It's vital for mindful acts of emotional and sexual intimacy to steadily develop as a daily practice for healthy sex. To that end, Center for Healthy Sex has created daily meditations to help you reach your sexual and relational potential. (You can subscribe for free here.)
Many people dwell on defects in relationships; their brains seem wired to repeat unfortunate patterns. With this same dwelling attention focused on healthy solutions, we can rewire our psychological patterns in order to receive and share healthy sexual love in the present. Here are three meditations on the themes of testing, fantasy, and self-esteem for you to ponder and practice this week.
Meditation 1: Testing
"Perhaps all the questions we ask of love, to measure, test, probe, and save it, have the additional effect of cutting it short." -- Milan Kundera
Trust is often tested instinctively in relationships. This is different than taking conscious measures to test a partner's trustworthiness, because the very act of testing trust is a contradiction. Testing reveals that you don't trust. Whenever you set up obstacles as a form of test for a partner, really what you're doing is setting up obstacles. For lovers to successfully get past your obstacles to pass the test, this just means that you've trained them to allow obstacles in the relationship.
We test ourselves when we test others -- do we operate from the greater good, or from a place of ego and preconception? They say you teach what you most have to learn, and it's also possible you test what you most have to comprehend. Any test we consciously set for others is going to be steeped with subjectivity. In scientific methodology, this is called "confirmation bias." Perhaps life delivers enough tests so that we don't have to add any trick questions. A healthy way to evaluate trust with a partner might be to observe how they respond to life's challenges. It can also be a great test to allow simplicity... to tolerate intimacy, security and safety with another person, and to build trust.
Daily healthy sex acts
- Your deepest innermost self always knows just what you need to do. Trust yourself to act accordingly.
Meditation 2: Fantasy
"The poet is in command of his fantasy, while it is exactly the mark of the neurotic that he is possessed by his fantasy." -- Lionel Trilling
Being possessed by sexual fantasies to the degree that you're avoidant of your partner or the possibility of a connection with another will create problems in your relationship over time. Healthy sex requires a solid level of presence where creativity and imagination can playfully emerge between two people. Being held hostage by recursive sexual fantasies or pornographic images in your head will not allow you to be unconstrained with your partner.
In contrast, when you're present with your partner, you can co-create your fantasies. And, when you're in command of your fantasies, you can play them out, talk about them afterward, learn from each other about what was arousing, what worked, what didn't, or what may have been problematic. Use your sex life consciously and as a way to grow and change yourself.
Daily healthy sex acts
- Learn about your psyche and inner patterns by challenging your fantasies and asking, "Are these old patterns or traumas I'm acting out?" or are they "arousing and congruent with who I am as an adult person today?"
- Share your insights with your partner in service of deepening your intimacy with yourself and with one another.
Meditation 3: Self-esteem
"Divine is Love and scorneth worldly pelf,
And can be bought with nothing but with self." -- Sir Walter Raleigh
Our culture is so transactional that sometimes the idea of esteem seems to be a means to an end. This end result is whether or not one is worthy, whether one will make it, whether people approve, and what one can amass -- currently this is still the dominant paradigm in our society. But esteem doesn't have to be a means to an end. It's a process in itself. Esteem is that little voice in our head that rates everything and values and judges; our narrator, our witness, it tells us what we're doing. Because this voice is so private, it seems like it's permissible. It seems like we can handle the voice. But it becomes the filter and informs our reality and the actions we take. It's such an intrinsic filter, it's hard to imagine life without it. We're soaking in it. It automatically seems like reality itself -- and in this, that's how powerful it is.
Endow yourself with healthy self-esteem. What is the tone in your life that radiates or makes you shine, where you feel whole or feel your heart? That feeling tone, when you receive it from others -- that's the tone we want to practice with ourselves. That's where we want to live with ourselves. It doesn't happen from the outside in. That's why it's called self esteem.
Daily healthy sex acts
- Write yourself a loving letter. Let yourself know all those traits you appreciate. Anything that hasn't been said about how great you are, let it be said now. Mail yourself the letter and imagine your surprise to read it!
- Do a positive play-by-play of your successful actions today whenever you have the opportunity. "You are a vision of health brushing your teeth. You make the best coffee, and I love the way you savor every drop. You are a dynamo!"
For more by Alexandra Katehakis, M.F.T., click here.
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