When are we ever not in a relationship? Think about it. People, spouses, friends, children, siblings, neighbors, teammates, colleagues, in-laws, staff members, our pets, and clients. And then there’s money, nature, homes, illness, cars, sports teams, musicians, classmates, servers in restaurants, the President. Everywhere we turn, whether for moments or a lifetime, we are in a relationship with something, someone.
For me, today: I am in a relationship with my spouse, my son, my pets. There will be relationships with my contractor, my client (a fundraising department of a non-profit organization), my financial adviser, my car, and my son’s doctor. I will greet neighbors when walking the dog. I will meet up with my son and his friends when they volunteer at a senior center later this afternoon. We are planning to eat dinner out tonight so there will be some restaurant personnel and money to be with. Over the course of the day, there will be many e-mails to respond to and phone calls to answer. And there will be dozens of other relationships to navigate. Relationships are everywhere.
What do you notice about who and what you are in a relationship with today? What do you notice about yourself when being in a relationship? Which relationship really satisfies you, and creates ease and happiness? Which relationship causes stress or anxiety or bores you? What do you find most challenging about being in a relationship? Since we can never not be in a relationship, what does it take to be more present to them, intentional about them, and skillful in them?
What are you aware of when you are doing something? What do you notice when what you are doing is inconsistent with why you are doing it or with what you are trying to achieve? How do you redirect yourself (or others) when you notice this lack of alignment? What dynamic exists when what you do and what you need are not aligned?