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 narcissism, questioning, and alienation for you to ponder and practice this week.
Meditation 1: Narcissism
"Narcissus does not fall in love with his reflection because it is beautiful, but because it is his." -- W.H. Auden
Narcissism is simply the inability to recognize others for who they are, on their own terms. A narcissist is only capable of responding to those that reflect back the same psychological content expressed in the same style. There is an allergic reaction to "the Other," which is a fairly unrealistic stance in life and results in much reactive isolation.
People often mistake narcissism for vanity. Unlike the self-admiration of vainglory, true narcissists many times possess surprisingly low self-esteem. Healthy interest from and about others was rarely modeled in early life. There is a lack of healthy differentiation, which is the ability to maintain and express one's personal identity in relationship while simultaneously allowing others to freely express their own identities. This is true relationship; it is not a piecemeal, fragmented or compartmentalized relation such as the ability to only endure others in small doses or through imposed conditions. While vibrant relationships may and do have different values, this is not to say that receptivity requires anyone to wholly accept another or any value without appropriate discrimination.
As in the Greek myth about Narcissus, who fell in love with his reflection to the extent that he was unable to leave it behind and thus, he wasted away, a narcissist simply cannot see beyond their own image. This is a common challenge to varying degrees that especially surfaces in love and sex. It's ironic that with a narcissist the most physically intimate act can sometimes leave a lover feeling the most shut out and unseen.
Daily healthy sex acts
- What would it be like to experience one day without engaging in the pursuit of any personal agenda? To bask in the exquisite otherness of the universe as if exploring new terrain on a quest?
- Let go of familiar feelings and embrace the unknown world (that is hidden within all that exists beyond the wall of your perception).
Meditation 2: Questioning
"I beg you to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves." -- Rainer Maria Rilke
The healthy process of questioning, as with anything, requires moderation. There's the kind of questioning that can turn into self-devouring, where the questioning itself becomes a means of avoidance and dissociation. Questions can be a manipulation, as if asking enough questions might almost resemble caring. Questions can be used to distract from the real issues, from really being seen and experiencing real intimacy. There are also those questions that serve to confirm fears, doubts, justifications and assumptions. Such leading questions create their own reality.
How you respond to questioning can also bring up various defenses and deep-rooted patterns. This might mirror your schooling or upbringing: Were questions asked and answered in a healthy way? Or did you practice counterfeit ways of asking and answering, and would you imagine having learned the art of inauthentic communication, practiced it and honed it in adolescence, that you wouldn't bring this to every relationship?
The reason we ask and answer any question is to invite truth to come into consciousness -- truth that is beyond anyone's grasp at the moment. It is an act of faith, a way of surrendering one self to the fact that we're human, we don't have many answers, and we may receive them. True responses are more than intellectual information, they may be felt because they result in a shift in consciousness.
Daily healthy sex acts
- Today take a moment to consider the right wording for your unresolved questions. Observe whether your questioning stems from and leads to intimacy or not.
- If you are asked a question, rather than spout statistics or disconnected info, try to repeat the question and bring it within to find your own answer. Is it possible to let any answers emerge to the important unasked questions from yourself and others in your life?
Meditation 3: Alienation
"In our desire to impose form on the world and our lives we have lost the capacity to see the form that is already there; and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are." -- Colin Gunton
Stop and notice your surroundings today. Take time to recognize that you live on a living, breathing planet. Notice the warmth of the sunshine on your body as you walk to your car, the feel of the breeze on your neck or the cold, icy air on your face. This is a mindfulness practice that directs you into the present moment and out of your thoughts or captivation by the material world.
When you can have a sensual experience with nature and recognize that you and it are one, then you will begin to heighten your sensual and sexual pleasures with a partner. Don't let the natural world become foreign to you. Join with mother nature and recognize her power and beauty as your own.
Daily healthy sex acts
- Take time for a silent walk in nature, alone or with your beloved.
- Smell the flowers and notice the beauty surrounding you. If in a romantic relationship, hold hands with your beloved and gaze into one another's eyes.
- Recognize all surrounding beauty as your own. You are the connecting link to all that you perceive.
For more by Alexandra Katehakis, M.F.T., click here.
For more on conscious relationships, click here.