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 inhibition, sexual safety, and imagination for you to ponder and practice this week.
Meditation 1: Inhibition
"A person does not have to be behind bars to be a prisoner. People can be prisoners of their own concepts and ideas. They can be slaves to their own selves." -- Maharaji
Restraint can be an act of self-preservation and dignity, even an essential part of valor. Caution in the face of danger is prudent and wise; it takes courage to hold back an action, emotion, or thought that could inflame a situation. Such discipline can be especially challenging when personally offended and requires us to inhibit impulses that drive our bodies to retaliate to the offense. In those moments, keeping our cool allows for the possibility of holding and waiting, giving us time to assess the situation. The capacity to restrain impulses so we can think clearly and use good judgment demonstrates our ability to self-regulate. For example, knowing when to speak and when to listen is a necessary skill for maintaining a harmonious and intimate relationship.
However, when inhibition has become the de facto setting in a person's manner, stiffness and lack of spontaneity produces an unnatural self-repression. Life looks gray, dull, and rigid, without space for relaxation or play to burst forth in natural ways. When children are repeatedly shamed or criticized, they're unable to act freely in daily life. Always watching over their shoulders to see who's judging them, they sink deeper and deeper into self-consciousness, too paralyzed to try the simplest things. Breaking these old restraints is a necessary task for sexual joy and pleasure. Having the courage to stand up against self-censorship by recognizing these inward chains as leftover oppressors from the past calls forth a new strength that invites you to fight for your life. This battle is a lesson awaiting you so that you can sing, dance, and make love in the most uninhibited ways imaginable.
Daily healthy sex acts
- What chains from the past bind you from expressing your sexual desire? Do you know how they got there? Imagine yourself breaking free from those constraints. What do you look like? Who's there to witness your freeing yourself?
- Make a collage out of magazine photos that illustrates what freedom from inhibition looks like for you. Share it with a fair witness.
Meditation 2: Sexual Safety
"There is nothing safe about sex. There never will be." -- Norman Mailer
In the animal kingdom, birds, bees and beasts instinctively know how to reproduce and rear young. They even know to digest specific herbs, shells, bones, and barks to cure disease or rid themselves of parasites, without any veterinarian's prescription. But human beings must be initiated into sexual life and taught how to keep ourselves safe and healthy. As young people, we learn the mechanics of sexual intercourse mainly by description (often provoking considerable surprise!). And we must study safety. In fact, the evolving social complexity of our species distances us increasingly from our natural instincts. Ironically, our reliance on experienced others for survival rules creates a novel risk, since caregivers may teach the negative, fearful thinking or self-destructive tendencies they learned, and thus lay the groundwork for children's retraumatization as adults.
Such harm occurs so often that many people don't feel safe in safety. It isn't familiar. What's familiar is having the rug pulled out from under them. Their experience demonstrates why transparency, recovery, and accountability are so important. Only once we've learned how to be safe with ourselves -- once we're not unconsciously trying to kill ourselves -- can we be, and feel, safe with others. For example, some may see unprotected sex as symbolic of intimacy, freedom, and honesty. But in reality it can be a cold, disconnecting act to ignore personal safety and peace of mind. If someone sees sex as only something that happens between body parts, then, sure, anything less than bare skin can't satisfy. But when we learn to value our entire body and well-being, healthy sex includes caring for our safety and the safety of others. More explosively intimate than a part touching a part is a heart touching a heart. This sacred vulnerability necessitates the safety of sober love.
Daily healthy sex acts
- How safe is your sex? Can you distinguish healthy risks from flirting with disaster? On a piece of paper, draw two columns marked "SAFE" and "UNSAFE," and list your actual and potential sexual and romantic activities in the column that fits.
- Fire drill kits are healthy tools to use when triggered. These include phone numbers of your therapist, sponsor, or supportive friends, a plan of action when actions don't go as planned, places you can go for help, self-regulating exercises to restore emotional sobriety, and inspirational readings to remind you of your integrity. Assemble a fire drill kit today and keep it close.
Meditation 3: Imagination
"This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First to let go of life. Finally, to take a step without feet." -- Rumi
All desire requires imagination, the ability to form mental pictures. Lovers comfortably inviting each other into the world of their imagination is a wonderful sign of trust and intimacy. Imagination is also indispensable for developing consideration toward others through the ability to imagine the impact our actions may have on someone. So imagination creates consideration, which creates trust, which creates more imagination! One rule of improvisational theater is to answer "yes" to any creative impulse. This permission lets stories deepen and bloom. In relationships, similarly open-minded imagination allows for love to blossom. Rather than, "Yes, but -- ," it's "Yes, and how about this!" When we allow room for the imaginative impulses of our beloved, we may glimpse their mind's eye as sacred, just as our own consciousness comes from a higher place. We don't create the treasured and trustworthy people we know, or when and how they enter our lives, so why would we try and control the visions they have to inspire us?
We must learn to accept and cherish our own creative impulses. How often do we reject our nascent inventive offerings out of shame for their primitiveness? All creative impulses are psychological impulses. Imagination lets us receive all that comes to consciousness as raw material, as clay for our life sculpture. Everything has worth for the purpose of revealing and healing self. It takes as much imagination to conjure the fear that represses authentic expression as it does to summon the faith that supports self-acceptance. Active imagination is a therapeutic technique that encourages unconscious mental and emotional content to come to the surface in order to discover the true self. Sometimes unleashing imagination may lead us to forge meaningful connections with the world, and sometimes the mere act of validating creative impulses will give birth to hidden material underneath, revealing our true gold.
Daily healthy sex acts
- Trust your creative impulses. Let content emerge through spontaneous self-expression.
- How often does what you imagine match up to reality? Today, take note of the imaginative projections you place on the future and whether they hit the mark. Re-imagine yourself.
- Is life a loving or hostile place, do you imagine? Affirm that all's well. Even when life seems bad, imagine the good underneath. Imagine a loving world today.
For more by Alexandra Katehakis, M.F.T., click here.
For more on conscious relationships, click here.