Ah no, we didn’t do THAT…
But what we did was we managed to turn what would definitely have become one of those big reoccurring fights into connection instead! We turned it around! I’m speechless…
A while ago I started working with beautiful Rachel Rickards from Embodied Intimacy – one of my best decisions and investments ever! She introduced me to a practice called Belly2Belly which my husband and I have only just tried out a few times. This exercise helps the participants “to slowly move from the doing and achieving mode into being, caring and connecting mode”. (You can read more about it here).
The first thing that happened was that I was actually present enough to recognize that I was having uncomfortable feelings come up. Yep, I actually recognize some feelings nowadays compared to a few years ago when I thought the best thing was to do everything I could to avoid them. I still fall back into that pattern of course, more often than I am even aware of. But this time, instead of dumping these thoughts and feelings on my husband before having processed them myself I tried to write them down.
And so it took a lot for me to hold back that angry lion inside of me that wanted to rip him apart. This was of course completely out of proportion. I think it might have to do with all those years repressing feelings and then turning thirty realizing that I don’t have the slightest clue about how to handle them. So all that shit that I have repressed come back to haunt me in the present. (Really I see it as old hurts come back to be heard this time, to get the compassion they never got) Children and partners seem to be excellent triggers for this!
What I did was that I wrote down a stream of thoughts coming to me, no holding back (so the same words I usually say out loud when we end up in one of those big fights). Then I applied the process of Non Violent Communication – getting clear about my feelings, needs and requests – and a lot of self-compassion using something called The Inner Loving Presence Process by beautiful Marion Rose.
When I manage to give myself authentic self-compassion it almost instantly opens up my capacity to also give compassion to others, even my husband 😉 But I decided not to say a word to him without doing the Belly2Belly exercise first.
So I asked my husband if he would be willing to do this exercise with me. And he was. Wow, that is so cool. I really honor him for being open and willing to try these things out with me.
Ok, so what we did was that we laid down and took a lot of deep breathes together with sounds on the exhale. And then we usually practice asking for what we want, receiving, setting boundaries and listening to ourselves and our bodies. But this time we went straight to the end of how we usually do the exercise where we share what we experienced. (We have only tried this exercise a few times. I’m not even sure we’re doing it right).
One brilliant thing (might be obvious to some but it has not always been for me) is that only one person speaks at a time. So the other one just listens. And so by taking turns talking and listening we managed to sort out what had basically been a communication problem.
We both felt heard and we understood each other! Yeah, for real! This is really amazing and I am so celebrating us! What could have been this big typical fight (in front of our children…) where no one really understand anything, where both of us basically just attacks the other or defends ourself, turned turned into connection instead.
We “simply” calmed down by switching on our parasympathetic nervous system and got way out of fight and flight mode using Belly2Belly and actually managed to talk without interrupting or blaming each other.