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 rhythm, self-love, and emotional honesty for you to ponder and practice this week.
Meditation 1: Rhythm
"I would like to no longer dance to anything but the rhythm of my soul." -- Isadora Duncan
Every living thing has its rhythm. To find a rhythm, we feel it first and think about it later. Today we feel rhythms from all over the globe, and it's improving more than our dancing. Sure, our unprecedented exposure to other cultures translates somatically into moving our bodies to different beats. But that new bodily learning really grows from greater valuing of others' ways of life. Where there's xenophobia -- fear of the stranger -- it's impossible to appreciate and incorporate new rhythms, which mark the beat of individual or group patterns. Perhaps worse, some of us remain scared of our own rhythm, which may express rhythmic trauma -- early disruptions of our natural movements that nonverbally communicate our continuously repressed tempo. But coursing through our souls, there is always a deeper rhythm, be it ancestral, astral or astrophysical.
In relationships, we memorize the rhythms of walking together, talking together, and talking as a couple to others. There's the rhythm of intersecting routines and reuniting after a long day. And one of the most profound aspects of sex and love is sharing another's rhythm -- at its basic level, the blended heartbeats harmonizing our life forces. Holding one another in our arms and our affections actually brings hearts into attunement, soothing and regulating nerves and emotions. Like yogis, we raise consciousness through our very vibrations.
In contrast, sensing we're "out of sync" with others may frighten us into thinking that we're permanently out of step with humanity. But if we hear all the rhythms that inform our lives, we can realize that life is a series of ups and downs, of upbeats and downbeats. When we affirm all the different drums that friends and strangers march to in our world, we find we're perfectly in time with the deeply fulfilling, divinely orchestrated rhythm of life.
Daily healthy sex acts
- Today, observe the rhythm of passersby on the street, at work, everywhere. Summon loving acceptance and let their tempos move you emotionally and corporeally. Try to assimilate new ideas by trying out the rhythms of those you encounter.
- Imagine the rhythm you share with your beloved during sex. What's the internal pace of the lovemaking you like -- is it a symphony, a ballad, or a house party? Take responsibility for the rhythm in your sex life by tapping into desired rhythms throughout your day. Know that the rhythms you express are the rhythms you receive.
Meditation 2: Self-Love
"The ultimate lesson all of us have to learn is unconditional love, which includes not only others but ourselves as well." -- Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
Our capacity for self-love filters our experience of the world. Self-love includes and integrates all our elements -- admirable or not. So self-love lets us view the world's elements -- admirable or not -- as a unified whole, too. Conversely, though, to lack self-love shatters our perceptions of ourselves and of the world, and provokes seemingly irresolvable ethical dilemmas.
It's perfectly okay and human to have defects of character. We all experience moments when we clearly realize our dysfunctionality. In the 12-step model this valuable realization is called powerlessness. The proper response to it is to cultivate self-love for these moments: If we can't stand ourselves, our powerlessness to love ourselves must be met with self-love. Paradoxically, we develop self-love by loving ourselves for not being able to love ourselves! If failure dispirits us, the remedy isn't success. It's developing self-love, because without it, any success will be short-lived. To comprehend and accept our brokenness and to show self-love anyway engenders more recovery than any affirmation or meditation. Moments of shame when we can show self-love, grow self-love. That's when we're acting like the light of consciousness that illuminates all it touches, regardless of merit.
Self-love is also the means by which we recognize ourselves in any person whom we would judge or blame. We know what it's like to feel unforgiven, unfed, misunderstood. When our rage and blame arise against others, the first thing we practice, even then, is self-love, so we may love others. Self-love sustains itself while it supports us and others, because the more self-love we practice, the more we love others, and the more we model healthy self-love, the more we are able truly to love ourselves.
Daily healthy sex acts
- While making love with an understanding partner, allow each other the time and space, through meditation or affirmation, to find your own levels of self-love that support your being present with each other.
- Today, try to resolve all conflict with self-love. Whenever you lose your center, your cool -- whether you get stressed, annoyed, enraged, disappointed, afraid, confused, ashamed, or overcome by any of the myriad character defects of human beings -- summon self-love.
Meditation 3: Emotional Honesty
"Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologize for the Truth." -- Benjamin Disraeli
Being emotionally honest can be tough because, first and foremost, it calls upon us to be true to ourselves and, secondly, it can upset those on the receiving end. Speaking our truth is actually a two-part process that asks us to garner our strength for making an honest statement and for tolerating the other's -- sometimes unfavorable -- response. But being emotionally honest frees us from emotional distress and bodily stress, making it an act of self-care and giving us a sense of liberation and pride. Claiming these feelings is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves, yet most of us were programmed to keep our feelings and opinions to ourselves, so doing the opposite feels scary. We've been warned not to "hurt other people's feelings" or were taught to circle around the truth and even to manipulate others to get our needs met.
One of the perils of emotional honesty is the risk that we'll have to soothe ourselves if another gets wounded, hurt, angry, or rejecting. Confrontation is understandably anxiety-producing, but its dangers are inherent in human relations, which can be messy. Truth-telling comes with a price that sometimes we, and those around us, don't like. There's no easy street in life, just emotional obstacle courses designed to make us and our principles stronger. Consider that telling people you're angry at them or that you love them are both confrontations requiring you to screw up your courage and brace for their response -- understanding, anger, adoration, shame, or a myriad of other emotions that you can't control.
Intentionally taking your own shape, not the shape you shifted in and out of as a child to accommodate adults, is your goal. Not everyone will like that shape, but at least, they'll respect you. More important, you'll respect yourself.
Daily healthy sex acts
- Think about a situation in the past when you took the easy way out by not speaking your truth. Afterwards, did you feel short-changed or that you had failed yourself?
- Today, look for small opportunities to speak your truth and do so. Notice the reactions from the people around you. How do they tolerate it? How do you tolerate their reactions? Notice how you feel in response to their reactions.
For more by Alexandra Katehakis, M.F.T., click here.
For more on conscious relationships, click here.