Life of a Kept Woman

I want to chronicle this particular niche - a woman being well cared for by a man for no other reason than it fulfills them both.

Location: San Francisco Bay Area, California, United States

In 2001, I stopped working and focused on having the most pleasurable and fulfilling life possible. Today, I have succeeded my wildest expectations. A “kept woman” is a woman who is being supported comfortably by a man for reasons having nothing to do with marriage, children, or sex. We are intelligent women, who know there is more to life than proving yet again we can do it just as well as men. We are choosing lives of comfort and service, but only to the extent that it pleases us. The men who support us do so because they see it as their best move for a rich life with a partner who can create a lifestyle based on having the best of what life has to offer for them both. The best is everything from cocktails at sunset to cycling together mid-day to serving the poor.

Friday, August 26, 2005

The Nature of Nice

Not doing too bad with this blog now. Getting a new posting once a month . Funny how hard it is to write about a life that you're enjoying so much. Up until the last 5 years, I mostly used my journals, which I began keeping when I was 12 yo, to mull over the dicey times of my life.

At the end of July, we took a course at Lafayette Morehouse called the Fun of Nice. It was the first new course in over a decade. Cindy taught it with a few of her friends. It really was an incredible course. I can tell it's impact on me because I'm still thinking and talking about it. She described the nature of being nice as the opposite of phoney politeness. It's actually about inserting good into the world with every action and communication.

The capacity to insert good is an inside job initially. It begins with you. You have to feel good about yourself and treat yourself well with respect and care before you can give it to someone else. We've all heard this a million times. However, what I noticed during the course was how much my thoughts generated from low self-esteem tapes in my head prevented me from giving and receiving nice communications and actions. Even more surprising was how righteous I felt about my victim pictures having to do with race. I was saw how I was clinging to these pictures like the one ring in "Lord of the Rings". Even though my story and all my evidence about the very real horror of racism were preventing me from experiencing more goodness and love, I still couldn't let it go. It ruled most every interaction, my "precious" privileged status as a victim of racism. I realized I had missed a significant number of instances when someone was being nice to me or when I could have been nice to somenone else because of this "precious" right I felt I had to be a victim.

Niceness is not for the other person. It's for you. Every time I'm nice to someone, every time I do something good for someone; I get to experience directly as the source. This only works, of course, if I'm doing it from an authentic place. I have to already be standing in a place of feeling good about myself and have a surplus of good feeling to truly insert good into the world. Otherwise, it's just another polite gesture with strings attached or sacrifice of some sort.

To be in a good place requires the capacity to self-reflect, monitoring your thoughts and actions. How much of your thoughts are negative? From where did they originate? What could you do that would be more positive for yourself and then others? This kind of thing takes eternal vigilance as Vic used to say.

This has been the source of my biggest struggle and angst since the course. This seeing where I fall short. Worse, having George point out where I fell short because I was too blinded by my familiarity with meanness to see it for myself. Cindy said that while there is a continuum; basicially, if it isn't nice, it's mean. No one likes to think of themselves as mean. She said, it is a rare person who sets out to deliberately cause someone harm. Mostly people are mean by being unconscious of their negative impact on someone else; their unwillingness to deliberately pay attention to the person and do/say something nice to them. Occasionally, people are mean because they believe some right of theirs has been violated also. Brian said in the course, "It's the second bad that always sinks you."

Between noticing my own shortcomings and failure of others to treat me or anyone else with care and consideration, I have been in a general grumpy state since the course. Of course, I have made attempts to be more aware and be nicer to people. It's definitely a process. I notice that the closer the person is to me, the harder it is to be nice. It appears that expectations and rights are proportionate obstacles in the path. Cindy recognizes this from her own experience and admonished us all to start with the intention to be nice and not beat up on ourselves when we missed the mark [the second bad]. Instead trace down where you went wrong, learn, recall your intention, and keep going.

Intention. Eternal vigilance. Don't beat up on yourself. Be good to yourself. Keep going.

She says eventually it will become your nature. Everyone agrees she is living proof. So what is there to lose.


Blogger siren said...

Thanks for your openness. Passing on the knowledge so to speak; I find a lot of what you said about the objectives of the course to be true. The nice part is especially difficult if your stand point is from fear; fear of being rejected, hurt, belittled, ignored for your overtures. But a truer sentence could not be said better in that one needs to start with ones 'self'. Racism is not something one brushes off easily. Living in an environment which molds you from very early on in the belief that you are second rate regardless of your actions is a hard box to break out of, but it doesn't change the fact that it is a box and the one who closes it is not the oppressor but ones self. Being nice is hard sometimes because one does not wish to come across as over eager to please and therefore some could argue intrinsically weak. Being always prepared for the next blow or slight, intended or not, and thereby giving out the hurt first can sometimes be the cause of why one is mean; I know this is a bit simplistic but my point is I can identify with each and everyone of these perceptions. Perhaps less so the mean but rather the other extreme of being sometimes a little too overtly nice. I make this distinction deliberately because since living in Frankfurt; I've come across another social psyche which is on the surface at least, dead against overly nice people or gestures. If you wanted to you could say that the people here are just reserved - politeness again, however I sometimes prefer my Italian girlfriends definition "germans are just like cold fish". Nah, that again is just an exaggeration but I sometimes feel it's not far from the mark. The point I wanted to get across is that being nice is sometimes a cultural thing, if you want a cultural mask, where the niceties of social engagement and feeling for the other are passed on as though they are honours in an extended degree program. This element of niceness however has little to do with the heart and more to do with duty and obligation. This is the kind of 'nice' that I grew up with in a Ghanian household. I rebelled however in true female form it was more a case of internal combustion rather than overt anarchy. I over compensated by being do-gooder nice rather than being honest and accepting of my own true desires and then stepping out to be nice to others. My arse over feet method finally set itself to rights but I still aspire to be nice but not in a disparaging way at least no longer to myself.

God, sorrry for the verbal diarrhoea but I liked your blog and wanted to answer.

5:17 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home