One Key Difference between Winning and Losing
In Love and Life...
Have you ever been with someone you love and you
felt alone because he or she seemed a million miles
Have you ever asked your partner to do
something, got a mumbled reply (or no reply)--you
thought there was agreement but nothing
Your partner told you he or she didn't remember
the conversation, didn't hear you or just
Or maybe you've caught yourself listening to
your loved one and your mind takes you to what
happened yesterday or last week--or even what might
happen tomorrow--and you have no clue what he or
she just said. (It happened to Susie
If you're really honest, it can even happen in
the most intimate moments in the middle of making
The simple truth is that most of us aren't
present with each other a lot of the time--and this
lack of presence can cause misunderstandings,
arguments and distance.
Even though we all do it and it's "normal" for
our attention to zoom in and out--lack of presence
can suck the life right out of your
So if we all have this "presence" problem to one
degree or the other, how can we pull ourselves back
into the present moment so we don't destroy our
And maybe more importantly, what does being
present mean anyway?
Right now, we all have great examples of
presence right under our noses.
Like millions of other people, we've been
mesmerized by the young athletes performing in the
Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
We've been thrilled by the agility, speed, and
talent of snowboarder Shawn White, skating pair Xue
Shen and Hongbo Zhao, speedskater Tae-Bum Mo,
downhill skiier Lindsay Vonn, speedskater Apollo
Ohno, men's skater Evan Lysacek--among so many
But what we've been most impressed by is the
amount of presence and concentration all of these
athletes have needed to win their events.
Time and time again, commentators have talked
about presence and concentration (or lack of) being
key factors in winning or losing.
So the question is this...
While most of us aren't Olympic athletes, how
can we borrow from what they do to earn the gold or
even compete for that matter at the Olympic
level--to make our relationships better?
We can start practicing presence right
now--right where we are.
The idea of "presence" is a little abstract, so
we'll give you some examples...
What takes you out of the present moment might
be something your partner says or does that sends
you off into what happened in the past or what
might happen in the future.
It might not even be something "negative."
The trigger that sweeps your attention away from
the present can be one word or even a facial
expression--and up pops a memory that takes you
The other person doesn't even have to do or say
anything--because we can zoom in and out of the
present moment all by ourselves.
The problem is that when this happens, you lose
your connection with each other.
Becoming present is becoming aware of your
physical environment in any particular moment.
One technique we use when we realize we've
"left" is to switch our minds from all the thoughts
about the past and the future that are swirling
around to what we can see, touch and hear.
Yesterday, when Susie realized that Otto had
answered her question but she hadn't actually heard
him because her mind was elsewhere-- she paused and
started noticing what was in the room they were
She noticed her desk, touched her computer and
how she was sitting in her chair.
Keep in mind, this "grounding" she was doing
happened in an instant.
Then she switched her attention to Otto--
apologized for zoning out on him and asked her
This time, when he spoke she really took in his
She looked into his eyes and kept connected to
Was this an important moment?
Not in the grand scheme of things...
But it was.
When someone is not present when we are
interacting with them, we don't feel honored or
We just don't feel important to that person.
That's why presence is so vital to keeping your
relationship alive and well.
What can you do if you feel like the other
person has "left"--either emotionally or
Making your partner wrong for leaving you
usually doesn't work and can backfire on you.
If you start complaining about his or he lack of
attention, your partner will usually retreat
further into daydreams.
What can bring him or her back?
A touch can bring someone back to the present
moment as well as you making eye contact.
Throwing some appreciation in there can also
help a mentally or emotionally absent partner come
back--but only if it's sincere.
Start today noticing when you "leave" and then
gently bring yourself back.
Just like the Olympic athletes, practice can be
the difference maker when it really counts.
And when it comes to your relationships, it
counts in every moment.
& Otto Collins
Other Relationship Issues,
and Otto Collins are spiritual and life partners
who are committed to helping others create
outstanding relationships of all kinds. They
regularly write, speak and conduct workshops and
seminars on love, relationships and personal and
spiritual growth to audiences all across the USA.
They are the creators of the "Relationship Toolkit"
which has helped people in over a dozen countries
improve their relationships. It includes a video
Partnerships plus two
and Relationship Success
Relationship Quotes Worth a Million
Dollars! You can also
read more articles like these and subscribe to
their weekly newsletter on love and relationships
by visiting their web site at www.collinspartners.com
new E-book Should You Stay or Should You Go?
has just been released and is now available
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