>”I don’t know what to talk about today…”

Whenever someone flops down on my couch and utters these words, I know it’s going to be a good one. Because it means that all the “stuff” is either quiet or manageable, and we’ll have more time to develop new understanding of yourself, and/or your partner, and to build new ‘muscle memory’ for how to be in the world, as yourself, or with each other. These are the good conversations, however painful they may be at first.

These are the conversations with ourselves and each other, that we miss out on when we’re consumed with the schedules and details of our lives. Think about how great you feel when you go on vacation; sure, you’re more relaxed, but something else happens… you get to experience yourself, as you truly are, more fully. You probably miss that person. That person is fun; you like them a LOT (we hope). Your life at home doesn’t allow that ‘fun’ person to come out very often, and definitely not to play… Are you still wondering why you only have sex on vacation? Would YOU want to have sex with you, not on vacation?

Do you think I’m talking about you?

Don’t worry, that’s because I’m describing most of us, especially these days – we work too hard, we are overcommitted with family and social stuff; we’re too tired to enjoy the good stuff – we have little left for ourselves.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

How about you make your next vacation a conscious vacation.

1. Notice the wonderful aspects of yourself, and your partner, that emerge during that time, and talk about it together. (Reminisce about how you used to actually talk, even when there wasn’t a pressing issue… if you don’t remember how to do that, give me a call…)

2. Consider the obstacles that usually make it difficult or nearly impossible to allow these positive aspects to survive the unpacking of suitcases. (Laundry, anyone?)

3. Now breathe.

4. Make a plan together about how you can realistically manage some of your life to give yourself (selves?) better opportunities to stretch, breathe, even spread your wings. Take baby steps; find bits of time to use consciously, for yourself.

5. Follow through, adjust as necessary – Know that you will probably run into a few snags – the system will naturally try to take its old shape – stand in your commitment to bring yourself back into your world, and into your relationship.

BTW, it doesn’t need to be a full-on vacation; as long as you plan a few days without commitments, and breaking from routine. I’d love to hear what you try, and how it goes.


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