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 sexual footprint, positive self-talk, and perfection for you to ponder and practice this week.
Meditation 1: Sexual Footprint
"Every action of our lives touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity." -- Edwin Hubbel Chapin
What is the impact of sexuality and sexual activity on ourselves and on our lives? We hear about carbon footprints -- the impact of our consumption on the earth. So to trace our sexual footprint, we might examine the consequences of our sexual choices, whether seemingly casual or conscious.
Initial sexual encounters may set a pattern. Understanding and healing damaging formative experiences that were stepping stones in our sexual development is imperative, because sometimes those stepping stones petrify into the expected path, the known and travelled terrain. Every sexual experience builds certain muscles and creates a filter and excludes other muscles and filters. Over time, experiences create neural pathways while pruning unused ones. Such cultivation affects our entire sexual politic but is difficult to perceive since we are so immersed in our own experience that it appears as simple reality. Often, sexual experiences before puberty lead to inappropriate sexualization. Adult survivors of incest or childhood sexual abuse often feel guilt or complicity for premature sexual activity. But of course, children do not have the comprehension, capacity, or power to make decisions for their own sexual health. So it's crucial that adult survivors take charge in the present by working through unprocessed trauma.
Mature sex involves an intensely intimate audience with a partner. Yet it often seems there's a conspired agreement afterward to ignore the depth of sensations, to deny the myriad of thoughts as they occur. We align our lovemaking with an actual person who will go out into the world, our vibrations affecting each other like tuning forks. If we're engaging in dishonest, shameful or anorectic sexuality, then how could we not manifest such a sexual footprint on our destined path? To seek sexual health, we engage in healthy intimacy and bring this capacity to our larger relationship with life.
Daily healthy sex acts
- Trace your sexual footprint: List your earliest, and then your most significant, sexual experiences and what you learned from them.
- Achieving sexual health might necessitate healing damage from past relationships. In 12-Step, this is the amends process, which is complex and requires sponsor supervision. For now, simply try to have compassion and patience for others, as you would to heal yourself. Let love mend.
- Go green. Purchase all-natural massage oils, lube, and latex condoms and avoid artificial colors, scents, and condoms made from petroleum. Light romantic candles instead of electric lights, and save water by showering together!
Meditation 2: Positive Self-Talk
"One should always talk well about oneself! The word spreads around and in the end, no one remembers where it started." -- Jean Cocteau
The way we talk to ourselves filters how we experience life. Even more, habitual self-talk causally impacts -- creates -- our reality. The story we tell ourselves over and over in time becomes our life story. Self-talk is self-fulfilling prophecy, and in many cases it's a self-perpetuating prophecy. From the moment babies are born they start to experience the world in tone, sound, pace, vibration. We all know that the way a person speaks can communicate more than what s/he's actually saying, and children are highly receptive to such nonverbal communication. All that we are gets expressed. Even the act of faking who we are conveys our personal reality. So from birth we steep in this stew of historical influences that contribute to the way that we think. These thought patterns can easily become synchronous with our life patterns. That's why the most efficient and effective way of taking the wheel of our own lives is by practicing self-talk the way we would want to receive it. We bring awareness to where we shame ourselves, criticize ourselves, feed ourselves distorted messages. If we were more conscious, we would not want to have such messages on the ticker tape of our minds.
Just as much as we want to manifest positive attributes in our external life, we need to do so in our inner life, and that's the place we start. What are you thinking right now about yourself? In what kind of voice do you want to receive love and healthy sexual intimacy? We don't have to strain our ears to hear loving validation from an external voice all the time; we can start to practice positive self-talk in tone, sound, pace and vibration that stimulates and satisfies us. This is how we create our own music.
Daily healthy sex acts
- Practice right now to find the pitch and pace and syllables and words you love to hear. Delight your own senses and self-romance. When you find a positive statement worth repeating, experiment with different tones and rhythms.
- How can you get through to yourself? It's time to put all other messages of self-talk to sleep. Pick several positive self-talk statements that you recognize as true, but from conditioning you may have difficulty realizing as true. Let these messages sink in to your inner ears with loving sensual playfulness. Gently bring your awareness back to these exercises throughout the day.
Meditation 3: Perfection
"Ring the bells that still can ring.
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything.
That's how the light gets in."
-- Leonard Cohen
Picture the perfect life, the perfect family, the perfect relationship, the perfect recovery, and you've drawn a seductive and sometimes deadly delusion. We all know couples who don't dare voice their reality, or authentically state fears and negativity, afraid it will spoil the illusion of perfection. As if anyone else really cares whether they're perfect! The relationships people care about are the meaningful ones they share. Those seemingly flawless relationships can feel disengaged and sterile. Outsiders might smile and say, "Oh, that's nice." But there's no personal meaning.
Our society celebrates the perfect score, the record-breakers, the famous. Other societies have different perfection paradigms -- their ideal beauty, their worthiest royalty or shamans. Clearly, "perfection" is relative, and not only geographically but temporally: The "perfect" grades or "perfect" game that appears ideal at one moment might be revealed as misinformed learning or mediocre effort the next moment.
We can apply this relativity of perfection to our own accomplishments and struggles. We don't have to let the dominant narrative define us. Societal standards can be a blessing, guiding us to excellence, or a burden that crushes individuality. Indeed, the quest for perfection has led to wonderful achievements. The art is to seek excellence while avoiding submission to perfectionism. Healthy perfection relies on humanity and humility. It invites meaning and connection. If life goes wrong, the antidote is not to make it "better," and certainly, not "perfect," but to make it fuller of meaning. Every failure to meet expectations has value because relationships are a self-renewing process. This isn't the win-lose mentality of power over people, it's power with people. Here, progress is perfection.
Daily healthy sex acts
- Look for the places where you try to present the illusion of perfection. Let others in! Take a chance today, and share your real truth as you really feel it. This might be as simple as saying, "I don't know how to share my real truth with you." And just that much can be perfect for the moment.
- Keep a progress chart. Every day, as you take steps towards healthy intimacy, no matter how insignificant they seem, write them down in a private notebook. "Today I looked my neighbor in the eyes and said hello." Whenever in self-doubt, refer to your words and reaffirm the progress of your perfectly personal path.
For more by Alexandra Katehakis, M.F.T., click here.
For more on conscious relationships, click here.
Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for the National Domestic Violence Hotline.