April 19th, 2006

Om

DailyOM: The Dance of Intimacy

The Dance Of Intimacy
Coming Back To Center In A Relationship

Anyone in a long-term relationship knows that the dance of intimacy involves coming together and moving apart. Early in a relationship, intense periods of closeness are important in order to establish the ground of a new union. Just as a sapling needs a lot more attention than a full-grown tree, budding relationships demand time and attention if they are to fully take root. Once they become more established, the individuals in the union begin to turn their attention outward again, to the other parts of their lives that matter, such as work, family, and friendships. This is natural and healthy. Yet, if a long-term relationship is to last, turning towards one another recurrently, with the same curiosity, attention, and nurturance of earlier times, is essential.

In a busy and demanding world full of obligations and opportunities, we sometimes lose track of our primary relationships, thinking they will tend to themselves. We may have the best intentions when we think about how nice it would be to surprise our partner with a gift or establish a weekly date night. Yet somehow, life gets in the way. We may think that our love is strong enough to survive without attention. Yet even mature trees need water and care if they are to thrive.

One of the best ways to nourish a relationship is through communication. If you feel that a distance has grown between you and your partner, you may be able to bridge the gap by sharing how you feel. Do your best to avoid blame and regret. Focus instead on the positive, which is the fact that you want to grow closer together. Sometimes, just acknowledging that there is distance between you has the effect of bringing the relationship into balance. In other cases, more intense effort and attention may be required. You may want to set aside time to talk and come up with solutions together. Remember to have compassion for each other. You're in the same boat together and trying to maintain the right balance of space and togetherness to keep your relationship healthy and thriving. Express faith and confidence in each other, and enjoy the slow dance of intimacy that can resume between the two of you.

Daily OM
Om

DailyOM: A Brief Respite

Brief Respite
The Importance of Napping

In the modern world, we're often compelled to be as productive as possible during as many hours of the day as we can be. While this can lead to great feats of accomplishment, we may become exhausted and find ourselves craving rest and rejuvenation. We may feel like taking a nap but feel guilty about indulging in even ten minutes of rest. This need for personal downtime, which many people experience in the early afternoon, isn't a sign of laziness nor is it necessarily related to how much sleep you had the night before. There was even a time when taking a nap was considered a natural part of everyone's day.

Napping is a pleasurable yet brief period of sleep when our minds and bodies can take a break. Though judged by many to be a pastime for children or the elderly, napping can benefit people of all ages. The desire to nap is a trait shared by many mammals, and napping is still an important part of the day in some countries. Snoozing for a half-hour can be an enjoyable way to promote physical well-being, and naps have been known to improve your mood and memory. A 20-minute nap can sharpen your senses and revitalize you, while a ten minute nap can leave you feeling more cheerful. Falling into a light sleep during the daytime can feel meditative. The thoughts you have as you are taking a nap and the dreams you experience may offer you insights about your life that you may not have at night when you are in a deep sleep.

In order to fully enjoy the benefits of napping, you may need to give yourself permission to nap. Feeling guilty about snoozing or worrying about your to-do list won't do you much good when you are trying to take a nap because your thoughts or feelings will keep you awake. Try to nap at the same time each day, and use an alarm clock to ensure that you don't sleep for too long. If you go to an office, try crawl under your desk for a nap. Learning to nap and enjoy its restorative benefits can help you wake up restored, rejuvenated, and ready for the rest of your day.