What comes to your mind when you hear the word “mindful?” Be honest.
Usually it cultivates an image of hip yoga studios, weird words like “mantra,” cross-legged sitting and something referred to as a mala. To be mindful seems accessible to some, but not all; as though it is something to attain and achieve by those going to hip studios, sitting crossed-legged and whispering their mantras while holding their malas.
It’s a pretty off-putting image for many. I’ll confess, it was for me too. It’s what kept me out of yoga studios for a long time. I just didn’t feel part of the scene and the image. I definitely didn’t own enough cute leggings or accessories to match. So, believe me, I get that the idea of bringing mindfulness into your relationship could trigger some major eye rolls.
But stay with me if you can. I think we need to unpack what being “mindful” really is.
First of all, there isn’t anything special about mindfulness. Na-da, zilch, null, nothing! You don’t need beads or the cute leggings. Because being mindful is built in. It’s part of being human. Anyone can do it at any time. No yoga studio required. Being mindful is a catchy way of saying you’re aware and present. It’s paying attention in a really purposeful way. That’s all it is.
Because being mindful is built in. It’s part of being human.
Buzz kill? Maybe. But at least we’ve gotten rid of those stale distancing connotations of mindfulness. Now, we can dig into why it matters for your relationship.
While being present is a wired state of being, we aren’t great at it without practice. And today, we have more distractions than ever. We are challenged by messages that tell us to stay busy and to always be doing more. Bigger, better, faster appears to be what we’re constantly striving for. Our phones and devices keep us pulled away, unable to tolerate a moment of non-doing. So we keep mindlessly swiping and scrolling.
This has huge ramifications on our ability to connect and build intimacy with our partners. When we’re unaware, we’re disconnected. When we stay cerebral, we stay out of emotion, and emotions are what connect us to each other. Emotions build the juicy parts of relationships like empathy, understanding, compassion and of course, love.
When we bring mindfulness into our relationships, we connect in deeper, more meaningful ways. This often goes against the grain of our culture that’s rather obsessed with “doing” rather than “being” with each other. And the truth is, many couples don’t know how to connect in these more mindful ways. Many couple aren’t sure how to stop doing in order to start being.
When we bring mindfulness into our relationships, we connect in deeper, more meaningful ways.
This is exactly why I’ve created the Mindful Couples Workshop. We’ll spend a few hours together to cultivate mindful practices and experience new ways of connecting. Consider joining me and experience how mindfulness can strengthen your relationship.
When: February 16, 2 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Where: Mountain Soul Yoga (yes, hip studio but no yoga at this workshop. It’s a lovely space!
56 Edwards Village Blvd, Edwards, CO 81632
Cost: $200 per couple
Sign up + Learn more: https://www.vailrelationshipinstitute.com/mindful-couples
Jessica Heaney, LCSW, is a Certified Emotionally Focused Couples Therapist based in Vail, CO. She is the founder of the Vail Relationship Institute where she and her team of clinicians specialize in healing relationships through counseling, training and events. Jessica is a dog lover and mountain explorer. Learn more about her and her work at www.vailrelationshipinstitute.com.