Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada is a weekend for celebrating the good we have in our lives and sharing it with those who are close to us. There is so much to be thankful for and this year, as I look back, I see the amazing abundance that comes to us in various ways, but I also find myself appreciative and grateful for the opportunity to have learned (and keep learning) about Dominance and submission. It is something I have thought about a lot lately as I have looked at my relationship with my Dominant and how it has changed and evolved over the years.

I have a tendency to be really negative. I am self-critical and hold myself to very high standards that can often be hard to meet. Difficult situations come up and it can take me a lot of convincing that everything is going to work out just fine. When I get caught up in the spin of all things negative, it starts to permeate every other part of my life, including my relationship with my Dominant. It became important for me to recognize this thought pattern of mine because the energy that I am putting into our life together is what we are going to get out of it - and I can tell the difference. I certainly believe that my Dominant deserves to see the beauty in life and my attitude and thoughts can have a lot to do with that.

Sir and I met under more vanilla terms and navigated into a lifestyle of Dominance and submission together. Like everyone else, there are demands on us from the outside world that we are balancing too. You know, the non-negotiable parts of life that are required to make everything else happen. Yet, as we tried to work on things in our relationship from our vanilla perspective, there was always something else that was to blame for my bad mood - the lack of sleep, the daily drudge of tasks (and how we were trying to divide them), and so on. Communication was seen as important in our relationship but it was focused less on us and how we were feeling and more about what needed to be on the grocery list or who had an appointment coming up.

As we began to shift and explore our dynamic, which I am happy to say is now our lifestyle, it brought a lot of healing to our relationship. There are two keys areas that have made a big shift for us.

Living with intention

The idea of every moment, living with the intention of serving my Dominant has made even the most hated household tasks (matching socks anyone?) something that I be proud of at the end of the day. It is the daily devotion, similar to a spiritual practice, where I know I am living my life in service to my Dominant. This intention permeates everything and helps bring back my focus when I get off track.

This didn't come easy - but it is a practice. It is knowing that when I get off track, that I can take a deep breath and start again in this new moment. For me, it is the brief pause, reaching up for my Dominant's collar that I wear, thinking about how I am in service right here, right now. Then, it is time to move and live this intention with action.

When I started to change this self-talk around our relationship, I could see the new energy radiated from both of us. My thoughts can and do change how we were behaving with each other, so it is important for me to make them connecting, thoughtful, and loving.

Honest and open (no holding back) communication

In the vanilla world, it was so common to hear things like "sometimes you need to let things slide" or " my partner does that too, there isn't anything you can do about it". I had learned that it was polite to bite my tongue and just go with it, instead of saying, "I could have really used a hug here" or "I felt really left out when (fill in the blank)". I fell into a trap where I expected Sir to read my mind. I was caught in the trap that we had lived together for so long that of course, he knew what I was thinking and feeling. Except that he doesn't. He doesn't live in my head. He doesn't see things through the same lens of past experiences or in the moment feelings. Yet, I was expecting him to know. That wasn't fair to him and it wasn't fair to us. In changing our dynamic and really opening the lines of communication - both our daily communications and in more depth, through my journal, we have been able to avoid some of those bumps on the road or at least, smooth over them without disrupting our comfort too much.

Speaking of journals - it has become an important part of my journal to write out parts of my day that I am grateful for. As you can see, it is easy for me to lose those details to the fiery pits of my mind. In writing them out and writing out why they meant so much to me, I can bring some balance into my earlier negativity and start to shift my own patterns. I can bring healing to myself and to my relationship with my Dominant.

For us, Dominance and submission have given us a foundation of tools to grow from and I am thankful for the honesty and trust it took to get started. It looked like a big mountain to climb from the bottom, but the view as we climb is a fantastic reward!

Do you have a part of your kinky life that you are grateful for? How has it changed your life for the better?