ASK….then DECIDE

Many Dominants find themselves In the situation from time to time.  Perhaps there are a number of decisions you need to make, or issues that need to be discussed. You have any number of discussions with your submissive or slave and life goes on.  You feel that the issue has been handled, or that enough discussion has taken place that the slave or submissive understands what your wishes are.  Until later – when they have a ton of questions regarding your preferences even though you’ve already discussed the pending issue at length.  Some of you may be nodding at this point – thinking this is a rant about Slaves That Just Dont Get It.  But it is not. it is YOU Kind Sir, Kind Madam that is creating a fertile field in which misunderstanding may take root. When we constantly discuss things without deciding – there is rarely satisfying closure for either party.

I have a question for you – do you typically make a decision immediately following the discussion of the issue? Or do you assume that the decision is imbedded in the discussion? Perhaps the unease you and your slave are feeling is the weight of too many discussions without decisions.

A good rule of thumb for Masters and Dominants –  ask for information first, then make a decision about what needs to be done as expeditiously as possible.  This keeps the structure of the power exchange relationship intact. This isnt about always making the best decision or the ‘right’ decision. Lets face it – being Dominant isnt synonymous with being omniscient or infallible. Sometimes you will make an ill advised decision regardless of how much information you have in advance. Its okay. It happens.  I tend to ask a lot of questions anyway –  I find that I often NEED to ask questions, because there may be information I dont know that I need to be aware of that can help me make better decisions. However, once enough information is in – my decision regarding ‘next steps’ is essential to progress.

(Most Interesting Man in the World voice) “I may not always need input from my slave… But when I do – the best time to get that input is prior to my decision.”

For example; One fine summer day I announce;  “I’ve decided! We are going to spend the day working on the yard, then we are going to the movies this evening. Find out what time the movie begins.”

Slave; ‘begging Master’s pardon…, you asked me to remind you that you scheduled a doctor’s appointment this afternoon? And this evening we were scheduled to have dinner with your brother and his wife?’

Master: Oh…. (dissapointed/irritated) Fine then…puts garden tools back in shed. Well, I really dont want to go to the Dr today, its beautiful outside and I need to get this sod put in place. Dayum. that’s right – we do have dinner plans scheduled. (still have not decided one way or the other. Ruminating inside my head about the tyranny of a full calendar. Brain starts to heat up from trying to figure out how to do everything I want to do PLUS everything I have to do in the same afternoon. Grumpy muttering ensues.  Eventually I wander off to do something else in the meantime mistakenly believing that its ‘obvious’ that Im going to go to the Dr as planned and to dinner, seeing as I put the garden tools back in the shed and said ‘Fine then’.  When slave asks question about my ‘pending’ decision in her eyes, Im still irritated and point out the ‘obvious’..that really isnt obvious at all to anyone but me. Does this scenario sound familiar?

Being Master, you COULD cancel all appointments and do what you want. But you are in the position now of backtracking over a previous decision – and you sound kinda whiny if you dont mind my saying. Even worse – kicking the decision back to the slave by asking; “slave – dont you think that our house would be better served by working on the yard instead of going to the dr and/or having dinner with family? What do you think we should do?  (of course no Dominant ever asks questions like that. Well, maybe other Dominants do…but not You.)

Scenario Two;

Master: “slave – what’s on my schedule for today?”

slave: “Master you  have a doctor’s appointment this afternoon. And this evening we are having dinner with your brother and his wife.”

Master: “Its a beautiful day outside and we need to get this sod in place on the lawn. Call my Dr and reschedule my appointment for next week, same time and day of the week if available. If not, try to get me in on a Thursday afternoon, or check my calendar to select a time when Im available.  Also..contact my brother as well, see if we can get together Sunday night for dinner.  I want to go to the movies this evening instead. Check showtimes and let me know what time the movie starts. Thank you.

slave: Yes Master!

Do The Work; Remember, having a discussion isnt synonymous with making a decision.  ASK then DECIDE is one of those simple little steps that can mean so much in a power exchange relationship but seldom receives the attention that it deserves. The astute Master or Dominant can get a ton of power exchange ROI from adopting this behavior on a consistent basis! Observe yourself this week – do you typically ask a lot of questions of your slave or submissive without making a final decision regarding what should take place next? Or do you decide first, then ask for additional information? Are you often in a backtracking mode, countermanding previously issued directives based upon new information received? Do you ask for additional information, then kick it back to the submissive or slave asking THEM what the best decision might be?  If you aren’t clear on how you generally respond regarding Ask then Decide – ask your slave or submissive, they are ideally positioned to provide excellent feedback that you can use. Commit yourself this week to Ask…then Decide.

Being the slave of a Visionary

My Master is a Visionary.

This definiton of Visionary fits Him: having or marked by foresight and imagination <a visionary leader>

i believe knowing what type of Master you serve and are surrendered to can greatly aid in how well you interpret and internalize His directives as well as the efficiency of service with grace and that service being fulfilling to BOTH people – as opposed to being full of frustrations and spinning wheels.

If you happen to serve a Visionary there are things you should know:

  • You will always have a great deal to do – The Visionary can always see what up coming. There will always be more expressions of the vision to explore.
  • Every time a Visionary says “We need to….” that does not mean stop everything and change direction. The Visionary is always visioning. ASK “shall I change direction” or “shall i stop doing this” prior to changing direction or stopping what you’re doing.
  • Every Vision is not a directive.  Some things spoke are brainstorming, dreaming, idea-scoping. Be honored that the Visionary is allowing you to be privy to these most intimate of ideas and thoughts. Do not necessary begin to focus on the “how-to’s” of accomplishing these thoughts UNTIL the Visionary shares with you that this is something they want to make real. Assumptions do not work when serving a Visionary.

So what does all of this mean exactly? It means that (at least for me and perhaps for others) being in service to the Visionary requires more communication than a simple “yes Sir” a great deal of the time. Besides all of the other facets of service – i’m His sounding board, His space for mind-mapping, His confidant and cheerleader, and i recognize the amazing honor it is to be so!

In submission and surrender to Him,

~slave namaste

 

 

The Safest Place

i love this song. It makes me weep and i feel my adoration and connection to Master so profoundly whenever i hear it. i love You Master.

 

 

In my heart
Your love has found
The safest hiding place
Inside is a field
And trees and a lake
Around is a wall
No-one from hell could break
In there you’ll shine
In there you will cry
My heart has been a lonely warrior
Who’s been to war
So you can be sure
In my heart your love has found
The safest hiding place
Inside is a stream
Around is a wall
No-one from hell could break
In there will shine
The light of heaven’s eye
In there you will cry
My heart’s been a lonely warrior
Who’s been to war
So you can be sure
Your love’s in a sacred place
The safest hiding place
My heart has been a lonely warrior before
Who’s been to war
So you can be sure

Thanksgiving…

I’m up early – getting ready to do some Thanksgiving cooking before carting all of the scrumptiousness off to families house for our annual Thanksgiving Feasting and Merriment.

I’ve been feeling sick for the last 6 days- I’m much better but still have a runny nose and some coughing which is causing nausea too.  Still I’m feeling so completely Thankful.

I’m thankful for the opportunity to live my Truth brilliantly and out loud. To serve the Master of my dreams, the Sadist of my nightmares, the one my whole being arches to meet and craves to obey. I’m thankful for the lessons He’s taught me this year, for the opportunity to transform to evolve to grow into an extension of His will. I’m thankful that He calls me His and surrounds me with His direction and love.

I’m thankful for my Leather Family and Friends. For the connections we have formed. For the ups and downs, for living, learning, loving.

I’m thankful for the groups we are a part of, the events we attend, the people we’ve met. For the bridging of gaps, For misunderstanding that made way for deeper understanding. For challenges and being challenged. For grace that was given and received.

I’m thankful for today and I’m thankful for you if you’re reading this.  I hope your Thanksgiving is full of warmth and connection with those you love – including yourself.

In submission and surrender to Him,

~slave namaste

MASTER OBSIDIAN’S KEYNOTE BLACK BEAT 2010

The spaces between us…..

We have good intentions when we start out.  We want to be thought well of. We want to be the people our dogs believe that we are.

But many times we don’t measure up.

This has been a busy week for the both of us.  Three days ago I was on my back in the cancer ward of the MD Anderson hospital in Houston.  My brother has leukemia and has been battling it for some time.  He told me over 2 years ago that if things ever got serious, he’d let me know.  And so we talked, we hung out and laughed and had bbq and got mad at each other over stupid stuff, and time passed – but I knew when I got the call this would be serious and it would be time to go.

So I went to Houston for the procedure – it does involve needle play, and not in a good way.  Over 100 needle sticks – thankfully I was asleep for all the bad parts – I don’t like anesthesia though.

They go into your hip bones and extract bone marrow – the purpose of which is to extract the stem cells, in the meantime they’ve spent the past three weeks literally killing his immune system.  My cells in combination with his will join together to repair the damaged place in his DNA that tells his blood to keep making cancer cells and also to attack and kill the cancer cells that are present.

That’s the plan.

The spaces between us arent so great we found – Im not a 100 percent match, Im actually closer to 70%. But nobody, not friends, family, even his children matched as closely as we do.  And it wasn’t because of my rugged good looks, my intellect or my charming wit and sparkling personality that I match.

I match because of things that we share that are quite literally beyond my control.

Enough perhaps to make a difference in his life.  To save his life.

I would remind you also that almost exactly one year and eight months ago something happened which many people believed was just straight out impossible.  The nation came together to elect a black man president.

What does that have to do with you, you may ask?  The relevance of this singular event in our nations history is that we proved that we could do something – we could join together and repair the spaces that divide us in pursuit of one common goal.

And make no mistake black people – you did not do it alone.  There were plenty of people from across this nation that put aside whatever their issues were that divided them and embraced the ideas that they had in common and somehow managed to reduce the spaces between us all until that thing we thought was impossible…..became a reality.

There literally arent enough of us to make that happen – it took literally a nation of millions to make this a reality.

Of course that was only the beginning – after winning the presidency there’s the arduous task of actually leading the nation, and that is apparently a horse of a different color entirely.  It’s a tough job.  Im confident that he’s up to the challenge though.

Over three years ago, I was asked if we were willing to run for this title, in the Leather community the title of Southwest Master and Southwest Slave, as we are in the SW region.  I thought long and hard about what that would mean and what that would require.  At the time we didn’t even think about the International – we were having a hard enough time wrestling with the idea of running for the Southwest title.   The question came again – are you willing?  And the answer came back, yes – we will do it.  So we did, and became the first African American M/s couple to not only win the Southwest, but we also won the International title as well.  In this day and age you’d think that we’d pretty much run out of “the first Black whatever”, but apparently we were mistaken.  So why is this significant and I don’t believe what Im hearing……. but did Master Obsidian just draw a parallel between Barack and Michelle winning the White House and them winning the International and Southwest titles?  Has he lost his dayum mind? They must have taken out too much bone marrow because he’s definitely taken leave of his senses!!!

No, I havent – admittedly one of those is MUCH more important than the other.  I’ll leave that for you to decide which one.  Im just kidding.

They both are illustrative of what can happen when a group of people truly understands that it is the spaces between us where we are weakest – and when we draw closer together as a collective, we can accomplish whatever we put our minds to.

It also illustrates that nobody does this alone.  One man with one vote isnt enough to elect a president. One judges opinion carries the same weight – but together making a decision to choose what we believe is right we are unstoppable.

And it also illustrates that occaisionally what binds us together are things that we share that transcend the individual.

Ok, enough of the lofty metaphors – I was watching the discovery channel and the program was about the buffalo on the african plain – they really have NO defensive weapons whatsoever.
but when a lioness is trying to eat them…they form a circle and the weak and inexperienced are contained within that circle..and the strong face toward the outside and the ability of the predator to affect the group is measured quite literally by the spaces between those who are strongest.  when we allow ourselves to be far apart – when the space between our figurative shoulders can be measured in months, in years – then is it any wonder that we are so easily torn apart by those that really shouldnt be any threat whatsoever?

Words are not enough.  We must do.

So here we have run the gamut from human biology to political processes and leather contests. From the water buffalo to the white house.

So what?

What does this mean to you and how does this apply to our community?

For those who have already heard enough – you already know in your hearts what you need to do starting tonight.

For everyone else, let me get more specific.

The late president of Egypt, Anwar Sadat (who, with former Israeli prime minister Menachem

Begin, brought about the Camp David Peace Accord between Israel and Egypt) wrote these words while he was a young man in solitary confinement in a Cairo prison, “He who cannot change the very fabric of his thought will never be able to change reality, and will never, therefore, make any progress.”

Just like the water buffalo in the earlier example, some of us just don’t get it.  Its always someone elses fault, someone elses problem. Understand this however –  The predator doesn’t care about your issues or who’s ultimately at fault – the spaces between you are just enough to provide the access that is necessary to bring harm.

And it is the spaces between you that continue to be just wide enough, just big enough to provide access to that which you don’t want.

In your leather families.

In your groups.

In your households.

In your relationships.

Its not enough to point out what’s wrong with this picture.  You ALREADY KNOW WHATS WRONG.

But….How do we make it right?

We have got to learn to trust each other again. To seize the initiative and to reach out first.. instead of waiting to be reached out TO.

The spaces between us will not be mended with good intentions – the imaginary good that you might one day do if the perfect situation presents itself is worthless without action.  The spaces between us will NOT be mended with good intentions – besides, everyone knows that we are busy using those good intentions as paving stones on the road to hell so they are actually on backorder…sorry, theres just not enough to go around.

The spaces between us will not be mended with fakery or manipulation.  No tricks.

Trust is the fruit of the tree of regular actions, inspired by our consciences.  It is rarely produced by a dramatic one time effort.

Steven Covey says Loyalty, Apologies, Feedback and Forgiveness Are what builds trust among people and I agree with him.

Loyalty – what does this mean?  Loyalty means being loyal to those not present.  It means not joining in when everyone starts in on the Asshole of the Month discussion.  You’ve got to make a difference, you have to take a stand.

Apologies – when’s the last time you apologized for anything???  For some of us its been decades.  To learn to say “I was wrong” – “I was tripping” – My Bad – Im sorry.  A sincere apology can work wonders to repair a relationship and goes a long way to begin rebuilding the trust that we need.

Feedback – giving honest feedback is hard.  Nobody likes to be criticized for any reason.  But by giving and receiving honest feedback (or learning to at any rate) we free ourselves.  How?  Many of us have serious blind spots that we NEVER work on because the people around us havent learned how to give feedback constructively and we’ve never learned how to receive feedback constructively either. To offer honest and genuine feedback in love is a priceless gift.  To be able to receive feedback on what needs improving with grace and humility requires even more internal strength and fortitude…and its worth the journey.

Forgiveness – Forgiving. True forgiveness involves letting go and moving on. We all make  mistakes. We need to forgive ourselves and others. It’s better to focus on our own mistakes and ask forgiveness than to dwell on other people’s offenses and wait for them to ask forgiveness first, or give it begrudgingly if they do. When you forgive, when you refuse to bear a grudge, you actually take away another person’s power over your life.

And there’s a fifth thing that we can do to heal ourselves and to make the spaces between us smaller.

We need to try a little harder to love ourselves.  Not the way other people say we ought to be, but the way we are created. We can no longer pretend – the spiritual cost is too high. You need to look at your reflection in the mirror everyday when you are doing whatever you do and you need to take a moment to look yourself dead square in the eye and tell yourself that you love you.  You cannot in good conscience expect someone else to love and admire and respect that which you do not. Touch the collar around your neck and rejoice in it – tell yourself I love you. I accept you. I forgive you.  If yours is that hand that holds the end of that rope or leash – you are just as in need of self acceptance and love as the other.  Rejoice in your Mastery, your control, your Dominance.  Tell yourself I love you…often.

Our brother Darque recently crossed over to the other side.  When you look at his life’s work as a photographer – Is not that the central message of Darque’s work in and among us? Just look at those images!!!!!! Darque…he saw what was most lovely, what was most loveable, what was sexy and alluring and powerful and glorious and majestic and divine and special and wonderful and down right fucking spectacular in each of you, whether or not you saw it in yourselves at the time and he put it out there – right there where you could see it, taste it and touch it.

And remember it.

So that afterward you looked at that image and said – wow. That’s me. Some of you for the very first time – saw ourselves in a different light… for the very first time.

Even if the photograph wasn’t of you at all.  Even if you never sat in front of his lens – you look at those images and you say OMG. That’s beautiful. That’s me. There was and is something in his work that inspired us.  That humbles us – and at the same time elevates and celebrates us in a way that makes it almost impossible for us not to love ourselves. Darque made us beautiful – by exposing the beauty that is already within us and giving it a tangible, palpable life and energy. And for that I for one will be forever grateful.

That’s the power of living the life you were given and choosing to exercise the talent that the Divine gave you to the best of your ability.  That’s the impact of a well lived life.

So the challenge before you today – is what are you going to do tomorrow.  You make the difference.

It’s up to me to extend myself.

It’s up to me to love myself.

It’s up to me to say sorry when I’ve offended or hurt another.

It’s up to me to be loyal to the person that isnt here.

Its up to me to be responsible for the distance between myself and others and to do something about it.

Its up to me to not take up arms in a literary, figuratively or literal sense against my brother or sister.

Like I said earlier – a dramatic, one time effort is not enough.  We are going to have to build the trust between each other one step, one action at a time.

If a nation can do it to elect a president, if a leather community can do it to accomplish something unprecedented. If the Divine has invested creatures with barely any sense at all to know enough to draw closer together – to reduce those spaces between….then we really have no excuse at all do we?

What happens next – as always, is literally in our hands.

 

Thank you.

Master Obsidian

Black Beat Keynote Address

August 2010

B.Y.O.E.

BYOE.  (Bring Your Own Energy)

You’ve eagerly anticipated going out to your favorite club, dungeon or event.  Its been weeks or months in the making. You are SO ready for this.  Finally – you get to the club and the energy is all funky. Blah. Not Happening.  What’s the problem?  The Music? Lighting? Temperature? Of course any of these elements can have an impact on how much you enjoy your evening, but much less than you might expect.  In fact, I would say that the external elements you encounter at an event constitute a very very small impact.  Less than 5%.  What about the other 95%?

That’s all on you.  Its internal.  And honestly, it begins waaaay before you arrive at your event.

Time is at a premium for all of us. We are busier and busier and often pulled in a lot of different directions.  When we have an opportunity to go out to the dungeon, club or party, it’s a pretty big deal. (or it should be!)  The problem that happens often is that we can forget to transition effectively from the harried pace of our ‘regular’ lives into the hotness of the event we are planning on attending. How can you as a Master or Dominant hold space to maximize your enjoyment of the evening? Learn how to hold space for yourself first – then for those who serve you. Instead of waiting/depending on the event organizers or other people to provide it for you.

How do I hold space for myself?  I believe it first begins with harnessing your intention. What does that mean? Instead of getting ready to go out with the broadest, most generalized intention, e.g. ‘I want to have a good time tonight’ you MUST be more specific than that.

What do you see happening in your minds eye? What would be hot, stimulating, exciting for you? When do you want it to happen? HOW is this going to take place? Begin before you leave the house. WHERE? What are you wearing? What do you smell like? And most importantly what’s going on in your head as you prepare for this evening.

Consider the slave or the person in service to you. What energy do you want them to bring to the experience? Consider communicating this to them. Do you want them to be hot? Do you want them to be slutty? Do you want them to be innocent? What mood are you in? What feeling do you want to evoke in them?  Fear? Lust? Passion? Longing?

Consider this; You always get the exact experience that you desire.  If the night is hot, magical, intense – it is that way because you have desired it to be so.

From now on – Bring Your Own Energy….wherever you go.