First things first – for those who follow this blog and want to know if we went to Feel Me Breath last night, yes, and Izrina had a lovely beating. About forty five minutes of leather foreplay and a little over thirty minutes of fire, and she was zoom, zoom. I grabbed a bottle of water, and a couple cookies to put beside the couch. I like to have these ready for aftercare. Water to re-hydrate, sugar for quick energy. With assistance from Master Karl we moved her to the prepared area. She curled up under a nice felt blanket, warm and toasty, her head in my lap, where she stayed for almost an hour before her eyes fluttered open to find me caring for her. Yeah, she needed that.
Here a link, there a link, everywhere a link-link. – This is part blog, part research paper, and part reference material, so there will be a lot of links. You can get the gist of this by reading, but for a deeper dive, follow the links.
* – A Fetlife account is require to open links with an asterisk.
UCLA study – We recently came across an article that says that a UCLA study found that keeping a daily mini-journal in which you record three things you are grateful for, if kept for at least 21 days, can trigger parts of the brain that stimulate Dopamine production.
Dopamine – (contracted from 3,4-dihydroxyphenethylamine) is an organic chemical of the catecholamine and phenethylamine families. The brain includes several distinct dopamine pathways, one of which plays a major role in reward-motivated behavior. Most types of reward increase the level of dopamine in the brain, and most addictive drugs increase dopamine neuronal activity. Dopaminergic stimulants can be addictive in high doses. Within the brain, dopamine functions partly as a “global reward signal”, where an initial phasic dopamine response to a rewarding stimulus encodes information about the salience, value, and context of a reward. Cocaine increases dopamine levels by blocking dopamine transporters (DAT), which transport dopamine back into a synaptic terminal after it has been emitted.
Sno – the other addictive white powder * – Sno, the founder and powerhouse behind FMB is an incredible person. She rose up from being an alpha slave to one of the single most competent Dominants I know. She maintains a house with multiple servants and slaves, and organizes community events, workshops, etc. Like the other white powder, she is addictive. There is a quiet firmness to her that intimidates slaves and demands respect, even while she is bouncing through a Dungeon skipping and singing and giggling. But that happy free spirit can turn on a dime, and draw a laser like gaze on any inconsistency. Complex doesn’t start to cover it.
Fluffy little journal requirements. – Sno has for as long as I have known her, required her subs and slaves in service to her, to write down three things each day that they are grateful for, and to send them to her. I thought of it as an exercise in mindset, getting a slave to appreciate the gift of Domination. Perhaps she always had more in mind than that. I thought of it as useful fluff. As another author put it:
Some of the world’s most successful people use gratitude journals, including a woman worth $3 billion who you may have heard of before – Oprah Winfrey.
Yeah, Oprah, right? If you’re not a middle-aged 45-year-old woman who loves feel-good stories and free giveaways, you might be rolling your eyes. I was at this point in time. It says self-help all over it. I don’t need that.
Turns out I was wrong. DEAD wrong. Izrina will now be keeping an appreciation journal. So will I. My daughter is too old now to order around, but I will try to get her on the band wagon too.
The SCIENCE behind the fluff – When you start to do the research, you will find out that there is a lot of science behind an appreciation journal. One sales and productivity site encourages a gratitude journal to improve productivity. They point out that Gratitude > leads to Happiness > that leads to Productivity. To underscore that recommendation, they point out these studies:
- Yale studies say a gratitude journal will result in higher alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness, and energy.
- Stanford offers a high-demand class leveraging gratitude journals, which made students 27% less stressed.
- Harvard studies indicate gratitude improves health and strengthens relationships.
- UC-Berkeley research indicates a gratitude journal improves sleep and decreases illness.
- Columbia research says gratitude improves the immune system, while reducing anxiety and/or depression.
Bottom line – moving forward, I am on the Sno bandwagon with this one, along with the other Sno original I have always subscribed to: The endorphin ladder *. Add this to the list of things that I will call the “one true way”. Some things have intrinsic value, and objectively belong in the standard tool box of Master slave relations.
Here is the thing. Many, many people have stumbled onto, or learned through practice and intuition, much of what I would pass along as core lessons for Ds. Often we find out later that nilla counter parts have validated what we have long suspected, and that my friends is another critical part of what we need to do as a community. We need to keep these core lessons, and call them the one true way, or core lessons, we need to pass them along in meaningful, intelligent ways so that the science and understanding behind what we do, is not lost.
So at one point in the evening, we drew people into a circle, and gave acknowledgement to two things. First, the science, and second, Sno’s brilliance for having practiced this long before the science was shared. Carpe Diem! Go be someones great day!