict exists when one or both partners are feeling misunderstood. If we want our partner to understand us, do everything we can to understand them and let them know that we do.”
Seek first to understand your partner! Something remarkable can certainly be born. All of us are looking for connectivity in these times. The healing of our world begins in conscious partnership. Humanity is in deep transformation and transition.
As part of this awakening process we are awakening the heart and accessing a deeper sense of who we are.
I look forward to talking with you!
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