August 29th, 2013
I attended a class last night on service and ritual and, as good classes do, it got me thinking. I carelessly commented, after, that ‘we have no rituals.’ He quickly corrected me, handing me his bottle as he did, which I instantly balanced on my palm. I struggled to clarify my meaning, acknowledging that he was correct, but I was referring to ‘something we do every time I see him.’ We don’t really do protocol, mostly because I haven’t asked for any. There are things I always wear for him: my skirts/dresses and my rubberbands. But, we stay away from formality and protocol for the most part. The ritual of serving him a drink from the palm of my hand is the only thing I would call an exception.
The class focus, however, wasn’t necessarily about that, though. There was a bit about creating rituals, and there was a lot of the use of the word. Which is why it got stuck in my brain. But the parts that I took away from the class, were about service. A stage performer and instructor, the presenter talked a lot about mindfulness and awareness of your task. Being aware of your body, your eyes, your movements, your attitude, and your top. She talked about knowing your motivation, and goals, for every act of service.
I found these things speaking to me. I do serve him his drinks on an open palm, but unless it is hot, heavy, or very full, I usually pay little mind to the act. If I am not just serving it, but holding it between sips, I am find I am more attentive to the task, because it is not ‘here you go, and done.’ But that’s not an excuse, just an observation. It is a simple thing, but it is one that makes him happy. A little more attention and mindfulness could serve me well.
His boots. One of my favorite forms of service to him is taking care of his boots. I guess you could say that this is a ritual, though it has quite a bit of variance. Sometimes I share the task with another, sometimes they are on his feet, sometimes not, sometimes I have taken them to a meeting or to my own apartment. But, when he is wearing them, there is a bit of formality, in that I kneel or sit at his feet in a submissive posture while I complete the task. I am very mindful, in this situation, too. I want to not just clean his boots, but also make him feel good. The goals are two-fold when he wears them. When he is not, I lose the formality, but it is still an act of service where the goal is to please him, and take care of him. I feel like I do stay fairly mindful, whether he is present or not, this is one task that takes my full attention.
Other acts of service, things I do because he asks, or because they are needed. Domestic services, group organizational services, editing services. All these are places where I could bring more mindfulness of not just why I do them, but how I do them. The why is usually straightforward – because he asked, and because I want to please him, help him, and reduce his stress load. Keeping these things in mind could help when I’m feeling stressed out about doing something(usually the group organization). The how could be improved as well, by just being more aware of myself while I am completing the task.
All in all, a very interesting class, which has left me with many good things to think, and act on.