Imagine your relationship is a garden, and you are the master gardener.
It rests in your hands, and your partner’s, to co-create the most beautiful, harmonious and sacred space for the two of you to share in your growth, expansion and magic.
Relationships need to be nourished with the same depth of intention and an investment of energy that it takes to foster the growth of the most luxuriously beautiful flowers. Learning how to till the soil – discover the conscious and subconscious patterns that are unfolding; pull the weeds – interrupt the destructive and corrosive patterns that strangle the flow of love in your connection; plant the seeds – become intentional about the thoughts and beliefs you engage regarding your partner and your relationship; nourish the garden – engage a gentle, nurturing maintenance of the connection and flow of energy between you and your partner; surrender to trust & let the garden grow!
But how?! So many of us are left without the role models and life lessons we’ve needed to learn how to be effective and successful in navigating relationships. Here are three foundational principles and related action steps that support trust, and can help any relationship achieve the alignment and expansion you and your partner(s) are hoping for!
- Make a list of the little and big things your partner does that makes you feel loved.
- Do include anything you think of, no matter how silly, raunchy, sweet or bizarre.
- Don’t include anything that revolves around the triggers and conflict you’re working through.
- Do always feel free to add to the list as more wonderful gifts come to mind.
- Don’t expect yourself or your partner to be perfect in offering the messages of love.
- Share the list with your partner, and talk together about how these little acts of love can have a profound and positive impact on your experience.
- Invite a daily practice of offering at least one of these little gifts to your beloved.
- Write out all of the gifts you see in your partner’s way of being. If you are in a space of difficulty or tension, identify any progress that you perceive your partner has made in meeting you halfway, and the benefits you’ve seen in your relationship as a result.
- This is an exercise of gratitude for you and affirmation for your partner.
- You can go back as far as you want into the history of the relationship.
- Share one growth point that you are grateful for before any conversation exploring or resolving uncomfortable relational dynamics.
- Whomever is bringing up the issue starts with the affirmation of their partner before bringing up a topic for exploration & resolution.
- Identify the top 1-3 catalysts for you experiencing overwhelm/distress/emotional flooding.
- Identify your 1-3 primary responses to overwhelm/distress/emotional flooding.
- Identify 1-3 ways your partner can be supportive of you in moments of overwhelm/distress/emotional flooding.
- Communicate with your partner what you’re aware of in your own experience, and invite them to share their awareness, as well. Together you can explore how best to empower yourselves and invite each other to meet in the middle.