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formation options

The women in this community are here because we find the support we offer each other is important and because we wish to explore watchfulness and surrender as something other than a thought experiment, a self-improvement project or an expression of sexuality. On our own journey, we have found that an awareness of watchfulness and surrender colors every aspect of our daily existence. We have discovered that the spiritual, intellectual and sexual contexts of a surrendered life complement each other so well that they create a seamless view of life and how it’s meant to be lived by women who are unafraid of their own often suppressed instincts.

Antecedents: The predecessor to this site, The Submissive Wife Project, was first created out of the notes and exchanges culled from the years of mailing lists, private news groups, guidance and instruction that preceded and accompanied it. The intention of the Solidas sponsoring the Project was to simply describe the way some of us had been taught to approach watchfulness and submission as a source of strength in our lives. The use of the difficult word “submissive” was chosen deliberately to appeal to women whose instincts for surrender and watchfulness may have become misdirected to a fascination with online D/s topics, or to women whose submissive instincts are almost completely spiritually-based. These approaches are not necessarily invalid; however, our desire was broader. We wanted to understand our instincts and longings in a holistic fashion: sexually, spiritually, intellectually and emotionally.

We have come to see that many wish to find a way to take some of what we have learned into their own lives and to leave us in return some of their own experiences and insights. The online forum under the name of The Submissive Wife Project arose in response to that simple set of desires. It became the heart of our community, and a concurrent need to formulate ways of embracing the values of the Project in a way that makes sense to women with complex, demanding lives so that their formation as submissive women is anchored in a set of principles that support their choices. It grew rapidly.

The Project placed on hiatus. In April 2011, the Submissive Wife Project was taken offline because it had grown too large, unwieldy and distracting to our own thoughtful journeys. This community of watchful sisters was established by the monitored women of the old site, with the express desire to continue to pass on our message of watchfulness and clarity, with a greater emphasis on thoughtfulness while retaining the dedication to understand our instincts in all contexts.

It’s hard to balance that understanding with our own fervent wishes to avoid using this site as a way of recruiting anyone for anything. We understand that most women coming to this site will be content to harvest the information we offer and use it in their private lives as they think best, and we obviously encourage this first and above all.

The two rules of formation

For those who wish to take a more active role in the development of this community and in their own formation, we suggest first, an overarching view.

There are two important rules of formation: one is to learn obedience. To come here with a specific goal in mind is commendable. But these processes, and the way we live in them, are all predicated on an understanding of what it is to be obedient, no matter the object of that surrender. Whether you want to control a weight problem or engage in a fitness program or seek better harmony in your marriage, first learn obedience.

The second rule is that the inescapable consequence of formation is constructive disruption. Whatever you were doing before is not what you will be doing in the future. Everything will change. We hope for the better, of course, but the effects of formation cannot always be predicted.

As we watchful sisters live it, obedience is a transcendent, pervasive thing and without it very little is possible. The same is true of change. The text we commend as a starting point is called “On Watchfulness and Waiting” and it is here.

Formal approaches to formation

Formation options are listed below, but participation in any of these can be deceptively complex. If you need more information, always feel free to query the sister serving as community administrator by sending an email to [email protected]

All of these options require community membership – the first formation option (below) – as a prerequisite. 

Initial level

Community Study and Discussion.

The Watchful community discussion area is a very useful focus for personal formation (or for supplementing the more demanding forms of formation listed below). Topics germane to the community’s interests are given thorough examination in the free exchange of ideas between community sisters.

Community discussion is where formation begins.

Some reminders:

  • All community members are personally contacted before admission is granted.
  • Newcomers are introduced here and so are new ideas – including many antithetical to the practices and principles of Watchfulness. The community sisters do not censor ideas. We encourage them.
  • Discussions are marked by personal revelation and by careful and thoughtful consideration of the good faith of all participants.
  • Passive participation is not permitted and accounts that fall silent for more than 14 days are disabled.
  • Community members are considered provisional until they either seek to become “watchful sisters” (see below) or leave the community. In our experience, the latter choice is by far the more popular. This is good, because…
  • Numbers are intentionally kept small.

While there are monitored women who continue to work outside the community or even offline, simple community participation is the formation option chosen by the vast majority of watchfulness members. It also fulfills the primary obligation of all community members to help their sisters by sharing experiences, lessons, observations and desires. The value of the community is accretive – the experiences of thoughtful women over time are our treasury. Hence, the community cannot exist solely as a source of information for those who do not in turn contribute their own views and discoveries.

Many women limit their formation to this model, and some do so for many years. This is often a wise decision, since deeper involvement in formation carries risks. Community membership is limited. To read more or to initiate membership, click here.

Internal Disciplines.

The purpose of the private Internal Disciplines area is to offer a supportive environment for Community members who wish to experiment with the principles of accountability and transparency by embracing self-selected disciplines, allowing for an approach to formation that may be somewhat superficial, but is at least easy to control.

Members who have chosen to participate the “i/d” sub-Community regularly post goals and related material (such as challenges and successes, other reflections, or even photos) in their private album for review and comment by their sisters. In return, they are encouraged to offer support and comment to others.

For more information on Internal Disciplines as an approach to formation, click here.

Circle of Attentive Obedience.

The Circle of Attentive Obedience offers specific opportunities for obedience and a shared experience. Those who wish to participate will join a circle of women who gather to explore and discuss an assigned monthly intention, discipline, and text resource. For instance, “attentiveness” may be the focus, or intention, for one month and circle members explore this intention together, sometimes with a corresponding discipline and text resource.

The circle is a private area, but all are welcome to join. No experience is necessary. However, if you chose to join the circle, active participation is required and obedience is not optional.

For additional details on the Circle of Attentive Obedience, click here.

Advanced level

Sororal Monitoring.

Monitoring is the primary tool used in our community for those who wish a greater understanding of the value and usefulness of obedience. Women following this path are the “watchful sisters” of this community. This process of learning accountability and transparency with the guidance and assistance of a woman who has already gained applicable experience is devoted to an understanding the role of discipline and how to best take advantage of the opportunities for obedience each discipline provides. Asking for a Monitor (another watchful sister usually with years of experience) to serve in this fashion is to request a serious investment of her time—and yours. Because all Monitors are themselves still monitored and accountable women, every request is also a demand on the very limited resources of the entire community. It is an investment gladly made, however, since the hope of the community that women entering this path will one day become Monitors helping others in advanced levels of formation.

This approach to formation is intrusive, intimate, not recommended and not at all necessary for most women. Even the link above to the source page is password-protected to prevent visits by casual visitors and those who cannot benefit from this approach. If you are a member of the community and wish information on how to seek a Monitor, send a note to the sister serving as administrator by writing to [email protected] or by clicking here.

Each of these modes of formation is predicated on an understanding of the community’s principle of watchfulness and use, in varying amounts, the elements of instruction described here. In addition, the mentored/monitored process is adapted to create special tools to help some community members achieve specific goals with transparency and obedience used as primary vehicles.