What Driving With Your Cell Phone In The Backseat Can Teach You


Attunement is such a simple concept but one that we lose in our busy world. Attune today, here's how

Recently I made a decision to begin driving to work with my cell phone...in the back seat.

Here is what I noticed (and in a moment, what it can teach you about your relationship):

  • the middle-aged man walking down Colfax wearing blue suede shoes. Really!
  • a young couple loving gazing at one another while waiting for the light to change.
  • bright pink cherry blossoms covered in a gauzy-film of snow.
  • the ceruleon blue sky so characteristic of Colorado.
  • and, thankfully I noticed, the basketball careening towards my windshield having freed itself from the energetic hands of elementary students at the nearby Catholic school.

Prior to changing my commute-time habits, I would have been:

  • checking my email at stop lights (I know, I know, it is not safe but it was what I was doing).
  • changing my Pandora station.
  • answering phone calls.
  • texting my husband (when at a stop light but truth be told...I'd done it while driving as well).
  • generally feeling tempted to be productive​.

It occurs to me that this is not unlike how most people are in marriages and relationships as well...sloppy...distracted...busy doing other things.

One thing that you can do to improve your marriage this moment...learn to keep your hand on the pulse of the relationship.

Here is what that looks like:

  • notice your partner, watch her/him as they move through the house and drink them in.
  • touch your partner throughout the day, on the small of the back, a kiss on the cheek, hold hands periodically.
  • make eye contact when you are speaking and really see your partner.
  • feel your partner...not with her hands but energetically feel them as they are near you.
  • match your breath with your partners breath even for a moment.

All of these practices are called attunement (as in tuning an instrument.) It is vitally important to stay attuned with your partner. Many people get out of attunement for so long that they don't even remember being attuned! Often we experience attunement in the first months of being "in love" -- when your beloved might finish your sentences or just always seems to get you.

Life becomes busy and we begin attuning to other aspects of our lives: our children, careers, friends...the laundry...

Being attuned with your partner means keeping your hand on the pulse of the relationship. How many friends do you have who have gone through a nasty break up or divorce and you have heard them say, "I had no idea my husband/wife was THAT unhappy!" That is lack of attunement.

Putting ones cell phone in the backseat of the care, invite attunement to the moment. Meditators call it presence or being in the moment. This invites new and rich experiences in the everyday and helps support feeling engaged in one's life.

If you are finding that you are not attuned to your partner, start now.

Begin paying attention, take accountability, and becoming gently curious about your relationship. If you think of your relationship like a garden, what is planted there? What do you water everyday (joy, kindness, respect, annoyance, resentment, etc)? What do you wish was planted but have not actually made time to plant? Get conscious about what you want and start noticing what you are doing to make it happen (or not happen).

If you are attuned but finding the music...well, rather unsavory. Then ask for help. Find a relationship therapist or couples coach and learn how to have the relationship that you desire today.