By Mariah McKenzie
Ha! I bet you think I am talking about sex, right?
Well… actually, I am, but maybe not in the way you think.
First, let me introduce myself by saying that I have been married for 32 years. And yes, when we first met I am sure we “did it” every day, being the young passionately in love couple that we were. Over the years we settled into a regular but less frequent schedule, at first making sure that all the proper ingredients were present before doing it: romantic leanings, space, time, energy, feeling close, and mutual juiciness—and later, realising those things could be hard to come by all at once. So instead, we scheduled it in at least a couple days a week, which seemed much less romantic, but at least helped us commit some time and focus to one another, to intimacy. Plus, as we were getting older, the new less frequent but planned schedule allowed us some time to recover in between.
Just under a year ago, we upped the ante.
We had learned over the years with our meditation practice that magic happens when you commit to doing something every day—if only for a small period of time. We called it “making it to the cushion (as in meditation cushion.) We had seen the impact of meditation on our lives: breaking conditioned responses, helping heal from trauma, finding some distance from the habitual conversation in the head that continually judges and analyses, perpetually scanning for something wrong that needs fixing.
Meditation, we discovered, is mental hygiene and, like, oral hygiene, is deserving of our attention every day. Still, it was ridiculously easy to get talked out of it because we were tired or didn’t have time or didn’t feel like it. (Can you imagine not brushing your teeth every day?)
So endeavouring to develop a daily habit, we set out to make it to the cushion every day for at least 5 minutes. Meditating for 5 minutes a day (the mind was sure to remind us) will not likely bring about any earth shaking results—except that it did. What happened is we signalled our commitment. Meditation was important to us.
Fairly recently we wondered if the same was true for experiencing physical intimacy. What if we connected with one another, in bed, every day? Even, if only for a short while. What if we did not approach “doing it” as goal-oriented activity, but rather as a daily habit we wanted to cultivate to be with one another, to appreciate the opportunity to soul-gaze, to pleasure one another without the impulse to bring it to fruition. We had sensed already that the fruition part, at our age, resulted in less energy afterwards and a waning of juiciness toward one another.
It seemed so unlikely that this was possible. Who did we think we were? Twenty-year-olds? But, it was, and the subsequent months brought us to a deeper intimacy than I could have imagined. The “making love” part of sex came rushing forward and with it too an appreciation for the mutual commitment required for both parties to engage with one another intimately every day—not to mention the power of a mutual commitment to sublimate the desire to orgasm in favour of simply connecting.
Truth is, the things that I “do” everyday are reflective of my priorities—but often the activities of the day are the product of unconscious conditioned behaviour, rather than intentional choices reflecting deeper heart-felt priorities.
Once I paid attention to this, my day opened differently. What am I doing everyday? How can I signal the intent for my daily activities to match my deepest longings and to contribute to my health and well-being?
Want to change your life? Look inside for your deepest heart’s desire, for that thing that you know will increase your health and well-being, and do that – every day.
About the author: Mariah McKenzie is the author of award-winning More . . . Journey to mystical union through the sacred and the profane—a spiritual memoir about the deep yearning within us all and within our relationships for more intimacy, more connection, more awe, despite the challenges keeping us from that. Mariah has dedicated a significant portion of her life to exploring consciousness and ecstatic living. She leads writing and meditation groups, classes and workshops in the greater San Diego area and in Seattle. To find out more visit her website.