Given the world’s sudden obsession with 50 Shades of Grey, it sparked a train of thought that led me to arrive at the following question: “is bondage actually the ultimate act of freedom?” This question got my creative cogs spinning and so I began to do a bit of reading and research.
Some of you may be familiar with the word Shibari. For those of you who aren’t, the word Shibari has incorrectly come to mean an erotic form of Japanese rope bondage in the western world of BDSM. Shibari is a noun and literally means ‘to tie’ or ‘to bind’. There is very little reference as to why such a bastardisation occurred, but from my understanding it is a classic case of ‘lost in translation’. Japanese as a language uses context specific words with particular meanings ascribed to them whereas in English, meanings can be assumed and words assimilated to have various meanings regardless of the context The correct word to use is the adverb Kinbaku. It is the most accurate and contextually correct word to use when referring to bondage. Its literal meaning is ‘the beauty of tight binding’ and its recognised ‘father’ is Seiu Ito.
I guess you are wondering what on earth an inspiration blogger is doing talking about bondage. Sit tight (if you’ll pardon the very wry pun) and I shall attempt to unravel what I’m getting at.
Bondage is a component of submission. True submission requires you to relinquish control of yourself. You let go of your fear and insecurities, and you derive pleasure from being absolutely free from decision. What an amazing concept, don’t you think? To be able to put yourself in a frame of mind where you are secure in yourself, free from worry and doubt, in a mode where you actually allow yourself to receive pleasure because there are no obstacles preventing it. Amazing.
My question to you is, how do we emulate this mindset without subscribing to the world of BSDM? How can we model this feeling of freedom and release ourselves from our daily ‘bondage’ (work, stress, debt, anxiety, insecurities, etc.)?
In the realm of inspiration and motivation, the first step in transforming our lives is to become self aware. To become truly self aware we need to face who we are at ground zero; we need a clear perception of our personality, our strengths, weaknesses, thoughts, beliefs, motivation, and emotions. But very often the path to self awareness is in the shadow of our daily bondage. And hence the reason why I’ve called this post ‘Shadow Shibari’. So how do we slip the ropes of our Shadow Shibari?
Well, the experience of reading through this article should hopefully have got you thinking. And if you’re thinking, you’re on the right track. Becoming self aware is a process, an evolution of the self. You can only become self aware if you make the decision to explore the real you. Take a moment and reflect on this statement: The REAL you? Do you know who that is?
In time, I will post a series of articles that will take us on an interesting path of self discovery. But in the meantime, here is something to help you begin your journey.
Write out the following on a piece of paper:
- Describe your best self in 3 words – have fun with it, think about your top 3 most positive qualities. How would you ‘sell’ yourself to someone in just 3 words? Once you have your 3 words, use a thesaurus on each one and find alternative words for yourself.
- Describe your worst self in 3 words – be brutally honest with yourself. The key here is to dig deep and not list what you have heard others say, but what you know to be your worst self. Challenge each of these traits. Where did they come from?
- If you were allowed to change one physical aspect of yourself – what would it be? Remember to write out why you want it changed? Reflect on what you have written. Do you want to change it because of the way you feel in front of others? Examine this feeling.
- What is your goal for 2013? Be very specific. Detail how you are going to achieve your goal.
- Write down 5 things that you are truly grateful for.
Put the date on the top right hand corner of the paper, then fold it into a neat little square and put it somewhere safe (not too safe that you forget about it). Put a reminder on your phone or in your email to check your list in 3 months time. Do the list again. Have you changed? Is your goal still on track? Are there 5 new things you are grateful for?
One of the keys to unlocking self awareness is to understand that it is a continuous process that never ends. It’s like the tiny snowball that gets bigger and bigger as it rolls along. The more you understand yourself, the more you want to understand yourself. Dig deep, you can only better yourself.