In my attempt to create better relationships I decided to actively learn and equip myself with more knowledge about human relationships and it was then, I happened to stumble up the Rising women by Sheleana Aiyana https://risingwoman.com/ and the concept of Conscious Relationships. As I researched more about this concept of conscious relationships, I was more convinced of this way of approaching relationships.
According to Couple therapist Harville Hendrix, there are three stages in a relationship. One is the stage of Romance, the second is the stage of Power struggle third is the stage of Real love. Most relationship failure occurs at the stage of power struggle. This is exactly where a normal relationship is different from a conscious relationship.
A conscious relationship sees the phase of a power struggle as the path towards a deeper loving relationship. In an intimate relationship, you get to know what are your triggers are and what other person’s triggers are. These triggers stem from mostly childhood wounds that aren’t addressed. Especially from our early interaction with caregivers that resulted in wounds of unmet needs in us.
In a conscious relationship, triggers are the holy grail. When one person’s actions are triggering you, rather than pointing fingers at one another we are urged to view this as an opportunity to heal and evolve. It takes tremendous patience and presence of mind to identify the triggers and work with them rather than working against them. It is easy to give in to the swirl of thoughts that points to the person’s faults. It takes courage to work with these emotions and ask questions. The concept of a Conscious relationship doesn’t offer a pill to swallow so that all the problems have vanished yet we are more equipped to understand and empathize and support one another on a deeper level in this journey.
These are the 5 ideas I found significant to pave a good foundation for a conscious relationship.
- Understanding what you look for from a relationship – There is no judgment, we are all may be in different phases of evolution and expect different things from a relationship. For some, it may be security or maybe just for validation and meeting the sexual needs. Having a clear understanding of what you are looking for from a partnership is an important step in building a conscious relationship.
- The love you can give and receive – We may think that we are loving and kind but ultimately it is from the other person we truly get to know how much of what we express is truly meaningful to them. Asking the question of how can I be there for my partner? or How can I express my love in a way meaningful to them that can bring more clarity?
- Criticisms- It is not about what you say but how you say it.-In relationships it is common to use criticism to change another person. But in truth when we criticize a person they can’t hear us in a constructive way .This means nothing fruitful can come out criticisms.As research has shown that the lower part of the brain gets activated during an argument and it blocks any constructive conversation.Consider the below diagram of brain,when we are reasoning with a person the things we say only can reach up to brain stem.That is why it is important to ensure that the other person is in a receptive state.
- Commitment and Loyalty -These two form the core of a relationship. Commitment in challenging situations to stay and be present with our partners is what truly matters. When things are working well it is easy to show up and support. But how you act during the most challenging times shows the truth of where you stand in the relationship.
- Energy check-Where does the energy of the individuals in a relationship-focused more? Is it used constructively? This exercise can bring more clarity towards the expansion of the relationship. For the relationship, quality depends on how individual energies are directed towards the relationship. Making sure that energy is redirected towards creative pursuits rather than conflict is the key.
Some useful links on Conscious relationships:
1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAArYxHSNIw&t=2600s Creating Safe and Conscious Relationships with Harville Hendrix & Helen LaKelly Hunt
2.https://risingwoman.com/programs/ – Courses and Programmes to enable you to develop conscious relationships.