I recently returned from a couples retreat sailing trip in the Dalmation Islands of Croatia. (I HIGHLY recommend it, come with me next time!) where I received one of the best gifts of the experience AFTER I returned home.
It all started with my intention and determination to just EXPERIENCE, with no judgement and no expectations. I wanted to just really absorb everything AS it happens and LET WHATEVER IS, BE. That does not mean I did not have a VERY carefully planned agenda laid out in terms of logistics. Quite the opposite, I had planned for a different place to stay every night (even on the sailboat we had a different anchorage or marina each night).
I had gone through the guidebooks and had a general idea of what I MIGHT want to see in each place, but was open to what arose in each new location. I had experimented by booking Airbnb rooms for the whole trip so there was some uncertainty about how that was going to work (it turned out beautifully- I would not have changed one thing!).
The result of being prepared to allow whatever was going to happen, happen created a NEW HABIT in me that I was not aware of until I returned and resumed my meditation practice. WOW. What happened during that 3 week break in my practice? Meditation had become a whole new and delightful experience!
Now you may be wondering how this all ties in with my relationship? Well the interesting thing is, I am now better able to allow my PARTNER to BE, as he is. I am much happier with MYSELF, so I can be much happier with him. It seems I have taken this attitude of ALLOWING and created a new habit of experiencing more Grace in my life.
I know part of our relationship is closer because we had TIME to connect more and we had shared FUN experiences (one of the points of relationship retreats). But this goes deeper and is more pervasive than that. Connection can be improved in a weekend or week together. This new habit of allowing took 3 weeks and fundamentally changed my ground of being.
I had not noticed it at first as I was busy with the post-trip catching up. It wasn’t until my butt hit the meditation cushion that I realized something had shifted deeply in me. Days later, after enjoying this new experience, I started to notice my attitude had also subtly shifted with Mike. I was appreciating HIM more just for who he is. I am allowing him to be as he is without having to make anything a problem. Just like on the trip, I plan and prepare, but without the expectations and demands that everything be the way I want. I can let what is, BE.
It has been 3 weeks now since returning and I am enjoying EVERYTHING in my life more. But here is the best part: Like Dorothy discovered so long ago, You don’t have to leave home to find this state of acceptance and ease!
Play with the idea that you don’t have to make a “problem” out of anything that arises. You can allow it to be, and respond to it in a calm and reassured way. You don’t always have to have things go your way, you can be open to pleasant surprises that are available when you can be flexible.
I hope you can find a space to practice this way of being long enough to have it take hold and make a noticeable difference in your life. You need never leave home for you have this capacity within you already.
Be Well and Happy,