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 distance, difficulty, and constancy for you to ponder and practice this week.
Meditation 1: Distance
"I admit, I have a tremendous sex drive. My boyfriend lives 40 miles away." -- Phyllis Diller
It's said that "distance makes the heart grow fonder." Distance measures how far apart objects are in time and space, like lovers who separate occasionally. The further away from each other you and your lover are, the more you may actually miss one another, stoking fantasies of reunion. Missing your lover can add a level of excitement to your eventual meeting because the absence of the other's body, soul, essence, and personality has stirred a deeper yearning. This intermission can offer perspective on the relationship so you can ponder what you want, who you've become in the partnership, and who you are when you're alone.
But distance can conveniently create aloofness--an emotional space for disconnection. Often, people with intimacy issues can tolerate only either long-term distance or short-term proximity in relationship. That is, they can maintain long-distance relationships for a great length of time, but can maintain relationships in proximity to one another only briefly. Intimacy demands tolerating geographical closeness and time as both are necessary components of a long-term relationship.
Using distancing strategies to heat up a relationship or to leverage power just creates drama -- a form of relational game-playing. The idea that distance is necessary to spice up a romance can seem to validate both partners' repeated leaving as a way to create novelty. But when two people invite their mutual sexual attraction in order to reveal themselves more deeply, heat and passion are kindled from a different source. The key to maintaining healthy distance is for both partners to maintain their individuality while under the same roof. Commit to developing yourself, and risk sharing who you are with your partner, even when it threatens the illusion of security in your relationship. Dare to be yourself in proximity to your lover. Don't run away; instead, stand still.
Daily healthy sex acts
- Make a list of the distancing strategies you use to create separation from others. Do you distance within your current relationship? If so, how do you do this?
- Do you distance yourself from certain types of people, such as from anyone to whom you feel attraction? If so, why? If not, what's the difference between the people you distance from and those you don't?
- Take a good look at the number of friends you have and the length of your longest friendships. Do you need to examine your capacity for intimacy?
Meditation 2: Difficulty
"We must embrace difficulty and change if we are to create a fulfilling life for ourselves. If a boat is not rocking, it's not going anywhere." -- Yehuda Berg
It can be difficult dealing with the world, which stymies us with constant, unpredictable obstacles. It can be difficult dealing with inner worlds, too. Our brains, bodies, thoughts, and feelings swirl in a constant flux of neurophysiological and psychological reaction and regulation. Of course, we've outgrown many challenges. If we went back in time with our current abilities intact, how simple it would be to ride that bike, bake that cake, or hit that home run! Yet these and similar activities weren't always easy.
Other difficulties remain challenging forever, such as battling an illness or balancing inner truth with outer circumstance. We must learn the crucial difference between facing difficulties in order to resolve them, and fomenting difficulties out of compulsion, such as seeking conflict in a relationship. Sex and love addicts seek out complications for a thrill. They know that life's normal satisfactions never last long enough, but the rush of unnecessary friction? There's nothing more effective to resurrect the ego and distract from reality.
So how do we face difficulty with grace? It helps with another. Knowing we share problems may not make them any easier, but it makes them bearable. Through sharing our difficulty, we learn to listen and receive -- which is what life and love is all about. Through the delicate act of intimacy, we can bear our most indelicate burdens. To heal yourself from perpetual feelings of hopelessness and persecution, let your difficulties be the guiding light to the inner growth you seek. They bring the opportunity to practice acceptance and loving-kindness, to affirm connection and courage, to summon endurance and true purpose. These precious virtues manifest only through effort. All that we know, express, and become springs from great difficulty. Through difficulty, we never stop evolving to greater levels of being.
Daily healthy sex acts
- Recall having to do difficult homework as a child. How did you get through it? We can call on the healthy coping skills we learned growing up. Now remember a personal triumph when you worked your way through a tough task. How can you apply this proven problem-solving process to your daily life?
- Recognize the growth made possible in you through difficulty. How have your hardest, most challenging times changed you for the better?
- Get out of self-pity, blame and resentment. Embrace any difficulties today with positive certainty they deliver the spiritual transformation you're seeking.
Meditation 3: Constancy
"Out upon it, I have lov'd
Three whole days together;
And am like to love three more,
If it prove fair weather" -- John Suckling
As much as we enjoy new experiences to delight our senses, secretly we all seek constancy -- to be constant in our affections, perceptions and intentions. Constancy is not monotony, an endlessly dull routine to be easily dismissed. Is there a more maddening ache than what comes when we abandon our own ambitions? Maybe it's as simple as a broken promise to exercise, or as complex as an alcoholic's broken resolve to refuse an offered drink, the sex addict's acting out despite deciding to stay put for the night, or the love addict's leaving 20 messages instead of the single one s/he intended. Our inconstancy to ourselves makes us our own worst enemy and creates tremendous inner conflict.
Think of the times you've been betrayed. Now imagine that pain inflicted on yourself by your own hand every time you betray your principles and best interests. A plant needs constant light and water to blossom; so do you need constant care to bloom. It's only through constancy that you learn to love and trust yourself and others.
It's said the only constant is change. But this truth need not be a fatalistic decree against stability -- we can work this adage to our advantage. Whenever we feel down, depressed, and doomed to failure, we can remember when we felt perfectly fine in similar circumstances. At the times we fume over our weight, age, looks, or worth, we would do well to remember that we had the same weight, age, looks, and worth days earlier but recognized them with a positive outlook. We go through -- and get through -- recurring behaviors and interactions. To cope with our own imperfect constancy in all these endless cycles, we may look beyond our sense of self-betrayal, invoke the faith to affirm our nobler nature, and recommit -- constantly -- to ever-greater constancy.
Daily healthy sex acts
- Consider whether your actions regularly contradict your aims. Can you stick to a plan, or do you repeatedly rescind your original intentions on a whim? How can you invite constancy into your experience?
- Notice whether those closest to you keep their word. When should you overlook the less-than-reliable promises of loved ones in order to acknowledge their greater virtues? And when would it be better to call them on their fickle behavior, or steer clear of them entirely?
For more by Alexandra Katehakis, M.F.T., click here.
For more on conscious relationships, click here.