What helps you to keep your submissive mindset?
The third prompt for my submissive reflection is about keeping a submissive mindset. I don’t know that others always agree but I have come to see my submissive mindset as different to my submissive headspace. My submissive mindset is about the way I choose to think, behave and respond; it feels like a conscious thing, like a choice. I choose to submit to HL because that is what I want to do, and a submissive mindset is something that I adopt and strive for as part of that.
My submissive headspace is different. It is a state that I go into, usually triggered by being Dominated, and it is not a conscious thing. It just happens. It doesn’t have to be as a response to something sexual and happens at other times too. When I am in this headspace I become completely submissive. I think, feel and behave in a submissive way, but it is not a choice to do so. It may look the same from the outside, but inside it feels very different. Usually it happens after I have relinquished all control, rather than at the point where I am voluntarily agreeing to give up control.
Submissive headspace is something that I will move in and out of. Sometimes it can last for an extended period of several days, others it will be shorter and last during a scene. At points it can be fleeting and come in response to an instruction or command that has pushed me into that place. On the other hand, submissive mindset is something that I think I should be able to access and maintain as part of my submission. HL contributes to this by supporting me with it, but as a sub, I see it as part of my role to be adopting a submissive mindset myself. I have written more about the difference between mindset and headspace here, but wanted to be clear which I was writing about in this post.
What is a submissive mindset?
Keeping a submissive mindset can be a constant challenge. As a submissive, what I am trying to do, is make sure that I am behaving in a submissive way towards HL all the time. This can be by responding to his requests and completing his instructions quickly and without question. It might be by anticipating his needs and trying to meet his desires. Or it could involve showing respect and acknowledging the power exchange by adhering to the rules and rituals we have agreed. Basically there are lots of ways that my submission should be seen and felt during the course of each day.
I need to be in the right mindset to do this. For example, if I am in a frame of mind where I am thinking about my own needs, or those of someone else as a priority, I am unlikely to respond as I would do if HL was my focus. If I am distracted by work, or family, or another project I have taken on, again the needs of HL and our relationship won’t necessarily be put first. And if I am feeling tired, stressed, or emotional about something, I might not be as respectful as he would like me to be, or as accommodating. So while we recognise that life brings with it all of these challenges, my mission is to work at keeping a submissive mindset and not let other things get in the way.
I used to think that thinking submissively would come to me in the end. I thought that the more I practiced submission, the more easily it would come. Wrong. Well wrong for me, at least. I am simply not that sort of submissive. I am my own person with a strong mind and will. I want to submit to HL but sometimes my head just thinks it knows better. Hell, sometimes it does know better. But that is life. This is about a choice and I have chosen to submit so sometimes I need to reshape my thoughts. I try to take time, to keep an open mind, and to do what I know I should, even when I don’t feel it as my first response.
Thinking submissively comes from keeping a submissive mindset. For me, this can mean bending my will to HL’s. Now you might wonder why I would do this, especially if I feel that my way might be the better route? If it is something really important then I might ask to talk about it, but more often than not, it isn’t really a big deal. And then, there are the times that I am wrong and he is right. There are the times that his suggestion is one that is actually good for me, better than if I had taken my own route. Why? Because he is putting me first and thinking about my needs. Often, I am thinking about the bigger picture. So ultimately, his way frequently works out to be a good choice.
Usually, I will find that although my thoughts might not have been submissive initially, reframing them in a way which is, leads to me actually feeling differently about whatever it is I have been asked to do. Usually when I behave or respond submissively, I start to feel submissive and my thoughts alter too. That moment’s pause allows me the time to consider what I really want, and act accordingly. I know that HL would like someone who was instant in their response, but actually, the fact that I am thinking and choosing to follow is a testament to his Dominance and my commitment to our dynamic. It is a different sort of submission, but it is submission all the same.
Although 24/7 is a term often attributed to a relationship like ours, I prefer the term lifestyle D/s. We adopt D/s as a lifestyle and the power exchange is woven through many areas of our life together. In reality no one can submit 24/7. We are all required to take time for ourselves and others during the course of our day. Behaving submissively comes again from keeping a submissive mindset. It is about choosing how you want to respond. I can be engrossed in the work that I do, but if HL was to suddenly appear, I would stop what I was doing and respond to him in a way which was appropriate.
He doesn’t do this in reality as he wouldn’t put me in that position, but although I am focussed on other things, he is never far from my mind. At home, I slip in and out of the various different roles that I am required to adopt, but when he wants me, I am there. I am his, my body is his. He can ask things of me or use me when he wants to. But this is a loving relationship where he makes me a priority so in reality, I don’t have to behave as a submissive all of the time, only the times when that is what is required of me. This is usually when we are together and it can be dialled up or dialled down, depending on the circumstances.
I mentioned our rules and rituals above and these are things which we have agreed to do as part of our power exchange because they feed out D and s mindsets. Asking for permission, taking care of myself, wearing a collar as a symbol of our dynamic are all things which help to support it for both of us. Our rules and rituals are part of the structure of our D/s, but they also sit on top of it. There are the things that we do regardless of anything else. They are the constant when others elements change and they help me to keep thinking, feeling and behaving submissively, regardless of when or where I am or what I am doing.
Keeping focus and losing focus
So while following the rules and rituals we have agreed, reshaping my responses and taking the time to consider the way I want to behave all help me with keeping a submissive mindset, sometimes I can still lose focus. Where the rules and rituals felt very obvious to begin with, after a few years, they became such an integral part of what we do that we hardly noticed or felt them. We spent a long time finding the right things for us. This meant that they had to not only fit into our lifestyle and dynamic, but they also had to support it by having a purpose that meant something to us. To simply add to them, or alter them wouldn’t work.
Over time, I suppose they have lost some of their effect. This is not to say that they are any less important, they still matter a lot to us, but they don’t require as much conscious thought to adhere to as they once did. I suppose, they have become best practice. Where others would notice them, we don’t really anymore. We function well together and to change something or add it in for effect feels a bit pointless when we have spend so long finding things which have a purpose and a point. We have settled into our dynamic. It isn’t so much something we do now as something we are. And that feels good.
Nothing is perfect
But nothing is perfect. There is always room for improvement and this is about finding new ways of keeping my submissive mindset so that I can think and respond and behave in a way which is more submissive. This will feed HL’s Dominance and allow me to move deeper into my own submission. This is something I want. What we have is good, but we would both like more. I think this is more about growth than it is about greed. We know that we both enjoy the D/s aspects of our relationship and would like to explore those more fully.
We focussed on mindset about the same time last year and these were the action points we took away:
- Make sure that the rules and rituals are applied more consistently and use the weekly talk time and weekly maintenance sessions to reinforce them.
- Initiate a transition or greeting to mark the change from work to home. This has come from the fact that we are working from home much of the time so there is less demarcation than there was.
- Introduce more of the things which keep us feeling sexy such as taking pictures, dressing up and more sexual intent and references during the day.
We did quite well with the first and second of these but the third point is still an area I want to work on personally. I know that feeling sexy takes effort and I need to spend more time on self-care than I have been doing. Those small things can add up and produce a big change in the way I feel. I spent a lot of time last year thinking about wellbeing and health and have adopted some things that really seemed to have worked. Now that these are embedded, I can use that to get back to behaving in a way which is sexier.
Another area where I felt I could improve was trying keeping a submissive mindset in the bedroom. I noticed that I was allowing the day and its troubles to creep into time that was meant for us. I mean the bedroom here in a literal sense rather than referring to sexual play, but that was affected too. I would follow the bedtime routine, but not spend any time or effort trying to make sure I was feeling and thinking submissively. What I did, was to continue to think about the things I had been thinking about throughout the course of the day, instead of clearing the decks and allowing myself to be open and receptive for HL.
I always have a bath before bed but now I take 10 minutes after this to sit and reflect on my submission. I am actually really enjoying it. I put on some meditative music so that I am not distracted by other activity in the house and just sit and think about HL, about us, about the way we work together. I think about being submissive and what that means. I think about being his submissive and how that feels. Basically I think about whatever comes into my head, but the non-D/s stuff is pushed out so that I can focus on that one part. This has been effective in that I end up with this one focus.
Spending this time on submissive reflection is allowing me to think, feel and behave much more submissively. I feel calm and as if I have one simple purpose. It feels good and the rush of the day and the complex things it has brought move our of my mind for a while. I am much more ready for play as a result but it doesn’t mean that we will play every night. What will happen is that our focus is on each other in a way which it always should have been and often was, squeezing out the space for the times it was sacrificed to other demands.
At the end of the day, you do have some influence and control over the mindset you are in. And this even from someone who has given up control! Seriously if you want to feel submissive then you have to think submissive and that isn’t something that you can expect to happen without working on it. I have found that taking the time to think and reflect on these areas is beneficial because it allows me to take stock and really see where I am.
It can be difficult within the hustle and bustle of life to take that time but I have found it really worthwhile. How you do this will be down to you but I am sure that you will feel the benefit. Having action points for my submissive growth is important to me and I know the sorts of things I have to do to access and maintain a submissive mindset dest. There are things that HL does which really helps of course, but in reality I can also help myself, and help him.