Life swirls around us. The world becomes increasingly complex. And, in the midst of our busy days with their packed schedules and endless to-do lists, somehow the things that matter do get attended to: you eat, you sleep (some-nights better than others), you survive.
Surviving each day doesn’t mean you are thriving, however. And you don’t want to merely survive when it comes to what’s most important - your intimate relationships. You want to thrive.
Thriving is about developing and tending closeness and togetherness. It’s about bettering your understanding of yourself, your partner and loving more fully. It's these very connections that I want to help you (re)focus on - this is what I’m striving to focus on in my own life too.
You can tune into yourself and your partner through a practice of connectfulness It’s like this for just about everybody: so much of what we do in relationships we do without thinking. We act on autopilot programming that became part of our basic wiring in our own early childhoods. These primary experiences influence just about everything we do - especially how we handle intimacy in our adult relationships. Much of our programming might be positive, but the negative experiences can cause partners to feel lonely and disconnected in their relationship.
When you and your partner do turn towards one another every day, you create opportunities to fill one another up. When all else feels off, when your sense of self falters, your partner can be the secure base you can return back to over and over again. Ideally speaking, of course.
On the other hand, when you repeatedly miss these moments, your relationship feels shaky. Missed moments of connection are akin to withdrawals, some larger and more taxing than others. So when you do connect in these special little moments, it's everything. Each of these moments - whether the connection is made and even when it’s missed - is an opportunity for you to see yourself as you really are and even heal your child-self. It’s an opportunity for you and your partner to find connection in one another and grow. In other words, every little moment can become an opportunity to help both of you feel more secure. As you relate to one another, learning to tune into and navigate one another’s insecurities, you can bolster and make life together feel safer and more connected.
Try a six-second kiss, a kiss that lasts for a whole 6-seconds. Sounds simple enough, right? In theory yes, it is. But really, the intimacy that comes with literally being up in one another's faces for a whole 6-seconds. It can be intense. And hot!
When I introduce idea of the 6-second kiss I introduce along with it another exercise, 60-seconds of eye contact. I find gazing at one another is more do-able for couples who have histories of trauma or abuse simply because you don’t have to touch. Some find it easier, others more intense. All the couples I know that hop on board and practice it find themselves experiencing significant shifts.
Think of how you say good morning, good night, hello and goodbye to your life partner each day. Are these moments soft or harsh? Do you put down your phone, computer or other technology? Do you welcome a few seconds of intimacy or are you setting yourselves up for a missed moment? What impact would being mindful of these moments have on yourself, your relationship, and your life? These moments in the midst of the daily routine are the easiest to make into mindful rituals. Soften into these moments and see how you’re able to reconnect with one another more easily and more often.
Rebecca Wong, LCSW-R is a relationship therapist, consultant and cohost of the Practice Of Being Seen podcast. She's also the creator of Connectfulness, a research-based practice that encourages you to explore and embrace every aspect of your humanity – including everything that’s marvelous and all that’s messy.
Her discoveries reveal that the meaning we make of our life’s story is where it all comes together...but staying engaged in the process of discovering that meaning – that is often the greatest challenge!
Rebecca will help you dare to share your truest self with yourself, your dearest, and the world. When you truly see yourself you create a ripple effect that allows you to be the change you wish to see in the world, and that invites those around you to do the same.
Here's your printable reminder to help you deepen your mindfulness of these Little Everyday Moments of Connectfulness.
Enjoy! And please do send me a note and let me know how these are working for you!