Without taking the time to think about all that’s happened in 2016, our shortcomings and accomplishments, we fail to integrate what new knowledge we’ve gained.
There have been ups. There have been downs. There will continue to be many more before midnight strikes at the end of December and we hit the collective reset button–pretending that we can move on unaffected by the events of the previous year.
That’s where we all go wrong, isn’t it? Indeed, we need to fight the urge to move on, and start critically examining how our history continues to live through us in the present moment so we can begin to make better choices moving forward.
Here are the 10 biggest life lessons learned in 2016.
1. Spending so much of our lives on our phones is decreasing our ability to be engaged in the present moment.
Why do you think mindfulness meditation and yoga are both billion dollar industries? People are feeling the effects of increased time spent in the digital world.
2. Virtual and augmented reality will continue changing the way we interact with the world.
One reason Pokemon Go was such a hit was because it satisfied our need to be digitally connected and engaged with the real world. Between that and Oculus Rift, HTV Vive, and Playstation VR–new worlds are just a headset away.
3. People crave authenticity–so you need to start taking self-development seriously.
The catalyst of authenticity is self development, so you need to start investing in your personal growth.
4. Digital assistants and artificial intelligence are (finally) becoming more helpful.
Between Siri, Alexa, and Cortana, our digital assistants are getting better at recognising our voices and providing helpful information–although they are still far from perfect.
5. Attention spans are increasingly short–which means you have to provide value if you want engagement.
Short videos are in. Consumers of digital content want valuable take-away messages without the fluff–so stop sugar coating content and start delivering the goods.
6. Many of us live in isolated bubbles and are surrounded by like-minded people.
Another lesson from the election is that most of us are entrenched within a digital and geographic comfort zone.
7. History repeats itself–so you need to start looking at the larger picture.
Many of the difficult and visible social issues of 2016, along with the rhetoric used to win the presidential election, are familiar to those with historical knowledge.
8. Flexibility and openness are now required for productivity and personal well being.
Remember to pause and breathe.
9. The difference between “real” and “fake” news is becoming increasingly blurry and you need to know the difference.
You need to develop critical thinking skills and apply them to everything you read.
10. Going viral on social media is more valuable than television ads and can win the presidential election.
The old school mentality of paying for cable advertising may not be as effective as free coverage on social media–especially when that content is viral.
Whether you’re a content blogger or a presidential candidate, the vast reach of social media will transform the way you approach spreading your message.
The article was originally posted on http://www.inc.com/
If I’m honest, I spent a good chunk of my adult dating life trying to make toxic relationships work. I could see the issues, the inevitable end-date, but I chose to ignore them in an effort to push on and push past the problems. But the truth is, once you spot one of these seven telltale signs he’s not The One for you, there’s only one thing left to do—and that’s pull the plug.
1. You don’t trust him. Whether you caught him in a lie or 10, or your instincts are setting off alarm bells every time he offers a new excuse for why he was late, there’s just something about this guy that breeds distrust deep in your gut. If you can’t trust what he says or does 99 percent of the time—we can make allowances for white lies used to plan surprise birthday parties or whisk you away on romantic weekend getaways—he’s not the guy for you.
2. You spend more time thinking about what’s wrong with him than what you like about him. No guy bats 1,000. Even the right guy will sometimes forget what you tell him, won’t always show his appreciation, and will say the wrong things. But if all you can focus on are this man’s flaws, it’s time to move on to someone whose missteps you’re able to accept.
3. When it comes to the big things, you have opposite opinions. Turning a blind eye to the fact that he’s an atheist while you believe in God, or that you envision a family of four while he desires to go kid-free, isn’t an effective solution for a long-term relationship. Yes, you can overcome small differences—and can even compromise on some larger issues—but there are just some things where a difference in opinion equals a deal-breaker.
4. Sex with him is just OK. Some couples go through temporary sex ruts, but what I’m referring to is a sex life so stunted it could put you to sleep paired with a guy who refuses to address your concerns, listen to your desires, and meet your needs. A guy who’s willing to work on things in and out of the bedroom to bring you pleasure is a keeper; one who cares only for his own orgasms or refuses to change between the sheets is not.
5. He’s super fun to be with—when you’re in the same room. You have a blast when you’re together, but this guy all but forgets your name when you’re apart. He doesn’t make an effort to see you, nor does he communicate while he’s away. A man who’s worth your time will make the time for you in return.
6. You don’t consider him a friend.
I believe it’s important to have some element of true friendship in a relationship. If you wouldn’t even be friends with the guy you’re seeing, why should you be dating him? There’s gotta be more than just great sexual chemistry. I’m not saying he has to be your best friend; I’m saying, there’s gotta be a basis of some kind of friendship somewhere.
7. He’s emotionally unavailable.
There’s no way around this one. Dating someone who is emotionally unavailable is like dating someone wearing a suit of armor made of mirrors — you try to see in, but all you see is yourself staring sadly back. Trust me on this one, you want someone who can open up to you. Someone who’s not afraid to cry in front of you when things get really rough. Someone who is ready to start a new chapter in their lives with you. If he can’t do those things, he’s not emotionally ready, and your relationship is doomed.
What are some other signs he’s not The One? Have you ever experienced one of the signs above?
PHOTOS: COURTESY PHOTO
Recently on the Internet I discovered a few lists of the signs of spiritual awakening (sometimes also referred to as symptoms of spiritual awakening). The lists I’ve come across so far are vague and unclear (for example: headaches and body aches, feeling as though you’re on an emotional roller coaster “for no reason,” changes in energy levels, sleep patterns, jobs, and/or relationships, gaining or losing weight, even an itchy scalp–all apparently for no reason), so I decided to come up with my own list of what I understand to be the most essential and relevant signs and symptoms of spiritual awakening.
The following is a list of nine things I experienced during the process of awakening:
1. Synchronicities that are meaningful to you. (These help point you in the right direction or help spark an important new insight.)
2. Intensely painful life “changes” that you can’t explain or know how you’ll get through. (This assures that you look within for the answers. Note that “change” is often a polite way of saying “loss.”)
3. All-consuming inner contemplation followed by possible reassessment of beliefs, especially at 3 or 4 in the morning (often triggered by happenings or things you can’t explain using your current belief systems or knowledge).
4. Receiving “secret messages” from people who aren’t aware they’re relaying special messages to you. (If they had known, they may have hesitated, and sometimes spirit just doesn’t want to take chances.)
5. Having the same thing (especially something that’s unusual) happen to you two or three times in a relatively short period of time, like, say, 24 hours. (This assures that you actually notice what your higher self wants you to notice.)
6. Waking up in the middle of the night feeling intense confusion. (This means your beliefs are being re-evaluated. Before you become clear and solid in your new awakened state, you will no doubt find yourself mucking through a period of deep confusion.)
7. Favorable synchronicities that happen regularly. (You can expect these to occur after you regularly follow through with your inner guidance.)
8. Intense, vivid dreams that seem to point you in a certain direction. (The further along in the process you are, the clearer your dreams will be and the more your dreams will help guide you in your daily life. The dreams will be in metaphor form, often in metaphors that make sense to you.)
9. Finding yourself laughing more often. (Sometimes you will wake up in the middle of the night, think something profound that’s also funny, and then laugh your head off. This is not a joke. Your higher self is playful and wants you to have fun while you’re awakening.)
Experiencing any (or all) of these signs means that spirit (your higher self) is trying to get your attention! Also, spirit is playful and wants you to enjoy the awakening process (it’s not all about pain and drama but about enlightenment, about becoming light-hearted). You will also be amazed at the creativity of your higher self.
Remember, the fast track to spiritual awakening does not depend on how much fame or fortune you’re born with (or currently possess), or on how many advanced degrees you have, but on how much you’re willing to (temporarily) forgo your comfort zones for the noble purpose of personal and spiritual growth. This is important because it is your individual growth that is of utmost importance at this crossroad in humanity’s collective evolution. Remember also that the signs and symptoms you experience aren’t just signs or symptoms; they are designed to assist you in the spiritual awakening process.
Obstacles in meditation mentioned by Patanjali:
Meditation is not hard!we are treating it as a difficult process because ,we are constantly listening to other people but never tried it seriously .It is our imposition of what meditation must be that makes it seems so. Allow me to explain:
As humans, we are vexed with stress. We hear about the meditation and its promise of peace and we are naturally drawn to meditate.
We sit down on the couch and notice that the mind is a rumbling chattering of clashing thoughts, an expression of the stress we are trying to escape.
We notice that the rumbling goes on and on, and we want to quiet it down.
You see, meditation is the noticing, not the quieting.
It is just like a parent telling their kids that they are making too much noise. The kids cannot notice because they are being the noise. The adult can notice because they have enough calm spaciousness to tell. If you can tell that your mind is a rambling rumble of thoughts, you are being the parent…you are noticing…you are meditating successfully!before knowing obstacles I thing you must read about 10-things-to-know-before-you-start-meditating
But its time to face the truth, the reality is different.We will be having too much troubles here is first shit:
1) Wandering of the mind:
You might have observed that whenever we start meditation ,our mind keeps wandering no matter how good you are at meditation.One may find it very hard to meditate because the mind keeps wondering.This restless wandering of mind is called Vikshepa in Sanskrit. This obstacle appears when the mind has a preponderance of Rajas(know more about Rajas) nature of mind.
After a while the novelty of practicing meditation starts wearing off, and our minds become reluctant to meditate.such reluctance is caused by the natural tendency of the mind to get bored doing same thing over and over again.
we must exercise will power to overcome this obstacle. Whether our mind like it or not, we should forcibly persuade our minds to continue doing meditation.
3) Unwelcome thoughts start arising in the mind:
While meditation we often find it hard to concentrate on our breath (our object of meditation) because of unwanted thoughts arising in our minds.
For instance, if one had an unpleasant argument with another person, the thought of that unpleasant experience might arise in the mind and disturb the practice of meditation.such thoughts can be very frustrating.
This is the most common obstacle we always face, we often fall asleep while trying to meditate. This sleep, called Laya in Sanskrit.
Meditation is an intense concentration, and if the mind is not under control, it is hard to concentrate.
An uncontrolled mind naturally resents being controlled, and when one forcibly tries to concentrate the mind, one falls asleep.This is Laya. Laya is a very restful and refreshing sleep, and those not experienced in meditation may consider it some kind of spiritual experience. It is caused by a temporary preponderance of Tamas guna.
5) Reluctance to practice meditation:
During meditation we may suffer from a feeling of intense reluctance to practice meditation. At that time meditation appears to be extremely dry andtasteless. This obstacle is caused by past thoughts lying latent in the mind.
No thought is ever lost. All past thoughts are stored in the subconscious level of the mind. They lie there like a seed. Just as every seed retains the characteristics of its plant ,so also these seed thoughts retain the characteristics of their full-blown conscious state.
An ordinary person’s body and mind are closely intertwined. If anything happens to the body, the mind becomes affected. When the body becomes diseased, the mind also gets affected.
A disturbed mind can’t meditate. Most diseases can be prevented by a healthy life style- a life of moderation.Don’t meditate during illness.
7) Attachment :
Attachment to objects of sense pleasure is a great obstacle in meditation. Such attachment causes the tendency not to give up sense pleasure. We have to wean ourselves away from sensual pleasures to overcome this obstacle.
According to Patanjali , meditation on the pure heart of a holy person who has gone beyond attachment to the sense objects can help us to overcome this obstacle, because what we think with great concentration,that we eventually become.
8) clinging to life:
Instinctive and obsessive clinging to the body- the unrealistic yearning to perpetuate the existence of the body for long time,if not forever- is calledAbhinivesha. Such clinging is a great obstacle to experiencing the pure- perfect and ever-blissful nature of the soul or Divine self.We should realize the inevitability of death and be mentally prepared for it. We should meditate on it.
9) Irregular breathing:
When mind lacks control and concentration, it can be swayed by fluctuating moods, causing irregular breathing. The practice of rhythmic or regulated breathing under guidance of a component teacher enables us to overcome irregular breathing.
Despair is caused by disappointment at not having one’s expectations fulfilled. One should minimize expectations to prevent despair.
So guys these are the fundamental obstacles mentioned by Patanjali in our daily practices , have you encountered any strange obstacle please comment and let us know.
The yin represents the feminine: negative, contraction, water, dark, female, earth, tiger, colour orange.
The yang represents the masculine aspects: Positive, expansion, fire, male, heaven, light, dragon, colour azure.
- The most common yin-yang imbalance is a stress arousal. Stress arousal increases the adrenaline and cortisol levels which suppress the immune system. Stress is misplaced effort and takes away the energy required for healing.That is why we take rest when we have a fever.
- Ultradian healing response is the second major yin-yang imbalance. Every 90 to 120 minutes, our mind-body goes through the period of daydream or slowing called ‘Ultradian healing response’. If we artificially keep perked up with coffee,cigarette, or workaholic , we are neglecting our healing cycle. Meditation,daydreaming,healthy snacks, or simple quite time allow us to take advantage of this healing cycle.Physical exercise is the yang side of the rest.
The ancients believed that what nature is composed of, we are composed of. Each human being is a microscopic part of the macrocosm. We have within us the five elements or phases: earth, metal, water,wood, and fire. Each of these elements has a personality and an internal milieu connected with who we are.No aspects of person functions as an independent, discrete entity. Each physical function is connected to an emotional aspect. Each governs an organ,sensory perception or season. There is an interplay between them that our physical and emotional relationship in balance.
- We can relate this essence as different concepts those are being used to describe universal eternal energy: Chi, Chakra, Aether, Mana, Magic, Aura, The Force, ext.
- Though Yin and Yang are different,truly they are not just equal opposites ,but are two of the same.
- Yin-Yang continuously share each others essence in order to create balance its own positive and negative essences.
- Our overall universe itself is a yin-yang where everything is connected to this energy as a big system. This system is interconnected by two fundamental forces yin and yang.
- According to legend, the Chinese emperor Fu Hsi (2852-2738 BCE) said that the best state for everything in the universe is a state of harmony represented by a balance of yin and yang.
“Accept your dark side, understanding it will help you to move with the light. Knowing both sides of our souls, helps us all to move forward in life and to understand that, perfection doesn’t exist.” –– Martin R. Lemieux
Subconscious mind is that part of the brain that functions 24/7, but we essentially do not notice it. It holds a plethora of information that we may come across just once, but our brain processes it in our subconscious state of mind. This part of the brain does wonders to those who know precisely how to use it in a positive way. Don’t be wary of its power to bring changes in your life.
The Invisible Hand
There are billions of people in this world and all are different in one way or the other. However, there are areas where people also familiarize others. For instance, some people look similar, some study the same discipline, some are financially equivalent, and some struggle for similar desires and ambitions. You can find many people who are similar in every manner yet lead totally different lives.
It’s not hard to find two or more people who possess the same academic qualification, intelligence level, and goals in life. Nevertheless, the lives of each are likely to be significantly different from the rest of the people in the group. The underlying reasons behind variations in lifestyle and success/failure can be numerous. For instance, their social network, financial background, external stimuli or opportunities, luck, physical appearance, or maybe an invisible hand could be the reason.
One thing that is common in almost every successful person is his/her belief. They empower themselves with self-control, motivation, willpower, and discipline. Believing that you are entitled to success is not wrong if you keep working hard to achieve success. Wealth, fame, position, and peace of mind cannot be gifted to you, so you must admit that internal drive to achieve your goals is one big factor that can make your dreams come true.
Your subconscious mind is that powerful internal drive!
In order to use your subconscious mind and to make the most of its incredible power, you must know how to train your subconscious mind. Though it may be a bit challenging in the very beginning, you will develop the habit of working as per the required conditions.
The first step is to train your subconscious mind to solve problems. This is basically an attempt to improve your analytical skills. Whenever confronted with a problem which you cannot figure out the possible solution to, let your subconscious mind assume your conscious mind’s responsibility. All you need to do is to think about the problem for a while. You can also write a problem statement and keep reviewing it for a few minutes.
Instill the thought that you want your subconscious mind to derive out the possible solution to the problem. Now stop thinking about the problem altogether and just continue with routine tasks. A solution will eventually click in your mind within a few days; try it as it is highly likely to work out for you. This is how your subconscious mind helps you in resolving problems.
You can also go the other way around. Review the problem, think about alternative solutions, evaluate and weigh each one of them in terms of their respective pros and cons. Now stop thinking about it until your subconscious mind processes all alternatives to bring out the best option for you. Your analytical skills improve over time and with use.
Meditation holds importance with reference to training your subconscious mind. Get inspired by new beliefs, think about new ideas, and learn to believe in yourself. Meditation will help you achieve desired levels of mental focus and concentration so that you can gain cognitive power. It also enables you to enjoy the present, while planning for the future.
Repeated visualization is extremely effective in training your subconscious mind to enable you to accomplish targets. Set exciting goals, be passionate about them, and imagine the end objective on frequent basis like thrice a day or so. Your mind will then accept the visualization as a part of reality and you will start working to achieve the set goals.
Empowered by sensitivity? It sounds strange doesn’t it? Sort of ironic, contradictory, even mutually exclusive.
How can you be empowered by something so soft, subtle and delicate, in a world full of hard, overpowering and loud people? Indeed, many of us Empaths get trampled, used, thrown around, and taken advantage of. But we have a secret.
Deep down inside, beyond the veil of our superficial appearances, we harbor something quiet, but powerful. Our gifts don’t dominate, tyrannize or overthrow people, but that doesn’t detract from their strength, or usefulness. If anything, our powerful but subtle gifts benefit us more in the long term, allowing us to gather emotional, psychological and physical information from our surroundings that is often inaccessible and undisclosed to the average, unreceptive mind.
While we can’t bully, back-stab or use brute force, we can heal, guide, protect and deeply understand the lives of the people around us. In essence, we can gather immense amounts of knowledge. And knowledge, as they say, is power.
If you would like to discover whether you are an Empath, keep reading. Also, if you would like to discover what type of Empath you are, you will discover the 10 types at the end of this article.
Are You An Empath?
If you are an Empath, you will experience a combination of some or all of the following symptoms:
- You absorb other people’s emotions like a sponge, carrying them as your own.
- When someone close to you is physically ill, you can feel this as physical pains in your body.
- You often suffer from physical or mental fatigue and tiredness.
- You find Solitude immensely refreshing, and you require it to “recharge”.
- You often experience many mood swings or emotional states throughout the day.
- Witnessing violence or cruelty is unbearable to you.
- You are a very good listener.
- People often come to you with their problems.
- Animals and children are attracted to you.
- You are caring and nurturing by nature.
- You are hyper-aware of the physical environment, e.g. to smell, taste, sight, touch, hearing, etc.
- You can’t stand interpersonal conflict.
- Crowded places are very overwhelming and draining to you.
10 Types Of Empaths
While being an Empath can have its many positives and benefits, it can also weigh us down heavily with confusion, disorientation and anxiety. That is why it’s important to put a name to what we individually experience to better understand ourselves, and identify others who share the same abilities as us.
For this reason, I have included below a list, and small description, of each type ofEmpath. By understanding who you are, what gifts you possess and where you stand in life, you will be able to begin the path of Involution.
This is usually defined by the ability to simply know something needs to be done, or is true or misleading, without having any basis in logic or reason. Often this type of Empath will just “know” when something is right to do, or not, or when someone is lying or hiding something.
Emotionally Receptive Empath
Most Empaths are emotionally receptive, and can physically and emotionally feel the emotions from other people before they are even expressed.
Physically Receptive Empath
Many Empaths are also physically receptive to other people’s illnesses and bodily pains. This often manifests itself in the Empath’s own body, and can be an especially useful skill in healing.
This type of Empath can hear, feel and interact with animals.
This type of Empath can communicate with plants, being able to receive physical and emotional signals.
The Geomantic Empath can read the energy and signals transmitted by the earth. Many are able to feel/predict natural disasters before they occur.
This type of Empath can either see, hear, feel (or a combination of these elements) spirits, usually from deceased individuals.
This manifests itself as the ability to receive information, energy and impressions from physical objects, e.g. photographs, clothing, jewelry, utensils, etc.
This type of Empath can feel the occurrence of an event or situation before it actually happens. This is usually manifested in dreams, or as physical/emotional sensations, for instance: dread, anxiety, or excitement.
The ability to accurately read a person’s unexpressed thoughts is the main defining feature of the Telepathic Empath.
Being an Empath can be difficult and confusing, but with awareness of your gifts and abilities, you can refine them and use them to guide, heal and protect yourself and the people you love.
My hopes are that the information within this article can continue to make ripples within your life. Please share with me any stories or experiences you have below. This will help all of us broaden our knowledge and understanding of what it is to be an Empath!
Source: Loner Wolf
He instructed me to strip, to crawl on the floor and fellate him.
I texted him as soon as I woke up.
“What do you want me to wear today?”
I brushed my teeth and washed my face while I waited for him to text me back.
“White button-down shirt. Tuck it in. Your jeans. Flats. Put your hair in a ponytail. Send me a photo.”
I dressed as instructed, then stood before the wall-length mirror in my apartment’s hallway. Smiling into the mirror, I snapped a photo on my iPhone and sent it to Ben*.
Thirty seconds later, a text message: “Very nice.” Then I knew I could leave for work.
Ben wasn’t abusive. I wasn’t being hurt, nor was I unhappy. We were in a dominant/submissive relationship — or playing at one, anyway — and following his orders got me unbelievably turned on.
Ben cheated on his girlfriend, Rachel, with me; he lied about going on a break with her for me. I was so upset when I found out he lied that I emailed her and told her he’d been cheating. But I haven’t been totally forthcoming about the nature of our relationship. Ben and I weren’t just friends who became attracted to each other; we were both extremely interested in exploring sexual roles as a dom (him) and a sub (me).
Ben cheated on his girlfriend with me, I can now clearly see, because he has strong, natural impulses to dominate a woman in bed. And his girlfriend, Rachel, wouldn’t let him. When we were just close friends, Ben would gripe to me about how he and Rachel rarely had sex.
As time passed, Ben and I talked frequently over IM or over the phone, and flirted with each other more and more. It’s not exactly a secret that I have a fetish about being spanked and at some point — clearly crossing the line of what was appropriate for a guy with a girlfriend and his cute single friend to be discussing — Ben told me he loved spanking women.
He loved it. He loved all types of light, sexual domination play — tying women up, using his paddle, hair-pulling — and Rachel wasn’t into any of that. And when it came to outside-of-bed stuff, Ben described Rachel as resisting his natural inclination toward leadership.
She didn’t particularly like him being protective toward her and he said they bickered constantly. So you can see why I saw an “in” here.
I should be clear, though: Ben wasn’t the first guy I’d come across who professed a liking for domination play. My first serious high school boyfriend was actually the one who flipped the pervert switch, making me realize that getting spanked turned me on. My boyfriends freshman and sophomore year of college both spanked me. And this other guy I dated in college actually took me to a “spanking club” in New York City where he rented a paddle and spanked me in public.
Then I dated Jason* after college and, through my relationship with him, I learned that it wasn’t just spanking that turned me on — it was dominance.
Jason was over six-feet-tall, with a strong and sturdily built. He had a naturally dominant personality. He could be fearless and decisive. He could be a leader. He could be stern and take charge when he needed to. He was protective. And he spanked me and dominated me in bed all the time, of course. But outside of bed, which was starting to feel like catnip in this new, weird way, I always felt “safe” with him because of the way he took charge.
It didn’t work out with Jason for other reasons, but he left me with 100 questions: I’m a feminist. Why do I like this so much? Isn’t this wrong? How can I be a good feminist and still like a man taking charge outside the bedroom?
It was 2006 around this time, so of course I spent a lot of time on Google looking for the answers. By searching terms like “spanking” and “domination,” I discovered many women online who wrote blogs sharing the same desires I held. They had college degrees, jobs, made their own money, but they were sexually attracted to men who dominated them both inside the bedroom and outside.
(Some of these women are what’s called “domestic discipline” arrangements, which have a lot of Christian influences and would take a long time to explain.) I studied these women for over a year and published an article called “Slap Happy” in the feminist/pop culture magazine Bitchabout them. (“Slap Happy” cannot be found online, but writer Amanda Marcotte at the feminist blog Pandagon wrote about it. And my article was included on the syllabus for a Rutgers University Human Sexuality class.)
I can’t explain to you how all-consumingly liberating it felt to know it wasn’t just me who wanted this. This is something hundreds of other women and men love, I thought. This is a part of me and my sexuality that I can be honest about.
I was pretty sure I didn’t want to be dominated by a man all the time like these women; though the idea of domination “play” some of the time, like Jason and I had engaged in, aroused me more than I had ever felt before.
Back to Ben: when he revealed to me that he got off from being dominant, I felt like I’d found the golden ticket. We not only shared the same kink but the same intensity for it. Ben wanted dominance and submission “play,” but all the time? Seriously? Where had he been all my life?
But because Ben was still dating Rachel, we didn’t do anything about this for a long time. We flirted for months and months, occasionally talking about our mutual love of spanking and domination, but in the one very intense month after he said he wanted to break up with Rachel to be with me, domination and submission “play” consumed us. First musing about it. Then doing it over IM, email, phone and text message.
Much of the non-sexual domination “play” with Ben was just a shift of our regular friendship: We’d talk about the stuff we’d usually talk about, but he would take a more dominant role, sternly issuing instructions. For example, I had a co-worker who was experiencing some difficulties, and being the naturally hyper-anxious person that I am I’d fret all the time about the fate of her job.
“Don’t worry about her; it’s not your responsibility. Worry about yourself,” he would say. And I would follow his instructions.
But there was the more obvious domination “play” component: As part of our “play,” I would ask him permission to do lots of things. I told him about all the kinds of bras and panties in my drawers, and each morning he’d tell me which ones to wear, which I would send him in a photo.
I would ask him how to dress each morning. I would ask him if I could watch a movie or if I had to work on writing a freelance article more. If I “disobeyed” him during this sexy-talk “play,” he would tell me over the phone or over IM how he would “punish” me.
But it was the sexual domination that was most amazing to me. Even though we physically had not been intimate with each other yet because of his girlfriend, we had phone sex with each other frequently where he’d verbally explain to me how he was going to spank me.
And much of our IM chats and emails were dirty talk about future spanking “punishments” to come: He would promise I’d be spanked 10 times for this or that infraction. He’d also tell me whether he was going to spank me with his hands or with his paddle. And, of course, we would talk dirty at length about having intercourse. Through all of this, he wanted me to call him “sir.”
Basically, Ben was one kinky motherf*cker.
For the first few weeks, I was horny constantly. And I mean constantly. Never before in my life have I experienced such weeks-long periods of horniness. One weekend, I couldn’t handle the horniness anymore and slept with two different guys and made out with a third. And trust me, I’d never done that before. I really felt like my sexuality had awakened and been released, roaring from the gate.
All the buildup actually raised my expectations too much, because the one and only time Ben and I were physically intimate with each other, it was a bit of a disappointment. Oh yes, he was sexually dominant: He instructed me to strip, to crawl on the floor and fellate him, and he spanked me with the paddle he kept in his closet.
But something about him seemed skittish, like he wasn’t giving 100 percent. I remember thinking, Where’s the guy who is a marvelous dirty-talker? The deflation could have been because Ben was cheating on Rachel with me; however, I got the sense that Ben liked talking about dom/sub more than actually doing it.
I never got to that find out: A week or so later, everything with Ben crashed and burned. It was messy, it was bad, and it was a horrible time in my life. (It’s not necessarily worth repeating and if you must, you can read about it here.)
My spectacular crash-and-burn at a dom/sub relationship, even though it was messy, was educational in ways I never could have imagined. I now see that what Ben and I had wasn’t aromance and we had no foundation to sustain a relationship beyond sex. That was just a disaster waiting to happen.
But I also realize now that Ben and I didn’t know what we were doing and we didn’t have the foundation of trust that a dom/sub relationship needs. Not “should have,” but “needs.” With no exceptions.
I gave Ben trust that he had not earned yet. When he would instruct me to stop worrying about my co-worker, I would listen, but really Ben had done nothing to prove he was worthy of this trust. In fact, if anything, he was negatively trustworthy for not having ended his relationship with Rachel yet. It was my fault for trusting a man who wasn’t trustworthy and I take full responsibility for that.
I also learned that when it comes to sex, sometimes people like talking about stuff more than they like doing it. They think they want it. They say they want it. But — and this is where needing to be able to trust someone’s word comes in — they’re afraid to fully experience what all their sexual impulses are telling them.
Maybe it’s because it’s scary to them. Maybe it’s because it’s so taboo. I don’t really know; I just know that Ben turned out to be that person while I was not.
I’m glad I have nothing whatsoever to do with Ben anymore, but I’m kind of bummed my first foray into a dom/sub relationship didn’t work out. I really would have loved it. Now, I’m in a loving, committed relationship with the man I’m going to marry and we have a happy sex life, but he doesn’t share the same desire for dom/sub “play” that I have.
But these days, given how I had such a negative experience with domination the first time, I’m not eager to repeat it.
Written by Jessica Wakeman.
Sadhguru looks at the importance of the process of karma yoga, its role on the spiritual path, and how one can go about using action as a means to spiritual growth.
Question: What is the role of karma yoga in sadhana?
Sadhguru: It is not needed really. Yoga does not need karma. Yoga is to go beyond karma. Why karma yoga has been brought in is to bring about balance in a person. Whatever we call as our awareness, our love, our experience or our glimpses of our reality, if it has to be sustained, the path of non-doing is a very wonderful path, but it is very slippery. Extremely slippery. It is the simplest and the most difficult. It is not difficult but it is not at all easy, because it is simple – right now, here and now. But that here and now – how to get it? Whatever you do, it is not in your hands. It is never going to be in your hands. But your hands need something right now, you need to hold something. That is why the crutch of karma yoga.
Without the crutch, most people will not be able to walk. There are a few beings who can walk without the crutch from the first moment. They are very rare beings. Everyone else needs the crutch to manage your awareness. Without this, most people are incapable of remaining aware. So karma yoga is brought into your life to properly temper sadhana with the right kind of action.
Activity – liberating or entangling
Karma yoga has unfortunately been described as service, but it is not so. It is a way of undoing the impressions that you have gathered. If you can joyfully involve yourself in any activity, that is karma yoga. If you do it with great effort, only karma will come, noyoga will happen!
Generally it is through various activities that you perform that you get entangled and enmeshed with life. But if the activity becomes a process of liberation instead of entanglement, it is karma yoga. Whether it is work or walking on the street or talking to someone, the nature of the activity is not important. When you do something only because it is needed, where it does not mean anything to you but you are capable of involving yourself as if that is your life, it transforms you and action becomes liberating.
When we were building the Dhyanalinga, people thought, “This is it! He wants this to happen. Let us do it! Once this is done, we can relax.” They worked like their life depended on it. They went from house to house, raising funds and bringing the necessary support and made it happen. When it was done, before they said “Ooff…” I announced ten different projects. I will always keep it on because people need that kind of action. They need to do what is needed without worrying about their fulfillment and their likes and dislikes. Anyway we are doing something for our growth, so let us do something that is useful to everyone. Let us do sensible action.
There have been many masters who created action like this. When Gurdjieff started his centers in Europe, the European elite went to him. In the morning he would give them a shovel and a pickaxe and tell them, “Dig trenches.” In the hot sun, they stood and dug and dug. These were not people who are used to labor of any kind. By the time they had worked a few hours, they had blisters all over. He stood there and drove them on. By late evening, they were hungry but they worked and worked, digging trenches. Then he would look at the watch, “Okay, it is seven o‘clock. Looks like dinner time. All of you can close the trenches again before we go for dinner.” A whole day’s work!
Doing something that does not mean anything to you with total involvement is what breaks the karmic structure. Karma means action. If action has to become yoga, action should be liberating. If your activity has become a process of binding yourself, it is karma. So the question is not about how much activity you do. How you are performing the activity is what makes the difference. If you are crawling through your work, that is karma. If you are dancing through your work, that is karma yoga.