Tips For Mindful Relationships

1. We are rarely upset for the reasons we believe, in the heat of the moment. Take time to reflect, and you will likely realize the feelings are coming from inside you (in the form of fear, insecurity, anger, jealousy, possessiveness, guilt, shame, frustration, terror, etc)

2. Our partner (child, boss, friend, stranger) doesn’t cause our feelings. Our thoughts and past experiences do. Try not to blame others for your current feeling state. Take responsibility for your feelings – own them rather than project them onto others. Be curious where they originated – see if you can trace the feelings back in time, locate where you feel them in your body. Breathe and sit quietly with them observing how they change in intensity.

3. We needn’t always express our feelings in order to feel better. Especially when it comes to intense frustration or anger. Expressing them in the heat of the moment sort of gives free license to the ego part of us, and can strengthen this aspect of our pain.

4. When words and actions become disconnected, trust is erroded. Be impeccable with your word! Mean what you say and back it up with timely action.

5. “Mom points” are invaluable in any relationship. See if you can go out of your way to be considerate to your mom, your mother-in-law, or partner’s mom. It’s like building credit in a bank account.

6. Buying/giving gifts, no matter how heartfelt and lovely, does not restore love nor trust. Act with a clear intention to honor your loved one and demonstrate your love with affection, words of appreciation, acts of kindness, etc. You’ll earn their love and save money!

7. Words can hurt or heal. You can never take them back. You can apologize, however, but don’t let this become a habit.

8. Focus on listening with your heart (and to your heart) rather than planning what you’ll say next. Listen deeply to the person you are with and allow your connection to strengthen. Allow for the space of reflection and receiving in conversations.

9. Don’t assume that the sound of your voice, beating on the drum of someone’s ear is not a big deal – it’s highly intimate and fosters connection or disconnection. Choose your words with care. If in doubt, reflect until you are clear.

10. It’s OK to go to bed mad. Sometimes sleeping on things will soften the issue by morning and we may realize we were over-tired, out of sorts, or coming down with something.

11. It’s not fair to keep someone in conversation longer than they are willing or able. Be willing to take breaks, reflect, and rejoin later, when in a better mood. Do make an agreement when to reconnect on the issue, even if it’s days later.

12. When we’re in a low mood, we will likely use low-level words, thoughts and beliefs. Rather than try to solve an issue when upset, do something to restore peace, good feeling and relaxation. You’ll likely find a more creative, cooperative solution together once this is established.

13. Being stressed out does not justify disrespectful behavior.

14. Respect is a cornerstone for a relationship built on love and trust. Respect yourself and others.

15. Frequently ask yourself, “What would be the most honest, loving, and respectful response right now?” Note if it’s more important for you to be “right” or loving. Choose wisely.

16. Reflect on what kind of impression you’re willing to leave behind. Your every word, deed, and facial expression leaves an indelible mark upon your loved one’s heart, mind and soul. Tread lightly.

17. Look INSIDE for the truth. It’s always there, somewhere in your gut or heart. Trust it.

18. Be gentle – with yourself and others

19. Accept and honor your limits and respect your loved one’s limits. Ask, rather than demand. It usually gets better results.

20. Try to match the intensity of your response with what is most effective in the moment. If the person is listening to you, you needn’t yell to be heard.

21. Find the humor in your circumstances and stop taking everything sooooooo seriously!

22. Do your own healing work, rather than taking your pain out on others. Set your own soul in order; don’t demand your partner do it for you.

23. Realize you don’t have to see things the same way to get along. Try to appreciate and acknowledge your loved one’s perspective, even learn from it. Seek to understand and avoid the pitfall of insisting others see things your way.

24. Find as many ways as possible to share in laughter and joy – it’s more powerful than any other approach to restoring harmony.

25. Shared decision-making and authority is always better and longer lasting than issuing executive orders and expecting others to carry them out. Everyone is sovereign in their own life and being. Respect that in yourself and others. To accomplish this, one must understand and use the words “us,” “we,” “and,” & “let’s.”