At Center for Healthy Sex, we find inspiration from many sources to treat sex addiction, love addiction, and sexual dysfunction. Meditation and affirmations are helpful tools that build esteem, create procedural memories, reduce anxiety, slow the heart rate, and increase blood flow to the brain.
Attachment theory is a component of our philosophy -- behavioral patterns imparted in infancy affect the way we grow up to live our lives. Because this early programming becomes so ingrained, it takes consistent and sustained effort to rewire the neural pathways.
These monthly meditations are similar to the affirmations we use with clients. They are intended to provoke deep thought about core beliefs and inspire open communication with a partner. (You may sign up for our free daily meditations here.)
Meditation for Week 1 -- AROUSAL
"Arousal leaves us mind-blind." ~ Malcolm Gladwell
When our sexual arousal owns us, indeed we become "mind-blind." Thinking that the object of our arousal is the answer to our loneliness, pain, and fears, we're blindly led by our sexual organs to people and places we'd not otherwise consider when operating from our "mind-sight," meaning our ability to "see" from a place of clarity. Intrusive sexual thoughts are often the result of a triggered state of hyperarousal -- the lower brain's fight/flight/freeze response to stress. What casual thought patterns precede any sexual arousal you experience throughout the day? We tend to think of arousal as solely the domain of the genitals, missing the magic of full-body and sensory arousal. What a joy to leave the collapsed state of compulsively seeking relief through sex and celebrate the full-body, heart-centered arousal that comes from genuine joy states!
Today, make the word "arousal" synonymous with "happiness." Arouse your senses by taking a deep breath of morning air, seeing the beauty and abundance that surrounds you, tasting the sweet and savory on your tongue as you eat your first meal of the day, and feeling the skin of your lover's hand or lips as they wish you a "good morning."
Daily Healthy Sex Acts:
- Do one thing to arouse your senses in celebration of your sexuality as a source of joy, wholeness, and all that's good about you.
- Eat a piece of delicious fruit, smile at your neighbor, or give your partner a hand massage.
Meditation for Week 2 -- ATTACHMENT
"The fickleness of the woman I love is only equaled by the infernal constancy of the women who love me." ~ George Bernard Shaw
Human beings are wired for attachment; we need other human beings from the time we're infants in order to grow, flourish, and meet our full potential. Seeking attachment is one of the primary activities of people the world over. In other words, the "boy meets girl" or "boy meets boy," or "girl meets girl" story is probably the most talked about story on the planet!
And why's that? Because through attachment to another, we learn to stand on our own two feet and safely traverse the terrain of life, knowing that someone out there "has our back." What a wonderful feeling to know that you're loved, cared for, and that you matter to one safe person in the world. And yet, human beings are funny creatures -- we want to be wildly attached and want our freedom at the same time. Examine how much you seek love and adoration and whether receiving that kind of attention brings you relief or annoyance. Learning to tolerate the intimacy that attachment demands is part of healthy loving and eroticism. Pay attention to what happens in your body when your desire for attachment is met by someone you're dating or by your partner. Some will feel soothed while others will feel "smothered."
Daily Healthy Sex Acts:
- Notice your attachment needs today. Do you ask for comfort and soothing or do you retreat and handle things on your own? Notice your reactions when your partner wants to get emotionally close or when they express a need.
- Make a concerted effort to do what's counterintuitive, such as giving your partner a hug even if you don't feel like it. Tolerate your discomfort and breathe into the hug so as to expand your attachment system.
Meditation for Week 3 -- AUTONOMY
"The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them." ~ Thomas Merton
One of the greatest gifts we can give to our partner, and to ourselves, is to love them and let them go. Autonomy is the opposite side of attachment. Without one, we can't have the other and we need both in order to flourish. The task of love is to continue to accept those we love for who they are, even as they evolve and change. Asking someone to change their basic nature or to conform to our ideas of who they should be, at it's worst, can be an act of emotional terrorism. Likewise, ultimatums and other manipulations don't align with supporting autonomy in ourselves or in our partners. Everyone has the right to explore who they are, to search for truths about the meaning of life, and to shift and change along the way. Do you have the strength and courage to risk living an autonomous life while staying attached to the ones you love? Do you have the patience and character to support your partner in their search for autonomy?
Sexual growth and development demands the willingness to define who we are and what we do and don't like throughout the life span. Stand on your own two feet and tell your partner what you do and don't like sexually. Listen without judgment as they share the same with you. Be bold and stay curious.
Daily Healthy Sex Acts:
- Risk being boldly autonomous today and talk to your partner about your sexual desires, fears, preferences, and fantasies.
- Invite them to do the same and listen and ask questions with an open and curious mind.
Meditation for Week 4 - PARTNERSHIP
"Love doesn't just sit there, like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; re-made all the time, made new." ~ Ursula Le Guin
Today more couples than ever identify as life partners. The term points to the fact that your significant other shares a proportional part of your life. They are not your whole life, otherwise the bond might be called wholenership rather than partnership! In relationship, we share part of our lives, we share part of our day. We each do our part.
Intimate sharing is reciprocal, appropriate and measured. To know and be known doesn't mean sharing everything there is to know. In fact, too much information can easily overwhelm a relationship as much as not enough sharing causes emotional distance. Taking part is both quantitative and qualitative -- it involves real time spent together in a healthy way.
You might have experienced unhealthy models of "being part of" a relationship in the past, such as in your family of origin. Sometimes parents didn't do their part, or they didn't allow anyone else's part. What was your model for being part of something, for being in a partnership? What is your ideal partnership today, and how do you communicate your innermost relational values?
Daily Healthy Sex Acts:
- Write for a few minutes today exploring these issues. How often do you communicate with your partner and how do you communicate? What percentage of your time is enough in a partnership? Do both partners have room for other important relationships?
- Discuss with your significant relationships what it means to each do your part.
Sign up here to receive free Daily Meditations by email written by Alexandra Katehakis and Tom Bliss of Center for Healthy Sex to help you develop sexual and emotional intimacy.