“My partner is not present!”
With many of my clients, this is a recurring statement. As they utter these words, the partner sits there with a bewildered look on their face as they have no idea what the other is talking about. Have you been the one being on the receiving end or the one feeling it?
So what does all of this mean? It means that what you really feel is that you are not being met emotionally. It can happen because of tiredness, being distracted by the phone/computer and they might seem checked out to you. Or this can happen possibly because emotions can be overwhelming or confusing to some. There are people that often say, “I don’t do emotion”. These are the people that perhaps have an avoidant attachment style. They cut themselves off from emotions as they grew up in households where there wasn’t much emotion shown they didn’t learn emotional skills. Here it is really important that they share that fact with you. However, if this is not the case then it is a good time to dig a little deeper into self to find out what the resistances might be.
I would like to share with you a deeper meaning. Presence is best defined as YOU, the spiritual being, being fully aware, at optimum mood level, at this place, at this time, fully in the now. Being fully present is quite spiritual because it is your whole being, body, mind and soul that is as one in that moment.
It is your ability to fully be responsible for, control or embrace the total consequences of your paradigm, which is your standards, perspectives or set of ideas. This type of presence, which is actually invisible, is what people seek in relationships. It is something they feel not see. When someone complains that their partner is not present, they normally mean they feel insignificant and disconnected.
Presence is about paying attention, holding space for the other without judgement and listening whilst hearing. Do you know what the difference is between hearing and listening? Hearing is something innate, we are born with it, so we hear noises all the time. Listening is hearing with the intention to understand. Being truly present creates emotional intimacy and it’s a deal maker or breaker in a relationship.
So how do you become present? Glad you asked! Here are two very powerful exercises that when practiced over and over again will pay big dividends in your life and relationships.
Before you can be present with your partner, I would like for you to experience being present to yourself and get comfortable with that.
Stand in front of the mirror in the morning and look into your own eyes for 1 minute. Stay calm, relax your breathing and connect to yourself. When done, journal what comes up for you. Do the same thing at the end of the day. Repeat this every day and you will become more and more connected to yourself and then to others.
Next, invite your partner to join you for a very powerful exercise. Sit down in front of each other, body soft and relaxed, breathing slow and deep. Keep eye contact that should be at the same level at all times (as it is not a stare down, the gaze and facial expressions should be soft and inviting). The whole purpose of the exercise is to just BE there for your partner. If tears happen to roll or either of your starts laughing, just let it play out. It is where emotional connection starts to take place. There is no touching, talking, comforting whilst you hold space for your partner. Start with 1 minute and then increase to 2, 3 and 5 minutes.
When done, share with each other what came up for you.
These powerful exercises create deeper connection, better communication and ultimately more clarity for your relationship. Enjoy!
Much love! Ak