2020 is the Year of Truth and what better month than February to dig into the essence of relationship communication? Let’s tackle this up front and establish some important guidelines that can carry us through the whole year. It’s a month where we can be truly itching for springtime renewal yet energetically feeling drab and colorless. So I’ve got a bit of a book review, a deep and insightful writing from a client to share, and general thoughts about transforming blah’s into bliss!
May You Feel Joy in the Temple of Your Senses!
I attended a contemplative dance retreat early this month – which was a very welcome embodiment of breath and movement that left me thinking, “how could I have strayed so far from awareness of my breath? This will NOT happen again!” yet, as we all know, these pledges are sweetly innocent … and unrealistic.
You may ask, “what does this personal retreat have to do with relationship communication?” Well, when one half of a relationship, i.e. one person independent of the other, is embarking on a shift of mind/body/spirit, it affects the other half — for better or worse. That statement alone is a big insight and something to practice with your partner. How could your personal work shift Us? How could my personal work shift Us?
At this retreat I noticed how tired I was from being disproportionately oriented from my head space; I vowed to be in my BELLY! To resonate with the feminine mind of the womb (which is available energetically to men too!) This felt like a transformation from “production” orientation, work-work-work, to “holding” orientation, which is curious, patient, and regenerative. Can’t we all use a bit more of these states of being??
During an evening break I found Brene’ Brown’s book, Braving the Wilderness on a shelf and dove in. For In it she shares the Four Elements of Belonging:
- People are hard to hate close up — move in, get close
- Speak Truth to Bullshit — be civil
- Hold Hands with Strangers
- Strong Back. Soft Front. Wild Heart (which could also be defined as Boundaries. Gentleness. Passion)
And she offers this cool acronym to help us Live from the Wild Heart, not the Weary Hurt:
B - boundaries ..........(you are willing to say no)
R - reliability ............(you follow through)
A - accountability ........(you own your mistakes)
V - vault ....................(you keep others' stories confidential)
I - integrity ...............(you live your values)
N - non-judgement........(you trust others to ask for what they need)
G - generosity ...........(you believe in others' good intentions)
Simple reminders for us to CHOOSE to be our best self are always helpful. For more comprehensive reviews of this book click here.
If you are in need of a deeper dive into the gnarly weeds of relationship triggers so that you might gain some insights into how to show up for your own in a renewed and recommitted way, give this personal (edited) letter from a woman I did some witnessing work with at the retreat (shared with permission) a read.
And then, in the spirit of nourishing the one half of our relationship that we do have some “control” over, I offer this poem:
What gets spoken when the body stops moving
Stops working, trying and doing?
Sweet nothings surprise you whenever you don't
Look. Eyes start speaking a familiar language you forgot
You knew. It comes back in a touch or a nod
And warms the heart like spicy hot cocoa.
Dusty books leap off the shelves because,
If given the chance, we're all opportunists waiting
For our moment to Shine.
Can you smell the rich soil? Isn't the flora
Teeming with diversity enough to soften
Your heart like butter?
Fountains of silence Spring Forth
And words dissolve...