Dec 25, 2016

Clearing: The Single Greatest Connection Exercise For Couples

Have you ever heard of clearing exercises?

They are the single greatest ways for couples to reconnect, work through arguments, and tap into a sense of clarity and ease in their relationship.

Throughout the course of a relationship, many unspoken things can accumulate and begin to turn into emotional and energetic clutter that starts to muddy the connection in the relationship. Clearing is a process that brings forth the heavy residue and clears it out in a simple, efficient, and durable way.

I have witnessed years of tension melt out of a couple in a matter of minutes via clearing exercises.

So much of the miscommunication that occurs in partnership is a result of people not truly hearing their partner. Especially during arguments, it is very common for people to not listen to their partner but merely wait for their turn to verbalize the rehearsed thoughts that they have tumbling around in their mind. In it’s essence, clearing is an exercise about slowing down and engaging in deep listening.

So, how can you get this magic into your arsenal? Let’s get into it.

How To Do A Clearing Exercise

young beautiful couple, being in love, clearing, clearing exercise

The structure is simple…

You and your partner sit opposite each other, while making eye contact, and you take turns finishing specific sentence stems, while the receiving partner simply listens.

The basic format of clearing is the following:

1. ‘Something I want you to know is…’

2. ‘Something I see in you that I see in myself is…’

3. ‘Something I like about you is…’

There are certain alterations you can make depending on the situation, but this is the core format for a reason.

The first section (‘Something I want you to know is…’) is a general clearing. You allow yourself to reveal your thoughts to your partner, no matter how scary they may seem in your head.

The second section (‘Something I see in you that I see in myself is…’) is about owning your projections. It’s one thing to reactively shout at your partner “You’re so stubborn!”… and a whole other thing entirely to calmly clear with them by saying, “Something that I see in you that I see in myself is stubbornness.” By owning the projection fully and seeing it as a thing that you and your partner both have a capacity for, it reduces a lot of the energetic charge around it (when done authentically).

The final section (‘Something I like about you is…’) is about connecting and reestablishing rapport. Don’t spend too much time in this section unless you and your partner are really in the middle of a nasty fight. Clearing isn’t about racing towards pleasantries or engaging in spiritual bypassing… it’s about saying what is true. Even if that truth sometimes hurts a little bit.

So how this would go structurally is that partner ‘A’ would have their turn to go through steps 1, 2, and 3 fully, while partner B received. I would also recommend that Partner B says thank you after each completed statement from partner A (‘thank you’ signifying having heard them, not necessarily agreeing with their statements).

So, putting it all together, it would look something like this.

Partner A: ‘Something I want you know is that I’m still hurting about the time that you flirted with that person in front of me, and there’s a part of me that feels unsafe with you.’

Partner B: ‘Thank you.’

Partner A: ‘Something I want you know is that my sex drive has been lower lately because of the work stress that I’m currently going through… and I frequently judge myself harshly and make myself wrong for it.’

Partner B: ‘Thank you.’

Continue on for 3-10 minutes, or until you feel complete. Then you move on to…

Partner A: ‘Something I see in you that I see in myself is a tendency to be dismissive of people based on their differences.’

Partner B: ‘Thank you.’

Partner A: ‘Something I see in you that I see in myself is a fierce streak of stubbornness.’

Partner B: ‘Thank you.’

Continue on for 3-10 minutes, or until you feel complete. Then you move on to…

Partner A: ‘Something I like about you is your willingness to do clearing exercises with me, and that you’re always willing to lean into the tough stuff in our relationship.’

Partner B: ‘Thank you.’

Partner A: ‘Something I like about you is how you wiggle yourself over to me in the mornings when you first wake up.’

Partner B: ‘Thank you.’

Continue on for 3-10 minutes, or until you feel complete. Then, both of you take 1-3 deep breaths each (ideally in sync with each other), and then partner B takes over and partner A listens.

A clearing process can take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour, and the emotional freedom that results from it can be astounding.

7 Different Sentence Stems For Different Clearing Scenarios

While the core structure is sound, there may be times where you want something a bit more targeted to what you’re going through.

The structure in terms of timing/listening/one-at-a-time-ness should always remain a constant… but the words are allowed to change based on the scenario. Here are some examples of other types of clearings you may want to engage in.

Clearing Stems When Diffusing Fights

‘Something I’m angry about you with is…’

‘Something I’m afraid to tell you is…’

‘Something I’m upset with you about is…’

Choose your favourite/the most appropriate stem, and use it as step #2 between the usual steps #1 and 3 in the basic formula.

Clearing Stems When Wanting To Boost Connection And Rapport

‘Something I’m excited about with you is…’

‘Something I admire in you is…’

‘Something I appreciate about you is…’

‘Something I’m looking forward to in our relationship is…’

Choose your favourite/the most appropriate stem, and use it as step #2 between the usual steps #1 and 3 in the basic formula.

How Often Should You Do Clearings With Your Partner?

While clearing sessions are potent and valuable… the point of an intimate relationship isn’t to be constantly processing each other. If you feel the benefits from your first clearing session and feel a yearning to do this on a daily basis, it’s generally better if you resist it. I find that clearing sessions have more value when you do them intermittently.

I would recommend doing them on a semi-regular basis (2-5 times per month) and also doing them on an as-needed basis (i.e. when an argument comes up and you want to slow down and really dig into the truth of what is happening between the two of you).

Remember…

Partner A:

1. ‘Something I want you to know is…’

2. ‘Something I see in you that I see in myself is…’

3. ‘Something I like about you is…’

Partner B:

1. ‘Something I want you to know is…’

2. ‘Something I see in you that I see in myself is…’

3. ‘Something I like about you is…’

Sit, make eye contact, listen, thank them, breathe deeply… and your relationship will benefit faster than you ever thought possible.

Common side effects include increased feelings of well-being and relationship harmony, and boosted libido and desire to maul your partner.

What now? Send this article to your partner. Put your first clearing session in your calendar. Sit down across from each other, and do it.

Dedicated to your success,

Jordan

Ps. If you enjoyed this article, you’ll likely also love reading:

6 Connection Exercises For Couples To Build Intimacy

50 Powerful Romantic Gestures That Will Make Your Partner Melt (e-book)

10 Questions To Ask To Go Deep In Your Relationship

12 Questions To Drastically Strengthen Your Relationship

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