Note: This is the first of a two-part series.
Imagine a situation where you and your mate are sitting together and suddenly s/he says to you “Where have you gone? You’re not here.” You are not even aware that this has happened, but your partner is. Perhaps your partner said something that upset you, so you withdrew your energy from him/her without even being aware that you did it. Then the doorbell rings and it is someone you like very much—and suddenly you extend your energy to that person. You may have no idea that you are doing it, but your partner picks up on it and mentions to you later how open you were to your friend and how closed you were to him/her.
When you are aware of the differences between extending and withdrawing energy (or presence), you know when someone is in contact with you and when this contact is missing. By the time you master the soon-to-follow exercise, you will know what it feels like when an energy field is or is not present between you and your mate. So when your partner says “I love you,” you will know whether there is a heartful presence that goes with his/her statement, or whether the words simply do not match your mate’s withdrawn energy.
Many couples suffer from a lack of genuine heartful connection. If we do not create our primary energy connection in our intimate relationship, then it will go elsewhere. In families with children, the primary connection may go to one or more of the children. It may go to friends, work or your computer. Or it may go to your dog, cat, food, alcohol or television.
The idea is to have choice about how much connection you wish to have at any moment. There will be times when you crave more heartful presence, and other times when you want more space.
Try this exercise with your mate. Make sure that you won’t be interrupted, and that you’re away from noise and distractions. Decide which person will go first.
Learning to extend and withdraw your energy: Imagine that you are sending a cloud of warmth, light, color or a current of electricity to your partner—from your heart to your partner’s heart. Feel the warmth between you. As you feel the sense of connection to your partner, you’ll have a sense of intimacy and closeness. This is the feeling that comes with energetic or heartful connection.
After 30-60 seconds, pull back whatever energy you’ve been sending and feel the vacuum that is left. The feeling of warmth and connectedness is no longer there. The intimacy is gone, and things feel cooler.
Now reverse roles, so the person who was the receiver is now the sender, and do the exercise again. Do several rounds of this exercise until both of you clearly feel what it’s like to extend and withdraw your energy—and to have energy extended and withdrawn from you. After you do each round, talk with each other about your experience and the feelings it generates.
I will offer more energetic connection exercises in next week’s column.
Source: Partnering by Hal and Sidra Stone (New World Library)