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 drama, rage, and sexual stigma for you to ponder and practice this week.
Meditation 1: Drama
"It took me years to figure out that upset was upset, and tumultuousness was not the same thing as passion. Love isn't drama." -- Deb Caletti
Almost everyone loves exciting "human interest" displays, whether in art, fashion, music, or food. The dramatic flourish piques our thirst for novelty like nothing else. Unexpected events like meeting a new person, getting a new job, falling in love, travelling to an exotic land, or adopting a baby create heightened moments that make us feel life is worth living. And let's not forget the play of Mother Nature's dramatic glory in any sunset, the hummingbird in your backyard, or the vast blue sky.
When we're cut off from the magnificence of what sits before us every minute of every day, we tend to create drama through exaggerated, overemotional behavior. If you grew up in a chaotic household where people's needs had to be magnified to garner attention, you may have a propensity to do the same. Sensationalizing every move you make or every wrong incurred against you will get you the attention you may be craving. But it will never fill what's missing inside of you. Often those who are most melodramatic feel empty internally and need constant attention in order to feel valued and love. And if creating our own drama isn't enough, our tabloid culture is at the ready, giving us a ringside seat to celebrity lives. Like voyeurs, we gawk from out of our own inadequacy, imagining what it would be like to be other persons, to look like them, to be their friend, to have a stake in their life.
But these thoughts are delusional, because real life brings us (and even celebrities!) only fleeting excitement, not a steady string of amazing events keeping us in a forever-heightened state. Like the real drama of a great theatrical play, the ebb and flow of events makes life rich, textured, and varied, and leaves us with genuine curiosity for whatever's next.
Daily healthy sex acts
- Do you create unnecessary drama in your life? If so, what do you know about why you do that? What can you do to change?
- Do you create drama in your love relationship? Talk to your partner about what underlies this tendency and what you really need.
- Are you someone who dampens down your flare for the dramatic? If so, find a creative expression for the excited and emotional parts of yourself.
Meditation 2: Rage
"It looked as if a night of dark intent was coming, and not only a night, an age. Someone had better be prepared for rage." -- Robert Frost
The violent, uncontrollable anger known as rage signals danger. The very word telegraphs an unstoppable superhuman power destroying anything in its path -- a "raging" hurricane or epidemic. Like a force of nature, human beings can erupt in rage, sending everyone around them running for safety. The human brain is wired for war and, just as in any other mammal, attacks when enraged. Angered, we "see red" because the primitive part of the brain is so activated that it paralyzes its slower but more accurate operating system. When that thinking part of the brain is "hijacked" or impaired, our lower, more animalistic part takes over and we behave in beastly ways. So chronic rage is a mental dysfunction because one part of the brain cannot be regulated by the other.
Rage stems from a combination of anxiety, pain and shame. But expressing these emotions makes us feel vulnerable and we fear being seen as weak -- a terrifying proposition for anyone who grew up with a rageful parent. With years of feeling unsafe, and without any model for trusting others or talking about emotions, many abused children now living in adult bodies armor themselves against the world with a shield of anger. Activated by the smallest incident, their rage is out of control. Trying to console them in that state is hopeless and sometimes hazardous.
But this isn't the case with everyone. In other cases, rage -- when used appropriately -- can be the force that motivates us to greatness. Rather than "getting even" with destructive energy, a righteous indignation can power noble ambition and generous dreams. Throughout history, wise men like the Dalai Lama have met great injustices, and strong women like Indira Gandhi have moved mountains, when fury fueled right action.
Daily healthy sex acts
- If you suffer from explosive bouts of rage that terrify your loved ones, take action today and seek help.
- Notice the impulses that catapult you toward the feeling of rage. What activates you? Can you do something different to calm yourself down or take a time out?
- If possible, use any rageful impulses today to accomplish something productive.
Meditation 3: Sexual Stigma
"There is hardly anyone whose sexual life, if it were broadcast, would not fill the world at large with surprise and horror." -- William Somerset Maugham
A stigma is a mark of disgrace. Its Latin plural, stigmata, refers to Christ's crucifixion wounds, suggesting that there may be a spiritual value to being disgraced by society.
Two problems attend any psychobiological issue, particularly sexual dysfunction: the inherent problem, and the problem about the problem -- the stigma. What a tragic irony that the mere shame of having a problem can prevent its solution! Internalized stigmas about arousal issues, rapid ejaculation, sex addiction, jealousy, negative body image or other difficulties can compound the inherent problem by keeping the sufferer from relating them to a partner. Stigmas not only block our ability to enjoy sex, they block our ability to function freely in the world.
There are personal wounds and there are societal wounds. Sexuality and sexual activity have always been prime targets of stigmatization. Cultures the world over -- even ours -- intimidate and persecute vilified segments of the population. Great strides have been made healing social stigmas surrounding homosexuality, divorce, mixed-race couples and unwed mothers. But damage has been done. And not just to denigrated individuals, but to the society that has traumatized them. Social acceptance of a previously stigmatized class is not the same as reparation. It's said that in the repair stage, an abused child needs to hear any positive statement of encouragement ten times a day for it to sink in. Similarly, to counter the debilitation caused by social and internal stigmas, we need to show 10 times the love and empathy we think it will take -- just to begin.
Daily healthy sex acts
- Reflect on how sexual and social stigmas touch your personal life. What direct or indirect wounds do you bear as a result of such judgmentalism? Take one positive step to liberate your sexual and psychological health from undeserved stigma.
- How are you triggered by sexual stigmas? If specific sexual phrases, ideas or images ever paralyze you, investigate the root cause. Remember each previous experience of your sexual paralysis, until you locate the source of your stigmatized feelings.
- Envision a world without prejudice and repression, where the only message we've all ever received is to love and accept one another. Show ten times as much love and compassion to others today.
For more by Alexandra Katehakis, M.F.T., click here.
For more on conscious relationships, click here.