08/09/2013 03:55 pm ET Updated Oct 09, 2013

Weekly Meditations for Healthy Sex (Aug. 9-15)

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 promises, pretension, and communication for you to ponder and practice this week.

Meditation 1: Promises

"As many people have pointed out, you can't promise how you'll feel. But you can promise to cultivate a virtue, such as the virtue of love." -- Phillip Cary

It's said you can only love someone to the extent that you love yourself, and it's the same with trust. If we constantly make vows -- "I'm going to do this, I'm not going to do that" -- but fail to follow through, our untrustworthiness will spill out into our lives. We will fail to live up to our potential -- our promise -- in a desired area, and will attract others' broken promises. A crucial step toward breaking this pattern is to acknowledge and, if possible, to share the grief we have experienced in childhood and youth from being let down.

So it can be healing, especially during sex, to make promises and keep them immediately as a method of cutting new grooves into our psychological patterns: "I promise to touch your knee," and to do so. Develop awareness of what it sounds like and what it feels like to promise something and then to do it. As superficial as this elementary practice may sound, it lays the foundation of a new blueprint which can be extended to grander, more abstract promises.

The early development of abstract thought often begins when a child first grasps that Mommy or Daddy, although currently not seen, is somewhere else. Non-localized space and time are abstract concepts, utilizing the pre-frontal cortex of the brain. But when our nervous system gets triggered by fear or hurt, our capacity for advanced thought is hijacked by our lower brain, built for emergency response. To follow through on a promise means we are operating from a functioning higher brain. Promise-keeping is less a moral issue than a question of whether we are neurophysiologically trustworthy because we have exercised the psychic muscles that hold a promise in mind until its fulfillment.

Daily healthy sex acts

  • What aspects of your reality failed to fulfill their promise? Consider whether or not you keep your own promises in these areas.
  • Evaluate the key promises made and broken by you and others throughout your life. How realistic were your expectations, considering the capacity of each person who promised?
  • Right now, make a promise aloud to do something simple (for example, to speak a phrase or nod your head) and do it! Today, before you take any action, first promise to do it and then do so. Notice thoughts and feelings that arise as you retrain your brain.

Meditation 2: Pretension

"Sex is full of lies. The body tries to tell the truth. But, it's usually too battered with rules to be heard, and bound with pretenses so it can hardly move. We cripple ourselves with lies." -- Jim Morrison

Almost every movie ever made, including pornography, depicts lovemaking in a pretentious manner. Cue the music, the close-ups, the frozen poses of unadulterated passion. There are many reasons why we might want to be pretentious -- to pretend -- during sex. We all want the most flattering lighting and angles for our bodies to look good; we shift to hide a physical flaw or an awkward feeling. Such pretense is understandable. But all those false moves stifle subjective, autonomous experience. Pretension is always an act of objectification requiring conformity to some programmed ideal; intimacy requires only connection.

"Do you want to save your face or save your ass?" is a common saying in recovery. To save our butts requires honesty and mindfulness in everything we do. Saving face is only a short-term solution at best, and often leads to greater shame down the road. Simulating orgasms or feigning romantic interest are ways of saving face by circumventing truthful confrontation, yet the emotional disconnection these avoidance tactics provoke will surface in one way or another. When we accept and communicate our true thoughts and feelings as we experience them, we begin to release shame about them and to understand how these inner states enter our consciousness. But if we recognize only the content that's socially acceptable, while denying recurring mental and emotional patterns, we're pretending to ourselves. We all know that hypnotic, trance-like state of dissociation from reality, and we know we thrive only when we're in touch with our most authentic individuality. Covering up reality with posturing, however seemingly innocuous, creates psychological disturbances that over time will pull the rug of our pretensions out from under us. For life needs us to show up in our lives, to be present, vulnerable and real for ourselves and for others.

Daily healthy sex acts

  • Where do you put on an act? Ask yourself what you're trying to hide through pretension. Intimacy requires revealing the truth about who you are and how you experience life. Today, disclose vulnerabilities to others by shining the light on your reality or simply acknowledging the ongoing process of your becoming self-aware.
  • Where do you put on an act? Ask yourself what you're trying to hide through pretension. Intimacy requires revealing the truth about who you are and how you experience life. Today, disclose vulnerabilities to others by shining the light on your reality or simply acknowledging the ongoing process of your becoming self-aware.
  • For those who habitually enmesh, vent, attack or dwell on negativity, it can actually be healthy to communicate with a lighter touch, with diplomacy. Can you draw the line between brutal honesty and sugarcoating to the point of pretension?

Meditation 3: Communication

"Communication leads to community, that is, to understanding, intimacy and mutual valuing." -- Rollo May

When we think of communication we usually think of speaking or writing. But a large percentage of all communication is non-verbal: We exchange information and connect through myriad forms -- gesture, facial expression, tone of voice, touch, and eye contact. In its most basic form, communication is a transactional verbal exchange that's purely functional. But at its best, it's an elegant array of signals transmitted between two beings in concert with one another. The prime example of such unspoken yet unmistakable messaging occurs between the mother and fetus who's about to be born. A symbiotic communication informs and encodes the baby's nervous system based on the mother's experience. Unconsciously, she conveys bodily signals of joy or of stress to her child, stamping him or her with her psyche.

Like that of the mother and infant, the dance of love and mating takes place on the stage of wild, non-verbal communication. A neurochemical cascade signals our percolating mutual chemistry and ignites our system so that our hearts beat quicker, our bodies heat up, and our arousal systems are in gear. This "hot" form of communication needs no words. Similarly, sorrow or pain breathes emotions just as wordlessly: Our hearts weigh heavily and our souls grow cold and dark when sitting with someone who is troubled. Thus feeling deeply with the one we love is also empathic communication, a language that needs no words.

Communication is the sum total of our tone, attitude, body language, and energy. No one really gets away with lying because the human instrument is so perfectly attuned to knowing what's true and what isn't. When you communicate clearly with all of your heart and soul, you will listen differently and the right words will follow, leaving less possibility for misunderstanding and doubt.

Daily healthy sex acts

  • Practice active listening. Make a point of listening with curiosity and without defensiveness or mentally preparing your rebuttal. Listen and repeat back what you hear.
  • Pay attention to the non-verbal cues you get from people during the day. Respond to what feels true to you. Don't accommodate based on just the words you're hearing. Trust your gut.
  • Consider how honest you are when communicating. Do your words line up with what you're really feeling? If not, align your words with your truth and speak from that place.

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

For more on conscious relationships, click here.