Our relationships often get strained or fall apart when life goes sideways because we tend to put them on autopilot when things are good.
When your relationship has been on autopilot, it can be hard to stay on the same team when life suddenly throws you a curveball and you have to handle a lot of things quickly.
You have to shift into what I call, “flow practice,” which is fast-paced, rapid decision-making, handling lots of stuff at the same time, and facing adversity.
But it can be hard to maintain your connection and your teamwork with your partner during that time, especially if you haven’t been doing what I call, “slow practice,” all along when things were chill.
As we all know, things tend to fall apart without regular maintenance, just like a car.
The relationship, like your car, will tend to develop a funny knock when you go above a certain speed if you don’t maintain it on a regular basis with slow practice.
The key to keeping your relationship strong during good times AND bad is doing slow practice because the connection fostered by slow practice sets you up to move into flow practice more seamlessly.
To do effective slow practice in your relationship, incorporate these three elements:
One: Do Your Own Slow Practices for You
What are the things you need to do each day to be at your best?
Things like eating cleanly, sleeping well and enough, moving your body, clearing your mind and putting yourself in a state that feels good each day.
All those things are the slow practices that you do when things are fine.
Two: Do Slow Practice with Your Partner
This is having an intimacy plan. It’s easy to get overly logistical with each other, running your lives together, and forget to make time to drop into more emotional and physical intimacy. So make regular plans to spend intimate time together.
This is having a weekly or monthly check in, where you ask, “How am I doing? How did I love you this week? What could be improved? What do we have coming up that we need to put our attention on” A regular practice of checking in with each other.
Another slow practice could be asking each other questions on a regular basis that have nothing to do with the relationship. Being curious about your partner’s interiority. They’re a whole living, breathing, mysterious being that you get to share space with. How cool is that?
So by doing these things in the ordinary times, it’s much easier to shift into flow and high gear when you need to.
Three: Have a Game Plan for When You Need To Shift into Flow
Know who’s going to handle what, what each of your strengths are, which decisions you’re empowered to make on your own and which decisions need to happen together.
If you work that up during the slow time, you can hit flow so much faster.
And then when you’re in flow, enjoy it. Do your best to recognize when you’re working as a team. Acknowledge and appreciate that you are flowing well together. And when you stumble, clean it up.
Watch the full training HERE.
To get clarity on which aspects of your relationship are working well and which could use your attention (these are ripe for focused slow practice with your partner), take my 5-min. Relationship Alchemy Assessment, available HERE.