Being Present

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A WEEK’S CHALLENGE TO BE MORE CONNECTED.

ANITA + MITCH: APPRECIATING QUALITY TIME

Anita: Quality time is one of the main ways that I feel loved and connect with people, so the more quality, undistracted one-on-one time with my husband the better! One of the things that we focused on this week was being more intentional with the time that we have, even though it can be limited with our work and other life commitments. When we were intentional with our time, our connection increased.
Mitch: Spending more intentional time with my wife was great. We chose to cut out a lot of distractions such as our phones and TV when we were home together, which helped to create more space for conversation and connection. It was often a bit hard because of our work schedules, but we tried to stay connected during the day, too, through little text messages telling each other things we love about them.
Anita: I loved being more intentional towards my husband this week, making every moment count. It’s also always interesting to reflect on your relationship and think about areas that need improving or areas where you’re victorious. It’s so important to keep pursuing each other in your marriage and not to become complacent!

KYM + OSWALD: A LESSON IN COMMUNICATION

Kym: Oswald has been much better this week at intentionally trying to communicate with me. It’s been great for us to keep it in the forefront of our minds. For me, staying away from my usual distractions was a bit tricky and made me aware of how many bad habits had snuck into our relationship. Also, so many areas of my life seek my attention, but this week I was reminded of how being present for my husband is one of my highest priorities.
Oswald: This week, our communication has changed for the positive. We’re still learning how to be more present with each other—it’s always a journey. It was particularly hard for my wife to turn off from work in a busy week of extra jobs, and I always like to stay connected to Africa through social media, so it’s tricky to remove any distractions. And with two little girls, it’s not always easy to stay present with your partner. But my wife is pretty good at communicating what she needs!

CHLOE + LUKE: FINDING JOY

Focusing on joy this week has definitely brought us closer in our relationship. Being so busy with work and our children, it is easy to forget each other and of course, our relationship is extremely important. Being more intentional this week was a really good reminder to enjoy each other’s company more often and to be more present when we are home. While being mindful of being present, we have learnt that we need to go back to basics more often and focus mainly on what is important to us: being ourselves, being with each other and creating and ensuring we are getting enough quality, family time with our children. I think it takes a while to break habits that distract us, but we will continue to try. This week, we have enjoyed being more aware of the things happening around us, as well as right in front of us.

KEIRA + SAM: LEARNING TO BE PRESENT

Keira: If you’re not being present, you miss all the best parts. So often you see couples not being present, going about their day-to-day, then five—10 years later wondering how and why they’ve become such different people and suddenly growing apart. Often, it’s because they aren’t grown together and making time to stop, reflect and embrace all the changes and moments that you’ll easily miss if you’re not being present. Being present means that you are always on the same page and are indeed doing life alongside each other. No-one is rushing ahead and no-one is being left behind, but hand-in-hand you’re enjoying the ride together. It’s all about growing together, but if you miss those beautiful moments of growth, both lovely and difficult, small and significant, you’ll only grow apart.
Sam: The biggest challenge I find with purposefully connecting is dealing with mental distractions such as recounting the day, thinking of projects and other things like that. Being more aware of Keira and taking my thoughts captive helped the time we spend together to be more personal, rather than responding with ‘just enough’. Whilst it’s a lot harder to be conscious of how you spend quality time, the outcome is totally worth it. Being able to listen and understand can be a challenge, but being present in situations which aren’t so up-front is even harder. Being present in a relationship means always having that person on your mind, being aware of what’s going on so that when problems do arise, you’re in a much better place to deal with them and refocus. Keira and I are definitely guilty of letting small issues blow up into bigger ones without realising, but if you’ve been conscious of them and actively thinking of how you can honour and love them, it’s so much easier to resolve, and to work together on the things you can improve on.

Credits

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Carly Tia