Masters Holding Space

Holding space for slaves. What does this mean? How can I as a Master hold space for my slave? In the traditional sense, ‘Holding Space‘ for someone means staying engaged and present with them while they undergo a process of self-inquiry and discovery of truth.
I believe that it is both necessary and essential for Masters to learn to hold space for their slaves in such a way that the slave continues to grow, continues to evolve and maintains their enthusiasm and dedication. What started me to thinking about this was a number of things that happened recently – I was reading the foreword of a book that we are talking about on my Master’s yahoo group – its The Control Book in which the author talks about why we do what it is that we do.

According to Peter Masters a Dominant is someone who seeks simply to take and use control over a submissive. A submissive seeks to give up control and be controlled by a Dominant. Control is the key – he also states in comparing M/s to D/s that a Dominant controlling a submissive is an exercise in want on the part of both parties, but in a M/s dynamic the control taken and used by the Master and also received and given by the slave are an exercise of NEED. On some level Masters need control..and slaves need to be controlled as well. I thought this was an interesting viewpoint, it did however bring me to another question which on the surface you might either think is obvious or assumed; what about the issue of personal pleasure and fulfillment with regard to the exercise of control taken and used on the part of the Master and received and/or given by the slave? Is it about sex, for instance? Certainly sex is one avenue to pleasure, and an important and essential one for many of us. WIITWD is full of sexual pathways to pleasure. But I’ve always felt that for me the exercise of taking and using control also gives me a tremendous sense of satisfaction internally – its difficult for me to describe that sense of satisfaction in any other way than to say it is also a feeling of pleasure, or pleasurable in nature. Combine sexual pleasure to the pleasure of exercising control and Im in heaven basically – but I’ve always felt that sexual pleasure and the pleasure I get from exercising or taking control are two different things.

Obedience is the foundation of the Master/slave relationship. As I’ve heard others, most recently Master Skip say – deliberate disobedience will almost always irreparably shatter this relationship. It is my belief that the other side of this coin is that if the Master does not provide regular opportunities for the slave’s obedience, the relationship can suffer as well. As I’ve noted earlier, in my experience I find that the pleasure I receive from taking and using or exercising control in my relationships is fulfilling to me. My slave finds fulfillment in responding to the exercise of that control. So it follows that as the slave lives and operates in response to our Mastery, it is incumbent upon us as Masters to be vigilant concerning the timing and frequency used to provide opportunities for obedience.

I was talking to my slave about some goals that I had outlined for her and as we continued to discuss the volume of things that she does on a daily basis she brought to my attention that she definitely feels differently about everyday activities and chores depending on how I’ve directed her. More specifically she feels differently if she cleans the floor because I’ve told her to clean the floor, or if I’ve been specific about how and when I want the floor cleaned in such a fashion, than if no directive at all is given concerning the floor.

What would normally be a mundane activity now becomes interesting.

Why is cleaning a floor then an interesting experience? I believe that her diligence in the task and the excellence of the outcome is directly related to her sense of being obedient to my wishes. As we talked more she told me that she felt that she didn’t have the energy that she used to and was feeling tired more often, even though she still felt a strong desire to perform at a level that would be pleasing to me. As I reflected on our discussion, I eventually had an “AHA” moment in which I realized that her perception of the activity and her energy level didn’t have much to do with how many hours of sleep she had received, exercise, good nutrition or taking vitamins, even though all of those were things that I have in the past had opinions about and had associated directives attached to them.

I had to admit to myself that although things were still happening in my house in a positive fashion and things were getting done, I had gotten too comfortable in many areas – there were too many things in the ‘automatic’ column – where my namaste was doing things because it was necessary that they be done, or in response to a general expectation of excellence, but not necessarily as a direct response to my Dominance.

Let me be clear here and say that there is absolutely nothing wrong in my estimation with a slave that takes the initiative and is both willing and able to jump in and figure out what needs to be done and just ‘take care of business’ as it were. My namaste is excellent at doing this, and as a result quite a few tasks or activities were just ‘taken care of’, beautifully, automatically, and largely unremarked upon by Me. Im trained from birth like most people to identify “what’s wrong with this picture?” pretty easily. Try identifying “what’s RIGHT with this picture”…takes a different skillset. I believe that this skillset on the part of the Master can be cultivated and strengthened, once We recognize how important it is. And it can also be used to energize our Dominance by providing opportunities for obedience as I will talk about in a minute.

My namaste is a virtual wizard at domesticity and has mentored a number of slaves in the hows and why’s of domestic excellence. I’ve always said she was at least part faerie, not only because of the magic she performs in this regard, but also because of her near constant energy and enthusiasm and love for life. She literally sparkles with energy at times. So while my house is beautifully maintained, one would think that I would have nothing to complain about. And in truth I did not have anything to be concerned or to complain about, from the standpoint of her attention to detail or general excellence in completing a specific task. That said, I believe that our continued enjoyment of our lives as Master and slave require that we often look a little deeper than what appears on the surface.

What attracted my attention to this area was the fact that this wasn’t the first time she’s mentioned feeling like her batteries were low. That was a concern to me.

A solution.
As I thought more about it, the words she spoke resonated with me “I feel more energized when Im doing something that you want done, than I do if Im just doing something that needs doing, or something that I feel needs to be done.” Now let me state clearly that I do not wish to become a household micro-manager, giving everything the proverbial white glove treatment when I come home. Im also not into nitpicking and finding things to be displeased about. While I can be exacting in terms of what I want accomplished, I find the affectation of ‘infinite, constant displeasure’ as a Master disingenuous. So I dont do it. I want to be pleased in my exercise of control over my slave and I want to be served by someone that finds joy in service to Me. Additionally, in my business I travel often, and there are many things that need doing on a daily basis that need doing whether or not Im physically present to monitor the outcome.

I have directed her to compile a list of things that she does somewhat automatically in our home so that I can review these activities. What am I going to do with such a list? I am going to review each activity and Im going to figure out how to ‘reframe’ that specific action for my slave in terms that reflect my Dominance in her direction. For example, she routinely sweeps the entryway to our house. This is something that is done because she always does it. I’ve never felt the need to issue a particular directive concerning it because there hasn’t been a need – if I do not look at this as an opportunity to engage my slave. The entry way is generally clean so there’s really been nothing to attract my notice there to be honest. However, there is still an opportunity there because it is something that she routinely does and believes is important.

Reframing Expectations for results
There may be literally a hundred things that similarly need doing around the house that would fall under this umbrella. How can these activities be ‘reframed’? For example my way of reframing the cleaning of the entryway would be like this; “The gateway to our house is the first thing any in our family see upon returning home at the end of the day. Make sure the floor in this area is clean and free of debris, dust and dirt on a regular basis. If I was going to be even more specific, I would add; sweep this area at least 3 times a week and use the swiffer mop on it once weekly.
My plan is to go through the entire list so that each of the areas that previously had not been receiving any attention from me is reframed to cover a specific directive or expectation of her. We will sit down periodically for my general review and commentary on all of the items on the list. The purpose for this activity is that she needs to be aware that these things do not escape my notice and that when she gets down to work on them, she is now doing them for Me, not just performing the activity to get it done or merely because it needs doing. I am taking that activity and holding space for her – providing a safe container for that activity and therefore elevating it from the mundane to the special.

To revisit concerning holding space – this can also be an act of maintaining a ’safe container’ for someone else. I’ve read of it being a spiritual exercise in which a higher consciousness, a high vibrational field, is invoked and maintained. So what is that like for me? I see myself sitting down and when Im in the process of writing out a clear directive for her, Im envisioning her in my minds eye carrying out that task with as much clarity as I can and also with My positive good intentions as well. I see her smiling and radiant in my mind as she goes to perform whatever it is that I’ve directed.

Im also mindful – Im conscious of what it is that Im asking for and my intention in writing it down is clarity of focus – I also ’see’ her performing the task to perfection as well.

Can everyday activities like sweeping and mopping and dusting, or washing and hanging clothing be opportunities for enlightenment? I believe its possible. But lets say a Master wants to do this and remains skeptical, for those Masters that are not about ‘The Woo’ – even if one does not believe in the notion of higher consciousness or any sort of vibrating field, to those Masters I would offer this for consideration; At the root I believe that most Masters want those under their charge to do well, to achieve the best and highest in whatever activity they are commanded to do. If that is true, then I believe that what is also true is that the act of merely taking the time, being mindful and present when we outline our directives can go a long way toward affecting the slave receiving and internalizing that Word and leads to more positive outcomes for both Master and slave.

When I as Master am conscious of my commands and directives, when I deliberately envision and direct my intention toward my slave in this way, by putting pen and ink on paper and the act of creating a list of things to do – I is my belief that I invest some of my energy in each command, in each directive – this can be an exercise of higher consciousness.

My direction or command to wash or clean or put away or organize strikes a responsive chord in my slave. The responsive chord that is struck within the heart of the slave invests her response to that command with energy as well.

My creation of another opportunity for obedience contributes energy to our Master/slave relationship through my exercise of control over her and also gives her pleasure in service as well. Yes, these are all things that she needs to do anyway, for the well being of our House, but by holding space for her in this way I believe I put a plug in the bottom of her metaphysical energy bucket, so more of her personal energy stays present for my use and enjoyment. Without that application of intention on my part, these day to day activities can become rote, mundane, dull and boring and as a result begin to drain energy away instead of being an energizing force.

Giving Good Advice

Our world our landscape is changing. We are seeing things change rapidly, consistently, constantly.

Some may fear for our community, for our lifestyle.

That the principles that we hold dear and sacred will be watered down, diluted, become mainstream.

Some of these concerns are valid ones – We are not here to minimize them or to wish them away.

But rather we are here to help – to give a perspective on what each of us can do to make sure that what we have helped to build continues to grow and that the relationships we have and the communities and groups that we are a part of get stronger as we continue.

There is one area in which you, the Renaissance Master can make a difference regardless of what educational background you have, your political leanings or religious affiliations – You have an opportunity to make a difference nearly everyday, whether you realize it or not. Im encouraging you to commit to giving GOOD advice, either in person or on any of the online forums you frequent.

It is my observation that we arent generally taught how to give GOOD advice. And it is because we arent taught how to give advice that most of the opportunities that we see are missed. Good advice given and received well is priceless, but there are many ways in which good advice is given in a very poor manner and it ends up being not received despite the good intentions of the giver.

In online forums, offline discussions, lifestyle meetings, email groups, fetlife discussions and other places there are multiple examples of where good advice could have been given but the opportunity was missed.

The mistake that I’ve observed the most is failing to answer the question – for example; a person poses a particular question on an issue that is troubling them. Perhaps its something personal or something that happened or is happening in their relationship. Something that is either hurting them or causing some confusion in their lives.

Many responses are miles and miles away from answering the question.  Much of what passes for advice given today is similar to giving someone that is wounded three well placed shots to the head instead of the assistance or help they are looking for.

The three shots to the dome typically take the following form; what they did wrong, what they should do, and what you/would do or wouldnt do if you were them.

Why dont these work to help the person with the problem??? – lets take a look;

What they did wrong – they KNOW already what they might have done that was “wrong” – that’s why you are having the conversation in the first place!!! In football, there’s a reason why they call a penalty when a bunch of guys not involved in the tackle just run up and jump on top of the pile.  Its called PILING ON – and its not fun. Nobody likes to be kicked when they are down. They know that something is wrong already. Seriously.

What they should do. – this seems like the right thing to say, and honestly it can be at times. But TIMING is everything. If done too early it can seem unfair, hostile or blissfully ignorant of important facts relating to the situation. the reality is that You have to have permission to teach anyone anything. You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink it. (unless the horse is a slave of course, then you can, but that’s a different discussion)

The truth is that you cannot make someone take your advice. You have to earn the right to be heard, and that typically isnt through talking  – its through active listening.

Why do people vent?  Because venting feels good – you get things off your chest, you unburden yourself. Venting is part of the problem solving process for many people – sometimes you have to listen to your own voice in order to start forming solutions as to what you need to do next. As the listener you may have some observations or something that you want to say.  If the person venting does not say “so what do you think?”  You can ask – Do you want to know what I think? If they say yes – then proceed. If not, listen, commiserate…say “that sucks” or whatever and move on.

What you would do or wouldnt do if you were them – what you would have done if you were in their shoes. What you would never “take” if you were them. The list goes on and on and basically what the mythical YOU would have done or not done is as fictional and irrelevant as a flying monkey making pancakes. What you’re basically saying to the person is; IM cooler than you, IM smarter than you, I would never make the same mistakes as you. YOU dont make good choices. YOU are pitiful. YOU should have done something different. This is not only rude, but also can be perceived as condescending as well.

So…what can the RM do differently that will allow the space to gain enough emotional capital with someone needing advice to actually make a difference in their lives? What about when the question is already on the table, like in an internet forum – they have already described the situation and asked or implied “what do you think?” What then?

The answer really isnt that complicated – If you really want to influence people, If you really want to make difference, if you truly want to change things; Instead of the Three shots to the Dome, we are going to give you the Three graces of good advice.

FIRST –  ANSWER THE QUESTION (if you know the answer).  If the person asked a question answer the question. This seems very simple and to the point.  If you dont know the answer – say you dont know!!! Its totally okay for the RM to not have all the answers. We arent here to know all the answers. We are here to maximize our enjoyment of this life from many different angles and vantage points.  If you dont know the answer, you are still helping somewhat by listenting – “I hear you….but I have no idea what the answer might be” is entirely appropriate as a  response.

 ASK QUESTIONS – Resist the temptation to PILE ON just because everyone else is doing it.  You can still ask questions – in fact, asking questions is the single most effective way of engaging a person because fundamentally it shows that you give a damn.  You care. People who care are perceived as someone that is worth listening to.  If you’re online, as many of us are from time to time, dont worry about the “speed of the scroll”  or how many other people have commented – if you really care, your post will stand out, no matter how many other people “weigh in” on the subject at hand. Why? Because I’ll guarantee you most of those posts will be of the Three Shots to the Dome variety= What they did wrong, What they should do, and What the writer would/would not have done if they were in a similar situation. So what.
Again; People who care are perceived as someone that is worth listening to.

if you want to avoid sounding patronizing or holier-than-thou, the most effective way to achieve this is to ask questions because:

  • the questioning process helps a person consider alternate views of the issue they are struggling with that they might not have thought about previously.
  • questions give an implied ‘permission’ to the person to find answers for themselves and puts their decisions and their outcomes under their control;
  • questions keep you from guessing or putting forth an answer that might be wrong.

2.  SHARE YOUR STORY – All of us are an expert on one thing – and that is OUR STORY.
RM, YOU WERE THERE. YOU’VE LIVED IT. You can see it like it was yesterday. You got the scars to prove it.  You’ve lived with yourself for however long since you became enlightened that you are separate from everyone else on the planet. Your thoughts, your experiences, your ups and downs, your highs and your lows. These experiences are priceless and can be of benefit to another person seeking answers. THIS is different from talking about what you wouldnt do if you were them. This is talking precisely to what you DID do when you were in the same situation. This isnt a fantasy of what you would have done or not done – this is talking about your actual experience (if you have an actual experience to draw on) This is authenticity – this is being real and people who are real are perceived as someone worth listening to.  Note; sharing your personal story can also put you in a place of vulnerability as well. I dont advocate putting yourself out there in front of every muffin with a question or issue. Yes I believe that you, gentle RM have a lot of wisdom to offer, but again be careful who you share that with. Make sure that you’re sure the person is ready to understand and gain knowledge from the life lessons you acquired during your stay in a third world prison camp, without getting hung up on the reason you were put in there in the first place.

Ok RM – You’ve asked questions, you’ve shared your story – finally, do you have resources that you can offer that will help? Directions in which you can point the person beyond “go to hell”? Perhaps you know someone that is better qualified than you to comment on the subject raised and you can offer to put the person asking the question in touch with them. Perhaps you have articles or documents etc in your collection or url’s where important information can be found that you can share. Offer to followup with them – encourage them to email you offlist. Establish a framework under which you can influence that person beyond the initial interaction if you are led to do so.

The point is RM – the best way we can make an impact on this M/s world is in the area of thought leadership People want to know what you know – but you have to be Real.

People who care are perceived as someone that is worth listening to.  
People who are real are perceived as someone worth listening to.  
People that give something of themselves without cost are perceived as someone worth listening to.

Give good advice RM. 

Today’s Quote;  …”.mastery isnt reserved for the supertalented or even for those who are fortunate to have gotten an early start. Its available to anyone who is willing to get on the path and stay on it —-regardless of age, sex or previous experience. “

                                                                                                                        George Leonard

Have you ever said that you are ‘a jack of all trades and a master of none’? Why? Mastery is available to you if you are willing to put in the time, energy and discipline. What are you Mastering today? What would you Master if you had the chance/opportunity?

My Thoughts; There are usually 1-3 people who have had a significant impact on your life. Like the banks of a great river, they have shaped your life and have influenced its ultimate direction. You are here to read this because of that impact. Take a moment today to tell them thank you in some meaningful way.  I honor the spirit of my Mom, my Dad and coach Frank and others that have helped shape me into the person I am today.

Things We Love;  Last night for dinner, we had some fluffy, hot scrambled eggs with cheese, crispy thick sliced bacon and hot, buttered raisin toast. Bacon is one of three indicators that the Universe loves us.  You figure out the other two.

Music in my Head:  Brian McKnight – Noel,  and of course Luther singing O Come All Ye Faithful. amazing.

Travels; been flying back and forth between Dallas and Austin this week. Cant wait to get home, this is Christmas shopping weekend!
Deliciousness; I found the recipe for my eggnog that I make every year! Its high octane and makes enough to last until summer time.  Cant wait!!!
Adventures this week; trying to untie stiff, near frozen dock line near dawn while kneeling on concrete. 20-25 mph gusts of wind cause the whole dock to shudder as I attempt to secure the boat in the slip. In these dark moments before dawn the lake seems irritated and unsettled. Boating is wonderful, until days like that when you suspect the weather is conspiring with the water to try and eat you.
Ex Libris;  “The Healing Power of the Drum”  “Beyond Fear, A Toltec Guide to Freedom and Joy”, “Freakonomics”
I am thankful for; My Dad’s successful surgery. My daughter playing basketball with heart and enthusiasm. Keeping Christmas
Discover the Event;  We are hard at work preparing to stand for the titles at the Southwest Leather Conference 2010  Friday, January 22, 2010 – Sunday, January 24, 2010 – go to the website for details!
Wisdom; A man is nothing without his word. 
My Dad always taught me that a man’s word is his bond. One of the few things even a poor man has is his word. Your word should never be broken. Always keep your promises, which may be difficult so don’t go around throwing around promises lightly.