Control

We're all some form of a control freak. That's what anxiety and worry are about- wanting to control the future in some way that elicits feelings of out of control-ness in the present. We plan. We micromanage. We try to control other people even in subtle ways. And yet, we still feel out of control most of the time. WHY?

Because this form of grasping for control is indicative of NOT having true control over the self. What's controlling the self are all these unconscious behaviors and patterns in our subconscious. When we bring these to light, to our conscious awareness, we then can control our actions, our reactions, our emotions, and when we change those actively, we also change the way others respond to us and ultimately our whole reality.

But why do we not want to reach full self-mastery? Because it's true commitment to the self. Most people don't want to know themselves that deeply. Most people never do. But if we dig deep and learn the roots and causes of what's ACTUALLY going on within us, we then have more of a sense of pure control which means we no longer need to control that which we CAN'T fundamentally control or change. This means we reduce our anxiety, our worries, our fears GREATLY. And once we do, well, we have more control to give over to people like me in safe spaces. That means we can get more of a sense of surrender. 

When we get a hold of ourselves, we allow others to hold us too.

 

Acting

Has it occurred to you that we are all ACTING. Every single day of our lives? We may have a grasp of our "personalities" as is constructed and defined through living our lives, and other people may understand us as such, but WHAT IF all that we think we are is just a mechanism of control to feel safe in a predictable reality?

For instance, if I associate myself as "sweet", I act in accordance to that because then other people respond to me nicely. It's a way of controlling other people's reactions to me, because I have the experience of knowing that being "Sweet" begets a certain response.

But I am so much more than just that one quality that's come to the forefront of "who I am". We are all more than how we are defined, how we allow ourselves to be defined, and how we understand ourselves. Because we are WHOLE people.

When we let go of that subconscious control, we start to understand our real depths. We start to understand how much more is within our potential. We also start to see the full range, and appreciate that range, in other people. We can handle it because we can handle it within us.

The more we acknowledge things about ourselves, maybe qualities we've discarded, we can see how productive they truly are. Only when buried do they reveal their counterproductive sides- i.e. assertiveness can become aggression, confidence can become arrogance, etc..

Why Trauma?

The reason why I write about trauma even while knowing it may turn many of you off is because so many of us don't recognize the traumas we endured (I know many of you expect to be reading masturbatory fodder). As human beings we are all traumatized in modern society. We just accept it as "normal" when normal is a blanket term designed by the very systems that traumatize us and keep us functioning below our consciousness threshold.

How could we identify it during times when our agency was stripped away from us and it's all we knew? How can we identify it when the perpetrators staunchly denied it to be true? 

By showing you how I work through my own traumas, I intend to help you identify the traumas in your life. When we identify the traumas we faced, we are able to take back our own agency in those moments, recover a lost piece of ourselves (or better define who we are aside from the trauma-induced behaviors we thought were a part of us) and become whole- the way we're meant to be. We lose pieces of ourselves to traumas because they in ways, break our spirits into pieces and we give away our power bit by bit. We don't even realize how much of us is missing until we begin to rescue all those pieces.

If we live our lives numbing and being blind to our traumas, we never ever heal.

 

Choice

Studies show that when we have MORE choices, we value what we choose LESS.

Last evening I attended a talk between Dan Barber and Sheena Iyengar (social psychologist). Sheena explained that in her studies, she gave participants either 30 chocolates or 6 chocolates and asked them to choose one. Those with only 6 choices appreciated their chocolate more EVEN if they had the same exact one as those who chose from 30. At the end of their study they were given yet another choice: take home a box of chocolates or get paid. Those with less choice wanted the chocolates MORE. The intrinsic value was much higher for them.

I had encountered these types of studies before in rational thinking classes- in supermarkets, if we have LESS to choose from, shoppers are more likely to purchase ONE. With too many options, shoppers get overwhelmed, anxious and tend NOT to buy ANY at all. This is why in many stores, they will often only display a few options when selecting which products to highlight.

This principle does not just apply to food. It applies to everything else. A great example that Dr. Iyengar shared was that of dating. When we have so many options to choose from we tend to dislike dating more. It becomes stressful. Think about how this applies to your life.

Dr. Iyengar appreciated her experience at Dan Barber's Blue Hill (which is amazing- it's been a while since I've been and I do want to go back soon) because she was given NO choice. Barber has an assistant who gauges intuitively what course offering to give to each table based on their interactions. Dr. Iyengar felt such relief that she did not have to pick each course and had to just enjoy what was given.

This for me has more practical applications. As a domme, I deal with CHOICE. People see me because I take their CHOICE AWAY. Many of you who do see professional dommes are of course people who are given choice every single day. Not only that, but other people's choices rest upon your shoulders. That is a hell of a lot of responsibility and STRESS. 

Now, I also attended a lecture with a positive psychologist who discussed stress- how, when experiencing negative stress (positive being anticipation) we decrease our resilience and it LIMITS our experiences. Stress is inevitable (and in parts, good for growth- we need stressors to become stronger) but we must also target increasing our resilience and experiencing it in positive dosages. The amount of negative stress we encounter in our modern society is one that inhibits us and makes us SICK. 

When I effectively take away choice from those who have too much of it, they experience:

Resilience

Immunity

Appreciation

I'll give this an acroynym: AIR- YES. YOU GET TO BREATHE FRESH AIR AGAIN.

What we fail to realize is that each CHOICE depletes ENERGY. Yes, each choice is an investment of energy. Even a small choice. That's why Steve Jobs only wore the same outfit every day. Many of the highest caliber of geniuses UNDERSTOOD THIS INNATELY. Small choices add up and take away from what you can contribute elsewhere. When we want success, we need to channel ALL OF OUR ENERGY TOWARDS IT. We leak it making small mundane choices like what cereal to eat.

When I take away CHOICE, I restore that depleted supply for you. You have more to channel towards your pursuits, to your joy, to your SUCCESS.

Not to mention, everything you are then given is more appreciated. Your experience of life there after is expanded. This helps not only on a physical level, but emotional, mental and energetic.

Do you see?

Dr. Iyengar ended on a beautiful note that our heroic trope is no longer about the chosen one, but about the chooser. We can invest our energy making smart choices that help us to be our best, singular selves.

When we effectively choose when to choose and not over choose, we become our own heroes. 

Now today- choose not to choose.

Discipline & Punishment

During a conversation today over Kava (have you guys tried this stuff?? It's intense!) I learned that in some cultures, meditation is used as a punishment in schools.

This immediately cued "WRONG" in my head- as someone whose profession depends on understanding discipline & punishment, let me share with you my thoughts.

When I was a child, my parents used practicing the piano as a punishment. Whenever my friend did something wrong, my dad not only pushed the responsibility onto me because he needed someone who he could punish (and- he said, it's your friend, so you take responsibility- further instilling my destructive behavior of taking on the responsibilities and lessons of all of my friends from that point on) but he and my mother would force me to take a seat at the piano. I can't tell you how many days and nights I was crying at the piano- on the verge of panic attacks. Piano to me not only has the association of physical and emotional pain, but also large doses of anxiety, unhealthy surveillance, fatigue, boredom and TRAUMA. My mother wondered why all these years I could not stand the sight of a piano- she thought it was some childish rebellion on my part- NO.

It's simple. Like pavlov's bell, she and my father trained me to think of the piano as PUNISHMENT. By nature I am not a submissive, so I do not go willingly towards punishment.

This created yet another broader association- all music was then tainted for me. It's a pity- I can sight read just about anything and growing up I was always used in music class as an example of perfect pitch when I played the violin and clarinet. The other kids definitely hated me for that.

So think carefully about what associations you are creating- this gets complex in BDSM especially because it depends on the psychology- some subs as masochists so using pain as a punishment IS NOT A PUNISHMENT AND ACTUALLY ENCOURAGES THE BEHAVIOR THEY GET PUNISHED FOR. Unless this is what the scene entails- reward as punishment- plenty of role plays do this- but do not get the two confused.

ALWAYS UNDERSTAND THE INDIVIDUAL PSYCHOLOGY- NOT EVERYONE'S TRIGGERS OR VIEWS OF REWARD/PUNISHMENT ARE THE SAME- MAKE SURE YOU KNOW YOUR OBJECTIVE.