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Here is a little taste from Ch 12; Acceptance and Mindfulness.
So, imagine you’ve read all of the chapters in the book and you have a better understanding of your sexuality and what mindfulness is all about.
What if you don’t like what you’ve become more mindful of?
What if there are aspects of your personal sexuality or your relationship that you don’t like or that trigger troubling thoughts and painful emotions?
How do you get beyond this to experience greater sexual satisfaction?
The answer lies partially in Acceptance. Acceptance has four components:
- accepting reality for what it is.
- accepting what you can and cannot control.
- accepting that trying to avoid, control, or eliminate troubling thoughts and painful emotions actually makes them worse.
- accepting that the best way to manage troubling thoughts and painful emotions is to accept them, and co-exist with them as you shift your focus off of them and onto taking action.
When you accept reality for what it is you accept whatever thoughts and unpleasant feelings you are experiencing at the moment and you also accept that experiencing painful and troubling thoughts and feelings is part of being human.
Remember, accepting your troubling sexual thoughts and painful emotions doesn’t mean that you want to think and feel this way.
It just means that you admit that these thoughts and feeling exist.
Accepting your troubling sexual thoughts and painful emotions is the starting point for dealing with them.
Everyone, even me, has troubling sexual thoughts and painful emotions. No one has a perfect sex life.
Research shows that you cannot control the things that go on in your mind; you know, your thoughts, feelings, self-talk, and mental images. Your sexual thoughts and feelings come and go like the wind and are beyond your conscious control.
If you pay attention to your thoughts for a few days you’ll notice that sexual thoughts and feelings creep into your consciousness all the time. There is nothing good or bad, right or wrong about this, it is just how your 24/7 mind works.
The most important finding from research on acceptance is that trying to avoid, control, or eliminate troubling thoughts and painful emotions actually makes them worse. It heightens your awareness of them and keeps them in the forefront of your consciousness.
While you cannot control your thoughts or feelings, you can control your behavior, how you act in relation to your thoughts and feelings. Instead of reaching for a drink, a joint, or some Xanax to avoid them, the best way to deal with troubling thoughts and painful emotions it to accept them, coexist with them, and shift your focus off of them.
I like to think of all of the troubling sexual thoughts and painful emotions as mental baggage that we carry around.
I tell my clients to imagine that they carry this baggage around on their shoulders in a duffle bag.
Some of us have more baggage and bigger duffle bags but we all carry one around.
You have two choices regarding how to deal with your baggage:
You can choose to focus on that duffle bag and let it weigh you down and keep you from getting involved in new sexual experiences and relationships
You can drop the duffle bag, shift your focus off of it, and move forward to experience new situations that will enrich your sexuality.
Either way, your baggage is still there, it never goes away, it just doesn’t always have to weigh you down.
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Sexual Mindfulness is being published by Apocryphile Press, purveyors of unique, popular books, attractively packaged and reasonably priced. We are distributed by Ingram, the largest book distribution company in the US, and perhaps the world. All AP titles are available on amazon.com anywhere in the world and through many other online vendors.
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