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 free love, love addiction, and pillow talk for you to ponder and practice this week.
Meditation 1: Free Love
"High on a throne, with all the splendor and pomp his gold can command, man is yet poor and desolate, if love passes him by. And if it stays, the poorest hovel is radiant with warmth, with life and color. Thus love has the magic power to make of a beggar a king. Yes, love is free; it can dwell in no other atmosphere." -- Emma Goldman
The most recent "free love" movement, while echoing earlier ones, was energized by the 1960s social revolution and sought to separate the state from all matters related to marriage, sex, and birth control. Its salient point was that sex, sexuality, and love relationships should be entered into freely, without politics or the law governing our choices.
But when we talk about free love on an interpersonal level, we must examine the inner recesses of our intentions more closely. Consider that using love to enslave or to hold onto another is a sure indicator of low self-esteem. Trying to change someone so s/he fits your ideal, or coercing someone into staying with you -- especially when you're compromising your own integrity -- signals that you're not operating from a grounded place of self-love. Demanding constant, unquestioning validation from another human being can be the equivalent of holding him/her an emotional hostage. In truth, you don't really want that person; instead, you want that person to fill in a missing part of yourself.
Take a moment to think about love as a freeing power. The adage, "If you love something, set it free," is sound. When you surrender your demands for love, you will recognize that the only real love is free and, remarkably, will return to you exponentially. It takes courage to take your personal need out of the equation so you can give your love generously and without expectations. When you live in the reality of who you are and what you really want, you likewise honor your partner and all your other relationships. In this space of free love you, too, will be loved for who you are and not for any other reason.
Daily healthy sex acts
- Do you currently have someone in your life who isn't right for you, but whom you keep around because you don't want to feel lonely? If so, take a risk today and set her or him free from your relationship.
- Practice loving-kindness to all you meet. Give away your love through a smile or simple gesture, and free yourself from trying to control all outcomes in your life.
Meditation 2: Love Addiction
"Addiction starts in the most primitive parts of the brain. In our lizard brains, that drink or that drug or that date feels like survival. To the love addict, love really is like oxygen." -- Ethlie Ann Vare
Love has been called a motivation system rather than a feeling -- a cascade of chemicals, especially dopamine, that drives us toward mating. The love addict seeks romantic love, while seeking lust is the domain of the sex addict or love avoidant. Romantic love is what love addicts live and die for. Starved for affection as children or emotionally abandoned by the opposite-sex parent, they abdicate all self-care once in the relationship of their fantasy. Many love addicts avoid calm, mundane experiences, preferring to stay liquored up on the dopamine high that makes them feel alive. Obsessive by definition, they will be unable to eat or sleep, will feel love-sick, and may even want to die when they don't get the response they believe they need from the object of their desire.
When they do find a partner (usually as incapable of intimacy as they are), they dedicate themselves irrationally to that person, worshiping him or her even after they are, inevitably, disappointed or abused. The fantasy romance they've constructed lets them lose themselves in dependency and, in return, they expect to be loved unconditionally -- the remnant of a childhood need that no partner can meet. Jealousy naturally ensues because love addicts demand an unhealthy total bond and thereby guarantee the rejection that replicates their earliest abandonment.
Ironically and tragically, when love addicts actually attain the intimacy they desperately chase, they become terrified of the feelings accompanying real connection, and they run. Real relationship brings up the twin faces of their terror -- abandonment and intimacy -- and the jig is up.
Healing from love addiction is formidable work. The love addict can enter recovery only in withdrawal, an agony so great it's described as physical pain. If not in enough pain, love addicts will tough it out, set their hearts on another object, and begin the cycle again.
Daily healthy sex acts
- Have you hit an emotional bottom in your current relationship? Is it time to get help? Can you commit to acting on your behalf today? If so, whom can you ask to help you?
- Describe the behaviors you want to stop: drinking or smoking pot; chasing after unavailable people; having indiscriminate sex.
- Ask yourself whether you reside in reality or fantasy. Taking action to attend a 12-Step meeting or to call a therapist is a declaration of living in reality.
Meditation 3: Pillow Talk
"In the silence of night I have often wished for just a few words of love from one man, rather than the applause of thousands of people." -- Judy Garland
Ideally, we share more than skin in bed; we also share our truth. The way we connect after lovemaking through lighthearted and tender pillow-talk complements the eroticism of love relationships. This gentle, honest and affectionate way of relating may include cooing, cuddling and caresses. It's adult play. When lovers feel completely unabashed, basking in one another's presence with adoration and appreciation, they often revert to a childlike state.
Children, before they learn to talk, murmur and babble. This preverbal stage is a vulnerable one. A toddler's experimental babbling shows that s/he feels safe and that trust has been engendered. It's through this trust that the child takes the emotional opportunity to grow, because it's through babbling that the development of vocal muscles allowing language occurs. Similarly, it's possible that pillow talk builds the relational vocabulary -- the actual expressive skills for deeper, more meaningful conversations with a partner.
Pillow talk develops couple consciousness, which blends the consciousness of each person as an individual with the collective consciousness of the couple as a unique entity. Like individuals, every healthy relationship progresses through certain stages. The more we invite pillow-talk through shared trust and appreciation, the more our relationship nurtures its own meaningful and distinctive language. The bond of this authentic, private language fulfills the lovers deeply, and inspires those outside the relationship as well.
Daily healthy sex acts
- Setting a sacred space for pillow talk requires a relaxed approach. Impossible to impose, such moments of heartfelt connection grace us. Observe your body language and emotional energy. Are you inviting and receptive, or negating and dismissive? To create pillow-talk, build trust with your partner by showing appreciation and affection.
- Pay attention to sounds and feelings after interactions with anyone in public -- your social intercourse. Whether two hearts come together for sexual intimacy, casual friendship, or ordinary dealings, there's always an opportunity for the mutual sharing of true selves. Today, let the language of all your relationships develop through gentle expression and warm regard.
For more by Alexandra Katehakis, M.F.T., click here.
For more on conscious relationships, click here.