After I graduated from college, Rafa and I moved from the East Coast to Los Angeles. We did this by driving my trusty and most beloved car, Sandcat, in route which was carefully planned so that we could visit a number of significant people and do lots of fun stuff on the way there. It was my first significant road trip, and I was certainly hooked on them right away. While we were traveling, we stopped to visit a friend of my biological father’s and his wife. We lingered there for a while due to the calm and relaxing nature of their home. They live in the woods, close enough to get in the truck and drive to town but far enough away that one feels entirely alone on their land. At first, the quiet was terrifying to me, but as I became comfortable with the sense of stillness, I came to focus on the hum of cicadas at night, the rush of a deer moving through the branches, the smell of the Earth or the tranquility of the slow moving river. I found a sense of peace there that I had simply never been aware of in my life until then.
During a conversation with one of my hosts, he talked to me about internal stillness. He took an index card, and on one side he wrote “Be everywhere, always.” He then turned it over and wrote “Be here, now.” He gave this to me, and reminded me that this was a choice that I had the ability to make. I could decide to simply exist in the place and moment I was in, regardless of whether or not I was cut off from cell phone reception and surrounded by natural beauty. I kept this in my mind, but it took me another couple of years to take the full meaning of it. It’s a lesson that Malignus taught me early in our relationship, and which I have needed to be reminded of many times since then.
I tend to want to be everywhere, always. This has only been made worse by the fact that I have a wonderful array of friends and lovers who are literally spread across the globe. This weekend, someone I love had a hard day. I wanted to be with her. Another group of my loved ones and friends got together for a party which seems to have been an incredible amount of fun. I wanted to be with them. Yet another very special friend is celebrating a huge milestone in her life right now. I wanted to be there with her.
Physically, due to the fact that I’m not a super-human, I don’t have a choice whether or not I’m everywhere, always or here, now. If I had that ability, this situation would be different. Instead, I only have the mental ability to choose where I will keep my focus. I can split my attention between the hundreds of things that need doing, the myriads of people that I love and the adventures that I could be having or will be having in the future. Or, I can choose to focus on my here and now and belong in the moment I’m living. This is a battle for me. It’s something that, I hope, if I spend enough time working on will eventually become second nature to me. I’ve been stressing recently. I’ve had a lot of things going on. By focusing on the here and now, I’ve been slowly starting to relax and unwind, to calm my feelings and to keep my attention where it belongs.
This is also something which is very relevant to spanking for me. My brain is often in a lot of places. I’m worrying about ten things, thinking of what I’m going to write about next, what I’m going to cook for dinner, whether all my bills are paid, who I said I’d call, whether I’ve kept up all my obligations for all my Bosses of Me, who I miss, where I’m going next et cetera, et cetera. I used to find that a spanking was difficult to take until it got to a point of intensity where it overwhelmed me and therefore pushed all these other things out of my brain. Once I reached this place, I was able to give myself over to it better and get much more out of it.
After Shadowlane, when I returned home after six weeks of being away, Malignus spanked me in a way that was very loving and which made me feel very much at home again. Before he did so, I got in position over his lap with my bottom bare and was prepared to be spanked. He then instructed me to put away all my adventures, all my memories and stories and to choose, essentially, to be there and then. He lead me to focus on making the choice to put all those things away before the spanking began. I felt much safer, more vulnerable and, more than anything else, much more calm at the onset of that spanking, instead of having to struggle through things until the point where the spanking overwhelmed me and pushed them away. It was a very important lesson, and one which I’ve tried my best to keep in mind for all spankings since then. Because, really, for a spanko, what moment is more precious to linger in than a spanking? Sure, it can be scarier and often more painful if you give it your full focus, but that’s really the point. I’d certainly rather have a more pure experience than one which is watered down by the rest of my life. Choosing to be relaxed at the onset of a spanking also allows me to leave it in a more elevated space as opposed to simple using the spanking as something to return me to an even keel.
Does anyone else find that they have these sorts of problems focusing on the here and now? I can’t imagine that it’s uncommon. We live in a world of interconnectivity, of long distance friendships, of tweeting and texting and live feeds. Even when we physically shut down our computers and put down our phones, our minds are often still functioning at this speed and in this manner. Fellow bottoms, do you find that a spanking can center your mind? Does anyone else have the experience of needing to be overwhelmed in order to let go? Do you do anything to keep yourself here and now while being spanked? Or is this not an issue for other people? Does just the sight of your Top with an implement in hand snap you back to reality, or is your complete attention something that he has to work for? I’m curious to know others’ experiences. 😀
Sleep has always been an issue for me. I began dealing with serious insomnia when I was in preschool. Although no one has ever come out and said that the two things are related, I also began to suffer from migraines around the same time. Getting to sleep has pretty much been a constant battle in my life. The other day, when I last wrote a blog post, I was writing after having been awake nearly all night. Malignus had gone to take a nap. I mentioned in my last post that we were going to a friend’s birthday party that night, and the idea was that we would both nap before we went to this, so as to be perky and enjoyable people. I never got my brain slowed down enough to sleep. It just didn’t happen. When Malignus got up from his nap, I let him know that this was the case. We talked a little and did a few other things, then, before I started getting ready to go out, he turned to me and said “Where’s your hairbrush?”
Being a very suave and non-awkward girl, I responded with “Under the bed. What did you ask?”
Malignus told me that I was an awkward penguin before sitting on the edge of the bed and beckoning me to bring him the hairbrush.
|I basically save my good lines and seamless transitions for when there’s a camera|
Once I was in position, we began a conversation about me being passive. Our very first few conversations about submission had focused on the differences between it’s active and passive forms, and our earliest D/s interaction was about something very similar to what we were about to revisit: me making myself passive, vulnerable and comfortable in order to sleep. This is something that does not come naturally to me. Because I spent so much of my life before Malignus in a state of constant hypervigilance, I somehow ended up with the idea that because I am far more relaxed than I used to be on a regular basis that I was doing “better enough” at this and I therefore wasn’t focusing on it enough. Honestly, though, my inability to be comfortable being passive has caused me three large problems:
1) I don’t sleep because I spend about three or four hours (literally) thinking about things instead of letting my brain fall asleep. I basically fall asleep only when my body reaches a sufficient point of exhaustion, and I often end up getting so over tired that I’m prone to emotional conflagrations because I am just so tired that I start crying all over the place.
2) I don’t experience “headspace” or “subspace” with the amount of frequency or ease that other submissives seem to. At the time we’re discussing in this story, I’d only had a proper subspace experience twice and both times were after I’d been frequently and fairly severely spanked over the course of a weekend before the spanking which put me into subspace, so my resistance had been slowly but surely removed over a period of time.
3) I don’t find many traditionally relaxing experiences relaxing. I actually had to take a freaking class on relaxation in college, during which they taught me ways to actively relax my body, probably because they had given up on me just doing it. Massage used to make me tighten my muscles that much more in response to the stimuli, and my mind kept working pretty constantly even during things like hot soaks or yoga.
Anyway, Malignus gave me a series of instructions about being passive to the spanking he was about to give me and to be aware of these things for the future so that I could use them to sleep. Other times, I’d struggled against the idea of being passive. It seemed too hard for me. This time, I wanted to be spanked, I wanted to be obedient and, most importantly, I wanted to learn what I was being taught. I was tired of hindering myself, and I just let go and passively accepted and reacted. Most importantly, I let my brain go. It was awesome. I got into a circle of gratification, because the more I took passively, the better I felt about myself and the better I felt about myself, the more I was able to take. When the spanking was over, I was quite sore, but I felt a strong sense of accomplishment, and the wonderful sense of closeness that I feel with someone after a spanking which was purposeful and communicative. I can feel their investment in me literally radiating through my body, and that leaves me feeling incredibly loved. I got really good sleep that night. I just chose to do it, and then I did it and I woke up feeling like an awesome person.
I’ve kept this lesson in my mind recently, and I’ve discovered its usefulness in other situations, such as the aforementioned subspace problem. This past weekend I attended a cabin spanking party (more details on that in an upcoming post) during which I found myself able to choose to be passive during some of the spankings which I received, and as a result, I floated off into nice, safe, snuggly parts of my brain with great ease.
I haven’t slept enough recently, but it’s been due to external stimuli and the burden of constantly traveling, but when I have slept, it’s been high quality, sweet sleep.
It turns out that feeling relaxed is a very nice thing.
I’m off to do some more of that, since tomorrow I’m going to Disneyland with Lily Starr and Robert Wolf. Fuck. Yes.