Have you ever found yourself in a situation where something isn’t serving you, so you completely flip the other way?
I remember learning as a child that if someone wasn’t nice to you then you could just stop talking to them…that doesn’t really work now does it! And I’ve often found myself in situations where I don’t like what’s currently happening so I completely reverse what I’m doing – I’ve been slack at exercising so I start going to the gym every day, I’ve been drinking too much alcohol so I stop drinking and going out altogether, I’ve lost my shit over not getting enough sleep but don’t worry you’ll never hear me complain about it again (really??)!
To me it seems like we put ourselves through these extremes never really finding the middle ground. I call it the 0 to 100%, when I think we really should be aiming for 40-60%. At this point, we’re fluid and creating the space that we need especially when we’re in a relationship with someone. That being said, its equally as important to be in a great relationship with yourself, so being gentle on yourself and allowing the fluidity is important for your own growth.
Relationships are our biggest mirror and often its either hard to interpret what’s reflecting back at us or the mirror has been cracked over our heads!! The evolution of my ‘Soul Hour’ (my hour of yoga, meditation and other activities in the morning) took a good 12 months. Initially, I started in the evening, because frankly who wants to get out of a warm bed in the morning, but it interfered with family time and then got too late for me. So, I made the decision to give it a go in the mornings and I channelled Michelle Bridges ‘motivation doesn’t exist – who’s motivated to get out of bed on a cold, rainy morning – anyone??? Nope, but you do it anyway because you know it’s what you need.’
Initially, I was getting up Monday to Friday, Chris wasn’t keen on this as ‘us’ time was important, so we found what worked for us and trialled it. I shifted to having Wednesdays and Sundays off. I would also generally crawl back into bed for a cuddle just before Chris was getting up. This seemed to work for a while, but every couple of months somehow Chris felt we were disconnected, that I was putting too much into this ‘self-development’ stuff, that I needed to prioritise him more…and we’d end up in an argument.
I had evolved enough to know that self-development work was important to me, that it was making me a better person, and that in turn it would make us a better couple and family. I wasn’t giving it up and nor was he asking me even if it felt that way to me, and sometimes it felt like he was trying to control me and sabotage my journey. That’s pretty major right?
So how could I change my mindset and shift into a more productive space without Chris feeling like I was leaving him? I always knew that Chris loved me, that he wanted the best for me, that he was a very good man with a huge heart and that I loved him too. So, I decided to take him along on the journey – it couldn’t hurt right and if it didn’t work we could always shift in a new direction.
First things first, you can’t change any one and you can’t make them like what you like or hate what you hate. You must respect and love them for who they are, cherish your differences and learn from them, because that person is in your life to help you grow – it’s in your interest to look for the lessons.
Chris was a keen runner, but was unable to run, at the time, due to injury. I had started C25k and began reporting back to Chris on my activities and results – he shared my enthusiasm. I started to listen to podcasts and any time I listened to one I thought he’d like I sent it to him with no attachment or expectation. I started sharing my business ideas and I guess you’re getting the picture with increased communication came increased engagement – go figure! We found our happy place and we found our 40-60% (sometimes its more like 70-80% because I love this stuff but because he’s more engaged I can get away with it…sometimes!!)
We sometimes still slip back into our older patterns but now we become aware of it quicker and can shift out of them. I’m completely aware that this work consumes me, I think positively, and I’m working towards a future where there is more space and time for us…I’m going to book in Sunday Movie night because our old weekly Date Night is harder to achieve these days and we need some more us/common time where we’re not sitting beside each other with Chris watching Netflix and I’m working/training on the laptop.
Today Chris told me he’s going to start his own ‘Soul Hour’ – I’m so excited for him. Now don’t expect any FB lives with a downward dog or weird tapping but it will be his time spent exactly as he wants to spend it and I’ll be his biggest champion.