Intimacy is closeness. It is a feeling of belonging. It is being seen and seeing. Intimacy is connecting deeply with another soul. Intimacy is one beautiful aspect of being human.
And to be clear–I’m not talking about sex.
Intimacy does not mean sex. And sex does not mean intimacy.
I’m talking about authentic, heart to heart connection.
The heart longs to connected with another. The heart longs to love and be loved. Love is what it means to be human. And one way to express love is through intimacy.
Intimacy feels good. The cocktails of neurochemicals that get released in the brain create a natural high. Intimacy is relaxing and healing too.
There is no right or wrong way to be intimate. The other person can be of the same or opposite sex. It doesn’t only happen in relationships. And intimacy doesn’t have to end with others for those in relationships because intimacy is not about sex.
Intimacy is connection rooted in the heart–the expression of an open heart. Intimacy is being fully present with another. We can choose to be intimate with those we feel drawn to, with loved ones and friends too. Even strangers if we so choose!
When we choose to be more intimate, we feel more fulfilled and our life enhances.
(See below for a fun adventure in intimacy!)
Here are 8 easy ways to cultivate more intimacy today:
*Before diving deep into these practices, especially the more intimate ones, be sure to ask permission. Be sure you feel safe and that the intentions of the other person are aligned with your pure intention of fostering greater intimacy.
1. Eye Gaze
How deeply do you look into the eyes of another? Have you noticed the unique patterns on the iris of each eye? When was the last time you gazed into the windows of the soul of your beloved for a few minutes without speaking?
Eye gazing is intimate. The next time you talk to someone–anyone–choose to be intentional about looking into his/her eyes. Hold the gaze and observe the beauty of that soul’s imprint. Observe the difference when you do this with strangers compared to beloveds. Notice if you feel more connected to this person and yourself after holding such intimate space.
2. Hug Longer
How often do you give or receive a hug? Do you offer your shoulder to a person or do you dive in for a long embrace? Do you relax into the arms of another as you align heart to heart?
Hugs are wonderful medicine, the effects are instant, making us feel high on life and happy! The longer we hug, the better we feel. We release bonding hormones such as oxytocin, building trust and intimacy.
Go hug a loved one for at least a minute and observe how wonderful and connected you feel afterwards!
3. Touch More
We have beautiful hands so that we can touch those we love. Skin to skin contact evokes feelings of intimacy.
Hold hands with a loved one or a friend. Walk arm in arm. Playfully poke or nudge. Brush the hair off a beloveds face. Run your fingers along the arm or skin of another. Place your hand over your friend’s hand or shoulder as a sign of affection–to let them know you support them.
Touch just because (with a pure intention of love of course!). Touch is a love language. Observe the bond between you and another strengthen as you express intimacy through touch.
4. Deep Listening
One of the easiest ways to become more intimate with another person is to listen. The more we listen the more others will share. When we listen we allow the other person to feel heard, and the bond strengthens.
Listening is an act of love. In such a busy world, taking the time to truly listen to another by looking into their eyes and offering some gentle supportive touch can create an intimate bond. Put the phone away and listen. Listen with your eyes. Listen with your heart. Just letting the other person talk without the need to respond is a very intimate practice and fosters the greatest love.
5. Be Vulnerable
Nothing is more intimate than sharing your heart with another. Being vulnerable is sharing your true authentic self with another. Vulnerability means sharing your feelings and emotions–sharing your truth no matter what others may think. Sure it can be scary, but it is worth it.
When we bare our soul to others, it gives them permission to do the same. When we share our joys and our fears the conversation becomes more intimate and thus deeper bonds are formed.
6. Presence in Silence
Intimate relationships are those we can experience in silence. Being in another’s presence and not having to speak but rather experiencing each other through gaze and touch is intimate.
Sit close and feel their warmth. Lay under a tree and enjoy a beautiful day in each other’s company. Gaze into a beautiful sunset together. Enjoy tea on the porch. Be fully present without the need to speak–just enjoy each other’s company.
Feel the essence of another as you intimately hold space for each other to just be.
Even more intimate than hugging is cuddling. Yes, you can do this with someone of the same sex. You can cuddle with a friend and family too. Cuddling makes us feel good and creates feelings of love and intimacy too.
Allow yourself to be held. Such a primitive and primary exchange of affection and intimacy is nourishing for our mind, body and spirit. And just like hugging, we feel high from the healing neurochemicals flooding our brain.
Massage is more intimate than touch. Just like hugging and cuddling it causes feel good brain chemicals to be released in both the giver and the receiver. Even a few minutes of massage can build more intimacy and trust.
How much do you love a person after you receive a massage? How great does it feel to see someone enjoy your massage? A quick shoulder rub can make someone’s day and enhance intimacy.
Whether with a stranger or a beloved, all of these practices are bound to enhance your relationships and foster a greater sense of trust and intimacy. Begin with those you feel comfortable with. You’d be surprised how naturally it comes once the intention is made. By creating intentional space for intimacy you give others permission to do the same–because deep down we all crave more intimacy. Intimacy is part of what this human experience is all about.
Ready for some Adventures in Intimacy? November 19, 2016, Santa Monica California, 7:30-9:30PM, 30 spaces available. For more details: drnikkistarr.com/empower/intimacy. Reserve today!