Happy Anniversary to Us!

A year ago today, on Valentine’s Day, I met my SweetHeart. Over the course of a year, we survived a six-week breakup, and the unexpected death of one of my closest friends from an extremely rare illness. Both events, while quite painful, contained gifts of awareness that we used to bring us closer together.

There’s nothing like the realization that something you treasure is no longer there to make you dig deep and try to find a way to manage it all without going off the deep end. And losing something permanently is guaranteed to make you grateful for what you still have. Thankfully, the issues that prompted the breakup (or ‘hiatus’ as we now call it) were resolved and what I once thought was over was not, and afterwards we established some practices that have led to a strong, loving, healthy relationship that promises to last for many more anniversaries.

While there are many factors, beliefs, and attitudes that contribute to a satisfying and consciously created relationship, here are two of our core practices that I believe serve us very well by helping us stay connected and conscious in our loving of each other.

1. Check-In. We reach across the table, hold hands, and check in with ourselves before every meal together. A check-in is simply saying a few sentences about our mood (peaceful, distracted, joyful, angry); and to let the other know if there is anything buzzing around in our mind (an unresolved issue at work for example) that is keeping us from giving our full attention to the other.

If I were to do a check-in right this second it would sound like: “I am energized to be writing on my blog, and am anticipating lunch with my SH, I am excited about what I have accomplished today and really loved my recording session this morning. The sound of the clothes dryer is distracting me a little as I write and I keep looking out the window at the sunny day and my camellias blooming in my yard.” That’s it, all there is to it, kind of a stream of consciousness that is designed to bring you fully into the present moment—which is exactly where you are creating your life.

2. “What’s your Wonderful?” We share something that happened during the day that we particularly enjoyed. This helps us stay grateful for the lives we have created, and reminds us that even in the midst of tragic events or problems, we always have the choice as to what we focus upon.

So our Valentine’s Day gift to you is to always keep the health and wellbeing of your relationship at the forefront of your priorities, and establish loving practices of your own that keep you connected.

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