How To Strengthen Your Relationship


Worth Reading from Off the Web!     ~ excerpt from: https://blogs.psychcentral/Relationships

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If you’re stuck in communication patterns where you can “predict” what one another will say or do, it likely means it’s time to stop and think with your frontal cortex.

While it may be true that what your partner is doing is not working, its’ also true that you only have 100% of the power to change your part in the drama.

To make this work, each partner must own their part. You are not a rock or an island. You’re interconnected.

But even if only one of you becomes more responsible and aware, the sooner you own your part, the sooner you can access your power to make optimal choices and create great outcomes. And if you put the habit of criticizing to rest for instance, the more likely you will “influence” your partner’s heart to do the same.

After all don’t you already:

“See” and “know” how ineffective it is when your partner uses blame-, shame-, or guilt-inducing comments, or gets stuck on making negative forecasts etc. See and know how unloving or unloved you “feel” inside when your partner seems to be competing for “who” is right, better, superior, etc.?

So then why would you use the same or similar tactics when you’re arguing, and expect a different response from your partner?

Ask yourself, do you really want the prize of “who’s more hurt, wronged, etc.” on your mantel? What would you gain if the whole world agreed that your partner is to blame or impossible to live with? If you continue to stay on a track that builds a case against your partner, would this finally lead them to give you the love and value you yearn to realize in the relationship?

Likely not.

Keep in mind, like your heart, the key that opens your partner’s heart is feeling loved, valued, appreciated. You’re both wired to keep reaching to feel good about your self and life (i.e., happiness, joy), and thus, absent healthy ways of knowing how to feel good in moments of stress, boredom, etc., your body-mind will subconsciously opt for old tried-and-true “cheap-feel-good” options, which are often a waste of time and energy at best, if not harmful, destructive.

In a sense, you become your thoughts. It’s not just a good idea to become consciously aware of your thoughts. To not do so is like sitting on a million dollars rather than investing in creating ways. The good news is that it’s never too late to change negative patterns. Perhaps the most important take away here is to know you have this power.

Realizing your potential to create happiness and healthy relationships is a living, breathing process that ebbs and flows. The most vital moment at any time in life is always the present one.

If you do not own your happiness, seek to actively grow, to learn what works and what does not (wisdom), to take action accordingly, then you risk approaching your partner with discouraging tactics of criticism, blame, doubts, etc., triggers their deepest fears and doubts. It’s as if you are not there.

If you allow your thoughts or self-talk to keep you worrying about the future or wallowing about past failures or regrets, you cannot be present moment as an observer of your self and your relationship with your partner. It’s as if you are not there.

If you do not know what your partner wants and their reasons, you are at risk of making energy-deflating assumptions or treating your partner as an extension of your self. It’s as if you are not there.

If you do not take actions to consciously support you and your partner to realize what you want, you are at risk of getting stuck in fear-based patterns that activate old emotion-command circuitry in your brain (so old, it takes you back to patterns formed when you were 3 or 5 years old!). Again, it is as if you’re not there.

Realizingyourpotential as individuals and a couple is less an “outcome” and more an intention to live life fully, to learn, to grow in wisdom and understanding, to realize the amazing built in capabilities you have to stretch your capacity for compassion for your self and your partner.

What does that mean exactly and what is true potential? One thing your potential isn’t is a fixed, static outcome written in stone. Flexibility is a characteristic of creative energy (power); whereas inflexibility is characteristic of destructive power.

Potential can be described as a growing desire to bring into your life and relationship more love, more authenticity, more integrity, more acceptance, more humility, more gratitude, more sense of wellbeing. This is living with the intention for you and your partner to love one another by living to keep reaching for your highest, true potential as individuals and partners.

Ultimately realizing your potential involves cultivating your ability to do the “right” thing, and keep doing the right thing , especially when you do not “feel” like doing so, builds character, strength, courage and also deepens and matures your capacity to love your self, partner and life in a compassionate, wise-and-understanding way.

To do the right thing is to takeaction accordingly, meaning that it stems from wanting to do so, thus, out of emotions love, joy, caring, thoughtfulness, kindness, instead of emotions of fear, guilt, and shame.

One of the most powerful (and least accessed in relationships) kinds of action is to make clear, action-inspiring requests.

In couple relationships, this often comes “easy” for one partner, and not so easy for the other. If this sounds like you, don’t worry. It seems to be nature’s plan to bring together polar opposites on this (and other) dimensions. Nature seems to be interested in your growth, progress, transformation, and loves to challenge you.

Your couple relationship is a top-notch school, you may say, and the curriculum seems custom designed for both of you to stretch or change or modify your approach in the direction of the other.

For example:

  • For the partner who “easily” makes requests, it may mean they need to tone down the intensity with which they make requests so they sound less like demands, ultimatums to the other.
  • For the partner who responds with “I don’t know” when asked what they want, it may mean they need to stop talking themselves out of connecting to what they really want or making requests (to avoid upsetting the other).
  • For both partners, it likely means you need to learn to “reimage” the other in your mind, so you “see” and treat the other as loving and loved, valued and appreciated (as you did when you first met!). This is an infinitely more powerful and effective way to restore your relationship –  better than criticism, reactive negativity and the like.

To create the life experiences that meet your deepest yearnings means you must develop the ability to ask for what you want, and to listen to understand your partner’s.

Set an intention to become more and more aware of how you choose to use your power in present moments:

  • to know and understand what you and your partner want and why
  • take action to make life consciously more wonderful for one another This also frees you both to access life-shaping, miracle-making energies inside.

The Key to Detachment

Worth Reading! From Off the web.

Attachment arises out of a single flawed assumption of the ego-mind.

The ego assumes that when a goal is attained, when something happens that we want, then we will be happy, or fulfilled, or joyful. It also assumes that if something undesirable happens, then we will be sad, or angry, or hurt.

In truth, however, our state of Being is completely independent of any events that take place in our lives.

As you sit reading this right now, can you summon a feeling of joy? Go ahead and summon up a happy memory or a joyful expectation. Allow a bubble of joy to grow in the pit of your stomach and rise up to fill your heart. Smile until the smile becomes genuine. Take a few breaths, and inhale joy. Let the energy travel outward from your heart until it fills your Being. Go ahead and close your eyes. Sit with the energy of joy for a while.

Nothing happened in your life to create this joy. You generated joy all by yourself, through simple intention. You were both the cause and the result of joy. And you could create joy at absolutely any time, just by deciding to do so.

This is true no matter what events are happening in your life.
We can summon the state of being in love without being in a relationship. We can create a state of peace, even while watching the evening news.

The ego-mind will have us believe that all of these things -abundance, love, peace – are dependent on what is happening in our lives. The ego will have us believe that love comes into our lives from someone else. The ego believes that peace is the result of having all our tasks done.

So why aren’t we all constantly in a joyful, abundant, peaceful state of Being?

Go ahead and once again summon that energy of joy for a minute or two. If you remain in that state of being for a while, you will notice your mind getting bored. That’s right, joy gets boring after a while! There are no problems to solve, nothing to get worked up over. There are no worries to entertain the mind. That’s why the mind creates attachment.

If we are to stay out of attachment, we need to give the mind something to do. Left to its own devices, the mind is reactive. The mind reacts to everything – every event, what other people say to us, etc., and so creates our state of Being.

If our reaction is negative, the mind will come up with a goal that would create a positive outcome instead. And so we begin believing the illusion that a certain monthly income will give us abundance, or a romantic relationship will bring us love.

But we can become conscious creators.

We can deliberately generate the state of being that we desire for ourselves. We can then give the mind the task of expressing that state of being creatively, through action.

The outcome simply wouldn’t matter. We are already in the state that we want to create. We are simply taking action to give the mind something to do. The mind will think and solve problems and make plans. That is its job, and we can’t change that. But we can make our minds activity about creatively expressing joy, or abundance, or love rather than about creating a specific result.

For example, the mind might suggest that we could call our partner because we want him or her to tell us how special we are – to make us feel loved.
Or we could BE in a state of love, and the creative expression of that love is making a phone call. In this action, we don’t want anything out of the phone call – it’s just our state of being, authentically expressing itself.

While the action is still making a phone call to our partner, the first goal comes from a place of attachment. We want something out of that phone call to feel loved. The other has no agenda. It is just an expression of what we already have and are. Hence, detached.

What if every action we took was only a creative expression of our state of Being? What if every conversation were simply an extension of our Being, with no agenda, no attachment to outcome?

Our state of Being is completely independent of any event, outcome, goal, or person. Nothing that happens in our lives determines whether we are happy, or loved, or fulfilled unless we allow it. This is the key to detachment. We can at any time decide to be peaceful, or in love, or joyful. This is the true gift of free will and free choice.

Blessings,
Andrea

Edited for readability from:

The Key to Detachment | Empowered Soul
https://www.empoweredsoul.com/
The Key to Detachment
By Andrea Hess
Embrace Your Highest Path

The Space Around Thoughts

WORTH READING -FROM OFF THE WEB

Life. Running here and there. Pre-occupied with this and that. Swept away by one thought or another. We barely have time enough to notice time passing, never mind the preposterous proposition, dare I say, to notice not just our thoughts, but the space around them: a momentary peripheral reverberation, an infinitesimal synaptic break between cognitions, the very slightest of pauses, a hiccup in the assembly line of thought production, when thought-after-thought-after-thought finally cease cascading like dominoes, responsible for the myopic blur that so often stands against our yearning for greater sanity. It’s too bad, really, because in-between is where the magic lies.

Our addiction to the grasping tendency of mind causes us to overlook the spaces around thoughts, the felt penumbra that gives our experience its subtle beauty and meaning. Neglecting these fluid spaces within the mindstream contributes to a general tendency to over-identify with the contents of our mind, and to assume that we are the originator and custodian of them.

The troublesome equation “I = my thoughts about reality” creates a narrowed sense of self, along with an anxiety about our thoughts as territory we have to defend.

Meditation practice is a perfect way of slowing down the mind. It transfers to life off the cushion, or, in other words, in the existential reality of every day. Because of the chaotic environment inherent in our obligatory life marathon, it becomes essential to sit, with great discipline, in one place, remaining quiet and still for good stretches of time, to train the mind to be able to be in the here-and-now of the present moment, and

not end up like a leaf caught in the wind, floating wherever the fickle mindstream might take it.

In the absence of such discipline and intentionality, such courage to be, we often find ourselves lost in mental and physical diversions and interpersonal flare-ups that amount to nothing more, when seen straight through, than hair-trigger responses to stress. Sadly, we are blind to all that we do to ourselves, and each other, because we do not take the time to sit still and examine what the heck is going on in what Buddhist psychology smilingly calls our “monkey mind.” How can we once and for all tame that jumpy monkey?

As meditators meditate, they start to spiral in ways that inform the past-present-future paradox. They experience integration, flow, congruence, empathic transference, and a vast spatiality that grows freshly and spontaneously out of a grounding of one’s Being. We discover that our core essence is one of “basic goodness” rather than  the more popular notion of “original sin”.

In one particular moment, though, during no moment in particular, stripped finally of all the labels, recriminations, external judgment, self-loathing, and weaving of storyline, exhausted and spent from meditation’s primary edict to “return to the out breath” over and over again, the false self icon slips at last off the mantle on which it had been long worshipped. The false self finds itself shattered on the floor, destroyed in the awareness of the truth of emptiness (form is emptiness and emptiness is form), taken aback by the eureka, mind-blowing moment of satori, the deliverance into the quiet calm of no-self, and the sweetly unfolding eternality of the now.

“All the wisdom in the world is located in the gaps between breaths, in the space between thoughts”, a meditation teacher once said during a formal sitting practice. But mindfulness provides no easy kick-start, requiring thereafter a personal hyper-vigilance, a growing awareness and friend-making approach toward one’s discursive patterns and internal chatter:  “Even when the obvious extremes of the false self have been divested, there is a tendency to replace them with subtler versions of the same impulse” ~ Epstein

It is good news that insights obtained from this new awakenedness never go completely away. Yet, at the same time, the meditator learns that grasping after it is fruitless. It is attainable only through glimpses that appear from time to time from behind the overcast sky of the “natural attitude.” Reaching mind’s radiant luminosity takes great practice, patience, and diligence, over oh so many years.

But we can take heart—Zen masters have left behind a clue. As Welwood advocates, rather than solely focusing on thoughts and the content of thoughts, the this and the that of our experience, the him and the her, the we and the they, the materiality and daily grind of cause-and-effect, we can remember to explore the space around thoughts, the space between them. What is found in the gap between the out-breath and the in-breath? Where is mind then? Who are you in those spaces? Who are you in those gaps?

Excerpts from PsychAlive:The Space Around Thoughts.