I attended a week-long silent retreat recently and learned a wonderful mindfulness communication skill that could benefit all couples.*
What I just love about this technique is the simplicity of the process.
Wherever you are in your relationship, whether you’re at the beginning and experiencing romantic love, or perhaps you’ve been together a long time and the intimacy and lust have faded, this simple technique can help you start to connect deeply with yourself and your partner.
Here are the steps:
Firstly, sit opposite your partner so you are looking at each other directly in the eyes. (It doesn’t have to be done with your partner. You can also use this with a friend, family member or work colleague.)
Maintain eye contact as you speak.
You can both do this at the same time, but choose one person to speak and one person to listen.
The person listening will not respond while the other is speaking. But the listener will continue to track their own thoughts, feelings and sensations as they also pause, relax and open to the other.
Stop everything and pause. Just literally tell yourself ‘pause’ in this exact moment. Don’t do or think or say anything else.
Relax into your body. Feel yourself letting go and dropping down into yourself. Feel the pleasure of releasing.
Open your heart to the other. Feel your spine that holds you up and allows you to open to receive. Feel yourself spreading across your chest as you open.
4. Listen Deeply
Listen into the depths of your being. Listen to your heart. Be open to listening to your thoughts, feelings and sensations. Be open to all information.
5. Speak Your Truth
Now speak your truth. Support your voice in sharing what you heard deep within yourself. Feel the fear and say it anyway. Take a risk. Hold onto yourself as you speak up to be heard.
Once you have said everything you need to say, then change roles and have your partner go through the same process as you listen.
What do you think of this technique? Try it with someone you care about and share your comments below.
*This communication technique is attributed to Gregory Kramer, author of Insight Dialogue: The Interpersonal Path to Freedom.
Do you need relationship help?
Since 2003, Clinton Power has helped thousands of couples and individuals as a counsellor and psychotherapist in private practice in Sydney and online in Australia. Clinton regularly comments in the media on issues of relationships and has appeared on Channel 7, The Sydney Morning Herald, and ABC Radio. Clinton’s eBook, 31 Days to Build a Better Relationship is available through his website or Amazon. Click here to take Clinton’s relationship checkup quiz to find out how well you know your partner.