It's vital for mindful acts of emotional and sexual 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.)
Many people dwell on defects in relationships; their brains seem wired to repeat unfortunate patterns. With this same dwelling attention focused on healthy solutions, we can rewire our psychological patterns in order to receive and share healthy sexual love in the present. Here are three meditations on the themes of moods, disclosure, and patience for you to ponder and practice this week.
Meditation 1: Moods
"The moods of love are like the wind,
And none knows whence or why they rise."
-- Coventry Patmore
Here's a common enough phrase: "I'm not in the mood." Whether it's a defense against social events or sexual intimacy, we all know how much mood plays a part in forward momentum. The "I'm not in the mood" excuse might be based in avoidance, which can involve resentment, trauma, or even confusion. So "I'm not in the mood" is truly a catchphrase for "I am dealing with some personal issues around this subject that I haven't brought to light yet."
There's a really great saying that it's not until we actually commit to taking action that the universe gives us the energy to be able to do it. So when we feel this lack of right mood, it's because in our hearts we're not fully committing to right action. I'm sure we've all seen this many times with kids -- they say they don't want to do something and you know very well it's something they would enjoy. If you can get them to the place where they start, they don't want to stop. So as adults if we are letting these so-called moods derail activities that are sensible, reasonable, and healthy for us, it's important to understand the underlying issues. We might acquire a mood vocabulary. We can learn ways to regulate our moods so they serve us, so our moods are not our masters.
Daily healthy sex acts
- What might you be doing today that you do not feel like doing? Is it exercise, cleaning, homework, reaching out, or something else?
- Get yourself to that place where you would start this activity. Notice your mood. Talk to the part of you that resists, that does not want to get with the program. Give yourself a hug, take yourself by the hand, and gently lead the way. Stay present with your mood and repeat these loving gestures as needed.
Meditation 2: Disclosure
"I have said to you to speak the truth is a painful thing. To be forced to tell lies is much worse." -- Oscar Wilde
Holding secrets or lies from your partner can be an enormous burden that will, ultimately, get in the way of your sexual intimacy. A guilty conscience is not sexy but making yourself vulnerable is.
Exposing your true self means facing your shortcomings and any accompanying shame you may feel about your actions. Speaking the truth about things that make you feel bad about yourself can feel scary or painful but is essential if you want to set a precedent for honesty in your relationship. Living a life of secrets and lies doesn't allow love and sexuality to flourish but, instead, suffocates it.
Take time today to think about what an act of courage it would be for you to disclose any secrets and lies you're holding that separate you from your partner. Are you ready to face yourself and stand up as an adult? Keep current with your partner by banishing secrets and lies from your relationship and experience what it's like to live in honesty every day.
Daily healthy sex acts
- Disclose one secret or lie you've been keeping from your partner today. Let honesty be your guide and don't expect reciprocity. Do it from your heart because you want to be known and want the other to know you.
- Drop your defenses.
- Stay present.
Meditation 3: Patience
"The word patience means the willingness to stay where we are and live the situation out to the full in the belief that something hidden there will manifest itself to us." -- Henri J.M. Nouwen
Avoidance is not the same as patience. If you're having patience with getting a growing tumor checked out, it's probably not great to idly wait for more to be revealed. When we talk about patience in the context of relational skills, we're talking about non-reactivity or emotional sobriety. Does impatience ever make anything better? To respond to a stressful situation with stress creates more stress. With a hostile dog, to respond in any way except with patience only serves to further agitate the animal. This is the secret reason why patience is such a virtue, also why it's so vital for love and sex, because patience actually soothes the nervous system. You take deeper breaths, the brain gets more oxygen, and there's a host of beneficial physiological effects.
Obsession-compulsion can be defined as obsession -- needing to do something all the time, and compulsion -- needing to do it right now. Anything we seek is usually worth waiting for, will still be there, and if it can't wait maybe it's not right for us or meant to be. The surest emotional recovery is not situational but developmental. To strengthen the inner quality of patience, rather than always wondering whether any specific situation is right for us, we develop our capacity in any situation to be in right relationship to life.
Daily healthy sex acts
- Practice pausing today. Count 1, 2, 3 before taking any action, whether stepping into the shower, exiting the front door, or starting the car ignition.
- Take a media fast today. Turn off all social media for the day. Leave your phone in your pocket and notice the world around you. What do you see? Wait a while... Now what do you really see?
For more by Alexandra Katehakis, M.F.T., click here.
For more on conscious relationships, click here.