As I have been working with couples the past couple of weeks, I have realized how vital it is to slow down in all aspects of our life. Slowing down is not exactly natural for me. I am the mom of three kids, have many interests, love my work, and have a deep desire to see the world. I am currently writing this blog as we head to Colorado for an adventure. However, my busy bee tendencies have led to problems in the past; I have learned to schedule in time for connection and stillness.
We all crave connection. We want to be seen and heard by our person. Yet, when we feel disconnected, we seem to speed up, instead of slowing down, and then we wonder why it’s not working. For instance:
When we get into conflict with our person, our natural tendency is to speed up the conversation. If I am feeling defensive, I can literally pepper Brad with ten reasons why he is wrong in one minute. My work with couples has shown me that I am not the only person uses rapid fire! It's definitely not a behavior that leads to connection.
The interesting part is that we are all just seeking to be understood. However, our stress response gets in the way of that happening. By slowing down, we give our person a fighting chance of picking up what we are putting down. The other day I was schooling Brad on the importance of not using the dish towel as a napkin. I am the laundry queen of our home, and he is the chef, so when I’m feeling overwhelmed, I tend to loudly voice my frustrations with said laundry pile (when what I actually need to do is ask for support from my laundry-capable family members).
Next up, is slowing down by taking time. I hear from so many that they just don’t have time to connect. Between careers, kids, and social engagements, where is couple time going to fit in? Personally, I believe this is one of the most important things you can do. Taking intentional couple time will transform your relationship -- it creates connection! I am not suggesting you carve out hours of time. Instead, you can carve minutes a day where you intentionally connect. A walk, coffee in the morning, snuggling at night. Whatever it is, this will anchor the relationship.
Intimacy. This is an area many couples struggle with from time to time. A lack of time, plus the anxiety, can lead to a decrease in satisfaction. Again, slow down. You do not want your sex life to be housed on your list of to-do's between the laundry and dishes.
My sister told me she went to a yoga class once where the instructor said, “When you drink tea, drink tea!" I love this. When my brain starts moving in 50 directions, and I realize I have no clue what Brad just said, I remind myself to slow down.
Bring yourself to the present by focusing on whatever is in front of you, because this is the only way we connect and feel what there is to be felt. And that, my friends, we don't want to miss!
If you are interested in slowing down and connecting with your person, check out our retreat and intensive weekend options.