Mindful Breathing

In recent years, I’ve worked on being mindful – on being truly present with others. I’ve dabbled with meditation, although nothing as regular as I’d like. I’ve read some good writing on such things, most notably this little volume which I tend to eventually recommend to most folks I care about:

peace_is_every_step_by_thich_nhat_hanh_grande

The idea being that mundane tasks we take for granted – walking, sitting, eating….breathing…can become moments of clarity and peace when we are mindful of them. When we focus our attention on them and are conscious of them in the moment, when we are present, we become centered and calm in the midst of the chaos and stress of everyday life. At the same time we think more deeply about these seemingly simple acts and begin to be aware of the interconnections between all things.  It’s simple. It’s profound. And it’s a concept that has been on my mind in the last month whenever I consider the new and deepening relationship I have with K.

I wrote before of the instant connection we both felt the moment I laid my hand on his head. From that moment it was as if we were opposite poles of the strongest magnet known to humankind. Drawn to be with each other, near each other, in near-constant contact with each other even through virtual means. We both just went with it – we saw no reason to resist something so compelling. We spent as much time as physically and practically possible with each other for the next few days. For the next few weeks, in fact.

I realized after things started to settle into a more familiar routine and closeness that it was as if – in the moment that we connected via that touch – we had begun to take a very deep breath together. The initial intake of breath of this new relationship was a long and delicious inhale. Bringing oxygen to parts of ourselves we’d thought long dead or dying, bringing the new life of this partnership into being. When we began to gently exhale nearly three weeks later, no less focused on each other and the relationship, it felt like the most natural of rhythms.  It occurred to me that all relationships breathe in a similar fashion – we normally speak of ups and downs, of ebbs and flows, but there are always natural patterns of intensity and quiet comfortableness.

Add to all of this the foundation upon which I now build all of my relationships – a deliberate and consensual power imbalance – one of dominance (mine) and submission (his).  I firmly believe that to be ultimately successful, a D/s relationship must be built on a solid foundation. And that building a solid foundation takes deliberate work of communication and commitment and openness. But K had never had a D/s relationship and had only a passing familiarity with the concept.  But he was willing to learn.

The longer I spend with him and the more we discuss the nature of D/s and the more protocols and layers we add to the foundation, the harder it is for me to believe he has never had a relationship like this one. Service and submission to me seem to come as naturally to him as breathing. He is at his most calm, centered, and complete when he is at my feet and submitting to me.

This was brought home to me this past weekend when we participated in the first online session of a week long online course on adding protocols to a D/s relationship. I worried at first that it was too soon for such a thing – that he wasn’t ready for such intense and deliberate work.  During the two hour webinar/class session, he repeatedly remarked to me, “this is really not that hard to understand”, and “people really don’t know these things? People have to be taught them?” He was genuinely perplexed that what were almost absurdly obvious truths to him about the nature of service and submission were things others struggled to understand at times. He chalks it up to a lifetime of service-oriented jobs and a six year stint in military service. But even the personal motto he espouses reflects his deep-seated need to serve others.

He has continued to reflect on the weekend’s class and I think focusing his attention on what had been to him something he simply did but didn’t think about is bringing greater clarity, peace, and awareness of interconnections. We continue to talk about these seemingly simple yet profoundly important concepts and what they mean to us and how they manifest in our relationship. We are consciously and joyously working on building a solid foundation.

Just as breath is critical for survival for our bodies, yet something we don’t often think about, so too is the concept of power exchange and service critical to the survival of this relationship. By being deliberately mindful of the breaths of our relationship, we bring an amazing sense of calm, and “rightness” to each other and what we are building together.

I’m really looking forward to where this path takes us both.

But right now, I’m just focusing on being mindful.

One thought on “Mindful Breathing

  1. Thankyou for this post.

    It’s interesting how such journeys can begin in the moment and how they continue to grow and expand drawing on the natural flow that only reveals itself by being present, and being your authentic self.

    I’m also interested in the observation about formal military training as I spent 13 years in the military and rules and protocol seem a natural extension to me as well.

    I recently discovered the power of mindfulness and meditation and I am surprised at the profound difference it has made to my life. I am so much more calmer and centred. Prior to this I was a sceptic but I’m definately a convert.

    I like Nhich Nhat Hanh original text ‘The Miracle of Mindfulness’ and the recent writings of Matt Valentine – “The Little Book of Mindfulness” and his new book “This Moment”,

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