Mindfulness in simple terms is the ability to become aware of our thoughts, behaviors and emotions in the present moment without judgement and without an immediate reaction.
Many of our behaviors and responses in relationships are automatic and habitual, and usually if we are unaware of the feelings around the thoughts we are having, both us and our partners can become triggered and a conflict can easily arise.
Having a regular Mindfulness practice helps to shift unconscious behaviors that impact our relationships and bring them to the surface.
Once we are more aware of our thoughts and emotions, we can start recognizing about our patterns and become intentional about what thoughts to engage in in what thoughts to let go of. Bringing that awareness to the present moment can also be empowering and freeing as we no longer feel at the mercy of our thoughts.
The famous author Eckart Tolle who wrote “The Power of Now” says that we are not actually doing the thinking, it is more accurate to say that thoughts are happening to us, without our consent, just like our heart is beating without any effort on our part.
The more we practice becoming the observer of everything around us without emotionally reacting, the easier it becomes to embody the wisdom, love, and patience that is inherent to mindfulness and living in the present.
Remember, regardless of how far you’ve come in your intimate relationship, cultivating love and intimacy is always an ongoing process and we have to remind ourselves to be compassionate with ourselves and our partners as we embark on this new way of being and relating to one another.
Written by Tia Lukanova, MSW