The Art of Presence in Relationships | Omega

Using a memorable acronym, therapists Kate Feldman and Joel Feldman explain how their practice of P.R.E.S.E.N.C.E can help you have a more satisfying and successful relationship. 

The acronym P.R.E.S.E.N.C.E. grew out of the core body of work that we teach couples through our workshop curriculum as well as the couples’ work we do in our therapy offices and in our private intensive retreats. Its focus has to do with how each person in a partnership can grow to be the best person they can be. It’s a set of practices for the individual to become more present, more alive, and more fully themselves. This is what we believe creates the most passionate, fulfilling, and mature adult relationship. The practices are not easy. They are simple but they encompass of lifetime of attention and focus. Since we are steeped in the practice of yoga, meditation, and personal development, we believe this is the spiritual practice of being in relationship.

Present: I am able to be with myself. I can tune into my body, mind, emotions, and spirit. I am in contact with myself and with my partner—using breath, eye contact, and quiet.

Responsive: I allow you to impact me and I let you know how I feel by responding to you.

Engaged: I am involved with, and interested in you.

Self-Aware: I notice my feelings and thoughts. I do what it takes to know myself, my strengths as well as challenges. I am able to calm myself down when I hear something from you that upsets me or I don’t like. I can wait and hear you out before I react.

Empathic: I am able to sense what it is like in “your world;” I allow myself to express interest, curiosity, and care for what you are going through, even if different from my experience. I can make amends if I have hurt you.

Natural: I am relaxed in my own skin, able to be authentic without fear.

Connected: I am able to open my heart and  allow myself to care for, and be cared for by, others.

Energized: I experience myself as motivated, caring, and intentional with the important relationships in my life.

© 2015 Omega Institute for Holistic Studies

Discover More