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 isolation, preference, and intention for you to ponder and practice this week.
Meditation 1: Isolation
"Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place." -- Zora Neale Hurston
From birth onward, we need others to survive and flourish. But past hurts may leave us, like a wounded animal, crawling up into a ball and isolating. Abuse especially creates isolation. With no one to turn to, the abused child learns self-comforting through auto-regulation, which often leads to addictions using sex, drugs or constant distraction to self-soothe. Abused children reach adulthood ill-equipped to meet their true needs because they have no idea what those are.
Addiction is a disease of isolation, sequestering our souls from ourselves, from others, and from reality. When you think, "No one knows what I'm doing," "I can change my behaviors by myself," "No one is hurt by what I'm doing," or "I'm not hurting myself," you're living in isolation. These distorted thoughts stem from the compartmentalization you learned as a child: Always live in secrecy, never tell about the pain, loneliness, and sadness. In a classic catch-22, the better you built the double life, the further you sank into isolation, thickening the walls of denial. Without even knowing it, you came to believe your own tall tales justifying, minimizing, and intellectualizing the personal hell you had to construct.
If we are to be instruments of giving, we must come out of the dark by taking the painful action of admitting there's a problem. When you tell one other human being your deepest, darkest, most shameful secret, you have begun the process of emerging from isolation. Like a mole living underground, you may need to let your eyes adjust to the sunlight of truth as you take one step at a time to banish shame and reclaim your soul. Every time you ask for help, stop trying to change others, create support networks, and exercise humility by admitting your mistakes, you are coming out of isolation and becoming a whole person.
Daily healthy sex acts
- How do you isolate yourself from your relationship or from getting into a relationship? Is it by spending hours in front of the television, Internet pornography, drinking alone, or gaming?
- Who knows about these isolating behaviors?
- Make a commitment to yourself to tell one person about your secrets today. Ask for help.
Meditation 2: Preference
"To set up what you like against what you don't like -- this is the disease of the mind." -- Seng-T'san
On a deep level, our souls yearn for connection with all souls. There are people we think we prefer and others we don't, but half the time that's a lie: We tell ourselves the fairy tale of our hatreds out of fear, but we revisit that tale as it suits us. Deep down, we'd love to love and be loved by all.
We also have personal preferences in material objects and acts -- clothes, flavors, habits. These partialities result from inborn tendencies or from affirmative encounters we had when expressing preferences brought us positive experiences and taught us to share our truth gently and without fear. But when we let preferences dictate our lives and associations, we disconnect from the vast diversity of life and humanity.
Unfortunately, psychological or spiritual abuse perpetuates trauma through misinformation, distorted thinking and discriminatory beliefs. Such abuse creates a neurotic, reactive mindset that uses personal preferences as an inner armor against intimacy and connectedness. This learned trauma lies at the root of xenophobia, the fear of foreign experiences.
No one's preferences are inherently better than another's, although learning from those we respect can shape our perspectives and our preferences in turn. It's important in all relationships to compare and contrast -- to enjoy the similarities and respect the differences. Indeed, true connection is possible only through an open mind that allows others their boundaries and what works for them without jumping to the warped conclusion that their choices and values violate ours. There is nothing like love to show one the world from another's eyes, and this exposure can transmute negative judgments. Transmutation doesn't necessarily transform the lead of negativity into the gold of positivity, but it can let one see into lead so deeply one sees the gold.
Daily healthy sex acts
- What do you secretly like about the people you don't like? When you flash on their image, is there any quality that might be attractive in anyone else? Our preferences don't have to be all-or-nothing. Today, look for, and love, the value in the grey areas.
- Take a chance and explore your preferences. If you favor certain flavors, textures or looks and ignore others, try to experiment beyond your bias. Notice what exactly you find disagreeable in anything you dislike. Imagine a treasured lover bringing each new sample to you as a shared experience.
Meditation 3: Intention
"Go out looking for one thing, and that's all you'll ever find." -- Robert Flaherty
Our intentions filter our perception of the world, so set them with care! For example, love addicts project their unsolicited romantic intentions onto others who may not at all reciprocate their feelings, and sex addicts sexualize even the most non-sexual situations through the lenses of their narrow intention.
In contrast, setting a healthy intention means formulating -- and following -- a conscious, realistic aim and plan. How often have you resolved to make a change only to find your willpower wane and your resolution vaporize? To intend requires that you pursue an effective course of action related to an attainable purpose. Your intention can be as simple as respecting your relationship or as complicated as manifesting a treasured ideal in your life. The challenge is to keep your attention on your intention and to take small actions every day to realize it.
When it comes to love relationships, we rarely set intentions beyond the vows of marriage. We seem to fall into a stupor thinking that we'll never have to reevaluate our goals or dreams with our partners. Many are afraid to talk to their partners about how they and their intentions have changed over time, even when it's obvious. Human beings are dynamic, novelty-seeking creatures and live in a world that never stays the same so, naturally, you and your life will change, whether you set new intentions or not. Make the experiment and evoke your courage to envision the life you'd like to have, now. Talk to your partner about your latest hopes, and dare to set bold intentions together and separately. Find ways to attend to your intentions and watch them manifest into the adventurous life you desire. Go big!
Daily healthy sex acts
- Set an intention for yourself and for your relationship today. Share these with your partner.
- What one thing can you do in order to keep your attention on your intention?
- Take the smallest action towards your intention for 30 days, and notice what happens.
For more by Alexandra Katehakis, M.F.T., click here.
For more on conscious relationships, click here.