The most basic connection response is "Keeping Company:" the art of being a tenderhearted witness who listens attentively and compassionately to your own or someone else's feelings without saying how to feel or what to do. Keeping company with someone means being fully heart-present to them in ways that encourage them to explore, resolve and learn from their inner reactions. (Eugene Gendlin, the originator of an extremely important discernment development tool called Focusing, coined the term "keeping company.")
~David Gruder, Ph.D, The New I.Q.
Love and Attachment From Cradle to Beyond the Grave
It is amazing to me how a sense of secure attachment can extend beyond the grave. I was lucky enough to have a mother who loved me when she was alive so much so that I feel it even in her absence. My goal for clients, and hope as a therapist, is to promote this type of feeling and attachment.
My reflection, "Listening to our handyman speak Portuguese to one of his workers or maybe Spanish with a Portuguese accent, sounds like music to my ears. It must be reminding me of the sounds and rhythmes of my mother's voice and of her lullabies when I was a baby. Portuguese was her first language and she had only been here a few years before I was born. It is strange the sense of peace I feel listening from a distance. I think, 'Don't stop talking.' I feel so soothed and calmed."
I think I must have had some kind of a pre-verbal memory as I was not close enough to hear the distinction of the words but only the muffled sing song melody of the voice. I guess like an infant might hear. I was then flooded with a very calm and peaceful feeling and a deep sense of knowing that I was loved not only by her but by God. It was very profound and spiritual, an experience I wish all could have.
My mother's birthday is the 23rd. She always seems to send me a message from beyond that she still cares for me and loves me, usually around or on her birthday. I feel blessed and so wanted to share.
Can love last forever through the ups and downs of life? Couples therapist Dr. Sue Johnson explains what it really takes to make a relationship work. This is really good.
Kindness Leads to Better Marriage
The Atlantic publishes good article summarizing John Gottman's research suggesting that kindness is a as key factor in successful relationships. Check it out!
Poem by one of my Yoga Teachers Kiara McBain. It is profound.
Tonight I realized
life is clean and simple
a mere blank canvas on which to create
it's people that make life complicated
the mess of another
makes a mess of our own life
I wanted to swear to stay away
from broken hearts
and broken people
but the hard truth is
very few sort out their demons
very few know themselves enough to live honestly
and very few look at life as an opportunity to learn
so it is our job to love
the messy landscape of humanity
as if adoring a sunset
with all its bleeding lines
lack of definition
and gleaming imperfections
Emotionally Focused Therapy Research
"Landmark study shows that Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) can help couples understand their relationship better, reduce conflicts and create secure, loving bonds that can soothe brains."
This is such a lovely story from StoryCorps that I think is a great example of a loving relationship. Wishing this for everybody. If we can create this at home, perhaps we can take it to the world.
EFT MRI Hand Holding Study
More research on Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples. Principle investigators Dr. Sue Johnson and Dr. Jim Coan happy to share that the first brain scan study of EFT is now available in an Open Access Journal. EFT theorists explicitly claim that EFT affects a couple's ability to soothe difficult emotions by strengthening their attachment bond. I see this often as I work with couples taking them through the steps of Emotionally Focused Therapy. We now have some good evidence. Awesome.
Someone sent to me this by email on Stress Management . . .
I would add ask a friend to help you carry the glass of water don't go it alone as Ecclesiastes says, "Two are better than one because they have good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up the other; but woe to one who is alone and falls and does not have another to help. Again, if two lie together, they keep warm; but how can one keep warm alone? And although one might prevail against another, two will withstand one. A threefold cord is not quickly broken."
Evelyn Schmechtig Cochran