How to make relationships last? This issue has engaged most of us all our lives. ‘Daaji’?KAMLESH D PATEL offers four core ‘Heartfulness’ practices that could help us
If you ask someone in their twenties what matters most to them in life, they will usually say,‘My relationship and career.’ Relationships and careers are the stabilisers in today’s world, bringing security, contentment and purpose in life. Yet, we don’t seem to be very good at the relationship part. Many of us are isolated, lonely, dissatisfied with our partners, and simply struggling to nurture and sustain healthy long-term relationships.?
Is this reflective of our disposable and mobile culture? Whether we are talking about containers, appliances or people, we now live in a world where we throw things away so easily. The environmental problems caused by plastic bottles and bags are a symptom. Similarly, when it comes to relationships, what do we do??
If there are problems, end it; if there is hardship, look for someone better. We are becoming a culture of quitters.
But the tide is turning: plastic bags and bottles are banned in many places, and we want sturdier appliances that last instead of cheap ones that fall apart and end up in landfills. Is our attitude towards relationships also changing? Are we valuing longevity and commitment over a throwaway mentality??
To sustain ‘long-term’, we need emotional intelligence and maturity in relationships, and that requires some basic inner practices. The four core practices of ‘Heartfulness’ are perfectly suited to that purpose.?
Our entire life is led by feelings and inspirations, and that is the role of the heart. When we capture the inspiration that comes from within, we can master our lives by listening to the heart. The whole exercise of fine-tuning the heart with the mind happens through meditation on the heart. That is why we call it Heartfulness.?
We face many challenges in today’s world, such as health issues, attention deficit, device addiction, isolation and loneliness, lack of communication and relationship skills, the inability to connect within, the inability to find real purpose in life, and other worries. Students struggle with concentration, clarity in direction, peer perception and pressure, expectations of parents, and relationships. Parents struggle with being good role models to their children; making time for them; the generation gap between them and their teens; in establishing discipline, and understanding their children.?
At the workplace, people struggle with long hours, stress, money issues, career and skill development. Often, they lack soft skills and emotional intelligence; are driven by expectations to achieve more and more, and stiff competition. Heartfulness gives us the basic life skills to solve all these problems by addressing the underlying problem.?
The four core Heartfulness practices are:Relaxation, Meditation, Mental Detox or Cleaning, and Connection With Your Centre. Each one complements the other and provides a different inner life skill. Practised regularly and with interest, Heartfulness practices allow us to master our emotional responses in daily life.We are then able to follow basic behavioural patterns of emotional and social intelligence, such as:?
1?Harmony:?Let harmony be a priority. Put harmony before being right. Does it really matter if your partner is wrong? Will you ruin the day’s peace by having an argument that could have been avoided by simply saying, ‘Okay honey.’ For this you need generosity of heart, which is an outcome of Heartfulness practice. Ask yourself: Why is it important for me to be right??
2 Listen and pause: Pause. Listen to the other person’s point of view. Ask yourself: What are they feeling and why? Pause often in a conversation and try to understand. Most importantly, what is being communicated beyond words? To be able to pause and listen, you need inner calm and a relaxed mind, which are outcomes of Heartfulness.?
3 When there’s tension, love harder:?When there’s tension, what can you do to make the relationship stronger instead of putting it under more stress? Tension is not always a bad thing. It is like a warning bell telling you that something needs to change. Rather than expecting others to change, try to see what you can do.What happens when you have had a bad day at work and you come home to a partner who has also had a tough day? Are you kind to one another? More often than not, you have an argument simply because both of you are tired and irritated. If children are also in the equation, it can be even more hectic. Dinner time can be the cause of indigestion. So, be kind. And remember, your attitudes and thoughts are even more important than the words you say. How not to react? You need mastery over your emotions and responses. Heartfulness provides that inner mastery.?
4?Speak sweetly:?Cultivate the way you speak so that your voice flows like nectar, in a soothing way, without harshness. People will enjoy listening to you when you speak sweetly. Heartfulness teaches us to master the art of communication. When the inner state is calm, speech will also be calm.?
5?Think of what you did:?Make it a practice to think through the ways you’ve messed up. At bedtime, take a minute to close your eyes and feel sorry for anything you have done to hurt others, even unknowingly. There is no need to feel guilty; just promise yourself you will not do it again. You will then sleep with a clearer, lighter conscience.?
Heartfulness removes the complexities and heaviness from our system every day. Just like a bath for the body, the heart and mind are purified of heaviness. We develop self-compassion and learn to let go of guilt, making it easier to learn from mistakes and change.?
All of us want healthy, happy, fulfilling relationships — we just need the skills to let them happen. Heartfulness gives us those emotional and social skills. We not only rise to the challenges of long-term relationships, but use those challenges to build more meaningful and satisfying relationships. Life is not about running away from problems, but facing them head-on with a cheerful and peaceful attitude, and growing together in the process.■
Follow Kamlesh Patel at speakingtree.in