Here we are, at the final blog of the course. (Spoiler alert: I'll be covering a lot of ground in this one!)
First, let's talk about emotional health and mindfulness. I don't know about you, but emotional health is one of my biggest challenges. When I have negative thoughts, I tend to ride them down a whirlpool until I find some sort of catharsis. Sometimes that works, sure. But that process can get me stuck in a spiral for long time, and the longer I stay in that negative place the harder it is to get out again. Ever listen to sad music when you're already sad? Yeah, me too.
While I'm busy trying to get to my catharsis, the stress and negativity tends to bleed out into other areas of my life. It's so easy to fall into a pattern of reacting to the world around you. That's where mindfulness comes in. If you take the time for a few slow, deep breaths, you'll find your mind starts to relax as your body does.
For me, mindfulness is my single most important tool in taking care of my emotional health. Mindfulness is this really cool practice of stepping back and observing yourself in the moment – your thoughts, feelings, the sensations in your body, the world around you. Mindfulness centers you in yourself and your environment. It's like throwing yourself a life preserver.
Whenever you're feeling something strongly (joy, sadness, anger, excitement), try pausing in the moment and observing the feeling. Is the emotion showing up in your body? For example, I tend to feel excitement or joy as a humming in my hands and throat, like my fingers and vocal cords are frantic to get moving. Anger tends to live in my shoulders, and sadness is that sinking gut feeling. Nervousness is a
mix of muscle tremors in my shoulders and restlessness in my hands. So next time you're feeling a strong emotion, try saying "I'm feeling [emotion]. Let's explore this." Then notice any sensations in your body. Notice if you're more aware of your surroundings.
The magical thing about pausing to observe your emotions is that you set up distance between your emotional experience and your mind. Identifying your feelings and sensations helps take you out of any whirlpools before they begin, leaving you more open, empathetic, and present in the moment. As you observe, enjoy the peace of getting to know yourself without judgments. Try to make mindfulness a daily practice.
I like to use guided meditations, but try a bit of everything and see what works for you.
Take this mindfulness forward into your relationship. Cultivate that gentle, loving awareness of yourself and each other. Sensuality is a great way to practice this together. Sometimes when we're intimate with our partner, it's easier to focus on sensations. Try taking your time and exploring different sensations together. Talk about what works and what might need some tweaking. Being aware and open of your own body will help you better connect to each other.
Second, let's get into planning for the future. Once you're both more deeply in tune with yourselves, you'll probably have a lot of clarity on what adventures you want to have – with yourself, and with your partner. For me, it's easier to start my list of life adventures on my own and then talk with my partner. Some of my partners have worked the same way; once we both brainstorm a bit, then we'd come together and talk about what adventures we wanted to share together and which ones were more of an individual journey. And those adventures don't have to be long-term goals! Plan short-term too, especially as we live amid this pandemic. Plan a date night in with a movie neither of you have seen, cook something together, have a spa day with face masks in funky colors. Enjoy finding the fun in your everyday lives too; the joy will build on itself.
I'm a planner through and through, so I absolutely love thinking of the future and what I might want to do with mine. But I also discovered it was just as exciting to talk to my partner about his dreams and wishlists. I felt more connected than ever to be listening to his ideas for his future growth and how we could grow together. By looking forward together, we cemented our bond as partners.
My blogs paralleled all the Profound Partnerships App for couples modules; now we've reached the end of the course. Congratulations! You've both made an incredible investment in your relationship, in each other, and in yourselves. If you haven't yet started the app together, I encourage you go ahead and start the best interaction of understanding you'll ever experience together.
Think of this course like your toolkit. You've learned how to best communicate with each other, how to speak with kindness and compassion using your partner's value words. You've learned the 12 steps of intimacy, commitment, and trust. You've talked about every major life question and nurtured your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual intimacy. Now it's time to let everything you've learned continue to mature and bloom as you go forward into the future together. Come back to the material when it's on your mind, or even when it isn't. Remind yourselves of the gift you've given each other.
Love. Respect. Commitment.
I'm so excited to think of how much closer you've grown. I wish you both all the best on the beginning of this new chapter of your lives together.