My husband and I recently were asked this question in couples therapy. What does intimacy mean to you? Each of us was instructed to write down our answers in list form and then exchange them with one another. To this day our lists hang on the white board above my desk. My list read, intimacy means trust, honesty, presence, holding my hand, writing me a note, walking with me (as opposed to ahead of me), keeping your promises, (even when you’re angry) and asking me out on a date. His list read: intimacy is truth, togetherness, compassion, acceptance, loving, and asking what the other person is feeling. Now, if you are like me, I was fully expecting him to mention sex.
Yes, sex is a part of intimacy, but it turns out both men and women need, want, and desire more than that. Intimacy is knowing someone truly cares about you—it’s a willingness to be fully present and to appreciate the strengths and efforts in one another.
Now, after 18 years of marriage and three children I admit my husband and I were in need of an intimacy tune-up. To support my half of the bargain (fostering intimacy), I developed some mantras to keep me on course.
This would not be the first time I turned to mantras for support. In fact, prior to therapy I had chanted the mantra (defined as a sound, syllable, word, or phrases which is repeated) Om Mani Padme Hum daily (108 times) in a row for 40 days. This Sanskrit mantra is known for being the remover of obstacles. After 40 days of reciting this mantra, some of those obstacles (marriage issues) came to fruition (hence the need for therapy).
Today, my mantra practice includes both Sanskrit mantras as well as ones written in my native language. Here is the thing I have learned thus far about intimacy. It needs to be watered daily and mantras are one of the ways you can do that. This is because each word carries a specific vibrational frequency, and when spoken out loud several times in a row, daily, mantras aid your connection to the higher frequencies, (energy) which strengthen love and intimacy.
Five of those mantras have been written here for you. I suggest selecting the one you are drawn to and committing to a 40-day practice of reciting it out loud (a minimum of 10 times in a row) daily. Each mantra is followed by some insight to deepen your connection to the words.
I am choosing to be with you now.
I can’t tell you how many people I work with that are on the fence about their relationships. Behind these thought patterns are often unresolved feelings of hurt, fear, and pain. Rather than tie up your energy by focusing on the future, consider being present to what is happening now.
“Kam” is a Sanskit word for love.
When reciting this mantra, notice how the first syllable “Ka” encourages you to open your jaw and sink your navel toward your spine. When you add the “m” sound “mmmm,” your mouth closes as you continue to sink navel toward your spine. Think of this mantra as imprinting the love vibration into the cells of your body. Once you get the hang of it, consider reciting it (108 times) in a row.
I respect the sacred space between you and me now.
This is the mantra I use most frequently to strengthen intimacy. It is easy to fear perceived faults of others. If you are looking for love you may find yourself fearing what you don’t want to deal with. I say, take the emphasis off the person and put it on the space between you now. Once you respect that space, connection can grow.
I am so grateful and thankful for our connection.
This mantra can also be modified to, I am so grateful and thankful for my marriage. This is another one I recite daily. What I have found is you cannot be grateful and unhappy at the same time. I believe all partnerships have value when they are nourished in an atmosphere of safety and respect.
Trusting now, (inhale, exhale).
This mantra is one that activates your free will. It is your free will whether you choose to trust or not. Those of us who had unpredictable upbringings, who have been hurt by previous relationships may find it difficult to trust again. If you desire trust, then know, it already exists someone inside of you. Trust is a gift and reciting this mantra will help bring it closer to your heart.