i was able to finally complete my homework from Miss Amy Red’s Artful Service class while flying to NYC for our Valentine’s week trip!
What makes service feel artful to you?
Art is defined as skill acquired by experience, study, or an occupation requiring knowledge or skill (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/art). So if we were to simply use these definitions, any service that was studied or someone was knowledgeable in would be considered artful. However, i feel that there is something more to service being artful, in that is it done with added grace, intention, attention to detail, and love. i can easily prepare Maximus’ bed at night—i do it every night He’s home—but i can be much more loving and attentive about it: gently removing the pillows and arranging them extra neatly beside the bed and on the dresser, lovingly smoothing out the quilt after i spread it over His side of the bed, fluff and caress His pillow. This is much different than tossing the pillows off, roughly pulling the quilt up and flipping the covers back. And it doesn’t matter whether He’s watching or not, being artful about it in this manner makes a difference.
i’ve heard it said many times that you can taste when someone cooks while they are angry, that it actually changes how the food is prepared and tastes. Love is an important ingredient in food and in all service. Doing service with love and intention changes the experience for both the giver and the receiver.
- What do you enjoy about service?
i enjoy the act of doing something for someone—it gives me joy and an expanded sense of purpose. i have been in a service profession all of my adult life and was drawn to it to help those who needed it. my leadership style is servant leadership, in that i work to provide resources to others so that they can succeed. Being helpful, improving people’s lives makes me feel good! i enjoy serving Maximus because it helps make His life even better, takes a lot of stuff off His plate so He can better focus and achieve more for Himself and us, and He truly appreciates it—that’s huge! But i also enjoy service because it allows me to use my skills, whether in cooking, home maintenance and repair, gardening, decorating, playing the piano, proofreading, making PowerPoint documents, active listening, leadership advisement, etc.
- What qualities set some service apart as being artful?
As i mentioned above, having intention, going above and beyond just completing the task, value-added, something that surprises and delights, done in a graceful, beautiful manner.
What increases the connection in acts of service?
Having focus and mindfulness increases the connection. Including touch, eye contact, slowing down all increase the connection. Doing something extra, anticipating needs or desires also increase this,
- 2 ways to focus your attention that could increase connection in service interactions
As noted above, eye contact and touch/physical interaction can increase connection in service interactions.
- What tools do you use to communicate your intentions wordlessly?
Body language and eye contact, positioning.
- What do you appreciate about your partner in artful service interactions?
During artful service interaction i appreciate Maximus’ response and reactions. It is more than just a “thank you,” it is a look in His eyes, tone of voice, a deeper connection. Oftentimes i am rewarded with play, attention, whether it’s immediate or delayed.
What makes service more unique and intimate?
Knowing your partner’s preferences, touch, eye contact, positioning.
- What style or service archetype are you curious about exploring?
As noted in Our M/s, we have incorporated attributes of 1950s Housewife, Victorian, CEO/COO into our D/s. We are extremely interested in exploring high protocol and have discovered the Libertine Social Club in our region, which will give us a chance to learn more and try it out.
- What “ordinary” act of service would you like to try charging up?
i would be interested in charging up our bedtime ritual. i have several tasks for this, but i would like to find ways to increase our connection and intention as we go to bed. This is something i need to bring up to Maximus to see how He feels about this and what we can do to achieve this.
- Can you make it more (choose one or more) valuable, enjoyable, beautiful, irreplaceable?
Valuable, enjoyable, and beautiful
What can improve or correct existing service?
Awareness is a large part of improving or correcting existing service. If you are not cognizant of areas where service can be improved or corrected, you will continue to operate at that level. It will require some self-discipline to evaluate performance, and evaluation, feedback, discipline, correction from Maximus as well.
- What obstacle have you experienced recently?
During the last review of our rules and protocols, we noticed that we have not been sticking to the rules and protocols regarding door opening. i have been opening my own doors, especially car doors, which is a violation of Maximus’ expectations. While this does not seem like a service, it serves Maximus’ desire to be a gentleman—disregarding this robs Him of something important deep within Him. It also serves as a reminder to me that i am His, that there are expectations i must operate within, and causes me pause to remember our relationship.
While i have been better about this since we discussed this issue, there are many things i can do to make this more artful. First, i can use the pause to actually reflect on our relationship rather than look at my phone (as is often the case when waiting for Maximus to come around and open the car door to let me out), second, i can look into Maximus’ eyes and then nod during these times to convey my appreciation and connection rather than simply thanking Him, which i do every time, third, i can incorporate touch when i pass Him during these interactions.
- What category(s) does that experience seem to fit with?
Incorporating these things can make the experience more valuable, enjoyable, beautiful, and irreplaceable. Why irreplaceable? Because i know Maximus holds doors for others, but He does not receive any of the response i described above from anyone, which will set that interaction to a higher level than others, increasing our connection, and strengthening our relationship.