“The story of life is quicker than the blink of an eye, the story of love is hello, goodbye.” -Jimi Hendrix
Our Relationship Zen journey continues to open our eyes to areas where we can improve with the help of personal mindfulness. The area we’re focusing on here are the moments when we say “hello” to each other – we take these moments for granted by giving each other “Zombie Greetings”, but we must not.
You’ve probably witnessed couples perform “Zombie Greetings” before. This is when couples greet each other with no connection, no emotion, and certainly no presence. It can look like whatever they need to do next is more important than that specific moment with their partner.
Some of these people (us too, sometimes) even greet friends in more exciting and meaningful ways than they do partners. What’s up with that? Must be related to our unhealthy tendency to put our ego first.
Compare “Zombie Greetings” to when friends and family greet each other at airports. Those greetings are full of connection, emotion, and presence! In our opinion, everyone deserves an airport-style greeting every time – especially our partners! Now we’re not suggesting you bring flowers and the circus every time you’re going to see your partner, but we do suggest you make it meaningful and memorable by creating a genuine connection with them.
Why make greetings more meaningful and memorable?
- Because being present with your partner is one of the best ways to build appreciation for each other
- Because this simple and practical technique allows you to practice mindfulness, a foundation for Relationship Zen
- Because there is never a guarantee that there will be another moment so why not make every moment, no matter how small, a special one for you and your partner?
Executing meaningful and memorable greetings in 5 steps…
With the surprise attack greeting!
Next time you are about to meet up with your partner, try this simple 5 step process to perform a surprise attack greeting:
- You know you’re going to see them in a minute so prepare yourself by letting go of any judgments or attachments to anything negative about them, your day, or yourself. Let it go.
- Bring your attention to the now by focusing on your breath. Prepare to give your partner the utmost attention and presence that they deserve – give them the best YOU.
- Your partner is a couple meters away and they see you. Let the positive mental intention you built up permeate your physiology by releasing your beautiful smile and by adopting open body language. Be warm.
- They are about 4 feet away from you so open your arms as you release the best “Hi [insert name]” you can muster and embrace them with a [insert your choice or medley of hug and kiss]. Hold this pose for at least a full second and really feel the physical and emotional connection! Let it overwhelm you – be present.
- Finally, release and engage in a meaningful conversation by following tip #5 in Knock Knock, Who’s There?…YOU I hope!. Enjoy the moments.
How is that a surprise attack? Well, if you’re like us and most couples who’ve been together beyond 6 months, you probably perform “Zombie Greetings” without even knowing it. It’s kind of like being on autopilot; any change to your routine becomes a surprise. You can see this surprise attack for yourself in a grocery store at the cash register. After the cashier asks you how you are, do the unexpected and start a genuine conversation by replying: “I’m great, thanks for asking. How are you doing today?” with full attention and positive emotion. They are likely to be pleasantly surprised by this! NOTE: one time David tried this, but the person was in a bad mood and just looked at him funny… oh well! Positivity > negativity.
Challenge for you!
Next time you see you your partner, surprise them with the gift of being present and fully experiencing the “hello” moment. Let us know how it goes on our Facebook page.
“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery. Today? Today is a gift. That’s why we call it the present.” -Kung Fu Panda (and others)