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 core beliefs, availability, and virginity for you to ponder and practice this week.
Meditation 1: Core Beliefs
"The outer conditions of a person's life will always be found to reflect their inner beliefs." -- James Allen
Many of us who grew up under a barrage of unending negative messages from our caregivers end up agreeing with them that we're worthless. These feelings of profound inadequacy inevitably bleed into feelings of sexual inadequacy, and a sense of failure crowds out any esteem in our self-concept. Over time, the relentless humiliation and degradation come to seem justified and deserved, and become negative core beliefs about ourselves -- a negative self-structure.
Desperate to find any light inside, we struggle against any number of problematic behaviors, some of which turn into addictions that appear to confirm those negative core beliefs. When low self-esteem prevails, a false self may develop to hide behaviors we think just prove our disgracefulness, so we can function -- or at least "get by." Or, for others of us, this negative self-structure leads us not to cover up but to create a grandiose, distorted self-importance. Either way, we're left empty and alone, self-rejecting at our core.
Core beliefs, however, are not etched in stone. Like any living thing, even hurtful beliefs can flower into something positive and affirming through our desire to change and through right action. Begin by asking yourself why your most negative core belief is actually a distortion. In other words, why is your belief not true? Think about your unique abilities and all the things you know to be honorable about yourself. Be on the lookout for shame, which can keep you in the isolated world of negativity, and notice whenever it rears its ugly head. This is a fight that only you can fight. It's an inside job that requires a commitment to knowing the truth about who you are -- even before you believe it.
Daily healthy sex acts
- Make a list of the qualities you value most about yourself.
- Turn each quality into an affirmative statement in the present such as, "I am a good, worthy, and valuable person."
- Create 15 customized affirmations and speak one a day for 15 days, then repeat. Keep this going for one month and watch your negative beliefs dissolve into the nothingness that they are.
Meditation 2: Availability
"When someone you love takes up more space in your head than you do in their heart, it is time to let them go." -- Sepi Ghafouri
When we dote on friends and lovers who don't love us back, although it's counter-intuitive, we are the ones who are emotionally unavailable. It's easy to blame the love-avoidant, whose selfishness is obvious: They don't return messages, don't show up when they say, don't communicate any change of plans, and even in person they're evasive and non-committal. But love addicts or codependents appear as the very picture of availability, weighing every possible impact of their actions on the love object.
But that's precisely the problem -- human relatedness has become objectified. They aren't interacting with a real person; they're pinning their hopes on a fantasy. In a tragic paradox, the more they seek to make everything right, the less right it becomes. Forced intimacy, which includes compulsive disclosure, is the hallmark of love addiction and codependency. To be truly available means to tolerate another's unique reality without trying to force closeness, and even to accept rejection while still affirming loving-kindness.
People-pleasing prevents availability because to be genuinely available to others we must first be available to ourselves by practicing authenticity and self-care. When our mind clamors for our attention with endless mental chatter, it's often a sign that we're not available within. If you are held hostage by your mental and emotional states, you will probably find yourself held hostage by others' drama, and you may be holding others hostage as well. Outer states reflect inner states. When you can find peace in the moment as it unfolds, you become available to your greater self.
Become available to your own thoughts and emotions, and ask what they want from you. Gently avail yourself within, and you will gradually lose patience for unavailable people and attract those who are truly present.
Daily healthy sex acts
- What does it mean to you to be available? Some people confuse availability with servitude -- having to fulfill another's every material, emotional and sexual need, any time of day or night. When are you available to others? When are you un-available?
- Be available to yourself today. Be present with your thoughts and feelings. Everything will work out, and is unfolding exactly as need be. As you self-soothe with self-love, enlarge the circle by inviting others into your inner availability.
Meditation 3: Virginity
"The tragedy of sexual intercourse is the perpetual virginity of the soul." -- William B. Yeats
Few interior personal states bear more external social weight than virginity. It's telling that we lose virginity rather than gain sexuality by our initial sexual experience. For many, leaving their virginal stage can be confusing and anxious. While manuals aplenty detail this much-ballyhooed rite of passage, putting theory into practice involves new skills and processes that need time and effort to blossom. We all know it takes years just to start developing conscious sexuality, but the common social mindset has us becoming sexually experienced with a single sexual act.
The loss of virginity typically refers to penile-vaginal penetration, but this assumption ignores the experience of gays and lesbians, who may define it as the first momentous sexual contact, whether mutual masturbation, oral sex, or anal sex. Indeed, heterosexuals sometimes engage in these same acts and still consider themselves technical virgins. In conservative cultures, females who have been sexually active before marriage often resort to hymenoplasty to restore technical virginity and escape sometimes deadly social disgrace. Victims of childhood sexual abuse, incest, or rape might understandably specify consensual sex to characterize their first time.
But there are other types of virginity, like that of our ideas. Learning about each sexual act is one part of the process of losing virginity, but so is learning about new feelings. Lovers define and create sexuality together, as it occurs. No matter what happened to us sexually, there are parts of us -- physical and psychological -- that remain unknown. Many people feel this spiritual concept profoundly -- that we can find untouched parts of our being with a partner at any stage. If we have the intent to connect with each other in the deepest parts of ourselves, the ones that have been untouched, we have a reparative way of making ourselves newly sacred, of newly consecrating the sexual act.
Daily healthy sex acts
- How did you lose your virginity? Was it spontaneous or planned? Did it live up to expectations? Invoke the feelings before, during and after the experience. Where do these feelings show up in your sexuality today?
- Consider whether your initial sexual experiences made you want to gain proficiency or shed innocence. Has this changed over time?
- Through emotional intimacy, we find ways to touch each other in psychologically virgin territory. Today, find this place within yourself. What part of you goes untouched? Guide your lover there, or simply let in the light of loving awareness now.
For more by Alexandra Katehakis, M.F.T., click here.
For more on conscious relationships, click here.