Thursday, February 26, 2015

Growth In Service: Identifying when an 'issue' must be addressed right then.

I thought I'd start at the beginning. Maybe in the future, I'll pick from different sections. But this seems as good as any other...

Conflict: Identifying when an 'issue' must be addressed right then.

Whoo boy!! This is a biggie, eh?

Bringing an "issue" to Syr's attention. Right away. Versus ... well.. anything BUT right away. This is something i'm not sure I've made any progress on - or even an issue that's been on my radar for a long time, but it IS relevant to some recent not-so-hot moments I've had recently.

Something happens that ... annoys me or feels somehow unfair... and I have the very bad habit of wanting to mention it RIGHT THAT SECOND, sometimes (often?) bringing an entire conversation to a screeching halt to do it.

Which - hardly screams "respect".

Ages ago, years maybe, Syr pointed out that not every issue or perceived slight needs to be addressed right that moment - but that doesn't mean it need NEVER be addressed. It just means sometimes it's about timing, and also about taking that step back to figure out what is important and what isn't - what things are urgent enough to be addressed on the spot and which things could be reserved for another time.... or which things maybe don't need to be addressed at all.

I tend to react in the moment without taking time to think. This is definitely something that I find to RARELY be helpful or productive.

I really want to get better at this... at taking that step back. This is an area where I feel like I have a TON of room to grow.



GROWTH IN SERVICE:
Conflict Checklist
Identifying when an 'issue' must be addressed right then.
 Allowing for normal human emotion
 Grumpy vs. angry, indirect vs. passive aggressive
 Aim for at least a 60/40 split with Listening vs. Talking
 How “mentally preparing” for next point interferes with listening
 Explaining reasoning does not negate/erase feelings
 Ask, don’t tell Owner what Her feelings are
 Waiting for the answer after asking a question
 Not defending/countering
 Accepting the answer given as the only sane choice
 How not doing these things invalidates Owner’s feelings/emotions
 The Reminder: “Who Owns Who?”
 The purpose of the reminder, why was it necessary?
 Understanding the risk Owner is taking in doing the reminding
 Taking a moment to be grateful
 Pause and reflect on behaviour – in line with protocol?
 “Stop” – Respecting Owner’s boundaries/need for space
 Hearing & respecting the first time (always an order)
 Ego Removal
 Thinking / Understanding
 Trust
 Seeking reassurance – appropriate time and place
 Resolving conflict productively
 Assigning blame - why?
 “I’m sorry” versus processing / expressing remorse
 Trusting Owner to apply correction when required
 Post-conflict self-abuse (mental/verbal/physical) = lack of trust
 Wallowing/Dwelling

Service and Mindfulness
 Can one exist without the other?
 Ways to cultivate mindfulness
 Identify your intentions
 Continual removal of conflicting thoughts
 Service to Owner as service to self

Orders
 What qualifies as an order
 Who judges whether a request is important?
 Bargaining
 Recognition/Reward – want vs. need
 The positive effects of obedience

Being aware of Owner’s needs & desires
 Offering vs. Being asked
 Identifying, Understanding, & Banishing fear with trust
 Practice, Practice, Practice
 Avoidance & Anxiety
 Identify the block / inner objection
 Processing anxiety 
 What’s driving it
 Trusting
 Working within self-expectations
 Desired level of service vs Minimum level (keeping it realistic)
 Trusting Owner to decide what is/is not an acceptable level of service
 Identify the pleasure - Service to Owner as service to self

Eye contact
 Keeping focus when receiving direction
 Maintaining focus when responding
 Looking at vs. looking through

Corrections
 Hearing the correction
 Understanding the correction
 Ego removal
 Responding and offering gratitude for the Correction

Expressing Gratitude
 What the hell for?
 Understanding the service your Top provides
 You probably need it – even if you disagree.

Spiritual self-work
 Neuro-Elasticity vs. Samskaras
 The joy of sticking with it
 
Processing “negative” emotions
 Identifying uncomfortable emotions
 Examining the root – why is it so uncomfortable?
 What is the fear - what’s the worst that could happen?
 What to do with these emotions
 Is it necessary to express verbally?
 Productive ways to do so
 Identifying coping mechanisms / Ways to process productively

The discipline of focus
 Visualize goal
 Removing distraction
 Motivating self through reflecting on success

Learning to follow
 Being patient
 Micro-management
 Identifying what the fear is
 Remembering to trust
 Being flexible and open minded as service
 Being comfortable without a plan / Spontaneity
 Creating false objections to stay in ‘safe zone’
 Letting go and letting Owner be in charge
 Indecision
 Identifying when struggle for control is the root
 Asking for help when needed
 Respect

Identifying Milestones
 Identifying smaller achievements
 Remembering smaller achievements
 Rewarding smaller achievements (bidirectionally)

Protocol
 All Settings
 Mindfulness of Tone / Voice
 LISTENING: Learning to unfilter verbal information
 Identifying the filter
 Acknowledging the obstacle
 Listening to precise language
 SPEAKING: Learning to unfilter verbal information
 Identifying the filter / desire to spin
 Acknowledging the obstacle
 Speaking precisely
 Remaining open to response
 Integrating mindfulness
 Answering Questions
 Giving a straightforward answer
 Avoidance and defensiveness
 Answering a question with a question
 Interactions with others
 Vanilla settings
 Addressing Owner
 Tone used with terms of endearment, use of first name
 Walking / Travelling
 Food & Beverage
 Dining out
 Family Leisure time
 Public – kinky/private settings
 Addressing Owner – Syr, Daddy, my Owner
 Expectation removal
 Verbalizing desires
 Desire vs Need
 Accepting answers/responses – with trust
 Food & Beverage Service
 Playtime
 Providing sensual service
 Verbalizing headspace/mood
 Removal of intensity / impulse to drive a scenario
 Providing feedback
 How expectation removal allows for full immersion in scene
 Aftercare

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Revisiting Growth in Service exercise from years ago...

So, as you may or may not have heard, Blogger has updated their content policy to disallow any "adult" images.  In order to play it safe, I decided to go through this blog and make sure I removed any risque images. I'm mostly about the actual writing here, so that wasn't that big of a deal.

In the process, I stumbled on an old post - an exercise with a list of writing topics designed to grow in  service. I didn't re-read the entire post but if I remember correctly, initially this idea came about through some online acquaintances - another D/s lifestyle couple. And then I tweaked the list of topics to be more relevant to me and Syr. I don't think it really went anywhere. I suspect I wrote on a few topics and then dropped the ball (oh, how very typical human of me.)

I've had some trouble being consistent with writing, lately, so I thought this might be an exercise that would help keep me on track = or give me more topics to write about on days my writing feels "stuck".  I think I did write on some of these topics already - but it would have been years ago. And it  might also be interested to note which of the conflict things I've made progress on and which still need to be front of mind, and the like. Some of these topics may turn out to be irrelevant now, but I won't pre-decide until I get to that topic. So here, again, is the original list. I think what I'll do is post the list at the bottom of each post where I address these topics but cross out ones I've written about and add a link to that entry. Maybe. ;) We'll see.

Conflict
 Checklist
  Identifying when an 'issue' must be addressed right then.
 Allowing for normal human emotion
  Grumpy vs. angry, indirect vs. passive aggressive
 Aim for at least a 60/40 split with Listening vs. Talking
 How “mentally preparing” for next point interferes with listening
 Explaining reasoning does not negate/erase feelings
 Ask, don’t tell Owner what Her feelings are
 Waiting for the answer after asking a question
  Not defending/countering
  Accepting the answer given as the only sane choice
 How not doing these things invalidates Owner’s feelings/emotions
 The Reminder: “Who Owns Who?”
  The purpose of the reminder, why was it necessary?
  Understanding the risk Owner is taking in doing the reminding
  Taking a moment to be grateful
  Pause and reflect on behaviour – in line with protocol?
  “Stop” – Respecting Owner’s boundaries/need for space
  Hearing & respecting the first time (always an order)
  Ego Removal
  Thinking / Understanding
  Trust
 Seeking reassurance – appropriate time and place
 Resolving conflict productively
  Assigning blame - why?
  “I’m sorry” versus processing / expressing remorse
  Trusting Owner to apply correction when required
  Post-conflict self-abuse (mental/verbal/physical) = lack of trust
   Wallowing/Dwelling

Service and Mindfulness
 Can one exist without the other?
 Ways to cultivate mindfulness
 Identify your intentions
 Continual removal of conflicting thoughts
 Service to Owner as service to self

Orders
 What qualifies as an order
 Who judges whether a request is important?
 Bargaining
 Recognition/Reward – want vs. need
 The positive effects of obedience

Being aware of Owner’s needs & desires
 Offering vs. Being asked
  Identifying, Understanding, & Banishing fear with trust
  Practice, Practice, Practice
 Avoidance & Anxiety
  Identify the block / inner objection
  Processing anxiety
  What’s driving it
  Trusting
 Working within self-expectations
  Desired level of service vs Minimum level (keeping it realistic)
  Trusting Owner to decide what is/is not an acceptable level of service
  Identify the pleasure - Service to Owner as service to self

Eye contact
 Keeping focus when receiving direction
 Maintaining focus when responding
 Looking at vs. looking through

Corrections
 Hearing the correction
 Understanding the correction
 Ego removal
 Responding and offering gratitude for the Correction

Expressing Gratitude
 What the hell for?
 Understanding the service your Top provides
 You probably need it – even if you disagree.

Spiritual self-work
 Neuro-Elasticity vs. Samskaras
 The joy of sticking with it

Processing “negative” emotions
 Identifying uncomfortable emotions
 Examining the root – why is it so uncomfortable?
 What is the fear - what’s the worst that could happen?
 What to do with these emotions
 Is it necessary to express verbally?
 Productive ways to do so
 Identifying coping mechanisms / Ways to process productively

The discipline of focus
 Visualize goal
 Removing distraction
 Motivating self through reflecting on success

Learning to follow
 Being patient
 Micro-management
 Identifying what the fear is
 Remembering to trust
 Being flexible and open minded as service
 Being comfortable without a plan / Spontaneity
 Creating false objections to stay in ‘safe zone’
 Letting go and letting Owner be in charge
 Indecision
  Identifying when struggle for control is the root
 Asking for help when needed
 Respect

Identifying Milestones
 Identifying smaller achievements
 Remembering smaller achievements
 Rewarding smaller achievements (bidirectionally)

Protocol
 All Settings
  Mindfulness of Tone / Voice
  LISTENING: Learning to unfilter verbal information
   Identifying the filter
   Acknowledging the obstacle
   Listening to precise language
  SPEAKING: Learning to unfilter verbal information
   Identifying the filter / desire to spin
   Acknowledging the obstacle
   Speaking precisely
   Remaining open to response
   Integrating mindfulness
  Answering Questions
   Giving a straightforward answer
   Avoidance and defensiveness
   Answering a question with a question
  Interactions with others
 Vanilla settings
  Addressing Owner
   Tone used with terms of endearment, use of first name
  Walking / Travelling
  Food & Beverage
  Dining out
  Family Leisure time
 Public – kinky/private settings
  Addressing Owner – Syr, Daddy, my Owner
  Expectation removal
  Verbalizing desires
  Desire vs Need
  Accepting answers/responses – with trust
  Food & Beverage Service
  Playtime
  Providing sensual service
  Verbalizing headspace/mood
   Removal of intensity / impulse to drive a scenario
  Providing feedback
  How expectation removal allows for full immersion in scene
  Aftercare

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Accountability

Recently, I had a bit of a wake up call. A lesson about accountability.

Syr had established certain protocols around business. Things I was expected to do. And for the most part, I thought I was doing them.

But in reality, I wasn't. I was giving them a "nod". But I wasn't really integrating them or taking them truly to heart.

So we had a big talk that had a big impact on me, and I made some changes - suggested by me. Changes that would implement some direct accountability - self-reported by me.

And, already, I can feel a huge shift in the energy around these tasks. More accountability has turned out to be an enormously helpful thing - for both of us.

So, today, I'm basking in productivity, knowing that I accomplished far more because I am being accountable.

Sometimes service is more than kneeling and chores. Sometimes it's also about following through - and doing what I say I'm going to do.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Simple service

Sometimes, simple service looks like....

Making sure a nice dinner makes its way to the table...

And that you spoil Daddy with a DECADENT chocolate cake.

;)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Foreplay

Yesterday, when I got home for a bit of down time before having to go out again, things started to get heated between us - in the sexy way, that is.

And something about the way She was touching me. Stroking my face, kissing my neck, biting my neck. It felt... strong. She doesn't touch me in this hesitant way - as if I am delicate. But She can touch me gently, so gently. Her touch ... was all I was craving. 

And then one of us realized. We were doing that whole "foreplay" thing.... something that we often can't be bothered with, not necessarily out of laziness because hard and fast and intense and powerful and strong just seems to be our way - the thing that gets me really going. 

But not this time. This time I was melting into every kiss and every touch. Which is not to say that what was to follow was going to be all softness and romance and gentleness. Because what fun would that be? ;)

As things heated up, Syr made a playful comment about how nice it would be to have my hands tied overhead. We have an awesome bed setup, but one thing it does not have is anything even remotely like a tie down point. Not even a bed frame. It's a high, foamy mattress but no bedframe, no headboard... nothing. So I teased back that we were hardly set up with furniture that would allow Her to do that. She smirked. I had to go deal with the dogs briefly and when I came back...

She was playing with rope.

In less than 5 minutes, She had a system rigged up and me on the bed, cuffed and tied spread-eagle!

What followed was.... mind-blowing, to say the least. 

She teased me with feathers. She touched me. She fucked me. And then She rigged the Hitachi Magic Wand up, propping it against my clit.... and I came again and again and again and again - all while bound.

When She FINALLY turned the wand off and pulled me in close to hold me, I remember not being able to move my hands. Like at all! She'd turned me totally limp-wristed!! I was out of it. I couldn't move. I felt.... done. And in all the good ways I wanted to be done.

We had a little bit of time to snuggle and then it was time to get up, get bathed and dressed and ready for somewhere I had to be.

I think I'm STILL floating, today. 

And to think... it began with good ol' fashioned super-sexy foreplay... 

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

What gratitude looks like

Today, I was talking to a friend - and during that conversation was reminded of a couple extremely pivotal times in my relationship and marriage with my Owner.

Twice, since becoming Hers, I have lost the right to wear Her collar. Two times. And we came very, very, very close to a third - that third - had it occurred, would have been permanent, I am pretty sure.

It's hard for me to think of these times. Syr never holds them over my head in any way. Rather, one time, not long ago, She mentioned that almost third time in passing... and just hearing it mentioned felt like a knife twisting in my stomach.

But the reality is that, in an odd way, I am thankful for that momentary pain. I wasn't in the moment. But I am now.

These reminders of how easy it is to get careless, to lose something so dear and precious to me, help keep me grounded in the gratitude of the present.

Syr has this little game She likes to play. Usually when I am being (playfully) grumpy about something. Or when She asks me to do something that in that moment is particularly unpleasant - and always in a teasing way. She'll prompt me... "Thank you for the opportunity to serve you, Syr."  And I'll brat and avoid and eventually begrudgingly say it - and this little game is all in fun and, not to worry, no genuine displeasure on either of our parts takes place.

But I was thinking about that, today. And about the times I've lost that opportunity.

I have had to work very, very hard to get to this place. And by this place, I mean a place where, most days I genuinely feel I deserve to be my Owner's slave. That I've truly earned this. I revel in small opportunities to serve. I like keeping Her home in good order. I like preparing meals. I like finding little ways to make things extra special. But that good feeling I get from service, wouldn't be there... at least not to the same degree... if I hadn't worked hard to get here. I truly believe that.

I think that in order to truly appreciate what you have, sometimes you have to lose (or almost lose) it.

Gratitude isn't just about appreciating. It's also about honouring how you got there.

So yes. I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to serve.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Lazy Service

So apparently the holidays breed laziness. My service and protocols have absolutely slipped over the last couple of weeks. Writing? Bad. Protocols? Spotty. Chores? Inconsistent. Service mindset? MIA.

A new year and a new opportunity to refocus on my schedules and rituals.

Today that means catching up on laundry, the vacuuming, and steam mopping the floors. It also means (as you is clearly obvious) - writing.

I don't feel ashamed of myself - because beating myself up about stuff like this usually leads to overcompensating which leads to intensity which leads to making Syr unhappy/cranky/frustrated. Rather, I think I am just feeling "noticing". I'm noticing that some things have slipped. I think that's good. And mature. And healthy.

SO, in that way - we're all good. And on that note, I better get to work. <3