A concept has been floating around the Inter-webs for a while now called flow. Basically, it’s losing yourself in whatever you’re doing – being so caught up and focused on the task at hand the world fades away. During these magical times a tremendous amount of work is accomplished.
So my question: Can flow be experienced in the marital relationship?
My belief: Yes.
There are times when you are so in tune with your partner the world is blocked out and the moment’s awareness is heightened.
These times can be referred to as marital bliss.
While finding the marital flow is difficult, since you must rely on another person to join in, it is possible and not just by chance. The goal of being in the flow is to be fully present in the moment. Lost in the experience, but aware of everything going on between you and your partner.
Being in the moment is beneficial at any time in marriage. It helps you be a better husband/wife, father/mother, lover, friend. You are there to fully listen and be with your partner. You bond.
While this connection takes practice and effort, the most difficult area to experience this is during sex.
Surprised? Let me explain.
During sex we are the closest we can be to another person, yet we may remain miles apart. Dreaming about another person. The workday. To-do lists. We may be totally disconnected from our lover, except physically.
I realize that being fully present during sex is similar to conquering Everest, but it is also the best place to experience heightened awareness, if you can handle it. Due to the magnitude of being in the flow during sex, let’s begin with ideas that can be practiced at anytime of the day. We’ll conquer being in the flow during sex in part 2 later.
- Breathe deeply. Take some time and simply breathe. Focus on your own rhythm. Slow down. Relax. Meditate. Become aware of your thoughts, emotions, feelings at the moment. If they are negative, spend some time searching out their root, but not too much time. Only a few moments. This is not therapy. Correct what you are able. Address the unfinished aspects of the feelings or thoughts. In time you will be able to train yourself to quickly do this allowing you more room for the positive side of things. Both negative and positive are present in every situation. What you seek, you shall find.
- Treat yourself gently. We are often our own worst critic. As you explore your thoughts and emotions, don’t beat yourself up over things from the past. Also don’t obsess about things in the future. Simply bring them into your awareness and gently let them leave, thus bringing yourself back to the present.
- Treat your partner gently. Forgiveness is a key component in any marriage. We all do stupid things. If everything we did was held against us, we all would end up alone. If there are areas of unfinished business between you, address them. This will clear the way for greater connection.
- Exercise. A healthy mind and body allows for greater connection and awareness. Take care of yourself.
- Routines. Examine the routine you follow throughout the week. How has your marriage become routine? Initiate this discussion with your spouse in order to find ways to break the routine if it’s not working. Face it, we all get into routines. Use this fact to incorporate new aspects into your marriage routine.
- Failures, no worries. When you make a mistake, don’t fret. It’s part of the process. Forgive yourself and keep going. Things in life that are of real value take effort and practice. This helps make them all the more worthwhile.
Now on to Everest’s base camp. We’ll begin our ascent in part 2.