The basis of a healthy relationship or a secure attachment is attunement.
When you feel attuned with - like someone 'gets you'- you can relax and connection feels easy and reliable.
So what is attunement and how does it work?
My dear friend and mentor, Bonnie Badenoch, said it so beautifully - I will just quote her:
"Attunement begins with being Present to one another, moves naturally toward Contact, which leads to shared Reflection that supports a dance of Responsiveness, and blossoms into mutual Delight." - Bonnie Badenoch
Ahhh. This is the dance of attunement and these are the 5 aspects that flow together naturally: Presence, Contact, Reflection, Responsiveness, and Delight!
I'm going to be writing about each one of these aspects over the next few weeks.
Today I'm writing about Presence.
Everything relational starts with presence. Without it, none of the other aspects of connection have much chance to occur.
And there are many ways to talk about presence: being physically present... being emotionally present... and you may know the feeling when someone is right there with you... This is the kind of presence I'm talking about.
And it can be all too rare of an experience in our fast paced, distracted, stressed out world.
We can't control how others may be with us - but here is something I've often experienced:
When a person themselves is really 'there' - others often show up more strongly too - and a deeper, more real kind of connection happens naturally.
I have explored presence in depth as a performer and in my play with children and I have experienced this over and over. If I show up genuinely, as I am... the audience is with me... the child is drawn to me... we can begin the dance of attunement. There is such a strong drive toward this kind of connection in human beings - it's so fundamental to the way our brains work... and presence opens the door.
We can cultivate our own ability to be present.
Here's a practice you can try anywhere, anytime to cultivate your own natural presence. You could try it right now...
First pause. Stop moving around and just stand or sit where you are.
Then look around - see the colors and the shapes of things around you. Hear the sounds just as they are. Feel the air on your skin... Also look within - notice your body and your state of being - notice how you are internally - just as you are without intending to change anything or make yourself a certain way. Then look out again and go on with your day - interacting with others - doing what you do...
You could do this practice briefly or really take time with it. It's the kind of thing we often do naturally when we are on vacation in a beautiful or interesting place. We could do it often - just as part of daily life... bringing our attention and curiosity to this moment just as it is.
This practice is a simple and lovely way to show up for your life. To show up for others. To show up for yourself. And to see who comes to meet you in the dance of attunement...
I'd love to hear about your experience with this. Please email me with anything you'd like to share!
Next week... we'll explore contact...