This week’s daily meditations to enrich your love
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 friendship, strength, and holding hands for you to ponder and practice this week.
Meditation 1: Friendship
“Love is a friendship set to music.” — Joseph Campbell
Movies, TV, and magazines typically portray romantic love as the only significant kind of relationship. Yet deep, grounded friendships often last longer than any other kind of connection. New friends bring zest to our lives by igniting or reigniting interests. They can make us laugh and question ourselves in fun and interesting ways, inspiring a sense of play that arises from the delight of getting to know someone. Over time, the new friend becomes a close friend and, if we’re lucky, a best friend and an old friend.
One of the greatest riches in life is having an old friend, a person you know and who knows you better than anyone. Sharing a history with someone is invaluable because, together, you remember joyous occasions, raucous nights, broken hearts, and the pain you endured when you struggled against one another or together against adversity. A close friend will reliably support you, sympathize with you, help you, and travel the globe with you literally and metaphorically. Good friends confide in one another and hold up a mirror so we can see who we are and who we can become. But it’s important to remember that friendships, like gardens, need care. Tending to your friendships sustains and grows them; your labors let you reap the fruit of steadfastness, companionship, or a shoulder to cry on.
Building a love relationship founded on friendship sets the stage for a dependable union over time. When you fall in love with your best friend, you are connected throughout your life through a special bond. As two spirits mingle in friendship and love, there’s a feeling of security that supersedes all the petty problems in life. Like family members, you won’t always agree, but you will rarely be lonely when you base your love on friendship.
Daily healthy sex acts
Take stock of your friendships. How many male and how many female friends do you have?
How do you define friendship, and what are your criteria for friendship? What qualities do you need in an acquaintance, friend, or best friend? Are your friends really friends?
How good a friend are you? How can you become a better friend in all of your relationships?
Meditation 2: Strength
“Love must be strong enough to find certainty within itself. It then ceases to be moved and becomes the mover.” — Herman Hesse
There’s something sexy about people who possess strength and with whom we can be strong in turn — who can bear our strength. So often we mete out just enough strength to handle the immediate situation, sensing but never achieving the true range of our power. Brute strength on the battlefield or in sports certainly thrills, but exercising the muscles of relational skills provides the subtler joy of speaking in our true voice with the gentle strength of our soul. For it takes great fortitude to communicate honestly, soberly, deeply about sexual needs, since many cultures malign and ridicule individual truth.
Striving to become our best selves as we face each day requires strength — a daily surrender, and healing from each night’s kiss of oblivion. Relationship — facing this imperfect, meaningful life with another — challenges us constantly to let go of selfish needs and expectations. For the more we grasp, the less we gain. Our might lies not in conquering the world but in conquering ourselves.
In this society where sexual messages are so warped and the meaning of love is so lost, we need to be peaceful warriors championing relational and sexual health. It takes great force to do so, since it depends on a knowledge of our self apart from the powerful group mindset. And it takes strength to balance ourselves — not to reinforce our ego unduly but to operate in the spirit of our vision and to be causal in our choices. Strength means sticking to our true self, and may be measured by how much we appreciate every distinctive true quality of our beloved. When this differentiation leads to real individuation, we reach our purest desire — to love all we experience fearlessly and with strength.
Daily healthy sex acts
Are you strong in yourself? List your unwavering strengths, and realize how they originated.
Some people confuse strength with rigidity or false pride. Self-perceptions of personal power can be the self-deceptive result of early established defenses. True strength connects our true self to life. Today, ask several people to share what they consider your strengths. Let their responses guide how you exercise personal power this week.
What next right step do you need to take for self-actualization? Be strong, and let the polished stone of your past efforts speak through you as you risk taking this step.
Meditation 3: Holding Hands
“Sometimes, reaching out and taking someone’s hand is the beginning of a journey. At other times, it is allowing another to take yours.” — Vera Nazarian
Do not use force and do not seek power; just interlace your fingers and see what happens. Holding hands for the first time can be a monumental experience when done consciously. Do you remember your first moment holding hands with your lover? That simple act can kindle passion like nothing else. The anticipation borne of flesh touching flesh charges your system to excite your heartbeat and to imagine a life in connectedness. When we pause and fully appreciate the ordinary act of holding hands, the familiar becomes a journey to extraordinary possibilities.
We safeguard children by holding their hands to shepherd them across a street, to play with them, or to reassure them that all is well. The feeling of being held, of knowing that we’re anchored to someone, creates security and grounds us to the core of our being. Sometimes we miss out on the natural joy of holding hands because we’re caught up in the complexity of what it means. In many cultures around the world, girls hold hands with girls, boys hold hands with boys, adults of the same sex hold hands with each other as a gesture of friendship, love, and community. In those cultures people seem less hung up on the sexual connotation of handholding and more focused on how it connects them.
When we drop self-consciousness and move into the present, pretension falls away and makes a space for authenticity. In that moment, the simplest gestures, like holding someone’s hand, can be the beginning of something wondrous. Don’t miss the opportunity today to make contact with someone you love. Take your mother’s hand when you walk down the street with her, your father’s when you sit next to him at lunch, your teenager’s when you sense s/he’s in need, and your lover’s — just because.
Daily healthy sex acts
How many people’s hands can you hold today?
Next time you hold someone’s hand, notice the feeling in your palm, the way your fingers interlace, and the energy between you and that person.
Don’t be stingy! Hold hands, walk down the street and swing them with glee!
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