Monday, December 31, 2018

The end of the first decade

It's been over 10 years since I began this online journal. Thinking back, I think I was just so happy to be living in an authentic way - expressing overtly what I had held in for so long - that it was pure delight to share the journey with any potential reader.

These days, it's rare that I suddenly am motivated to share my thoughts in this way, but I am still here; still happy to have the journal in an online forum for any like minded soul who happens to come across it.

Over a ten year span none of us is the same person. I am certainly not that giddy person I was at the outset ten years ago. Age tends to mellow most of us and once we get into our 60s there is a tendency for most of us to take the long term view. We know a few things by then. We've started to identify patterns in ourselves, in others, in our long term relationships, in the world at large. If inclined towards the positive, we are happy for each new day. We delight in a bunch of roses, a grand baby's smile, a good night sleep.

Personally, it's been a ten year journey more intense than I had bargained for, yet one that I had no alternative but to pursue. Good times led to confronting times. I started to see things, to feel things, and I had to understand.

I have done the most enormous amount of reading. Until several years ago, I was a keen literature buff, but now I can barely read a novel a month. I simply had to get to the bottom of behaviors and feelings and to work out what had become so confusing for me. I have a small library of psychology and spiritual books now, all very well read.

There were times along the way when I felt I may have no choice but to exit from the lives of a person, or two. I was changing, growing, learning. Their presence in my life, triggering in me intensely difficult feelings, seemed untenable.

But, I am a fighter, not a quitter, not to mention that these same folk, I loved. So, I went on, trying to understand them, what it was they were inducing in me; why the Universe had transpired to put us together; why the Universe had insisted I walk this incredibly painful path.

I would have made a bad Nun, but I am drawn to a contemplative life. There is no doubt about that. It began when I was very young and I got something out of being in a Church; something more than the rest of my life offered me. So it went all my life and yet the material world was what was there before me. Family life kept me busy and it was not until the children were grown up that I had a chance to explore my sense of the spiritual; something deeper.

In these ways, psychology and the spiritual merged for me. I learned about abuse - more emotional abuse than physical - and what that does to a child's mind. I learned how to be whole in myself, how to carve out boundaries, to self-love and to self-soothe. I learned to practice unconditional love at the same time as I held onto some private hopes that I'd see progress in others too. It's not an expectation but rather just a little bit of hope; a little bit of swaying on my part towards good outcomes.

The biggest change of all? The past is not important nor is tomorrow nearly as interesting to me as it once was. It's this moment that fascinates me; the breath, the sensations, the possibility that the thoughts that wander in and out of my mind will be intriguing to me but in no way weigh me down.

I am aware of unwanted thoughts - an angry or resentful thought, a sense of disappointment or frustration - at the same time I am observing having the thought. It passes. I rarely get stuck on the thought. The thought passes and I return to a sense of quiet contemplation.

When life it too busy for my sensibilities, and by that I mean too busy to effectively direct my attention as I like, I suffer. I once thought I'd like to have a writer's life but all those thoughts demanding the attention of going down onto the page would exhaust me.

Instead, I write, sort of, meditative scripts that I can share with others, though so far the best scripts are those that come up quite naturally; a written script perhaps but then put aside. I speak of space, of connectedness, of presence, the present moment, the senses, of letting go of identities and roles; of awareness, an open heart.

When living in the present moment, as I aspire to do, one notices most of the little flaws; the little impatiences and frustrations. One aspires to do and to be better without making it a big time ME project these days. We're not robots. We're not perfect. I don't beat myself up about what I notice but I do note it and hope I do better.

I've explored kinkiness and mental illness. Where an excessive need for control is found - either giving to or taking from - so too is often some level of mental illness. Coming to know that, I needed to explore my own damaged being and to heal.

Well now, completely at peace with my level of mental health - my level of self-love, my boundaries, my functioning and state of mind - kinkiness prevails. It is perfectly possible to have both. I am certain of this.

I love to experience my submissive soul - to be held down, to be spanked, to have to speak certain words of reverence; to be turned on by all of it. I still revel in it, whenever it comes my way.

In this way, I enter into the next ten years of this journal hopeful for a long life. I've got the living of this life, my life, by the throat now. I am happy and content; not without joy, not at all.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018


From time to time, the conversation between my husband and myself will wander onto our early childhoods. His happy memories relate to the natural world. He spent considerable time watching the life of bugs. He loved to ride horses. He enjoyed being outside. Inside, he remembers baking with his mother.

Most of all, I think his happy memories are about a sense of freedom in the wide world; being on the farm and taking the cousins to hunt for rabbits, for example. Maybe, in those situations there was no worry or concern about his role in the family, about accomplishing much of anything; about the expectations of others. For those moments, I think he was in a state of Being.

Now that I have access to that feeling - to simply Be - my mind will sometimes try to return to any feelings I might have naturally experienced of Presence as a young child, before I made it a mission to find that freedom for myself in later life.

Unfortunately, I must come to the conclusion that that sort of freedom really did elude me. I remember certain moments; the pleasure of a meal made by an Italian woman who prepared me my meals; the relief of a cool change after a particularly hot day; getting off my school socks and shoes; soaking in the bath. I don't think I was especially open to the sensual world of the five senses, but nor was I closed to it.

But, that's not exactly the same thing. Sure, we can experience a state of Being through the senses, the natural world, but I am referring to a state of Knowing, where, regardless of how life plays out, there's a sense of peace that sits behind that. I didn't have that at all.

In fact, I think that it is more the case that there was an overwhelming and pervading sense of anxiety, of something not being quite right about me, that I didn't fit into the family; that I was being asked to live a lifestyle that didn't suit me at all, and when that was noted, that I felt shunned for noting it.

I'm not complaining here, what would be the point of that? Rather, I am making note of the fact that when I began 'the search', became a 'seeker', it was with a sense that there had to be more than I had experienced so far.

I don't mean travel, since I had done that already. I don't mean motherhood, which of course I had experienced in spades, or amazing sex, which I had also been privileged to experience many times. Rather, I wanted to know what it felt to be 'free', to feel at peace, to let go of expectations (which I had already gathered in my 20s was an important thing for me to accomplish).

In some respects, this was about my desire to let go of 'shoulds'. I should be more gregarious. I should be more ambitious. I should be more talkative. I should be more relaxed around strangers. I should always put others first. I should try harder to keep all the balls in the air, not relaxing for the great fear that I should drop one of them; that I should make a mistake; that I should let somebody down.

In an important way, the search was about learning to be comfortable with being me and presenting myself to the world just as I am; fallible and carrying shame about being Me.

In another important way, the search was about accepting my vulnerabilities - that I tend towards being overly empathic - and that I had somehow instinctively come to believe that someone else - a very special relationship - would enable me to live in peace, to finally experience the Freedom that had eluded me in childhood, and which I had erroneously believed all children were capable of experiencing. Perhaps the word for that state could be 'innocence'. I didn't have that.

The special moments of joy I have experienced cannot be forgotten. Sometimes they have been in BDSM spaces and sometimes not at all; sometimes out in nature with my husband; sometimes alone on a mountain top; sometimes in meditation. The joy fills every cell, radiates everywhere in my body. I call these experiences full body orgasms. It's like the sun has warmed me from the inside out.

I am happy to report that now, as well as those rare moments of pure joy, I often simply glide through my life, regardless of the days events, soaking in a quiet sense of Presence; a sense of all being well and as it should be which sits underneath the happenings of life; a sense of stillness and aliveness together with a sense of Isniss; no desire at all to make it more, or better, than it is. The word for that state could be 'acceptance'.

This settled sense of life, my life, has been hard won. It began as misery, agony; more emotional pain than I wondered if I could bare. It is said it often goes this way. This is how it starts. In this way, I have made sense of my life. It not only went the way it went. It could not have gone any other way.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Parent-child relationships, repeated

As I interact with my new grandson I find my mind going to the natural process of bonding of a helpless little being, completely dependent on the goodwill of those around him. The dear babe must develop a sense of trust in his caregivers that allows him to be vulnerable, to demand that his needs be met so that he can survive and have new bold experiences.

I like to send him on a space ship, made of my protective folded arms, hurling through the air. He loves the sensation and although technically he can't smile at a month, he certainly seems to be smiling. In the same way, I play slightly roughly with him at nappy changes. I blow kisses on his tummy and I roll him to one side and say something like, 'Well T what happens now?' On cue, he rolls back onto his back and I tell him what a clever little boy he is to have moved. I offer him new experiences and he goes with the flow because he has developed trust in me.

Imagine now a small child who very quickly comes to see that his protector is actually a source of danger, physically or emotionally, or in both ways. What option is there but to navigate himself or herself to a sense a safety? It's far too dangerous to blame the protector and so who else is there to blame but himself or herself? In anxious obedience, he or she must attach once again to the frightening adult as a survival mechanism.

As an adult, people who behave in rather frightening ways are sort of the norm to that poor wee child, now grown. Frightening people are not foreign to people who have gone through such a situation repeatedly in their childhood. In fact, it feels kinda 'right' to their minds, kinda comfortable, normal, at least for a time.

Of course, there is the reasoning rational mind that tells someone that relationships are not meant to be about fright, about a sense of discomfort. But, versed in the habit of blaming oneself or someone else, certainly not the loved one behaving badly, the 'victim' instinctively blames himself or herself for the lack of the control of the partner. It worked to keep them safe as an infant and throughout childhood, why not now?

I think this may be why some people remain in romantic relationships when those friends and family members who care about them beg them to go.

Of course, other factors are at play: their financial situation, their lifestyle, their self esteem issues, their place in their society without the relationship, keeping the family going. They can't see their way out. They can't imagine a better future. They make a decision about whether to stay or go based on the position of least resistance emotionally.

For these reasons, they bargain with their fate and organize their lives around pleasing that person who behaves badly to them, as only they know how to do.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Self love

I am coming to know, albeit slowly, a lovely woman who has known Ram Dass for many years. As a younger woman it was while she was having lunch with him that she shared a regret; that she wasn't going to have a child. He was somewhat dismissive of her concern, saying that there is always something that we want that we can't have. That's life. It's challenging to be told this by someone, anyone, and yet it's the truth; the cold, hard facts.

In fact, it's not a new notion to me; my father said the same thing often. He, for example, could never manage to get himself a race horse that won races, but if this was the something he couldn't have, he was comfortable with that. He said something similar when our house was spared in the 1983 bush fires. At home with the idea of luck, he felt our turn of good luck had occurred at just the right time.

Occasionally, a family member buys a ticket in Tattslotto or at an airport to win a luxury car. I nod and watch as they buy the ticket but I have zero expectation of our luck being demonstrated in a winning ticket. You have to be in it to win it and all that, but I don't expect it to ever happen. I've no faith whatsoever in it happening.

My husband wanted to go to the Oaks this week and I said a similar thing to him. I've got four healthy and happy children, a new perfect grandson. I've had plenty of good luck in life. It would be selfish to ask for more, nice to back the winner, but small potatoes in the scheme of life.

It is the case that we all have needs and desires. There is nothing wrong in that but when our deepest needs and desires are not met we go looking for substitutes. That's what the human mind does to try to settle itself. It might be a new dress or a bowl of ice-cream; a bottle of gin; drugs. It can be so destructive and yet we do it in a bid at self-survival. If I can't have what I really want, then I need something to drape over all this emotional pain, is the way the mind loops and weaves; justifies.

Like any situation it pays to stop and think about what is going on. If there is agitation, and that's how I experience it, then pause long enough to notice the agitation and call it out for what it is. I don't mean to self flagellate here; on the contrary I recommend giving yourself some comfort at this point.

'There, there, dear. This is hard for you. I know this is very hard for you'. Take some deep breaths. Sit with the agitation a little and see if it might shift. In other words; pause; don't go into overdrive with the need for relief before you give yourself a chance to self-soothe.

Another way of thinking about this is, if your tendency is to do something with negative consequences to yourself, your body or a close relationship, what could you do instead that might turn you back towards a feeling of relief, of ease?

Self-discipline isn't a sexy message but in some ways it is necessary for every person to cultivate enough self discipline to not be self destructive.

Meditation is in fact a form of self discipline as well as being a form of self love. My training had an element of the boot camp about it, and I suppose, I survived and thrived to tell the tale. But, I don't recommend this way of going about self learning of the mind. I wouldn't recommend sitting through  very much pain at all; a tiny bit is inevitable.

Most importantly, I'd recommend learning to meditate and keeping up a meditation practice with a group, led by someone quite sweet in disposition who won't scare you or put you off. Meditation can be a heavenly experience when a guide can lead you to a gentle place; a healing place too.

The Buddhists are correct. In life, we all suffer, but then if we suffer enough we demand to know how to stop suffering. This leads to a spiritual life; backbone along with kindness towards self and others.

Oddly, this approach can lead you back to your desires and the attaining of your desires. Perhaps it won't be the version you carried around in your head all those years, but you won't turn on yourself for having those desires.

In time, you'll be quite comfortable in your own skin, taking responsibility for your own sweet self and that which makes you you. You won't be demanding, internally or overtly, that someone else make your life how you want it. You'll figure out how to do this for yourself. Don't expect all the answers today, just start walking down the path of being good to yourself in ways that you, deep down, know to be good for you.

Self-flagellation is not the answer. Leave that to someone more proficient with a whip.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018


My guided meditations in a group situation have been a huge hit. It's delightful to hear that the group participants enjoy them. I certainly love to give them. It's a very professional situation but it's also a message from the soul dimension. At first, I had  note cards but then I realized that I needed to trust myself - to let it come up from deep within. So far, so good.

This is not a brag session; on the contrary. This is evidence of my theory that when you talk to a healing practitioner of any sort it is important to realize that they aren't some sort of special person who has perfected the business of living. Knowing the 'theory' so to speak is a little different to being able to put what you know into practice every minute of the day.

Another way of putting all this is to say that I have some great days and I have some not so great days when in spite of a lot of knowing about living in the moment, I have no alternative but to notice that it is, quite simply, one of those days.

I can say that my emotions don't spill out at all. I have no impulsiveness that I actually act out. Rather, I am aware of what I call unwanted thoughts running through the mind. There are a couple of ways to deal with this:

- I could notice the thought, register that I am not my thoughts and refuse to interact with the thought.

- I could sit and be with the thoughts, feeling into the emotions that come along with the thoughts until they fall away, which they will do.

- I could go for a walk, which is the strategy I am about to put into action; perhaps otherwise known as distraction.

If I were to interrogate the thought and come up with a rational mind interpretation of the day I might conclude that there is a sort of  'soul loneliness' today; that what I really need (want?) is a sense of deep connection that isn't available to me at the moment, even if I were to reach out. It's the last part of that sentence that probably made it inevitable that I'd feel a bit off today.

It's the kinky part of my being looking for satiation. I know this feeling well. Often I can override it with the joy of living; other times not.

It's a small thing really; so much to be grateful for. I am sure this gratefulness thought will deepen as I feel the wind on my face this afternoon; the lull of being carried along by the train; walking on crowded streets. The feeling will dissipate as all feelings do. I am fully aware it is just a silly repetitive thought that offers me nothing. If only I could pay someone to take it away for good!

I have had so many wonderful moments with this kinky body of mine, but sometimes I do long for the disposition of the vanilla mind. What a bother it is to be ravenous for the kind of food that is so often out of season!

Monday, August 27, 2018


A sense of joy seems to come out of nowhere, almost unrelated to the events of the day or of a life. Sometimes when in the city, for example, I stand waiting for the green light to give me permission to cross Collins Street. I look up the hill of that relatively long street and I feel a sense of joy. It has happened  several times over a long period of time and I've never quite known why it should happen at that particular moment. Perhaps I once felt joy in that spot and all the other moments in that spot are repeats of that moment of joy...

Having had the experience of joy just appearing on my horizon for no particular reason on many occasions I find it curious that it has decided to pass me by of late. I still function relatively fine. I enjoyed very much having a family brunch yesterday for one son's birthday. I enjoyed seeing him happily cocooned in our love.

I have a number of reasons to be excited about life right now. Well, I am still here and that's enough in and of itself. But, beyond that, my daughter is expecting the arrival of her baby very soon, and I am traveling soon. Spring is on its way. The three ugly trees in our yard have gone and now we can get on with creating a pretty garden. If one were to make a list of reasons to be grateful it would be long, for sure.

Yet, no joy, no little bubbles rising up and giving that sense of aliveness. I suspect it is a little bit of what is commonly known as 'depression'. It stems, I think, from having to accept certain realities; to face facts; to come out of the fog, which is a good thing long term but disorienting right now.

We can, of course, control our behaviors and our thoughts. We can distract and steer our thoughts. We can motivate ourselves to do positive and productive things. We can jig ourselves out of a funk. I've done it countless times. I tend to navigate towards the positive side of the street simply because I am so much more comfortable there.

We can notice the little things. Right now, the sky is blue, the air is clear; as I breathe in and out my inner world is calm. I have a certain amount of influence over my state of mind.

I can't will joy however. I can't make her come to me, overtake me. I can simply be open to the experience, confident that she won't stay away forever. She certainly never has before.

Monday, August 6, 2018


Gaslight has been in my consciousness for as long as I can remember. As a much younger person it was such dark material; a husband who appeared loving but was in fact using manipulation to make his wife wonder about her own sanity, all in the name of him getting what he wanted.

My young mind saw it as movie material. I realize now that I never took the notion of someone doing something like that seriously. As time went by I'd read of a marriage gone sour and one killing the other, and over time I came to appreciate the fact that you are more likely to be killed by someone you know than a stranger. But, manipulation tactics, tactics used to manipulate the person someone professed to love, passed me by.

Manipulation isn't like rape or assault or even stealing all the money from your joint account and taking off with a lover. It is subtle, a little bit here and a little bit there. The clever person gets under your skin; knows you so well that he or she gets to understand what makes you tick; how hard you're willing to work to make a relationship succeed; how entirely possible it is for you to question your own behavior; how often you are willing to turn the other cheek.

Those that have been subjected to manipulation by someone who supposedly loves them tend to all have the same question. 'How did he learn these tactics?' It's a fair question because a person whose default position when pushed is to manipulate another person doesn't look a particular way or even act in a particular way most of the time. Most of the time they can look exactly what you would expect an upstanding member of the community to look like, and most of the time they act the way you would expect a reasonably loving person to behave.

I do wonder if people who become adept at using manipulation in personal relationships did in fact learn some of these tactics in their childhood. Perhaps they did some shady things and when suspicion fell on them they needed to concoct stories. Or, perhaps they had an overbearing adult in their lives such that they needed to make use of deceit to protect themselves.

In the process of protecting themselves they came to see that the world was 'dog eat dog'. To survive, or just to get their way, there were things they could, must, say and do; certain types of people with whom they could build a life, such that the odds of being in control were more certain.

Some tactics of manipulation are so prevalent that any manipulative personality worth his salt is not going to miss them. Raising one's voice, be that in public or privately at home, is a well honed tactic. What does the other person, and at home the other person is likely to be a quiet living sort of person who hates disagreement and shouting, going to do once the tone has been elevated such that neighbors will almost certainly hear. But, of course, the other person leaves the space to enable the manipulator to settle down.

Did the other person think that the shouting person had erupted on purpose; that he or she got all riled up on purpose? Maybe. Or, maybe it is thought there is a lack of self-control. Either way, the conversation has come to an end. Whatever was being discussed, not to the liking of the person who has started to shout, is now unresolved, just as was intended.

I think frustration leads almost anybody to sometimes shout back, by the way, but again, where does that lead? It does not lead to a civil, sharing of thoughts in a rational conversation between two people who need to sort a matter out.

When the default becomes that one person of a couple has the God given right to raise his or her voice whenever they feel something uncomfortable, perhaps a doubt being raised, or having to explain something, it doesn't take long before people around that person begin to 'walk on eggshells'. Once everybody is walking on eggshells, well, that person has everyone right where he or she wants them; concerned to raise a matter, keeping as quiet as possible, being agreeable; keeping opinions to themselves. Control is theirs for the taking.

The drama stops by putting up limits. The offended party may say, 'I can't go on talking to you until you stop shouting', or they can remove themselves from the situation. This is what is recommended. But do note, there is still complete control assumed by one party. Nothing was resolved. The affection takes a heavy hit until a more reasonable dynamic has come into place. But, what are the odds of a new default behavior; 50:50 at best. Once the fog lifts and the behavior is seen for what it is, well, you can never go back to being in the fog.

Raising one's voice is merely one of a good dozen of strategies used by those for whom winning means everything; for whom keeping another in the bottom down position is important. I think it is important to call them for what they are - manipulation strategies. In the world going forward people will be more and more informed about this sort of thing; expectations for playing fair will mean that people are more awake. That's a good thing.

Saturday, July 28, 2018


To be alive is to have feelings. We probably all experience a number of them on any given day. Some people wear their feelings such that it is obvious what they are feeling. It might be someone ranting, and so we can make an educated guess they are feeling angry. Or, a child might have a hang dog experience on her face and we can guess that something has happened to make the child feel sad.

I tend to label many feelings in the 'upset' category. My hairdresser was upset yesterday, taking a long time to do my hair so that we could talk. This was very obvious to me. Her husband is exhibiting some very controlling behaviors and she doesn't know what to do about it. She was in therapy earlier in her life after being in an abusive relationship so she knows various strategies. When she is not happy with something that has gone on between them she knows to say, 'I feel...' rather than 'you......'. She tries to negotiate and discuss  matters but she has so little autonomy. He was angry with her when she hung the curtains her parents had paid for in the baby's room. He really does want control over every little thing.

Specifically, she wanted to know how she could get him to go to therapy. The short answer was and is that she is wasting her time trying. He is feeling much too much threat at having his vulnerabilities and feelings exposed to ever agree to do that. Even if he does agree, to get her off his back, he won't follow through. A lovely young man, sensitive and caring, there are bullying issues in his past and he has abandonment issues, so he's locked into controlling his world to shield himself from his most vulnerable and painful feelings, and that's that.

We can reasonably refer to these traits as 'narcissistic' or 'borderline', but I think it is far more common to be unaware of some of our more uncomfortable feelings, or to not expose them, than to label them as just belonging to certain personality types.

I can certainly speak to some of my more uncomfortable feelings. I could tell you about them here, but in the moment, when I am feeling those feelings, deeply hurt, I can't utter a single word.

Partly, this is training; training myself. If I try to express my feelings and it turns into a negative or circular conversation, or a controlling situation, I stop talking immediately.

But, putting that aside, if my feelings are very hurt, I ride the situation out and taking my feelings away with me to process. I in no way encourage this strategy or behavior. I am only saying that this is what happens for me.

Perhaps it is embarrassment. Perhaps it is hopes dashed. Perhaps it is a feeling of being insignificant, or unimportant to the other person.

The thing about being human is that something happens earlier in our life where we felt something - perhaps that we were not as important to the other person as we would like to be, not as important to him or her as he or she was to us. Let's call this feeling sadness. I give this example as one that I have experienced myself.

Then, many years later, along comes an opportunity to meet with someone you've come to know quite well in an electronic sense. You're excited about it but there's ambivalence on the other side. You don't understand it, assure the person that there's no need to meet if he doesn't want to. He says he does, but still, there's doubt in your mind.

So you do meet, it's kinda fine. If you were a third person looking in, you'd think it was fine. But, inside me there was a whole lot of distress going down. Adept at holding my feelings in, I was struggling.

I've asked myself many times since then, 'well, what were you hoping for?' and also 'why couldn't you say what you were feeling?'

It's easy to answer the second question. To expose my feelings of hurt is an extremely vulnerable thing. To say, 'I feel unimportant to you' is almost impossible to me. I'd rather go off and cry alone, and I mean that most sincerely.

What was I hoping for? Well, of course, to feel a connection; for him to have made a bit of a fuss; to have carved out time for me; to have found a little quiet restaurant where we could speak from the soul. I wanted to walk away feeling nourished; a tender memory to hold dear to my heart.

My point is we are all subject to feeling too vulnerable to expose our more difficult feelings at times.

Intimacy can only occur when we do. And so, I work on it.

Thursday, July 19, 2018


It's one of life's great challenges, to put oneself in the mind space of someone else. This is the great value of novel reading, because novels don't write themselves. They are written by other people who see life from a different angle simply because they are different to us.

If someone like me is reading a novel like 'the shepherd's hut' a whole new mind space opens up. I can't imagine causing violence and so to read of people who do it so effortlessly, with relish, is to attempt to understand the Other; not to necessarily understand the behavior but to acknowledge it as simply there in the psyche of some people for whatever reason.

If you are prone to looking out for the Other - helping, healing, giving the benefit of the doubt - which is also classified by some as naivete, understandably, it's close to impossible to get into the head space of someone who isn't any of those things, or is rarely any of those things; certainly not his or her default stance.

One son was in an elevator carrying a Haigh's chocolates paper bag when a colleague asked him why he had bought chocolates. My son, who already thought this chap psychologically impaired, responded that he was going to dinner at his parent's house and bringing them the chocolates as a gift.

'Why?' the man wanted to know.

It genuinely intrigued him why my son would do that.

'Because, I know it will make them happy,' he replied.

This didn't impress the colleague. For whatever reason, his brain could not compute.

The more absorbed we are with our own problems, almost insanely forgetting that everyone has problems of one kind or another, the more introspective and lacking of generosity we become.

When we focus on what we don't have, like looking through a microscope at a single drop on a glass plate, we entirely forget about the fact that we are the speck in space.

The more we notice the space around us, above and even below us, in front of us and behind us, the better able we are to put our 'problem' in some reasonable sort of context.

In meditation I encourage, with carefully chosen words, for people to feel all of creation within them and for them to enter into all of creation. In a relaxed state, both mind and body, it is not difficult to conjure this sort of  non duality where the 'I' is transcended.

When the 'I' is transcended, violence upon others is unthinkable. Still, it's not the way of the world, is it? Violence begets violence and so the wheel of violence keeps turning; selfishness endures.

I asked  the teacher I work with about Emily when at school this week, a cute and highly intelligent but troubled 7 year old. It was rough right now, I was told. She arrived back from a holiday in Bali with her Dad to discover that Mum had moved out of the house; much of the furniture had gone with her.

The teacher made this interesting observation. 'I just hope that she has the tenacity to say, 'I won't wear this failure. Whatever you choose to do with your lives, I choose success.' And, it made sense at that moment why some people become quite hard and single focused. They have to be that way to survive a life where the odds right from the start didn't go their way. It's the survival instinct at play. 'I am going to work hard and make a success of my life despite the odds against me'. Right now, school is where she can feel safe.The rules don't change, the expectations don't change.

I remember now that the Headmaster of my sons' school said exactly this to me years ago; that money was no security for some boys there; that the school environment offered them the stability and care that they didn't necessarily get at home. This reminds me of Hillary Clinton's phrase, that it takes a village to raise a child. It is the truth.

It seems to me that it is quite an art to be human; to have the tenacity to succeed, whatever success means to the individual, and the heart to feel for fellow man, regardless of personal circumstances; to be open to failure.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Objectification, again

There's a lot of material on this blog about objectification and much of it is positive. It's positive because in so many of my experiences where I am a 'doll' or a 'bimbo' or an 'object' or just 'it', it is so incredibly freeing. I love having my mind vacated and my body responds so enthusiastically to that sort of play.

For quite some time, many times, there was a feeling of being deeply connected to another person, a wonderful feeling of being intertwined in the play, because of the play. Trust is such an integral part of the play where objectification is involved and if the trust is there, that's very connecting, and soul sharing.

If my body wasn't responding to the play, just the mind, though I don't think that's technically possible, it would almost be enough. At its best, the sense of joy that floods the mind is its own reward. The facts are that the play was/is deeply arousing to the body, and much of the 'feel good' sensations come from that too. It's such a mind/body experience that it is hard to separate them into categories.

To be clear, for me it's about the Top wanting me to have that connecting and pleasurable experience as much as he wants to feel the sexual turn on and the connection himself. I operated on this understanding of the play for some time, in an intuitive sense, without spelling it out, even for myself.

I used to wonder a long time ago if I had a 'slave' soul. But, I don't. I don't have a slave soul, not at all. I've noticed for some time now, though I didn't have the words I have today to express the awareness, that if I am in fact treated like an object or a fuck toy, and it becomes very clear to me that my feelings and my pleasure have nothing to do with the event, I am thrown into a pit of despair that I don't crawl out of for some time.

Oh, I can camouflage those feelings of emptiness and disconnection. I can go about my life such that you won't notice much, or any, difference in my words, my tone, my behavior or my pleasure in life. I've become so able to live in the moment, to categorize the confusion and upset in a particular place where the day is hardly effected and the relationship is not affected in a veneer sense. Even if the sex wasn't right for me, harmful to me, I can find a sense of gratitude in many other moments in my life.

However, I become skittish, you see, about wanting to interact in a sexual way any time soon. It's such a dark place I go internally when I feel that I have been used as an object purely for the other's gratification, or pleasure or sense of power, or whatever the heck it is that motivates this behavior, that I will just about walk over broken glass to avoid any such similar interaction. It absolutely does not work for me if I don't feel a sense of generosity.

It is said that those with narcissistic behaviors aren't so good at thinking about the 'we' in sex; that they can view their partners as objects that satisfy their needs. In fact, rather than more sex bringing the two partners together in the case of sex with a narcissistic bent, it can cause further separation. When I read this research finding, it made complete sense to me.

What I think is important if the kink tends towards objectification play is that both people understand what lies behind the motivation for such play. Kink is kink and person specific, but in kinky play the motivation should be for greater connection for both players. If it isn't achieving that outcome, then it's just not working as it should. No kinky play is probably a much better outcome than doing it in a way where one partner causes emotional harm and disconnection. Whether that makes sense to a person who does not see sex in the 'we' sense, is the debatable question.

I want to add that I am not just talking about kinky play here. Any lover who is inclined to take his pleasure rather often without concern for the partner's feelings and body state will cause disconnection in the partnership. Those who are divorced may well be able to speak to this.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

How things go

It is said that it can go either way when a child's basic needs have not been met - you  can turn out an empath or you could turn out a narcissist. There are detailed arguments about why one person goes one way and one person goes the other. The more I simply observe people the more I think that narcissistic behavior is often the province of the empath who doesn't feel loved.

It is a stretch, this thought of mine. Put it this way. You can try heaping love on a narcissist and if he or she responds positively to that, you might be onto something; a way to improve the reactions and interactions.

If that doesn't work - and it might not be love that is needed so much as approval or respect, according to the relationship - then I think it's fair to say that there is narcissism involved and it may be unchangeable. It may be necessary to accept the 'isness' of that.

My brother and I had an interesting conversation yesterday. Our mother is demonstrating odd behaviors; different odd behaviors to before. We've been trying to tease out quirkiness, egocentric/selfish behavior, and behavior that could suggest a form of illness. We've had to look closely at her behaviors and do a lot of talking to sort that out.

I happened to say that I had done an experiment in relation to my mother when I returned from holiday last month. Instead of kissing her and hugging her when I next saw her in a cafe, a few days after my return, I stood by the door, watched her come in, said 'hello' and waited. She said 'hello', of course, but that's it. She made no effort whatsoever to touch me in any way. Nor did I. I told her I had a table reserved and escorted her to it. We sat down.

On the various occasions I have seen her since, it's been the same thing. Oh, I've dressed her in the hospital after a test, and held her arm as we walked and so forth, but there has been no greeting with touch. She seems absolutely fine with that.

My brother revealed that he had made the same experiment a few years back and since then there is no greeting, even when months have gone by since they saw one another. He tells me it relates to the fact that he used to kiss her on the cheek and then when he went to hug her he could feel the sentiment, 'Oh God, do we have to do this again?' from her. She made it quick, with her body well away from his.

I told my brother that I have scanned my memory banks for any touch from my mother at any time in my life, perhaps one of comfort, and I can't. I have also scanned my memory banks for memories of touch from my father and I located one memory, where he came up behind me; hugged from behind. It was in the kitchen of a hotel they owned.

There are no memories of my mother's grandmother or grandfather hugging me, and not my father's father either. My father visited his father religiously on a Sunday morning and we two children tagged along to play in the garden. But, there was no hug hello, or goodbye. He seemed a lovely man to me but I was more or less invisible to him.

I shared a long ago memory with my brother. My mother and I were in the laundry of another Hotel, a time period later in my life when I was in my mid to late teens. I think my mother must have been complaining about my attachment to Maria, an Italian woman who was with us for many years. My mother must have really angered me because I was a very quiet child who kept her feelings to herself.

'I talk to Maria,' I said to her, 'because she acts more like a mother than you do.'

It was a confession. I didn't expect my brother to necessarily support the outburst. He said to me, 'If  Maria hadn't been in my life I am sure I would be a drug addict.'

The mind is crazy. We get hurt somehow and then the mind compensates in various ways. My mother had very little education and so her business and being a business woman meant far more to her than being a mother on the ground with us. She would deny this but it is the honest to goodness truth. If she developed narcissistic traits it relates to problems in her own childhood. Nothing comes from nothing.

In my own case, I became a giver. There was no determination about this, it just happened that way. Perhaps it felt comfortable since I had been doing it all my childhood; considering the other person's feelings ahead of my own. My husband can be sexually selfish; negligent; absorbed in what interests him. I notice. I am aware. But, as good a time as we can have, people return to their default position. It is just the way it is. I can't change this.

I've been leading a meditation group and I love creating a sacred space where I can afford other people peace and quiet. I encourage effortlessness; to just Be; to just be the dark screen or the blue sky that always sits behind the most cloudy day; that essence of life that is the natural self; ease.

I take refuge from the damage that was done to me at an early age, from selfishness, in goodness, kindness; an understanding for the suffering of all mankind and an appreciation for all the many brave attempts to counteract that which is not right.

This is just the way I turned out.

Monday, June 18, 2018

My definition of Intimacy

Since our most recent holiday in the States I've been ruminating about intimacy and what a feeling of intimacy might really be like, and be about.

I have no idea how other people feel about intimacy but for me it isn't necessarily about being sexual. I have, in moments, experienced deep intimacy through sex. I remember them distinctly because they are not at all everyday experiences.

Don't get me wrong. Many sexual experiences are wonderful, and some are even liberating, but not necessarily intimate. That is to say, they don't raise me up to a dimension that is in the upper hemisphere of experiences.

If you were to ask me, well, which sexual experiences have raised you up to another dimension, my honest answer would be those where a deep, soulful need of mine was fulfilled, even if just for seconds. Those seconds stay in my mind, and can be recalled immediately at any time, on any day.

I could speak to you of the time I was bound and spanked well beyond my limits. That he did not stop as he saw me pulling and pushing at the ropes around my wrists and ankles made that for me, both in the moment and long after in my mind, one of the most intimate experiences of my life.

Such experiences fulfill needs for me over which I have no control. I could go without, of course. Doesn't someone imprisoned in  a situation go without? They don't necessarily wither and die when their needs are not fulfilled. Then again, they don't flourish either. The need for human intimacy, for love and fellowship, remains. The need to be known and understood sits there under the surface.

It was on this past holiday (vacation) that I realized that I also have a need of intimacy in a non-sexual way. It happened one other time for me, that that need was fulfilled, and maybe that time sat in my deep memory banks willing me forward. I am not sure.

It was quite simple really. My husband suggested a hike to a waterfall that would be a challenge for me since I was suffering a bit of altitude sickness and my fitness isn't at his fitness level. I immediately agreed to the challenge and the next morning we set off.

It wasn't long into the hike that I realized this was a significant challenge. It was one of those hikes where you walk upwards, turn a corner and find you have to walk up an even steeper rocky path. Multiple this hundreds of times and you might see why at a particular moment, maybe half an hour from the waterfall, I found myself wording, 'I don't know what to say'.

My husband assured me we didn't need to keep going, that we could turn around and go back. But, once I had taken several breaths the thought of failing, of giving up, became a repugnant thought to me. I do wonder, if in that moment, I was chasing a feeling of intimacy that I hoped might ensue if I finished the hike. I had no way of knowing how I would feel at journey's end but I just knew I had to find out.

When I caught site of the waterfall, all I felt was relief. I just didn't know where to put myself. I suspect he had the same thought and he had me follow him closer to the waterfall. With a final burst of effort I climbed up a rock with him, very close now to the waterfall; so close that we had the spray of the waterfall on our faces.

Finally, I had arrived. I could sit and soak it in. I was very quiet. I watched the water thundering down the rocks, listened to it, and I felt cool, but warm inside. I felt so happy to be here and to be having this experience.

'Turn around,' my husband whispered. 'Look back at the town. You walked all this way.'

If you looked way back, as far as the eye could see, in the very far distance was a square of green , in the center of my vision. On either side were majestic, rugged rock and tall trees. And, then I turned around again, to see the cool water at the other end. I was sitting in what I think is referred to as a 'box canyon', but at that moment, and maybe any moment, the canyon could be quite simply referred to as 'Paradise'. It was so beautiful, so pristine; so wild.

That's when it happened. I reached for my husband, hugged him, climbed up behind him so that my legs were around, and I hugged him tight around the waist. My heart pulsated with eternal feelings of love for him, always there but not always available to me.  He hugged me back. I could feel his sense of love for me coming back at me, into me. In these moments, we were 'one'.

There are simply no words to explain the welling of emotion in my being in those moments, perhaps like bubbles that rise up in a champagne bottle when uncorked. I overflowed with gratitude for the experience, for being alive on this day in a canyon in Colorado, far away from civilization.

What I loved about the whole experience was his tenderness towards me to make this possible. He knew, without me saying a word, that I wanted to make the distance. He knew it would be hard, but he facilitated this for me. When I needed to stop, he stopped. When I needed water, he got out the water bottle. When I needed to voice my doubts, just that once, he offered to go back, but more out of the fact that he knew that's all I needed, to say it, and then buckle down.

He praised me. He held my hand. And, sometimes, when I said that I felt more motivated when he walked ahead of me, he did that. He was patient. He was kind. He facilitated my success.

When I think about moments of intimacy in a power exchange, a BDSM situation, it's just the same. Well, not quite the same. If you suggested to me that the spanking or some other sensation could stop, I'd be too bamboozled by that. Maybe not. It might be the same, ensure I buckle down for the ride. I do so hate being giving options in such moments. But, you know what I mean; it's the same approach, facilitating success, by whatever means, tapping into my need to succeed, to stay the course. That's incredibly intimate to me.

Sunday, June 10, 2018


Life has been very good to me lately which is why a burst of anxiety came as a bit of a surprise. I was particularly tired going to bed last night. Since returning from overseas I've been running around like the Everready Bunny and tiredness befell me hard. I slept for a little over four hours and then I was wide awake. Not just wide awake in the usual way, I was experiencing that feeling I get from time to time where it feels like something is under my skin agitating me.

I've noticed in times like this I have taken a rational outlook and look for reasons why I might be experiencing this physiological response. It is as if my mind won't accept it and so I need to find the reason why this is happening.

I did manage to get to sleep again finally but when I woke up the feeling of agitation was there again, even louder and more insistent that I pay attention to it. It makes me want to move and to move away from all human contact. It makes me want to seek out my own company, so that I can settle the anxious response down.

For the first time ever I googled this experience to learn what I already instinctively knew - this was a physical response to anxiety. In a way, this calmed me. I was assured that it didn't last, and that's right. It doesn't last too long, if you can just breathe through it.

Importantly, I have learned that these anxious moments, not necessarily resulting from any particular experience or emotion, simply come. There is no need for self-flagellation, or to involve anyone else, but simply to acknowledge that I am someone who experiences these unpleasant sensations from time to time. It's not a flaw of character, or even something that I need trouble myself about. It is simply my reality. Experiencing this sort of response to an unspecified anxiety is part of being me.

Just as my experience began without warning so too did it end mid morning of its own accord. I kept to myself for my own self care purposes but also to not involve anyone else in my distress. I went about my morning quietly, knowing that to do simple physical tasks calms the experience. I soothed myself by telling myself many times that I would be all right soon, that the crawling feeling under my skin, the dark mood, would soon lift, as it did.

People who are anxious don't ask for the anxiety, don't enjoy the anxiety and only make matters worse by being hard on themselves. I've made enormous inroads on my anxious disposition, enjoy a happy and full life and consider myself a fortunate person in all the important ways.

Still, the anxiety waltzes into my life without an invitation from time to time. It's unsettling and uncomfortable ,but it's my reality and I have no quarrel with it. As best I can I give it room. I've accepted it, happy to wave it goodbye rather than kicking it out the door.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Sensibilities, again

Every era has changes such that older people bemoan the behavior of younger folk around them. In many ways my generation is the first for a long time to see such fundamental change in the culture. It's hard to grasp when, and why, the rule book was flung out to sea, leaving people quite directionless.

I'm not talking about matters such as same sex marriage legislation, or multicultural societies. I think sensible older people, in the main, are fair enough about 'the other' to applaud such changes.

What I refer to is sensibilities. I loathe how so many people have no sense of occasion in how they dress now; how going to the theater, to the city or to the beach, seem to suggest to them to wear the same few pieces of apparel. Who ever decided that was okay?

If musicians can spend a bomb on their instruments, invest in expensive loans for multiple music degrees, and then devote hundreds of hours learning precisely a beautiful repertoire for our listening pleasure, isn't it fair for us, the public, to dress up a little and make a celebratory occasion of it?

My husband and I were walking along a street in New York City recently quite unaware that our Airbnb host had recognized us on the street. He told us this when he met us for the first time as we were leaving the apartment.

'Did we really stand out that much?' my husband asked him.

He just smiled and looked down.

Yep. We stood out that much.

I think the South American countries still have strong sensibilities, which is very much to my taste. Recently, one son's girlfriend's mother arrived from Brazil and she brought with her gifts not just for her daughter and my son but for me and my daughter, which was so thoughtful. She had chosen for me a beautiful turquoise beaded necklace and earrings. Naturally, I made an enormous fuss and thanked her profusely.

Her daughter translated her words for me. 'I picked them out as if I was buying them for myself.'

Of course, I then perused the stores to find her some perfect Australian gifts to take back to Brazil, because that's what people should do; reciprocate feelings of deep affection in an appropriate way.

It didn't stop there. She insisted on cooking us the most scrumptious seafood dish typical to her region of Brazil, and she was forever doing things for my son and her daughter - ironing shirts and so on. She wanted to play Mother. Of course she did.

I do feel Starbucks has a lot to answer for because that was probably about the time that we went along with the lie that it was okay to drink out of paper cups, and not any paper cup but the most insanely large paper cup possible. If you go to Europe, or Australia or Japan you'll still be served a cup of coffee as if it means something, probably your only cup of coffee for the day. It will be served in a cup with a saucer. Imagine that. It's not a beverage to keep you 'up' during a manic day of frantic activity but a little break in your day. That's why it was called 'morning tea' and 'afternoon tea'. It was, in fact, an important ritual of the day.

We visited some old friends in Connecticut. Granted, I insisted they not go to any big effort on our behalf. But, when the takeway pizza was served on a paper plate, I noticed. And, when the box of store bought cookies for dessert was plonked down in the middle of the table, no side plate to be seen, I noticed. I'm not being prissy here. These were good friends we hadn't seen in 22 years. I didn't require a 5 course dinner but I did think we needed to create some semblance of occasion.

My concern is where does it go from here? Is anything at all going to matter in 25 years time? Are we going to be happy to just melt into the crowd in jeans and sneakers? Will there be much regard for beauty and occasion and the special moments of life?

We all know that dining rooms and fancy dinner sets are a thing of the past but what of having a family meal together where people can leisurely discuss the affairs of the day? If kids don't get a chance to share their thoughts over a meal, then when?

I'm all for a more fluid society but I think we might be throwing out the baby with the bathwater. We do need some customs, and rituals. Dare I say it, I think we need to hold onto some expectations.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Writing less

I was remarking to someone last night who has kept reams of notes over her life, as have I, that there is less of a need for me to create words on the page.

It's an interesting phenomena since the written word has been how I have tried to make sense of things in the main.

For months now I have noticed that words wash over me, and that when particular words sparkle for me, capture my attention, I embody them. There is not the slightest need nor desire to write them down. The rest I can let go, like leaves blowing in the breeze.

To this end, this journal is less used now. I write far less in a nutting out kind of way.

I am hoping this opens the door to write, when the time and space is available, in a more creative and fiction oriented way. I had to let that go as I worked through things in my own mind.

Still, it's not over until the fat lady sings and who knows when I will feel an impulse to record something here.

Life certainly isn't always as I'd like it to be. Yet, my heart and my mind have developed this deep sense of compassion - not worry, but compassion - for others, including myself - that I find myself living in a very quiet space most of the time; calm, relatively relaxed.

For whatever I've gone through, so have we all gone through challenges in our own unique and personal way. It is the human condition.

And yet we rise. We rebuild. We heal. We are all amazing.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Having an opinion

In a synergistic relationship such as a power exchange, there can sometimes be a sense that when these two very different people come together they should  think alike. The fact is, however, that couples fight and usually they fight because they have differing views. This needs to be sorted out in some way for the sake of cohesion. Maybe there is compromise, or co-operation, or one defers to the other. Each relationship has its own formula.

I honestly don't see one sort of agreement or arrangement as being better than another. It's about what makes the people involved content and satisfies their personalities. I think  that a close relationship is designed to rub the rough edges off each other anyway; to investigate issues left over from the past and to make accommodations for the strengths and weaknesses of each person. With every challenge in life we learn something, so if we are not challenged much, the downside of that is that there is less chance of learning more about yourself or extending yourself. I don't mean this in terms of external achievements but rather getting closer to yourself and understanding yourself more. I see this as one of life's big undertakings. Content and settled people make an underestimated difference to this world.

Ideally, there is a certain meeting in the middle with relationships. It's unlikely to be a good thing to be too far to the left or the right in your desire for control or your desire to control. It's unlikely to be a good thing if you can't be  alone with yourself or find your own company satisfying. The love for yourself is what you share with the world so loving yourself is no small thing; absolutely vital.

No matter my kinky nature, that instinctive and natural tendency towards submission and service, even humiliation and shame in a scene, I've always, and I mean always, thought of myself as a separate entity in this world. I really don't need anyone to agree with me for agreement sake. I make up my own mind. Sometimes, I am wrong and I adjust my thinking accordingly. But, I never feel that my husband, my extended family, my friends or anyone else is obliged to agree with me on any matter, because they should. We're all unique, sometimes deeply challenging souls.

I'm not sure it's such a great thing to be too good. I've been good, loyal, faithful and I am happy I am that way, because those things matter to me at the soul level, but every now and then something rises up and I want to shake things up a bit. It's not a good thing, in my opinion, to give someone heaps of control and let them run with it for long stretches without reminding them  that being good, the person they want me to be, isn't always how I am.

I get triggered by things said. I get annoyed. I get frustrated. I can be diplomatic, and go away and process my anger/frustration/annoyance, because I am darn good at that now. Yet, the spirit demands to have the odd conversation where one might say something that provokes, for sure, but is also my truth in the moment.

When you provoke someone who wants control and control over you too, they tend to provoke you back. Funny that! Well, that's just the way it has to be in the odd moment. There is flesh and blood you're dealing with here. There's passion. I'm no wind up doll.

In that space of being a toy, a doll, what have you, there's a chance to empty the mind, which is one of the main reasons I like that space so much. The other reason is just simply that I don't know why I like that space so much. I just do. By and large, there's no reason to think. Someone else is doing that for you, and so these little rebellious moments aren't a shift in psyche at all. I am, in my own way almost saying, 'Just watch it. I'm no pushover.' which is a point my husband has made before, that after an intense scene it can be a dangerous time.

That's a good thing, probably, protecting you both from taking yourselves too seriously. I don't know why I sometimes rock the boat, honestly. It just happens, probably little grudges that I've held onto and in the moment I am triggered again by that unpleasant feeling. You'd have to hone down deeper than I am willing to do right now; no time for that.

I was accused recently of being "uppity" which really got my goat. But, I am wondering now if that might have some little thing to do with  my rather new very close relationship with myself, which may possibly feel alienating in some way. Here's the goal and the outcome: I can easily just be. Not particularly invested in anyone's opinions or ways, nor in expressing my own, there is much more space to hone down to my essence, my soul, or whatever word you can find that defines that part of me that came into the world in the form of a body but that is not my body and certainly not my mind.

It's hard to talk about but I can close my eyes now, in a train or sitting at my desk, or laying in my bed and get in touch with that essence with which I came into the world such that when I open my eyes I say, 'Ah, yes, this is life on Earth. What will the next minutes bring me in way of an experience?' This keeps me interested, enchanted, quite fascinated with life.

Do I worry about this life ending? Of course, I do. I have loved ones here that I'd miss and who would miss me. Endings are not for sissies. Still, I am less troubled by the thought of death, more confident that those I love will find their own way. It's a form of letting go.

I am a little discouraged when I see people so invested in demanding that their views are the right views. Certainly, some information is better than others. Even if you look at something like the value of soy products, there is so much information on both sides, and it's hard for the consumer to get to the truth of the matter. The truth of such matters counts. But, again, one has to quietly make up one's own mind, unless you are someone touting the value of soy products, or on the other side, and then you have a important responsibility to offer the best science out there.

Perhaps this is why I am not inclined to say 'I agree with you', as so many people want you to do, as if my opinion should matter to them, in some way affect how they feel. I am quiet because I am processing. Does that make sense to me? Is that right? I have my own opinions to be sure, and am sometimes gullible, too willing to listen to anything before I discard it probably, but this seems the right thing to do, for me.

Unfortunately, some people are very invested in their partners thinking just how they think, agreeing with them openly and often. But, marriage or even a power exchange relationship should not demand that people think alike. I tend to skate around this. I tend to hold my own counsel even in the midst of nodding or listening quietly. Mostly quiet and self-contained, I can defer most of the time, but remain my own person. There's no changing that.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Disciplinary thoughts

Some people in the know feel that kinks can be best understood by examining the day dreams one has when in the midst of private arousal. Of course, my day dreams relate to a very clear dynamic where I don't have much control at all. In fact, in the day dreams any sort of negotiation isn't available, whereas in real life, I aim to negotiate when things aren't how I'd like them to be. That's the big difference between my fantasy and my reality. If I was told to have my nails cut in a stiletto style, I'd do just about anything to get out of that, but in the fantasy, well, it would just happen; be supervised. Boom! I'd have what I think of as evil claws. In my fantasy I might even like them, though I am doubtful of that.

That said, I do enjoy situations in real life where it's like my fantasies. As one would expect, I don't necessarily like everything that happens in those situations and yet it unfailingly arouses me at the same time. That's the push/pull that gets submissives hooked, I think. Maybe it's fun to have to do something you don't want to do, but not always. What it is is satisfying to know that the Other is serious about getting his way, at least for this experience and for other experiences in the future. There's a sense of comfort in that sort of mental bondage that is as snuggly as being under a woolen blanket in from of an open fire on a dark and freezing winter night.

In the fantasies, discipline is a major part of the scenario, because, well, because that gets me off. Obviously, I am going to conjure the situation that does it for me. In real life, I'm less interested in being disciplined, except to say that when that has happened I am even more horny than I am in my private fantasy. I hate it and yet I love it, which is quite a dilemma, not just for me but for many submissive types, I would imagine.

To give an example, in the fantasies it is often the case that I am sent by someone who is my superior to someone who is even more superior to him or her. There's a waiting time. It might be a minute or two or it might be an  hour or more. This time is a time of reflection and self recrimination. 'If only' time, I call it. If only I had held my tongue. If only I had done it the way I was supposed to do it.

Also, it's a time for those above me to really drive the message home with plenty of humiliation, making me feel like a naughty child. So, I'm often sent to a wall with my nose pushed into it. I'm often told to raise my dress to keep ever present in my mind the attention my ass is almost certainly going to receive. They like, I feel sure, for me to fuss about what instrument will be used and for how long I'll be beaten. I oblige.

There's no 'it hurts me more than it hurts you' speech when I am finally called in. It's about the necessity of the exercise to impress on my mind that what I did I must never do again. It's all about that, with lots of emphasis on statements such as 'a girl must do as she is told'.

In real life, this sort of scene would be terribly taxing. Imagine holding one's nose to the wall for an hour imagining what comes next. And, imagine the speech and then the sentence, and settling oneself into position for a beating that absolutely will impress on the mind that a girl should never get herself into such a situation again.

And, yet, a mind blowingly orgasmic experience too! I think what I like about it best is that it would be a most rare scene. But, it happened once, and hence it could happen again. One takes that thought and makes jam out of it for months and months. It's an incredibly delicious thought that reminds one there is a power exchange in play, which for certain people is as good as it gets.

I'm not even sure I should write about what really goes on in this mind of mine because it is intense, deep, ongoing and all pervasive. One only has to say certain things in a certain way, make certain moves, be committed to taking control, and my mind is right there, so much that I feel a need to hide to what extent it is really going on under my skin and between my legs. It's something one feels obliged to keep under wraps out of fear; fearful of getting what one wants.

I don't know. I've held this side of me in for so long, it has oozed out of its own accord. This girl is on fire. (I think I stole that line from  a song...)

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Looking at what is

Over the past several years, bit by bit, I've come to understand myself and how I got to here. I've acknowledged and accepted that I was either born with an anxious and sensitive disposition, or my upbringing led me to be that way. Maybe it was a bit of both since both my parents were anxious and so it makes sense I inherited that anxiety to some degree.

I've acknowledged and accepted as well that I am attracted to men, and have always been attracted to men, who offer at least some degree of positive energy; where I can hover down under their wing. That space feels right.

Another way of saying the above is that I am an empath and as such there are some pitfalls as well as strengths of which to be aware. So, I am happy to look after the other, to be led by the other (so long as it isn't onto a landmine) and for the other to, generally speaking, have his way.

I've listened to lot of complaining in my life, to the other's story. I've cajoled, or stayed silent, or agreed, for the benefit of the other, and for peace. I've put my own needs second, or third, or fourth...

I've discovered that there are stages that an empath might go through, the first one being a fight or flight stage where the body is pumping out adrenaline. Over time he or she might wander into a so called 'resistance' stage, a chronic stage where the body is producing more cortisol than it should. From there, an empath can find herself or himself in a 'burnout' stage where the empathic skills are in a state of hibernation as the person rests mind and body.

As far as I can tell I must have been doing something right, because people whose body and mind has endured what I have tend to end up with chronic inflammatory conditions like fibromyalgia. I don't have any serious conditions like that.

I have been aware at times however that my body is in trouble. I realized at a few different junctures in my life that cardio work isn't right for the empath whose nervous system is in disarray. Many years ago I was doing a step class when I realized that if I continued I might implode. With great reluctance, I left the class. In more recent times, I found it was not possible to take my agitated nervous system out, even for a walk.

This is what led to my interest in Meditation, Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi and QiGong. All of these types of activities calmed my nervous system. Instinctively, I knew this was right. And, once I knew how to settle my nervous system I could add in walking and a mixture of walking/jogging. All walks are now most pleasurable and I can snuff off worry at these times.

In the same way, time alone, time in the garden, time ironing and listening to music at the same time, time cooking alone in the kitchen settle me.

I love sexual situations where I can be the doll, but something about the learning of myself has meant that I need the other to keep a close eye on my pleasure or positive spirit in that mode. In the same way that I experienced burnout being the empath who endures for the other, so being in situations where I am not really enjoying or getting off on the sexual situation can be quite destructive to my state of mind.

I recognize in this burnt out phase a degree of selfishness. I think, in a sense, that's growth on my part. In my own way, probably not in the best way, but in the way I know, I am standing up for my right to (gosh, how to put this) have a calm and settled nervous system.

I have learned that an empath whose nervous system is upset can be supported with various measures. I am finding relatively high doses of magnesium and zinc to be helping. I try to sleep consistently well but don't always manage it. It's important to support good sleeping patterns with a calm nightly routine, magnesium taken before bed, perhaps a meditation immediately before, or whilst in bed.

I drink a cup of coffee a day but I think I do better when I avoid coffee. Really good food also supports my system. The idea is to have some protein with each meal and personally I find that carbohydrates, sugar and most dairy is best avoided. The exception to this rule is a small amount of natural yoghurt. Cheese, which I love, is an occasional treat.

If one is born, or develops early in life, an anxious and worrying disposition, then that's what it is. This is one of the challenges of being born that person. Once this is a conscious understanding, the 'isness' of this state, then you can decide what you want to do about it; what can be done about it.

The complicating factor, of course, is that in relationship to a more narcissistic character, that being his or her challenge that developed early in life, there is going to be agitation.  This is inevitable. The nervous system is going to be challenged, for both of you, but in different ways.

Certainly, I have discovered many strategies to counter this assault to the nervous system, but I am definitely yet to perfect all of them. I stop participating in discussions that are circulatory in nature, or that begin to morph into something lacking value, or that could considerably upset me unnecessarily. When I feel frustration brewing inside me, a stealing of my energies, I find refuge in another place. I excuse myself.

But, it is very hard to alter these life long tolerances for the other. The other is so used to stealing one's energy, so used to having an audience, so used to getting the agreement of the other, doing what suits the other. It's almost akin to Jane Fonda announcing to Ted Turner that she was a born again Christian. It must feel like a sort of abandonment. 'What do you mean you are looking after your nervous system?'

As recovery of the nervous system takes place, there's the opportunity to live, and play, in a new way. Some things can't change. I can't suddenly be a leader. I can't suddenly stop my kinky thoughts or getting pleasure in particular ways. But, I do think it is possible that I can say, even if just to myself, 'there's only so much I can tolerate without the situation becoming unhealthy for me. I know my limitations as an empath, as a person with a delicate nervous system'.

By all means let's engage with a transfer of energy, but let's play fair, both of us. See me for who I am, for a situation over which I have only so much control. Take that into account. Give me the release of pleasure by watching my responses closely and seeing what turns me on, and what does not. Being me, it doesn't always feel safe to share that in words. Being you, words that hint at criticism make you defensive.

What needs to be avoided is that I feel too often that I must protect myself from toxicity. To this end, the other must know himself well too, the situation over which he has only so much control, I understand, but a consciousness of his less fine quirks is required. Two flawed people, consciously aware, can make a perfectly fine union, assuming they both work hard to achieve it. It's about waking up to what is.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Definition of love

I wonder if we don't expect too much of ourselves to experience a particular kind of love.

In spiritual terms, 'God' is within all of us, and we are all one. This feeling isn't available to me constantly, but I can certainly close my eyes and feel a loving being, feel the connection to all beings. These feelings are felt by people attuned to the non-duality of life.

Yet, the words 'I love you', what's the definition, the meaning of those words? What they mean to me maybe they don't mean to you. Feelings of love are not really quantifiable.

We can love the world. That's almost easier to do than loving a particular person with behaviors that aren't easily understood. It's quite a skill to practice unconditional love. It's not easy to give up all expectations and see what comes back. What if what comes back doesn't fill your cup?

Some people say, well, love is a verb. It makes sense. When someone acts in a loving way, the mind and body process this positively.

You can express the sentiment that you love someone, and maybe, the words stand on their own. Yet, the receiver must feel them, no?

Or, do we sometimes steel ourselves against the full blast of those words? Maybe, they can't be felt unless we are feeling lovable.

One time my husband had a terrible thing happen to him. Nasty. We felt in a foreign country, isolated and alone. In those terrible days, all we had were each other.

The post arrived and there was a letter from someone not all that close to my husband, expressing his condolences and giving my husband heart that he could rise from this fall. Instinctively, with no words spoken we hugged each other tight and cried.

One little act of loving kindness, a crack in the dike, had caused the tears, previously held back, to gush forth.

I tend to rely on the feelings within my body. When thoughts become too muddled it is the body that doesn't lie. This has been my operating stance.

If my body is screaming out to me that something is askew, I stop and note it. This is not to say that my body is always right but it's not right to ignore these messages either.

Sometimes I think that the best we can do is adopt a loving and open heart, but at the same time, if one has a particularly loving and open heart, the head has to be brought into the calculations. Is the situation serving you? Is it elevating you? A very giving person can find it difficult to bring an unsatisfactory situation to a close, and some people know that and use it to their advantage.

When I am working with young children I adopt a non-judgmental state of mind and an unconditional stance of affection and good will towards them. I meet each little being as a unique soul and they seem to like that place in which to meet me. I'm amazed how many little things want to work with me. A little girl said this week, 'I wish I wasn't smart. Then, I could be with you more.' The honesty of the young child!

It's true, that as a teacher of sorts, I enjoy working with smart children. It's an ego thing. When you teach a child and they get it, you feel you succeeded. It's an instinctive thing and you can't really help that feeling. I tend to help the lowest functioning kids and the highest functioning kids and there's a big difference in one's own state depending on the group.

It would be lying to say that reading with a child who is struggling to use phonics is a walk in the park but at the same time it's priceless when they feel a sense of achievement at their particular task. Maybe you breathe deeper in moments, because you're struggling for energy to be mega enthusiastic at certain moments, but that's the job. They deserve and need your undivided cheer leading capacity.

If someone loves  you in a high-functioning, relatable way - they send you notes of love or adoration, perhaps a little note simply saying that they were thinking of you today, as an example - this all feels very easy and delightful. Flowers are a delightful gift, a compliment is a delightful gift. This sort of show of love delights us and we love to be delighted. It uplifts us. It makes us smile. It is all so easy, so loving, so sweet.

So, what happens to love, when the love has hunkered down and maybe looks like something else? Delight is rare. Rather, the love is assumed, has very little to do with words or behaviors. It's just there, perhaps one person thinks. I am loving you. Why aren't you feeling it?

I think love demands a degree of sharing, and then a deeper level of sharing. Not everything explored and witnessed is going to be to our liking but we've seen ourselves in the other by then. It's that spiritual sort of love where you've reached the stage of unconditional love.  You love this person with all of their flaws. You just love them using your heart and not much at all of your head. That can be a scary place to hang out. It can defy logic.

Love doesn't die. I don't think it works that way. But, it can lie dormant. It can go to sleep. We can say we love our new couch, or our car, or our coat. So, it's all a bit nebulous since we happily throw away those objects and replace them with new objects. The word 'object' can be a worrying one to me as it pertains to kink. Toys are easily discarded or ignored so be sure you are a loved toy, that it's  a role given and received with love.

True love, that of another Being, doesn't just fade away. When someone has helped build the landscape of a heart, they always dwell within.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Words from the grave

I've had a plan in mind for some time, to write in a small journal to each of my children. I'm not sure that I'd give the journals to them whilst I was alive. Rather, the journals will sit in the safe and when I am gone my words to them will be my gift.

I don't think I am especially good at speaking my most heartfelt thoughts. I try. Sometimes, I write them on a birthday card. Mostly, I allow my behavior to indicate my love for them. I think one son knows that my getting up early specifically to pack him breakfast (I call them 'care packages') is a sign of my love, whilst another son knows my research into drawing classes is an indication of my attention and approval of the life he has chosen.

Generally speaking, I would have to say that my love for them probably has the tendency to be suffocating. When one son came around recently to do his washing when his washing machine broke, he found me ironing the pillow sleeps and said, 'Mum, there is no pillowslip police. You don't need to do that.' Of course, they'd fiercely deny that, but they've made noises that I can be a little too motherly. I know.

Anyways, I'm going to have a little go at noting some points that come to say about each of them here and let's just see. We'll start with the first born.

Adorable baby. In those days you stayed in hospital for a week, and this was deeply bonding. I talked to him constantly, particularly at night when no-one was around, telling him how special he was, my "special blend" boy.

We went everywhere together but still in the mode of thought that I needed to prove myself, I took on a postgraduate degree. It was my sister-in-law who enrolled me in that first week in the hospital. My  mother came up once a week to mind him whilst I went to my lectures but mostly, somehow, I just did the work at home whilst he was asleep, and made use of a day care place when I had to do school rounds. Gosh, I'd forgotten that!

He was hungry, starving for food and stimulus. It was at around the 4 month mark when I couldn't satisfy his need for food that my mother said to me to stop listening to the maternal nurse and to feed him. He golloped down brains and mixtures of beef and vegetables, spat out fruit.

That first year of his life was the year I was the most thin in my adult life. He so needed to be stimulated that staying home wasn't an option. I'd put him into the pram and we'd walk this long block around the city. We'd be gone for hours and he'd take in everything. If I tried to enter a clothing store, he'd scream, and I'd do a U-turn out of there at a fast clip and keep walking the streets. Once he could walk we had two outings to parks each day. As long as we were moving, all was well.

A memory: He was between one and two years old. I walked by the laundry and found that he had been playing with the box of detergent, tipping it out, but now had a spoon trying to get it back into the package. I walked away, happy he was trying to sort the matter out. When I walked back he was just finishing tipping the lot on the floor to make a mound. I called out his name and he tipped the lot before I could get to him. Much later, my husband pointed out that I did a similar thing when told to 'Stop' doing something. There's a wilful side to our nature. He's no submissive and I think I was always too strong of mind to be a full on submissive too.

When we moved to the USA he was so lonely. We arrived in the winter and one of our things to do was to walk to a site where they were building a home and watch them. He fell in love with Mr Rogers and a character from outer space whose name I have forgotten who lived incognito with the earth family. He was so excited when it was time for the show and so sad when it ended.

I knew I had to do something to garner some excitement in his life and so off we went to the local YMCA and it was agreed that, yes, he was too young for the ball hour with three and four year olds, but he could run after them. That was fine. That was a life saver.

I have regrets about enrolling him early at a Nursery School. He vomited for a week each time he caught site of the building from his booster car seat, but later the teachers told me that had I waited another year he would have done the same thing. He was simply very attached to me. He seemed to love it there, but I have reservations about the early education of all my children in the USA. Their dedication to rules over emotion didn't sit well with my children. Strong Presbyterian women they sometimes couldn't see past the behavior to register a need.

He grew to adore his life in the USA and was very upset, when the time came, to leave. He was into everything - lacrosse, soccer, ice hockey. But, swimming was something he hasn't done much of, and that's because another strong Presbyterian woman insisted I let go of him and let him swim to the end himself. When he came up, he got out and refused to attend another class with her. I only wish I had a stronger personality to tell these women at the time to shove off.

I was told very early on that he was a leader. At the age of three he was organizing all the other children with free activity time. Tom was to get the trucks, and Nick the blocks, and the children, the teachers told me, listened to him.

When I picked him up from middle school on his final day the Principal looked genuinely sad. He would be greatly missed, he told me. Even if he sometimes frustrated them, teachers adored him, their "gentle giant".

From the moment he set foot on the grounds of his new school back here in Australia he found friends who are still his good friends today. Though they are scattered around the globe he visits them when he goes to that country and of course they visit him when they return home for a visit.

Again, from the get go, his leadership ability wasn't questioned, but nearly all teachers have spotted an untapped potential for excellence which frustrates them. They all think they'll be the one to get him to work hard enough to show all that he is capable of achieving.

In his final year of school his English teacher contacted me, the first. He was doing fine but how did he expect to get in the top cohort if he didn't do some work?  Of course, we talked, but he assured me he had it in his grasp. Right. Girls and sport, these were the priorities.

When the marks were published he'd made it into a good university but not the ideal choice, perhaps. He wasn't fazed. He did his course, barely entering the grounds. He was still coasting, still flying under the radar such that he didn't get shot down.

I credit a young man who wasn't one of his brighter friends, academically speaking, who told him that you couldn't wait until graduation to sort out employment. As an aside, it's so interesting to me that it was his not so academically top of the line friends who have been so successful in business.

He was selected into a Summer Graduate program at one of the big firms, was noticed, and offered a full time position. He stayed there a few years, aware he was being used, as all newcomers to these big firms are. Over a few years he was courted by a smaller firm across the road, and eventually he moved.

It's been upwards and upwards ever since. He works hard, is dedicated to the job, and has been rewarded with many promotions. It's not all beer and skittles. There's a part of him, like me, that likes to kick back. His hour of yoga a week, when he does do that, he says is the most relaxing hour of the week. But, he won't compromise on standards of work, or getting new work. The ongoing success of such a firm in a highly competitive market place relies on dedication to the client.

So, what matters to him? Well, he adores me and his father. He has always adored my husband, and instinctively, defended him. Recently, I suffered what is sometimes called 'an empath's meltdown' and said things that I don't normally say. He listened, but there's this thing about him, like his Dad, that keeps people on the straight and narrow. There's a reason why things are as they are, and yes, people can be difficult and rigid, but there's still an order to life that can't change.

I've felt this a few times. He is sympathetic, to a point. But, we all have our roles. He actually said that recently to me. Didn't Dad and I have an unwritten agreement that he'd make the money and I'd do the family/home stuff? Well, yes, all right, that's true. But, he did get, didn't he, that sometimes people needed to emote? Yes, sure, he was listening, he said.

He's had so many girls. If I ever counted no, I don't want to know. Quite recently he said to me that the first girl was the only one that would do anything for him that he wanted. Another time, he was seeing a psychiatrist that was maybe someone he wanted to see on an ongoing basis, but no, it turned out, he let it slip, that she was quite vanilla. I said nothing.

He's with a head strong girl, gorgeous, soft, but wilful, like him. So, there are clashes. He wants to do his work and she wants him. She wants him to wash the kitchen floor but he resists because he makes most of the meals. You know, stuff like that. But, maybe, this is part of his personality, to choose a girl that is a bit feisty, that provides him with the stimulus he needs.

One of his closest friends, that is my son was his best man, said that when he was calm he was like me and when he was angry, he was like his Dad. He's usually quite calm, really; considered.

He gets a bit of indigestion at times. He's been through all the tests only to be told that he has to eat mindfully, stay away from late night tacos, that sort of thing, and limit anxiety.

On the surface he appears completely under control in his tailored suits, but his perfectionism won't leave any stone unturned. If someone under him doesn't do the task well, they get a memo to do it again. He tells me the area of my cupboard where I tend to toss Tupperware containers makes him feel anxious and he once had a girlfriend who left her clothes strewn about the apartment, and yes, oh yes, she had to go.

I feel no desire, or need, to give him advice. Well, that's not true. I did write him an email recently where I tried to explain his girlfriend's point of view and suggested that he keep in touch as to the time he needed to do his work at night and an accurate indication as to when he would be able to spend time uninterrupted with her.

I think in many ways he carries the world on his shoulders and he has the sensibilities to want everyone he loves to be happy, and high functioning. If he's not happy about something, a brother's behavior perhaps, he voices it. At the same time, he's very encouraging. Do what ever you want to do, but do it well. Do things, see the world, have fun. Live your life. That's the message.

Like his Dad, when he can let work go, he's an absolute delight to be around. His sense of occasion makes him the perfect host, best man, officiator of an occasion, speaker, leader of the team. On birthdays, he's the one to contact the rest of us to arrange the perfect gift for the person, the potential food and wine to be served. He's your classic first born. He's an achiever with high expectations.

He wants a family. He wants children. I can hardly wait to meet his children.

As I said to him in a recent birthday card, I am delighted to watch his fast climb up the corporate ladder but more than that I am proud of the man that he has become; wise, compassionate, loving. I love this kid with every bone in my body. I am proud of him beyond words.