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Stay Present With Yourself & Your Partner

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In a world moving so quickly with constant information bombarding us, it’s very easy to get lost and forget about the present moment.  Many couples come into my office complaining that their partner is not present with them, listening or in the moment.  With all these distractions, our brain begins to get caught up in the past or the future. It’s important that we take the time to practice staying in the present moment.

Life moves like a pendulum.  We will never be in the moment all the time as there is planning to be done as well as reflection on the past.  Yet, we can move the pendulum back and forth and consciously bring ourselves back when we realize we have veered off.

Start with yourself

Being present with ourselves is the bridge to being present with others.  We need to start within and work to pay attention to what it is we are feeling and what it is we are needing in each moment.  As adults, we still need a parent and the best parent is the one within.  Be kind and gentle with yourself, especially if you notice that you are off course and not present.  As Eckhart Tolle stated,

“The moment you recognize that you are not present, you are already present again.”  

As you continue to practice, you will find that you remember more often to move the pendulum.

Presence with your partner

When you are more present with yourself, you can begin to focus your inner presence more toward your partner and cherish each moment with him/her.  To be present means to be aware of the moment.  In order to do that, pay attention to each of your senses.  This is especially easier to do when you are with someone else.  Notice the smell of your partner and the smells going on in the room.  Pay close attention to how it feels when he/she touches you.  Savor each moment and really take it in.  Use your eyes to really drink in your partner and what you love about their looks.  Breathe and smile with him/her.

Honor yourself and your partner if you are not feeling well or are struggling with distractions.  It may be that you need space and time alone to take care of yourself.  No matter what, don’t judge yourself.  Allow yourself to be wherever you are.  When we push ourselves to be with someone at our own expense, it does no one any good.  As you are checking in and being present with yourself, identify what you need and share with your partner.  It’s much easier to be present with someone when you yourself are taken care of and feel nourished.   

  VERIFIED EXPERT
Dr. Lisa Templeton is a licensed clinical psychologist practicing in Denver/Boulder, Colorado. Lisa finished her Ph.D. in clinical psychology in 2003 with a focus on mindfulness cognitive-behavioral therapy, the underlying healing and interconnecting aspects of music, and therapeutic relationship issues including countertransference. She currently owns The Interpersonal Healing Clinic, teaching mindfulness and educating the community about various therapeutic issues, while also incorporating music and creative arts into her practice and own life. Her book, Letting It Be: Mindful lessons in acceptance, is in the process of publication.

More by Lisa Templeton

Acceptance of Self, Acceptance of Your Partner