THE BLOG
04/26/2013 11:06 am ET Updated Jun 26, 2013

Weekly Meditations for Healthy Sex (April 26-May 2)

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 language, rain checks, and interdependence for you to ponder and practice this week.

Meditation 1: Language

"The Eskimos had 52 names for snow because it was important to them: there ought to be as many for love." -- Margaret Atwood

The simplest phrase in the world, "I love you," offers a myriad of distinctive meanings, from "I'm enjoying the sex" to "I intend to marry you." We conceive of love as a feeling, but once love is expressed through language it becomes an idea as well. Language itself creates a new form of love.

Certainly, both verbal and nonverbal communication are essential for sexual intimacy. However, feeling love and saying you feel love are separate processes. In a relationship, stating your love is one of many big moments setting the stage for the next stage. What does it mean to say the "L" word, to come to a place where you can both avow feelings of love? Just as a loving emotion may be mingled with confusion, fear, and shame, our thinking process can be similarly convoluted. Language is important as it represents the end result of our internal processes -- emotional and mental -- and what we're willing to bring into being. This is one reason it is said that whatever words we choose to use are only the tip of the iceberg.

Still, language reveals us. To demonstrate, if the simple statement, "I love you," were charted out as a mathematical equation, it might include so many operations evaluating interpersonal and cultural influences that it might take up several classroom blackboards! Even a sample shorthand formula might look like this:

Mentality {(Need for Romance + Security) > (Fear of Rejection)} − Memory {(Declaring love led to intimacy last time) ÷ (That relationship ended terribly)} × Anxiety (Will she/he reciprocate?) √ {(is this bad timing?) + Intuition (I'm getting a good vibe)} × (Courage + Nerve ± Recklessness) = "I love you."

This illustration shows that the language of love can be as complicated as language will permit.

Daily healthy sex acts

  • Does your language authentically convey your inner feelings and thoughts? Do you enjoy using language to communicate? What influences do you think shaped your love (or lack of love ) for language?
  • Get what you're really thinking down on paper in a daily journal. Write without hesitation; stop the moment you become self-conscious. As you find the truest words to express your private self, you will hone the core language skills needed to navigate your public life.
  • Tell someone "I love you" today, and reveal the true meaning of your feelings in the distinctive language of your love.

Meditation 2: Rain Checks

"I will give you the sun and the rain, and if they are not available, I will give you a sun check and a rain check. I will give you all this and more, until I get so exhausted and depleted that the only way I can recover my energy is by becoming infatuated with someone else."
-- Elizabeth Gilbert

Life happens. We all have good reasons for postponing quality time with a spouse, playing hooky from get-togethers with friends, or canceling dates with a prospective partner. A sickness, an impending deadline, a change of material or emotional circumstances are all common excuses. Certainly, allowing someone into your real, occasionally messy life as it unfolds can be an authentic way of connecting beyond the mask of perfection. If you're not in the mood, inviting others into where you're at can be transformative. But if rain checks are your habitual way of (not) relating to people, you might as well pass out a card that says, "I'm not present" along with your phone number.

For anyone in recovery from sex or love addiction, a rain check during a no-dating period might circumvent the commitment to sexual and emotional sobriety by simply disengaging. It can be a way of keeping sex or love addiction alive, the way Voldemort (He-who-must-not-be-named of the Harry Potter universe) put parts of his soul in other people to stay alive in case his main body was destroyed. If our fix has been to use other people to escape our own reality, then a rain check in recovery is a way of doing just that by distracting the brain with far off fantasies to avoid fully committing to a new course of action.

Sometimes the only way to become present is to start doing things that are contrary to what we've been doing. When situation after situation just "doesn't feel right," maybe it's time to shine the light on what you're contributing to what feels wrong. There's a saying that the universe doesn't give us energy until we take the next right action, which runs counter to the common misstep of waiting for the "right energy" in order to act.

Daily healthy sex acts

  • Can you fully commit to others, or do you like to have your escape route mapped out? Notice the urge to take any rain checks this week. What are you feeling in your body? What drives your lack of commitment?
  • Do it differently. If you cancelled any dates or social activities, take the initiative and make new plans today. Or if you like to have many lovers on hold, let this go for once, and find your way on the merit of your own presence without the false insurance of empty promises.

Meditation 3: Interdependence

"A marriage is like a long trip in a tiny rowboat; if one passenger starts to rock the boat, the other has to steady it; otherwise they will go to the bottom together." -- David Reuben

When two beings depend on each other, an interdependence occurs that's fully natural because, as in all of nature, no single being can thrive alone. In interdependence both parties are mutually reliant, while in dependence, one party leans entirely on the other. A period of dependence may be crucial for children, puppies, kittens and other young to survive, but interdependence is an equally crucial adult developmental task. It's essential not just for a couple but for larger entities as well: for a family or a business, for human society, and for our earth. By tending to your lover, family, neighbors, and the living earth, you're ultimately tending to your own "garden."

Homeostasis, the balancing "wisdom of the body," is key to all healthy interdependent systems, including relationships. It keeps the system's equilibrium, much as healthy bodies keep a proper temperature. Because attachment is so central in our development, we can describe a relationship as though it were a physical body, with vital organs and points of vulnerability. When one of these points is injured -- say the "trust organ" or "respect organ" -- the entire system might shut down.

Robust systems, relational or physical, correct themselves through both positive and negative feedback. Negative feedback tends to balance systems and positive feedback tends to grow them stronger. When something is wrong in a relational system, negative signals usually grab our attention and call us to reparative action. In a relationship, that's the time to own your part in a problem by admitting your challenges to your partner. But don't forget that it's equally important to build on what's going well, to take time to celebrate moments of joy! For interdependence works only with each member's full participation in the health of the system.

Daily healthy sex acts

  • Take the emotional temperature of your relationship or family today. Are you living in a distressed or sick system? If so, what one action can you take to correct its course?
  • When things are going well in your relationship, do you amplify the positive states? How do you do that?
  • Are you living in an interdependent system or are you overly dependent? Do you carry your own emotional, psychological, financial, and self-care weight? If you're vulnerable in one of these areas, talk to your partner about it and ask for help in order to keep the ecosystem of your relationship healthy.

For more by Alexandra Katehakis, M.F.T., click here.

For more on conscious relationships, click here.