It's vital for mindful acts of emotional and spiritual intimacy to steadily develop as a daily practice for healthy sex. To that end, I've co-authored a book of daily meditations titled Mirror of Intimacy with a colleague at Center for Healthy Sex to help you reach your sexual and relational potential. (You can subscribe for free to receive the meditations by email 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 control, caressing, and harmony for you to ponder and practice this week.
Meditation 1: Control
"But love is never retained by force, nor by complaining, nor by finding fault, nor by any other disagreeable activity. It is either through the exercise of lovable qualities, or it is lost. Anxiety, and fear of the loss, but make the loss more certain. And in spite of all effort the loss may come." -- C.C. Zain
Whenever we hit on the great idea of influencing our partner's behavior or shaping how our relationship "should" go, we may want to pause and explore whether such thoughts are a sign of trouble. Trying to restrain another's actions and emotions is a recipe for disaster, born from a need to orchestrate outcomes that's itself born of insecurity. We've all heard and used the term "control freak" to describe persons obsessed with controlling themselves and others in order to command every situation. No one likes being around such a person, yet we demonstrate our own controlling traits when we react out of fear that we're not going to get what we want.
The opposite of control is surrender and sexual pleasure is, in large part, all about surrender. Women who can't orgasm and men who have performance problems are usually unable to give up control and to surrender. If at any time during the sexual act you're in your head agonizing about how your thighs look, your penis size, or whether you're "good enough," you're struggling with control issues. Dropping your internal story about not being good enough and instead surrendering to pleasure is the greatest gift you can give yourself and your partner. Get out of self-consciousness and open your heart. Then you can dispense with your ideas about the outcome of your sexual experience and yield to the undreamt-of possibilities of its happenings that are beyond your control. Stay open and give way to the chance that something amazing, healing, and beautiful can occur without your having to direct or control the result.
Daily healthy sex acts
- Do you try to control the outcomes or circumstances in your relationships or professional life? If so, why?
- When was the last time you tried to control your partner? How did it go? Do you need to make amends?
- Next time you make love, try surrendering fully to the experience by silencing the negative voices in your head and focusing on the sensations in your body.
Meditation 2: Caressing
"Caresses, expressions of one sort or another, are necessary to the life of the affections as leaves are to the life of a tree. If they are wholly restrained, love will die at the roots." -- Nathaniel Hawthorne
Think of a warm, summer breeze caressing your body, and the softness you're left with as it passes over you. This caress feels like the unrestrained affection we are called to bestow on one another when in love. Caresses aren't just simple hugs, but moments of lushness and calm that can be demonstrated in small gestures or tokens of fondness for another.
A caress received upon reuniting with your partner after a long day at work may be just the medicine you need to feel more deeply connected. Simply rubbing your partner's shoulders can lead to gentle kissing of the neck, ears and lips, becoming a communication all of its own. Other times you and your lover may encounter each other intensely by looking into each other's eyes, and feel each open to the other. This deliberate little act can move an exhausted body into a state of vitality, gratitude, and even joy.
Without affection in the form of touch, patting, and stroking, an infant can fail to thrive and may even die. This need persists in adulthood, since caresses remain an essential form of communication between one nervous system and another. When you are upset or need comfort, the quickest way to calm down is for someone who cares about you to touch you gently. If you were touch-deprived as a child, emotionally closing off may be your default mode. If so, start slowly by caressing your partner and asking for caresses. This delicate form of touch will teach you the importance of being responsible for what you want and need, and exactly how to communicate it.
Daily healthy sex acts
- Ask your lover for a gentle, stroking massage. What does that feel like? Do you relax or tense up? If you tense up, ask your lover to alter his/her touch until it feels right to you.
- Don't forget to breathe. We could even say that breathing is an internal caress, filling the vital organs with essential energy for life. Pay attention to your breath today and whether you're filling up your lungs deeply or breathing shallowly.
- Stroke your partner's face while looking into his or her eyes. What do you see? How does this make you feel?
Meditation 3: Harmony
"If there is light in the soul, There will be beauty in the person.
If there is beauty in the person, There will be harmony in the house.
If there is harmony in the house, There will be order in the nation.
If there is order in the nation, There will be peace in the world."
-- Chinese Proverb
When we think of harmony, we think of musical composition and the lyrical way musical notes combine simultaneously to produce chords and seriatim to create progressions. We also find kinetic harmony in the graceful choreography of dance, with its balance of lightness and strength, movement and stance, speed and deliberateness. The beauty that emerges from propagating something pleasing and whole delights our senses and lifts our spirits. When we are in harmony with nature, we know there's an agreement that has been met and a joining that has taken place, bringing not only health but peace. Moreover, when life is harmonious there is consistency, a quality human beings long for perhaps as much as love.
Just as music and dance are byproducts of individuals' expression, so, too, is the coupling between two people who form a partnership. Like a pas de deux or a barbershop quartet whose every member sings a specific part, it's essential to dance your own steps and sing your own song in the relationship. If one part dominates the other, the beauties of each get lost. In relationship, we strive to hold on to our individuality while dancing and singing with our partner.
Like music and dance, copulation is an intricate form of natural harmony. When the passionate meeting between two creates a third energy, the pattern of the entire universe is replicated. Controlling your partner or holding back your own essence halts the unfolding of the balanced, pitch-perfect harmony of your divine union. By being mindful of your part, you can set an intention to weave something beautiful, then enjoy with delight the music and dance you have made manifest.
Daily healthy sex acts
- Practice walking meditation today by staying present and noticing harmony in all aspects of life. What do you see? What surprises you?
- In moments of discord or upset in your relationship, make a concerted -- that is, a concert-like -- effort to harmonize. What adjustments do you need to make? What are your perceptions of your partner? Share those perceptions in a way that supports harmony.
- Next time you make love, add music to the experience and experiment with the rhythm and how it brings your body, mind, and soul into harmony with one another.
For more by Alexandra Katehakis, M.F.T., click here.
For more on conscious relationships, click here.