I’m Susan Regan, and today, I’m talking about “connecting.”
I’m speaking to those of you, who are working on being better in your daily life.
Just want the audios? Here you go:
BEING BETTER IN YOUR DAILY LIFE:
Connecting with yourself is the key to trying to connect with anyone else. I’d like to have you focus on the environment that you’re in right now… that’s one way of connecting.
Where I’m sitting now is very, very quiet, so I can’t hear a lot from outside the room that I’m in. But even if I’m here, and there’s noise going on outside around me, I can feel connected to my environment in that way. Notice how you do that throughout today. I think having a connection with your environment is one of the ways to start connecting with your own feelings.
You might notice throughout the day, that your feelings are being held in and you don’t have time to express or release them. Harboring repressed feelings is a good cue for you to be aware of. Sometimes, when we don’t feel our feelings throughout the day, and don’t connect with ourselves, we can actually explode or feel upset. If we keep checking in, connecting with ourselves, and connecting with our environment, we can release some of the feelings that are going on, so they’re not all held in.
The other thing is to connect with the people around you. How do you want to do that? I always think about connecting with people as a bid for an interest in them. How do you do that? It’s not complicated at all; it just starts with a remark, a smile, a question, a comment, or just an observation. Maybe with touch? We go from first connecting with ourselves, then connecting with our environment (noticing how if we’re not connecting regularly, feelings build-up) and finally, connecting with others. Simple cues of just connecting are so important to be completely aware in your environment and be present with yourself.
DECIDING TO DIVORCE:
In this section, Deciding to Divorce, I thought I’d give you a few tips about how to stay in connection when you’re deciding to divorce. I often hear people tell me they can’t think about anything because what’s running through their head — flashbacks of things that make them angry and upset about their relationship. It’s really hard for them to even hear what the other person is saying to them, let alone them being able to hear their own thoughts. So, when you’re in this situation, go back to the concept of connecting to yourself first.
We can do this in a simple breath, with the thought of even by saying words like, “ It’s OK” or feeling our feet on the floor. It starts with the self and then goes into connecting with your environment (e.g., I hear the noise around me or I feel the breeze on my face). Then, go into connecting with your thoughts. What are the other thoughts besides those flashback, upsetting feelings? And if the person that you’re in the struggle is around, can you still check-in with yourself to make sure you’re really listening to what they’re saying, instead of having preconceived notions about what’s going on?
It’s so important to be able to have new experiences by exploring and understanding where you at the present time. Just a few thoughts about connecting when you’re deciding to divorce! I’ll be sharing more of my thoughts with you in the future.
Folks tell me that there’s so much complication going on when they’re trying to parent and transition their kids, while living in a separate household — so much going on. Having to do a lot of what I call compartmentalization, which means keeping things straight and separate, and not thinking about things altogether or all at once, which can lead to overwhelm.
When we’re going into the thought of connecting (when you might be overstimulated at the moment that you’re transitioning and being with your kids, or having to deal and talk with your co-parent), take a minute to see what’s going on with you first.
Can you hear some of your own thoughts?
Can you feel some of your own feelings?
Are you in your environment?
Are you in your body?
Those are good check-off questions to ask yourself. Then check-in to see if there is anything else entering your head. Sometimes, when we’re interacting with our kids, we’re thinking about what we have to do next or what we just finished doing, instead of being right there with them.
Start with small ways of connecting, first of course, with yourself, but then with your kids, by bidding interest, such as: looking them in the eye when you see them, asking them some simple questions and just really listening to them and imagining you’re giving them all the space and time in the world even — if you’re rushing. Just that split moment in time of really focusing on your child makes a huge difference. For that split moment, they can feel the difference in the quality of the interaction and so can you. Then by connecting, making sure you connect with your child every day even for a few minutes by themselves. Five minutes makes a huge difference of just being in their world so co-parenting, connecting, there’s a lot going on, but try to break it down and stay connected with yourself.
STRENGTHENING YOUR COUPLE RELATIONSHIP:
Today I’m talking about strengthening your couple relationship and your connections.
Again, I’m going back to the guideline of connecting with yourself first: in your body and in your environment.
Then comes the complications of adding another person into that connection. Connecting can happen just by being interested, remembering something that your partner might have told you earlier in the day, checking in, asking a question, making an observing comment, a compliment, or an appreciation.
I love the concept of mirroring. Let me explain… When we get together with our partners at the end of the day, we can match our energies to theirs. That’s another way of connecting. It can be a silent, non-verbal connection, just by mirroring (doing what they’re doing, sitting quietly, or joining them in a task and just connecting with your energy).
Notice how you feel when you are around people. What feelings come up for you? (This is a good way to get information about other folks, but you need to look at yourself, first, of course.) Clear your own energy so you’re not confusing theirs with yours. Connecting and strengthening your couple relationship can happen every day. Notice the quality of interactions that you have, slowing down your mind, your pace and focus. I look forward to connecting with you again.
I look forward to supporting your emotional skills development, in my upcoming newsletters.
If you ever have a suggestion or topic you would like me to address, please don’t hesitate to email me.
I’ll look forward to talking to you again next month, but bye for now!!
Susan is a a licensed therapist in California and a nation-wide online coach.