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Gillian Sanger

How do you practice mindfulness in your relationships?

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There is a new blog post on Mindfulness Exercises that explores how to practice mindfulness in relationship, but I am curious to know about your own relationship practices. How do you cultivate compassion, curiosity, patience, and understanding between yourself and those you are connected to? Whether partner, colleague, friend, or family member, I'd love to know how you express and listen with mindfulness (and, how you overcome differences of opinion).

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Hi Gillian, I think I have learned these things from mindfulness:  pause, breath, identify what I think and feel and then, wait. The more I do all of those things the better my response is to others. Sometimes, waiting lets an issue be resolved by the other person. Having enough time to hear themselves without immediate challenge gives others time to think about what they might have said, done or proposed. At times, the other person grasps that they can resolve the issue themselves. Waiting also gives me a chance to think about what I still need to understand and how I feel about an issue more clearly. I can inquire more peaceably and let my partner in communication hear my attitude of valuing them and myself. I am not a perfect person so I don't always do these things. However, being mindful grows and I do these positive things more of the time with a generally good result. Daniel

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Lovely to hear from you Daniel - and thanks for your words! I completely resonate with that awareness that taking pause often helps things to become clearer for both parties. Our human tendency to fix things doesn't like to wait, but sometimes that is what is needed. 

My partner is much more slow to speak than I am, which is something I really admire about him (even if it's frustrating at times! 😆). He can really take long pauses to formulate what he wants to say rather than speaking on impulse. Being in relationship with him has taught me much.

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Recently (yesterday!) my partner and I officially came back together after several months of a break from significant otherness.

It has been very hard for me to practice loving detachment. I have felt I needed to "know" how things are going to go, but the truth is, none of us can know. I have found a way to live without expectations within our relationship. It is so freeing to live just for the moment for self and with others.

I did a lot of asking for help from angels and spirit guides. I spent a lot of time making art. Sometimes spending lots of alone time doing what you love brings things into perspective. 

I think introducing mindful activities that can be done together helps too. My partner and I garden together. Sometimes, if you are in a relationship with someone, (even a family member or a platonic friend) who doesn't buy the whole mindfulness thing, doing mindful activities together can bring you closer. Collaboration on a project that thrives with mindful focus can be very helpful.

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Hello Luma,

Thank you for sharing a bit of what you've been moving through. Relationships can be very challenging to navigate, but when they provide us with insights like the ones you've had, they are an incredible opportunity for mutual growth (if both parties are open to that). 

You are certainly right that mindful activities can bring us closer to our partner (and others we are in relationship with). Gardening is incredibly down-to-earth and provides fertile ground (quite literally) for deeper connection. It all makes me think about an article that was posted on the ME website not long ago - an article about mindful rituals in romantic relationships. I'll share it in case anyone is interested:

https://mindfulnessexercises.com/mindful-rituals-for-romantic-connection/

 

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