So often couples come to see me in great frustration because each partner thinks the other is trying to fix them or control them. This behavior comes out in a variety of ways… often intended to be helpful or focused on making the relationship better. However, it often results in anger and disconnect. Partners report feeling misunderstood and begin to feel justified when their helping ways are questioned. They say things like “If you would only listen to me…” and “I told you so...” and “Don’t feel that way baby….”
Several months ago, I had the privilege to visit one of my dearest friends in another city. Since we so rarely get to see one another, we tried to take a photo together, and I planned to put it on Facebook and Instagram. It took no fewer than 15 tries to get a good shot. Every time my eyes were open, hers were closed. When both of our eyes were open, I wasn't smiling. In the next shot, she was distracted by someone to her left. Finally, we were both smiling, with our eyes open, and looking into the camera, but there was a huge group of tourists in the background, blocking the entire landmark we were standing in front of. Finally, we got a halfway decent picture with both of us and the landmark all in the picture.
I talk a big game when it comes to the transformative nature of mindfulness practices. I discuss the benefits of mindfulness with clients, offer demonstrations on techniques, and brainstorm ways to incorporate practices into daily routines. I recognize full well, however, that doing these practices regularly is often easier said than done.
The simple truth is that we aren’t designed to be glued to a computer screen or in an office all day. Our brains have evolved to thrive in sunlight, in lush green surroundings, and by the water. Since I think we’ve seen the last of snow in Boston (fingers crossed), it’s time to jumpstart our cognitive batteries and kickoff this spring with a plan to leverage our local resources.
Recently I was in Boca de Tomatlan, Mexico for a workshop with other clinicians and practitioners of the 4 dimensional approach to sex and intimacy. Every morning, before we would begin our work, we would clear our space. Clearing space involved using sound (a drum, a rattle, etc.), scent (copal, sage, incense, etc), or other approach to sanctify the area we would be learning and growing in to allow us to be present, to remove negative energy and to set a space that invited intention.