Ahhh…I just got back from vacation. Sweet, sweet vacation. And it was medicine. It was only a 4-day trip, but was exactly what I needed. Sunshine, hot springs soaking, beautiful views, great socializing, nature, excellent sleep, good books, good food, and for four days I had no idea what time it was. I went slooooowww…
I’m coming home with my heart more open, more relaxed in my body, and being able to breathe more fully. I feel happier. More empowered.
Which is exactly the recipe for how to best show up to a relationship.
This may sound obvious, but think about it for a moment. Many people show up to relationships with stress, pain, hurt, or wounds from their past.
If those things are front and center because they’re unconscious or recently activated, we tend to see the world through that lens and look to our partner to make it better for us (a recipe for disaster).
But it doesn't have to be that way.
These two states---the vacation bliss and the triggered wound---happen in your body.
Which means you can learn to work with them so that you have a choice.
When we’re triggered, stressed, or in pain, there’s usually a corresponding body pattern that goes along that we might not even notice from being so used to it.
It might be that you hold your breath. Or that certain muscles hold tension or are protective. Or even that you don’t feel certain parts of your body. Or maybe you’re less muscular and more sluggish. Essentially, your body experiences your version of contraction.
If you’re paying attention, you may even notice that you feel it now a little bit just from reading this!
On the other hand, when you’re really filled up from great self care like I am now, your body’s more open. More relaxed. You breathe more and there’s more aliveness and vibrance inside. Your heart is open. You’re empowered. And deeply present.
Going on vacation is a great way to care for yourself and help reset back to this alive state, but it’s not the only way.
Because these states happen in your body, you can work with your body to stay alive and potent, whether you’re triggered or not.
- Sloooooow down and get still. Take some deep, slow breaths. Really feel the air going in and out and ballooning your belly and your chest.
- Notice any areas of holding. Are your shoulders hiked up? Your belly tight? Your jaw or eye muscles working more than they need to? Gently let them relax while you keep feeling your breath.
- Scan your body. Can you feel your breath moving up and down your spine? Breathing up into your brain? Into your heart? Your legs and feet? Your pelvic floor? (Breath is usually the easiest way to do this, but what you’re looking for is presence. Are you present in these parts of your body?) Bring your aliveness to anywhere it isn’t.
- Your body might want to move by shaking off, stretching, or gesturing. Let it.
- Make whatever sounds feel good---sighs, yawns, toning, humming, etc.
- Remember the point here is to focus on your body and really wake it up, so do whatever feels good, including exercise or any of the above things.
- And keep paying attention to your breath.
- If you’re triggered, in emotional pain, or feeling a holding in your muscles, first notice and acknowledge what’s happening in your body. Get really present to it. Then, you can play with the rest of these steps.
Try it out. It’s as nourishing as a mini vacation.
What these steps are really designed to do is to get you deeply connected with yourself, embodied, and in touch with your empowerment.
Showing up to your relationship having taken good care of yourself is deliciously healthy and necessary.
Leave me a comment below and let me know what you think! Does working with your body like this make sense to you?
And finally, will you please share this on Facebook and spread the love?
Alive and vibrant,
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