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How Being Creative Helps You Be More Present in Your Relationships

“When you love someone, the best thing you can offer is your presence. How can you love if you are not there?” Thich Nhat Hanh

HippiesAll relationships are more fruitful and more harmonious when you can feel the presence of the other as a palpable reality.

Most of you know and recognize this, and yet it is too easy to fall into repeated patterns of interacting, where your consciousness is elsewhere and you are on autopilot.

We have found that being creative and altering what or how we do things shakes up the patterns and brings us right into the present moment. This is because people pay attention to novelty, and paying attention is being in the present. It happens even when the change is a small one. Being fully present and available creates a heightened awareness of our connection and an even stronger appreciation of each other.

You will find that many potential misunderstandings or imagined injuries can be avoided, since when you are spending time really being with each other, you have less time alone in your mind to worry or fret about problems that may never occur.

We had a pattern for a long time of going out to breakfast every Tuesday, working on the blog idea for the week, coming home, writing and then merging our writings. Now we sit down and plan out the whole week and often change the day and time we work on the blog. We have some other projects we are working on together as well, so these weekly planning sessions are very exciting and full of new energy. This change in our pattern, although a seemingly small one, brought us fully into the present in a bigger way than one would imagine. It appears to have freshened up the whole experience.

We set aside time every evening where we shut out other input and spend the time with each other. Even within this time it is fun to change out what we do and how we interact. We sit and snuggle and talk about things, do the NY Times crossword puzzle, Phil reads aloud, we watch movies, series and documentaries. It is always fun, yet when we add something different it makes it all new, and in some way we are even more present with each other. There is an extra sparkle from the change, the playfulness and the added experiences together.

One of our friends is always throwing in new bits to share and exchange. Not only does she share inspiring things that have happened in her travels through life and her challenges, but she also reports on films, books and TV programs. She will cut out things from the newspaper or text articles of interest. She knows about new restaurants and interesting things going on around town and she is always searching for areas to share and exchange about. Our relationship with her stays vital and captivating as a result.

So many of our regular activities have changed through life with Covid that many of our patterns have changed as well. We know from discussions with friends and Zoom groups we participate in that this has happened to nearly everyone. These disruptions have unexpectedly freed us from much of our usual schedules and have opened up new possibilities for presence and the appreciation of our relationships. We have had to apply creativity to figure out how to be with each other for much of this unusual time.

Keep those relationships creative and juicy and give them your attention in the here and now. Shuffle the deck and deal yourself a new hand.

Photo credit: Richard Niles
Photo note: A 60th birthday party with a 60s theme.

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Books on shelfIn this week's blog, we wrote about how being creative helps you be more present in your relationships. We found some interesting articles describing the power of creativity and presence in your life and relationships.

How Present-Moment Awareness Can Make Life More Meaningful "Presence doesn’t simply change the quality of being. It can also transform the quality of what you do, leading to greater creative flow, enhanced relationships, and increased productivity at home and at work. Through developing the habit of presence, we can get in touch with the fundamental wonder of what it is to be alive, and even the most ordinary moments become extraordinary."

Is Being Creative the Key to Romantic Passion? "Is there a link between creativity and romantic passion? A new research article published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology suggests that there is. Written by Kathleen L. Carswell and Eli J. Finkel of Northwestern University and Madoka Kumashiro Goldsmiths of the University of London, the article presents the results of three research studies examining whether being creative helps bolster long-term romantic relationships."

Bringing More Creativity To Your Relationship "Have you ever thought about creativity in your relationship? Hearing that might have some of you thinking, “Uh-oh… I’m not artsy or crafty whatsoever! How is this going to apply to me?” Before you get worried, know that creativity is more than arts and crafts, decorating, music, designing, drawing, or writing. It’s also about imagination, thinking outside of the box, and reinventing something conventional."

Spreading peace one relationship at a time
Phil and Maude
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