It's vital for mindful acts of emotional and spiritual 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.)
Even momentarily concentrating on healthy solutions rewires psychological patterns to receive and share healthy sexual love in the present. Here are three meditations with the themes of boundaries, lifestyle choice, and closure for you to ponder and practice this week.
Meditation 1: Boundaries
"And this is one of the major questions of our lives: how we keep boundaries, what permission we have to cross boundaries, and how we do so." -- A. B. Yehoshua
Dysfunctional families use boundaries to punish, intimidate, and control, imposing rigid rules and regulations on their members, often crushing their souls. The people in those families usually end up emotionally cut off from their hearts, unyielding and angry at life. Chaotic families, on the other hand, exercise no boundaries, invading one another's emotional, physical, and psychic spaces, leaving no room for individuality or maturity. In both cases, interest in each individual's wants, needs, and rights are violated either by being squashed and diminished or devalued and ignored. Members of these types of families don't develop a solid identity and rarely feel safe or cared for, leaving them with no sense of who they are.
Healthy boundaries are physical, emotional, and psychological constructs we create and maintain based on what we need in order to feel safe in the world. These flexible boundaries help us set limits so we can be in functional relationships that enrich, support, and inspire us. When we respect ourselves and set psychic and physical boundaries with others, we give ourselves a protected space that invites our unique abilities and characteristics to flourish and bloom into our full potential. This form of self-care in turn creates fertile ground to love another in safe and functional ways.
Daily healthy sex acts
- Think about each person in your life with whom you need to set boundaries. Is it a boss, family member or friend? What have you been avoiding saying; what is the best way and when is the best time to say it?
- Are you tolerating something in your relationship that you resent because you don't want to upset your partner? If so, act today by telling the truth with an open heart.
- Be willing to listen to your partner and be flexible when necessary. Good boundaries make good lovers.
Meditation 2: Lifestyle Choice
"Lifestyle long ago replaced life." -- Paul Greenberg
To affirm one's inner sexuality and identity through a "lifestyle choice" is one of the healthiest acts of individuality possible. For all the many personal styles, there are just as many lifestyle choices. Your sexuality develops as you define what you like and dislike and discover a safe place to practice what really feels good -- that isn't just socially acceptable or convenient on the one hand, or shocking and provocative on the other. What are the limits to what feels really good to people?
There are cases where certain lifestyle choices are a reactionary response to earlier issues that remain unexamined -- retraumatization packaged as sexual extravaganza on a theme. For example, for those whose arousal template includes sadomasochism, there are some for whom this is a replay of childhood trauma. Yet physical pain play might be a healthy and indispensable container for certain psychological feelings. There are those who work through their trauma, and find that this style of sex still works for them. For others, this lifestyle might lose its appeal when the driving emotions are released through a therapeutic process. The key with any problematic sex act -- meaning the activity causes shame or provokes deception -- is to unpack it to find the life inside. As long as sex is consensual and does no harm to oneself or others, there is no rational reason for anyone else to interfere. Diverse expressions of sexuality might not always be religiously or socially permissible -- but adherence to any personal religion or society is as equal a choice as any sexual lifestyle.
Daily healthy sex acts
- Is your current lifestyle a conscious choice? If not, how would you choose to express your sexuality if you had no barriers?
- There are online groups for lifestyle choices of all kinds. Search out people who share your interests today to add greater depth, meaning and support for the life you choose to lead.
Meditation 3: Closure
"Tis well to be merry and wise,
'Tis well to be honest and true;
'Tis well to be off with the old love,
Before you are on with the new."
-- Charles Robert Maturin
Do you grieve your losses, or do you immediately replace them? We've all had the experience of losing a cat or dog that meant the world to us, and before we've had time to grieve, some well-meaning friend suggests that it's time for a new puppy or kitten. If you don't have time for emotional closure regarding how that animal's companionship enriched your life, then the idea of a new pet can feel wrong, insensitive, and disrespectful to your process. Likewise, without proper closure to a relationship, whether three months or 30 years, we're likely ignoring our feelings of grief and loss.
Ending a relationship has many lessons to teach us about how we love, both good and bad. Recognizing where we compromise or withhold, the ways we're giving or controlling, how we can be driven by fantasy over reality, or the ways in which we're selfless or selfish all provide us with data for who we are. Don't sell yourself short by moving on with someone new if you haven't taken the time to do a proper emotional autopsy on your last relationship. After all, you were (or thought you were) in love with that person at one time. Once you feel complete with yourself about your prior relationship and feel like you've had proper closure with your partner, meaning you're not holding on to any anger or resentment, then, and only then, is it time to move on with the new.
Daily healthy sex acts
- If you've recently broken up with someone, allow yourself all the time you need to grieve before you move on. There's no prescribed time for this; you'll know it in your heart.
- If you ended a relationship and jumped into a new one, ask yourself if you're holding any anger or resentment about your previous partner. If so, you're likely dragging that energy into your current relationship. Take time to sort out those feelings and to do what you need to do in order to have closure.
For more by Alexandra Katehakis, M.F.T., click here.
For more on conscious relationships, click here.